103rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly was not in session this week. The Illinois Senate returns to session on Tuesday, January 24. The Illinois House returns to session on Tuesday, January 31.
Speaker Welch announced the formation of 43 House standing committees for the 103rd General Assembly along with naming Chairpersons.
Three new committees were created: Gaming, Public Health and Small Business, Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The following committees were renamed: Appropriations – Health and Human Services, Financial Institutions and Licensing, Mental Health, and Transportation: Rail Systems, Roads and Bridges. The Tourism Committee was eliminated.
Senator Martwick is expected to file a constitutional amendment to impose a graduated income tax. Unlike the previous version which voters rejected two years ago, this time Senator Martwick believes the proposal should provide property tax relief and address the state’s pension problem.
2023 Key Dates:
January 27: Deadline – Senate LRB Requests
February 3: Deadline – House LRB Requests
February 10: Deadline – Introduction of Substantive Senate Bills in the Senate
February 17: Deadline – Introduction of Substantive House Bills in the House
February 15: Governor’s State of the State/Budget Address
February 28: Consolidated Primary Election
March 10: Deadline – Substantive Bills Out of Committee in both chambers
March 24: Deadline – Third Reading Deadline – Substantive House Bills in the House
March 31: Deadline – Third Reading Deadline – Substantive Senate Bills in the Senate
April 4: Consolidated Election
April 28: Deadline – Substantive Bills out of Committee in both chambers
May 11: Deadline – Third Reading Substantive House Bills in Senate
May 12: Deadline – Third Reading Substantive Senate Bills in House
May 19: Adjournment
Governor Pritzker traveled to Davos, Switzerland this week to speak at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Governor Pritzker highlighted the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, the Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act – and Illinois’ commitments to clean energy and sustainable power – the Rebuild Illinois Capital plan, and Illinois’ new laws on reproductive health and gun violence prevention.
Before returning home next week, the Governor will also visit Germany for business development purposes.
New Laws: Two bills passed during the lame duck session were signed into law this week. Governor JB Pritzker signed omnibus reproductive rights and gender affirming legislation – HB 4664 . Read more here. Also signed this week was HB 240, which is an omnibus healthcare package.
Education Budget Requests: The Illinois State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education submitted their Fiscal Year 2024 budget requests to the Governor for consideration as the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget finalizes the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The Illinois State Board of Education is proposing a $350 million increase for the Evidence-Based Funding for K – 12 and a 10% increase for pre-K and early learning. Advocates argue that more funding is needed to fully fund the Evidence Based Funding Formula fully within 10 years and to fully fund early education.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Board of Higher Education is requesting a 7.5% increase in the total direct funding for the state’s public universities and community colleges. The total proposed budget is around $2.5 billion, an increase of $180 million from the FY 23. The FY 24 budget request also includes a $50 million increase in MAP funding. More information is here.
The Governor will present his proposed FY 24 budget to the Illinois General Assembly on February 15.
Nursing Grants: Across the state, the Illinois Board of Higher Education awarded 11 nursing school grants, totaling $750,000, and 40 nurse educator fellowships, totaling $400,000, for fiscal year 2023. The grants were awarded to institutions of higher education to help increase the number of registered professional nurses with high-quality postsecondary credentials to meet the demands of the Illinois economy. The fellowships are designed to help retain well-qualified nursing faculty at institutions of higher education that award degrees that lead to a registered nurse licensure. Read more here.
Solid Waste Management Plan Grants: A new funding opportunity is available to assist counties and other units of local government in implementing their solid waste planning obligations under the Illinois Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act (SWPRA). The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is here.
Under the SWPRA, counties and units of local government are obligated to revisit their Illinois Solid Waste Management Plans every five years and, if necessary, submit plans with significant updates to the Illinois EPA. Through this funding opportunity, Illinois EPA intends to provide interested counties (and other units of local government required to develop a county solid waste management plan) with financial assistance to help prepare the next plan update.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, conducting a local solid waste and materials management needs assessment, surveying local solid waste and materials management stakeholders to determine programmatic expansion viability, internally authoring solid waste management plan updates, or procuring consulting services to prepare solid waste management plan updates. Each county or unit of local government is eligible for up to $10,000 in funding. All required forms and information are here.
Applications for the County Solid Waste Planning Grants will be accepted through 5 pm on March 3, 2023.
Social Equity Cannabis License Lottery: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced two key updates for the upcoming Social Equity Criteria Lottery for the next round of adult use cannabis dispensary licenses in Illinois. First, the application deadline has been extended through Friday, March 3, 2023. This replaces the original February 14 deadline and will give prospective applicants a total of five weeks to submit their applications. The application window will still open for applicants on January 30 through IDFPR’s online portal.
With respect to the second key update, IDFPR is providing an interactive map on its website for all prospective applicants. This map allows individuals to check if an individual address is within a census tract that qualifies for one of the required social equity criteria. The Department encourages all individuals to utilize this map as they prepare their applications.
Additional resources for the Social Equity Criteria Lottery (including a step-by-step breakdown of the lottery and licensing process, a mock application, and a guide for acceptable documents to fulfill the social equity criteria) is located on IDFPR’s Adult Use Cannabis webpage under the “Information for Social Equity Criteria Lottery” section.
Cannabis Transporter Licenses Awarded: The Illinois Department of Agriculture issued 33 transporter licenses, successfully closing the 2022 application pool. These licenses are in addition to the 88 Craft Grow licenses and 54 Infuser licenses already issued to date, bringing to 222 the total number of Illinois licensed transporters. The current list of licensees is available on the department’s website.
Open Doors Homeownership Program: The Illinois Housing Development Authority reopened the “Opening Doors” program which is designed to help working-class families and underrepresented communities of color throughout the state of Illinois with $6,000 in forgivable assistance for down payment and/or closing costs. The latest round will offer $8 million and serve approximately 1,300 homebuyers.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor made the following appointments:
· Raven DeVaughn will serve as the Director of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services
· Kristin Richards will serve as the Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Most recently, Richards was the Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security
· Ray Marchiori will serve as temporary director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security
· Brandon Ragle will serve as temporary secretary of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology
· Michelle Dawn Carrera will serve as a member on the Illinois State Police Merit Board
· Dr. Maureen C. Mosley Banks will serve as a member on the Illinois Community College Board
· Aarti Kotak will serve as a member on the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority
· Dr. Anna Grasselino will serve as a member on the Illinois State Board of Education
· Mario Farfan will serve as a member on the Enterprise Zone Board
Secretary of State: Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias released his Transition Team’s report which will serve as the blueprint for modernizing the office, transforming operations, and expanding services. Highlights from the report including:
· improving driver services facilities
· strengthening lobbyist registration guidelines, increasing transparency, expanding disclosure requirements, and modernizing the lobbyist registration database
· library enhancements such as accessibility of e-books and online education resources
· enhancing the securities divisions
· increasing voter participation through the expansion of access, motor voter registration, and educating voters about voting locations and election dates
· making technology advancements to enable the office to establish digital driver’s license and digital identification cards, an electronic car title system, and a mobile app to conduct transactions
· enhancing business support services
· enhancing the organ and tissue donor program
· reducing the office’s environmental footprint and using SOS offices to education the public about environmental initiatives
The full transition team report is available here.
Assault Weapons Ban: The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., the Second Amendment Foundation, two gun stores and a gun owner filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the Director of the Illinois State Police Brendan Reilly, and numerous Illinois State’s Attorneys challenging Illinois’ assault weapons ban. Read the lawsuit here. Two other lawsuits were filed in state court. Capitol News offers more on the state lawsuits here.
Illinois Economic Policy Institute Report: A new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute predicts billions in lost revenue from motor fuel taxes as the state reaches its electrical vehicle goals. Motor Fuel Taxes are the primary revenue source for the state’s transportation infrastructure. The report warns that new revenue sources must be identified to ensure the state’s 10-year capital improvements plan remains on track. Capitol News covers the report here. Read the report here.