Gov. JB Pritzker signed the License to Work Act, SB1786 (Aquino/Ammons), which eliminates driver’s license suspensions for most non-moving violations and allows individuals whose licenses were canceled, suspended, or revoked to have their driving privileges reinstated. Senate Bill 1786 takes effect on July 1, 2020. Under a bill signed by Prtizker this week, SB1970 (Sims/Smith) students will be allowed to leave school to vote in an election starting June 1st. Under the law, students have to be of voting age to be excused.
Pritzker also signed SB667 (Manar/Guzzardi) which caps out of pocket insulin costs at $100/month for individuals with state regulated health plans.
Sports Wagering: The Illinois Gaming Board released Phase 2 of the Emergency Sports Wagering Rules. A copy of the draft rules is here . The Gaming Board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, Jan. 30th.
Supportive Housing: The Illinois Housing Development Authority Board of Directors approved $42,251,973 in funding to create or restore 172 units of permanent supportive housing in nine communities across Illinois. The funding will support the construction or preservation of affordable housing provided in conjunction with individualized supportive services designed to help vulnerable households attain stable housing. The developments will serve individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, households headed by persons living with a disability and residents who require supportive services to access and maintain stable housing. The following communities received funding:
- Englewood Family Housing (Chicago)
- Ogden Park Apartments (Chicago)
- Lazarus Apartments (Chicago)
- Morrison Manor (Collinsville)
- Zion Woods (Deerfield)
- Mustacchi Manor (Matteson)
- Access Health & Housing (Maywood)
- Madison Apartments II (Peoria)
- Main Street Lofts (West Chicago)
Trail Grants: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced applications are being accepted for grants through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program, and Illinois Bicycle Path Grant Program. The OHV program has $750,000 available for grants, with a maximum development grant amount of $200,000. There is no maximum on acquisition grants. The deadline to apply is March 2, 2020. The Bike-Path program has approximately $1 million available for project assistance. There is a $200,000 maximum grant amount for development projects and there is no maximum for acquisition projects. The deadline to apply is March 16, 2020.
Early Childhood: Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan to reach universal home visits for eligible families in Illinois by 2025. The voluntary home visiting programs provide eligible families with coaching and support, beginning with pregnancy and continuing throughout the first years of the lives of their children. The programs currently serve 20,000 Illinois families and will be expanded to an additional 12,500 families over the next five years.
This year, the administration will expand the program by an initial 500 families with $4.25 million in funding, as well as develop the plan to maximize federal dollars and expand the program to universal access for eligible families. This planning will also include an assessment of compensation and other factors relevant to attracting and retaining the necessary staff for this expanded program.
Gov. Pritzker made the following appointments:
- Steven Powell will serve on the Liquor Control Commission.
- State Representative Carol Ammons will serve on the Illinois Census Advisory Panel.
- Carmen Terrones will serve on the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
- Karen Phelan will continue to serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.
Attorney General Highlights:
Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the Securities and Exchange Commission should be allowed to ask courts to require defendants to return money obtained by defrauding investors. Raoul is leading a coalition of 24 State Attorney’s General.
101st General assembly:
The Illinois Senate convened on Sunday, Jan. 19th to elect Senator Don Harmon (D – Oak Park) as the chamber’s 39th Senate President, replacing John Cullerton who resigned his leadership post moments before Harmon was sworn in. Senator Kimberly Lightford, who challenged Harmon to lead the Senate, will remain Senate Majority Leader, a position she held under Cullerton’s leadership. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz was appointed to replace Cullerton representing the 6th Senate District. Feigenholtz has served in the Illinois House for 25 years. A House replacement for Feigenholtz has not been named.
President Harmon pledged to restore unity within the 40-member Senate Democratic caucus after Sunday’s vote. The election of a new leader mid-way through a General Assembly is highly unusual. Leaders typically are elected at the beginning of the two-year General Assembly and make leadership and committee changes at that time. For now, Senate President Harmon has indicated that he plans to retain current Senate Democrat staff, who serve at the will of their leader. Any changes to Harmon’s leadership team, committee leadership, and committee structure are expected to be announced next week.
Bill filings of interest:
- HB4121 (Demmer) Allows for discontinuation of all townships within a coterminous, or substantially coterminous, municipality.
- HB4166 (Parkhurst) Prohibits the use of a starter interrupt device in any vehicle solely as a means to secure payment on the vehicle.
- SB2470 (Murphy) Prohibits an individual or group policy of accident and health insurance or managed care organization from changing an insured’s eligibility or coverage during a contract period. Provides that during a contract period, insureds shall have the protection and continuity of their providers, medication, covered benefits, and formulary.
- HB4135 (Didech) Allows local libraries to impose a 1 percent tax on recreational cannabis sales in their jurisdictions. If the library tax is approved, the county tax would be reduced by 1%.
- SJR55 (Glowiak Hilton) Creates a 5G Task Force to identify any major health risks associated with the proliferation of 5G infrastructure in the State of Illinois.
The 101st General Assembly will reconvene for the 2020 Spring Legislative Session on Tuesday, Jan. 28th, 2020. The Governor is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, Jan. 29th. Friday, Jan. 31st is the Senate bill drafting deadline. All legislation intended to be filed as a Senate Bill must be delivered to the Legislative Reference Bureau for drafting by that time. Friday, Feb. 14th is the deadline to file substantive legislation in both chambers.
Committee hearings are expected to begin in earnest in February. Right now, only a couple of committees are scheduled to meet next week.
The House Executive Committee will hold a hearing on Jan. 30th at 9:00 AM in room 118 of the Capitol Building to discuss Illinois’ automatic voter registration process.