103rd ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois Senate was in session Tuesday and Wednesday of this week; Thursday’s session was canceled. The Illinois Senate returns to session on Tuesday, February 7. The Illinois House returns to session on Tuesday, January 31.
Note the drafting deadline is today (Friday, January 27) for substantive Senate Bills and Friday, February 3 for substantive House Bills.
Senate President Don Harmon announced his leadership team for the 103rd General Assembly:
· Majority Leader: Kimberly Lightford
· President Pro Tempore: Bill Cunningham
· Assistant Majority Leaders: Mattie Hunter, Linda Holmes, David Koehler, and Laura Murphy
· Majority Caucus Chair: Omar Aquino
· Majority Caucus Whips: Julie Morrison, Napoleon Harris III, and Cristina Castro
· Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader: Elgie Sims, Jr.
The Illinois Senate adopted changes to their operating rules (SR 26/Harmon). The changes include:
1. Eliminating the Criminal Law Committee (this change was made because the Senate currently lacks enough attorneys to populate two separate law committees which has been the past practice)
2. Allowing the President and Minority Leader to appoint temporary replacements for committees they sit on personally
3. Authorizing Committee Chairs to grant the authority to adjourn a committee to a Vice Chair or Co Chair
4. Creating a process for adopting congratulatory resolutions
5. Allowing the Committee on Assignments to assign matters directly to a subcommittee once it’s been assigned to a committee
Representative Guzzardi and Senator Peters unveiled new legislation to require billionaires, for the purpose of state taxation, to recognize gain or loss on their assets at fair market value. Any revenue raised will be placed in a “Working Families Fund” to be spent on childcare, K-12 education, and ending homelessness in Illinois. Note similar legislation is being filed in several states. The draft bill is here. Critics argue the legislation violates provisions of the Illinois Constitution which set Illinois income tax at a flat rate. Voters rejected a proposal to amend the constitution to allow for a graduated income tax in 2020.
Draft legislation surfaced this week that would grant subsidies to the Chicago Bears for their newly proposed stadium in Arlington Heights. The bill has not formally been filed. The draft is here. A summary is here.
Representative Guzzardi filed HB 1363 which amends the Gender Violence Act to include domestic violence and makes employers liable for gender related violence that occurs in the workplace. HB 1363 is currently assigned to the House Rules Committee.
Two newly filed bills seek to create a Cannabis Oversight Commission – HB 1436 (Evans) and HB 1498 (Ford). Both bills are assigned to the House Rules Committee.
Revenue Update: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued their December Revenue Report, noting that Illinois’ revenue sources are showing signs of slowing down.
From the report: “Base revenues for the State’s General Funds grew $90 million in December, primarily on the strength of Federal Sources. While experiencing comparatively lower revenues for much of the fiscal year, Federal Sources in December were $311 million above last year’s levels. These gains helped offset the overall decline in revenues from State sources for the month. December had the same number of receipting days as the prior year.
After months of robust levels of growth for much of the fiscal year, two of the major State sources, personal income tax and sales tax receipts, experienced a noticeable slowdown in December. Personal income tax revenues grew a meager $13 million on a gross basis, or $9 million after the subtraction of non-general fund distributions. Sales tax gross receipts fell for the first time this fiscal year, falling $13 million from last December’s levels, or $56 million net. While this weaker performance is noteworthy, it will take a couple more months of data to see whether this is the start of a significant downward trend in these receipts, or if the slowdown is simply due to a timing element related to the reporting of receipts over the last month. Other notable declines in State Taxes for the month came from inheritance taxes [down $17 million]; public utility taxes [down $12 million]; and cigarette taxes [down $6 million].
While many of the State Taxes were sluggish as compared to last December, a few performed quite well. Corporate income tax receipts continued its stellar fiscal year performance growing another $223 million or $182 million net. Revenue from interest income continues to benefit from recent upticks in interest rates resulting in growth of $21 million in December. In addition, corporate franchise tax receipts grew $7 million, while other miscellaneous State sources rose $3 million.
Receipts from Transfers-In were collectively down $56 million for the month. Much of this falloff was due to a $74 million year-over-year decline in lottery transfers [caused by a higher-than-typical receipting month for last December]. Gaming transfers also fell $6 million in December. Offsetting a portion of these declines was a $23 million increase in miscellaneous transfers. Cannabis transfers managed a meager $1 million gain for the month.”
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
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker appointed former Democratic State Representative Natalie Finnie to serve as the new Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, replacing Colleen Callahan who was asked to resign. The Governor reappointed the Directors of the Departments of Human Rights, Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Military Affairs, Agriculture, Aging, Financial and Professional Regulation, Public Health, Revenue, State Police, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed the following legislation passed during the January lame duck session:
· HB 969 which makes supplemental appropriations for FY 23
· HB 4285 which amends procurement and construction capabilities of public universities and raises the annual gross sale threshold for business under the BEP Act
· SB 1015 which establishes procedures to fill vacancies in elected county offices, including members of the county board, for counties under the executive form of government
· SB 2801 provides appropriations to pay the remaining $1.36 billion in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund debt
Lead Service Line Grants Awarded: The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency awarded Lead Service Line Inventory (LSLI) Grants to 48 communities to assist in meeting the requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. The LSLI Grants, ranging from $20,000 – $50,000, will fund the creation of a complete lead service line inventory. Illinois EPA anticipates another funding opportunity will be announced in the coming weeks. A listing of awardees is here.
Downstate Transit Grants Awarded: The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded 32 transit systems $113.8 million in grants to advance 44 projects. A full list of recipients can be viewed here.
Assault Weapons Ban: An Effingham County judge temporarily blocked Illinois’ new assault weapons ban because it did not “follow the procedural requirement” in passing the legislation. The temporary restraining order applies only to the 866 defendants in the case. Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a petition asking the court to vacate the TRO. Capital News offers coverage here.
Additional lawsuits were filed this week. A lawsuit filed in White County has more than 1,600 plaintiffs including Senator Darren Bailey (who ran unsuccessfully for Governor) and Representatives Adam Niemerg and Blaine Wilhour. That lawsuit is here.
Members of the Illinois Gun Rights Alliance (ILGRA) filed a federal lawsuit challenging the recently adopted Protect Illinois Communities Act, alleging it to be an infringement on the constitutionally protected activity of Illinois sportsmen, firearms retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, and lawful users of firearms. Two individual gun owners are lead plaintiffs filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. They are joined by two southern Illinois gun dealers and shooting range operators, as well as a Connecticut-based shooting sports trade association. While not officially a plaintiff in the case, the NRA is assisting this lawsuit similar to what they did in a New York suit that was ultimately brought before the US Supreme Court.
Carvana Settlement: Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced a settlement agreement with online used-car retailer Carvana in which the company admitted to violating Illinois law and agreed to abide by new restrictions aimed at protecting consumers. Illinois was the first state in the nation to suspend Carvana’s license in May 2022.
The agreement also calls for Carvana to adhere to Illinois law in the future; surrender its $250,000 bond; and allow for pre- and post-licensing Secretary of State Police inspections to ensure it remains in compliance. The settlement agreement also allows the Illinois Secretary of State to summarily suspend and revoke Carvana’s dealership license once again if it fails to comply with either the agreement or the laws.
Illinois began investigating Carvana’s practices in February 2022 after customers alleged the company was both issuing out-of-state temporary registration permits and failing to transfer titles in a timely manner as required by the state’s vehicle code.
SAFE-T Act: Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed an appeal this week with the Illinois Supreme Court regarding the cash bail provisions of the SAFE-T Act. Read the appeal here.