New Laws: HB359 (Kifowit/Cullerton) is now law. The bill, which creates a veterans’ accountability unit within the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs, was in response to the Department’s handling of COVID which resulted in 36 veterans dying earlier in the pandemic. The bill became law after the Governor failed to either sign or veto the measure within constitutionally required 60 days. The Governor’s office blamed the failure to sign the bill in the requisite amount of time as an “internal miscommunication”.
Educator COVID Time Off: Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and other stakeholders reached a negotiated a compromise that they say “will keep students and teachers safely in the classroom without penalizing vaccinated employees for taking COVID-required sick time”. As a result of this collaboration, the Governor vetoed legislation on the topic – House HB 2778 (Rohr/Belt) which passed the General Assembly during veto session over the Governor’s objections. Read more about the compromise here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor JB Pritzker appointed Ann McCabe to a five-year term on the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Jonathan Swain, a Hyde Park businessman and nonprofit CEO, is running in the Democrat primary in the 1st Congressional District to replace retiring Congressman Bobby Rush.
Regan Deering announced she will run in the 13th Congressional District. She will face Jesse Reising in the Republican primary.
Triton College Trustee Norma Hernandez will challenge incumbent Representative Kathleen Willis in the Democratic primary.
Chicago real estate professional Tina Wallace is challenging incumbent Representative Lindsey LaPointe in the Democratic primary.
Fernando “Sergio” Mojica, principal of the Roberto Clemente Community Academy, announced his intention to run in the crowded Democratic primary to replace House Majority Leader Greg Harris who is not seeking reelection.
Democrat Mary Beth Canty is running in the open 54th House District.
Republican Stefanie Hood will challenge incumbent Democrat Terra Costa Howard.
Republican State Senator Sue Rezin will seek reelection in the 38th Senate District. Rezin was considered a possible running mate for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jesse Sullivan.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMLBY:
The Illinois House canceled in-person session this week. The Senate was not scheduled to be in session. House committees met virtually. Today is the deadline to file substantive legislation in the House. Now that bill filing deadlines have passed in both chambers, work at the committee level will increase substantially.Representative Avery Bourne resigned from the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission following her announcement that she will run for the Republican Lt. Governor nomination. Representative Jeff Keicher has been appointed to replace Bourne on the Legislative Ethics Commission.
The Illinois General Assembly will return to in-person session on Tuesday, February 1st. The Governor will deliver his combined State of the State and Budget Address on February 2nd. After delivering the address virtually last year, the Governor intends to deliver the joint address in-person this year. The House will impose capacity limits for the chamber and close the gallery to the public. Members of the public can watch the speech online via www.ilga.gov. Committees will continue to meet virtually next week.