March 1, 2024 Update


After not being in session this week, the Illinois General Assembly reconvenes on Tuesday, March 5. The House is scheduled to be in session through Thursday, while the Senate is slated to be in session through Friday. Note substantive legislation must pass out of Senate committees by Friday, March 15. This leaves the upper chamber only two weeks to consider legislation at the committee level.

A list of upcoming Senate committee hearings is here. A list of upcoming House committee hearings is here. 

2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:

March 15: Senate Committee Deadline for Senate Bills

March 19: Primary Election

April 5: House Committee Deadline for House Bills

April 12: Senate Third Reading Deadline

April 19: House Third Reading Deadline

May 3: Committee Deadline for Bills in the Opposite Chamber

May 17: House and Senate Third Reading Deadline for Bills in the Opposite Chamber

May 24: Adjournment

May 25 – 31: Contingent Session Days


Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan: A plan mapping out the $1.1 billion procurement of new renewable energy generation over the next two years has been approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission. As laid out by the Illinois Power Agency in its 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (LTRRPP), the blueprint promotes investment in solar, wind, hydropower, and other clean energy projects in Illinois. Both utility-scale and community level efforts are addressed. Read more here.

Cannabis Social Equity Loans: Round two of the application process for the Cannabis Social Equity Loan Program is now open, through which up to $240,000 in loans will be awarded to qualified, licensed social equity dispensaries. Some 50 loans are expected to be awarded, with up to 200 applicants being eligible. Selection criteria will include financial need, social equity status, and progress toward becoming operational. Also part of the process: an analysis by DCEO of applicants’ financial resources. More info here.

Maternal and Child Health and Birth Equity: When Governor Pritzker unveiled his FY25 proposed budget last week, it included a $23 million investment to advance birth equity. That provision was highlighted this week at an event at the Chicago South Side Birth Center. The proposed funding will address numerous issues to improve maternal health outcomes and reduce disparities for Black women, including investments in community-based providers; expansion of the home visiting program; a child tax credit; and a free diaper pilot program. Read more here.

Cultural Districts Designated: DCEO has named five State-Designated Cultural Districts — communities, towns, or specific geographic areas that have a distinct shared historical and cultural identity that binds the community together – to join the roster of five such districts named last year (and another five expected next year). A broad range of goals is embraced by the areas with the special status. That is, the districts are intended to promote economic development; support the preservation and development of history and culturally significant structures, traditions, and languages; foster local cultural development and education; provide a focal point for celebrating communities’ unique cultural identities; and promote equitable growth and opportunity without generating displacement. Read more here.

CEJA Returning Residents Program: The Illinois Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program received $6 million in funding from DCEO. The monies will be channeled through the Illinois Department of Corrections to help individuals who are within 36 months of release to prepare for work in clean energy and related sector jobs upon release. As part of a larger strategy supported the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), the program will deliver clean jobs training, education, and support services in DoC facilities. A competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity process will be used to select organizations. Read more here.

Soundstage Grants: Yet another grant award has been announced by DCEO – for local film studio infrastructure projects. In all, $10 million has been distributed by the Illinois Soundstage Program as follows: The Fields Studios ($5 million), located in Chicago; Fresh Films ($3.8 million) in Rock Island; and Flyover Studios ($1.1 million) in Champaign. Read more here.

Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker appointed Jerry Davis to serve as a Member of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.


White Sox Stadium Proposal: Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf continues to advocate for taxpayer funds to help the team build a new stadium. He met last week in Springfield with leaders of the General Assembly and members of the Governor’s staff. Governor Pritzker reiterated again this week that he is “reluctant” to extend taxpayer assistance for professional sports teams and said they would have “to convince him” that such a move is in the taxpayer’s best interest. Senate President Don Harmon noted “I’m not planning to referee fights between billion-dollar sports franchises.” Read more herehere and here.