103rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned for the week. The Senate was in Session Monday through Thursday while the House met Monday through Friday. Thursday was the deadline to pass substantive House Bills out of the Senate. Today is the deadline to pass substantive Senate Bills out of the House. Both chambers return to session on Monday, May 15. Five days remain in the scheduled spring session – adjournment is scheduled for May 19.
Budget Update: The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget announced revisions in its revenue projections — for both FY23 and FY24. The changes come as lawmakers and the Governor are finalizing next year’s budget and making any necessary supplemental appropriations or adjustments for the current fiscal year.
For the current fiscal year, GOMB is projecting a drop-off to $50.7 billion in revenues (down $616 million from its estimate this past February). The new figure is lower than revisions offered by the GOMB’s counterpart for the legislature, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. COGFA had recently estimated $51.2 billion in revenues for FY23.
GOMB expects slightly more revenue than previously projected in FY24. The new fiscal year, which begins July 1, should enjoy revenues of $50.48 billion. This represents a boost of $532 million over what was being projected in February, although GOMB expects the bump-up to be a one-time occurrence. GOMB’s revised figure ($50.48 billion) closely echoes COGFA’s adjusted estimate of $50.4 billion. Read the full GOMB report here. Capitol News offers coverage here.
Firearm Industry Responsibility Act: As amended, HB 218 (Gong Gershowitz/Harmon) amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act to subject the sale and marketing of firearms to the Act and allow private citizens, the attorney general, and counties to sue firearm industry members. The sponsor testified that the bill is designed to hold gun manufacturers accountable and to ensure families have relief in civil courts and those who violate the law are liable for their practices. Attorney General Kwame Raoul testified in support of the legislation. The legislation is the product of the House Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group. HB 218 passed the House 71-40-1 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Omnibus Firearm Legislation: HB 676 (Hirschauer) represents an omnibus firearm package and is also the product of the House Democrat Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group. HB 676 passed the House, as amended, by a vote of 70-36 and now heads to the Senate for consideration. The package:
· Establishes a Task Force on Firearm Insurance to review current and potential future insurance policy offerings for the safe and legal possession of firearms and offer policymaking recommendations related to the use of that insurance.
· Requires a FOID card to possess or use prepackaged explosive components (Tannerite) and creates a Class 4 felony offense for unlawful sale or delivery of prepackaged explosive components.
· Ends the sunset of the First Time Weapon Offender Program. Changes the name of the program to the First Time Weapons Offense Program and expands the program to persons of any age (currently 21 years or younger). Changes the duration of the program from 18 to 24 months to 6 to 18 months.
· Amends the Firearm Restraining Order Act to add “intimate partner” to the definition of petitioner.
· Under the Domestic Violence Protection Act, provides that actions for an order of protection may be commenced in conjunction with an emergency or plenary proceeding under the FRO Act (provided that a petitioner and the respondent are a party to or the subject of that proceeding). Requires the court to immediately, upon the entry of the order of protection prohibiting firearm possession, issue a seizure order of any firearm in the possession of the respondent. Firearms must be surrendered to the appropriate law enforcement agency and cannot be transferred to another individual. Allows a court to prohibit a respondent against whom an order of protection was issued from possessing any firearms during the duration of the order.
Environmental Justice: The House Energy and Environment Committee approved, by a vote of 17-9, HFA #1 to HB 2520 (Harper) which removes the $200,000 permit fee imposed in the underlying bill. According to the sponsor, the underlying bill will end the accumulation of pollution in vulnerable communities and reform the state’s industrial permitting processes to allow more community participation and transparency. The bill would also ensure the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency takes the amount of area pollution and health impacts into account as part of permit decision-making. The business community remains opposed to HB 2520. HB 2520 previously failed in the House and is now back on the order of Postponed Consideration.
Senator Belt filed SFA # 1 to SB 852 which represents the business community’s Environmental Justice response. The amendment seeks to codify in state statute many of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s current policies regarding environmental justice communities. SFA # 1 remains in the Committee on Assignments.
Reproductive Health: The Illinois House approved a package of reproductive health legislation.
SB 1909 (Villanueva/Costa Howard) is an initiative of the Attorney General. Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to target deceptive practices in pregnancy related services. The bill prohibits the use of deceptive practices to interfere with an individual seeking to gain entry or access to the provider of an abortion or emergency contraceptives, induce an individual to enter a limited services pregnancy center, in advertising, soliciting, or otherwise offering pregnancy-related services, or in providing pregnancy-related services. SB 1909 passed the House 72-40-1 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
SB 1344 (Villanueva/Cassidy) is a trailer bill to the Patient and Provider Protection Act. Requires insurance coverage for all abortifacients, hormonal therapy medication, HIV medications PrEP and PEP, and follow-up services related to that coverage, including all drugs approved by the FDA that are prescribed or ordered for off-label use as abortifacients. With respect to temporary permits for certain health care professionals, requires IDFPR to notify IDPH if the agency becomes aware of a violation occurring at a facility licensed by IDPH. Authorizes IDPH to issue a standing order for pharmacists to dispense HIV prophylactic medication. Finally, all program performance reports received by IDPH regarding the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program must be treated as confidential and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. SB 1344 passed the House 73-39 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
SB 1907 (Villanueva/Hernandez) creates the Public Higher Education Act which requires public universities and community colleges to provide at least one “wellness kiosk” which must include discounted emergency contraception. Passed the House 73-40 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 3326 (Williams/Feigenholtz) is an initiative of the Secretary of State which will ensure that automatic license plate readers are not used to target individuals from out of state seeking access to reproductive healthcare or to track their immigration status. Passed the House 72-39 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
State-based Health Insurance Exchange: As amended, HB 579 (Gabel/Harmon) creates a state-based health insurance program. The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, allows states to either pay to use the federal marketplace, or build their own exchanges. The latter approach gives states control over their health care insurance market and the ability to insulate their program from changes in federal policy. Illinois currently participates in the federal exchange and will transition to a full state-based exchange in 2026. The Governor’s proposed budget targets $10 million for start-up costs. Once Illinois fully transitions to the state-based exchange, the exchange will be funded through an assessment on insurers who participate in the program. HB 579 passed the House 72-39-1 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Packaging and Paper Stewardship: SB 1555 (Koehler/Avelar) is scheduled for hearing in the House Energy and Environment Committee on May 16. As promised by the Senate sponsor, HCA # 1 was filed to address the concerns of the opponents. As it passed the Senate, the legislation creates the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment Act — which further creates the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment Advisory Council. The Council is to provide advice and recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency in the drafting, amending, and finalizing of the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment.
Ethics Reform: Former Governor Pat Quinn called for the Governor and General Assembly to convene a special session to consider ethics reform. Quinn suggested a special session could run concurrently with the remainder of the spring legislative session.
In other ethics related news, the Honorable Michael P. McCuskey was reappointed to a five-year term this week as Legislative Inspector General.
Cannabis Omnibus: Representative LaShawn Ford, chair of the House Cannabis Working Group, is working on an omnibus cannabis package for possible consideration during the end of session. This week, the Alliance for Cannabis Equity lobbied legislators asking for several items to be included in an omnibus bill. For medical patients, the Alliance wants curbside or drive-thru pickup to be made permanent and to allow tax-free purchases at any dispensary. They are also calling for police to be prohibited from using cannabis as a probable cause to make a traffic stop. Advocates would like individuals with prior criminal conviction to be allowed to work in the industry; craft growers to be allowed more space to cultivate their crop; and a single agency to regulate the industry. An omnibus bill has not been filed at this time.
Civil Rights Remedies Restoration: HB 2248 (Cassidy/Peters) will allow state claims for violations of federal civil rights laws: Section 504 (disability); Title IX (sex); the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (age); and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race).
The legislation, known as “The Civil Rights Remedies Restoration Act,” provides that cases can be heard in any court with jurisdiction. HB 2248 also directs that Illinois courts award no less than $4,000 in damages or other relief for violations.
The bill is a reaction to the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C. That litigation held that emotional distress damages are not recoverable in a private action under the anti-discrimination provisions of two laws (the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). HB 2248 passed the Senate 34-19 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
REV Illinois: Senator Belt filed SB 2576 which amends the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles in Illinois Act to establish parameters and requirements for (1) an electric vehicle manufacturer, an electric vehicle component parts manufacturer, or a renewable energy manufacturer or (2) a manufacturer that has existing operations within Illinois that they intend to convert or expand, in whole or in part, from traditional manufacturing to electric vehicle manufacturing, electric vehicle component parts manufacturing, renewable energy manufacturing, or electric vehicle power supply equipment manufacturing. SB 2576 is assigned to the Senate Assignments Committee.
Prescription Affordability: The Illinois Senate approved, by a vote of 56-0, HB 2189 (Guzzardi/Murphy) which, as amended, creates the Access to Affordable Insulin Act. The bill caps insulin at $35 per month and creates a discount program that allows participants to purchase insulin at a discounted, post-rebate price. As amended, the legislation is now identical to SB 1559 except, the administration of the discount program, is moved from IDPH to CMS. HB 2189 now heads back to the House for concurrence.
SFA # 1 was filed to HB 3957 (Syed/Koehler). The underlying bill prohibits a manufacturer or wholesale drug distributor from engaging in price gouging in the sale of an essential off-patent or generic drug and gives the Attorney General the ability to investigate price gouging. SFA # 1 allows (rather than requires) the Attorney General to send a notice to the manufacturer or distributor requesting a statement if the AG has reason to believe that a manufacturer or wholesale distributor violated the Act. The amendment further removes language requiring the Director of CMS to notify the AG of any increase in the price of any essential off-patent or generic drug under the State health plan that constitutes price gouging. SFA # 1 is assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Broadband SB 851 (Ventura), as amended, requires the Broadband Advisory Council to evaluate the expansion of the Illinois Century Network to Illinois public schools, public libraries, and State-owned correctional facilities — including issuing recommendations for increasing agency staffing, infrastructure development, price modeling, and providing download speeds of at least one gigabyte per second and upload speeds of at least one gigabyte per second. Requires the Council to study the feasibility of connecting all Illinois public schools, public libraries, and State-owned correctional institutions or facilities to the Illinois Century Network by January 1, 2030. Passed 56-0-0 and now heads to the House for consideration.
Elected Chicago School Board: At a hearing on Tuesday, parents, teachers and community groups asked Illinois Democrats to scrap the first draft map and create a new map for Chicago’s upcoming first school board elections. Advocates testified that they want a map based on the city’s student demographics rather than its overall population. On Thursday, the Latino Caucus of the Chicago City Council also asked for new maps to be drawn based on student demographics and not overall population. Lawmakers have until July 1 to draw the boundaries.
Polystyrene foam: The House State Government Committee approved, by a vote of 6-3, HFA # 1 to SB 58 (Fine/Gong Gershowitz) which makes changes to the polystyrene foam legislation. The bill, as it passed the Senate, creates the State Entities Single-Use Plastic Reporting Act which requires each State agency, beginning July 1, 2024, to (1) track its own purchases of single-use plastic disposable food ware that are less than $2,000 or otherwise not reduced to writing, and (2) establish goals on reducing single-use plastic disposable food ware purchases based on the tracked purchases. HFA # 1 further amends the State Procurement Code to prohibit, after January 1, 2025, State agencies and departments from procuring disposable food service containers that are composed in whole or in part from polystyrene foam for use at the State agency or department. The amendment also requires the Department of Employment Security to conduct a study on the potential impact on the State of banning the sale and distribution of disposable food service containers composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam.
Wage Transparency: HB 3129 (Canty/Pacione-Zayas), as amended, requires employers with 15 or more employees to disclose the pay scale and benefits in job postings. Empowers the Department of Labor to initiate an investigation of violations. Also authorizes the Department to investigate and levy civil penalties against employers that violate provisions concerning the posting of pay scale and benefits. The sponsor testified that the amendment was heavily negotiated and represents an agreement in “substance” with advocates and the business community. A further floor amendment is expected which the sponsor noted will address some remaining concerns. Passed the Senate 35-19 and now heads back to the House for concurrence.
Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions: HB 2222 (Gong-Gershowitz/Gillespie) requires that the Attorney General be notified of mergers and acquisitions of certain health care facilities and large provider organizations. Allows the Attorney General to impose penalties for failure to report these actions. The bill is an initiative of the Attorney General. Passed the Senate 36-19 and now heads back to the House for concurrence.
Other Bills Under Consideration:
SB 201 (Murphy/Collins) seeks to seal foreclosure records that were initiated during the pandemic foreclosure moratoria. The measure allows a mortgagor to request that foreclosure records be sealed if they were meant to be protected under the moratoria enacted by the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Corporation, the Federal Housing Administration, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Passed the House 71-32-1 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 2518 (Croke/Cunningham) adds engine repair to the existing aircraft repair exemption. The sponsor testified that the change is revenue positive for Illinois. Note that the bill does not apply to commercial aircraft and the entity performing the repair will receive the exemption. Passed the House unanimously and now heads to the Senate.
SB 1497 (Villa/Hirschauer) addresses the use of psychotropic medications and restraints in nursing homes passed the House unanimously, and now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.
SB1563 (Morrison/Gong-Gershowitz) requires the Illinois EPA to make certain information and resources regarding microplastics available on its website and to deliver a microplastics report to the Governor and General Assembly by October 2024. Passed the House unanimously and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 300 (Stuart/Harmon) clarifies the exact inflation index for teacher minimum salaries. Passed the House 91-12 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The Illinois House unanimously approved SB 380 (Koehler/Didech) which establishes the Illinois Fertility Fraud Act to create a specific cause of action for all the victims in fertility fraud cases. SB 380 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
SB 1665 (Pacione-Zayas/Moeller) provides that any individual getting taxpayer-funded subsidies through a local program meant to address poverty would not have that income counted against them when trying to qualify for medical assistance. Passed the House 68-40 and now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.
HB 1120 (Guzzardi/Villanueva) is an initiative of the Chicago Teacher’s Union that allows charter school employees to unionize without interference from the school’s management. Passed the Senate 36-19 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 2431 (Kelly/Cervantes) is an initiative of the Illinois Secretary of State which prohibits video conferencing or using social media while driving. Passed the Senate by a vote of 56-0 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 2954 (Gong-Gershowitz/Morrison) which creates the Civil Liability for Doxing Act passed the Senate unanimously and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 1540 (Lilly/Morrison) bans vaping inside public buildings. Passed the Senate 42-11 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
SB 724 (Feigenholtz/LaPointe) creates the Interagency Children’s Behavioral Health Services Act. HA # 4 and 5 to SB 724 passed the House Mental Health and Addiction Committee by a vote of 20-0 and are now pending before the full House.
HB 2847 (LaPointe) allows up to one mental health wellness prevention visit per year for individuals on “most” commercial insurance plans. HB 2847 passed the House 107 – 0 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
SB 895 (Halpin), as amended, prevents units of local government from acting as a subcontractor for another until of local government. Passed the Senate 48-8 and now heads to the House for consideration.
SB 1769 (Ventura) mandates that beginning on January 1, 2030, all passenger vehicles (except law enforcement vehicles) purchased or leased by a governmental unit must either be a manufactured zero-emissions vehicle or a converted zero-emissions vehicle. Passed the Senate 33-20 and now heads to the House for consideration.
HB 1122 (Guzzardi/Pacione-Zayas) creates the Freelance Worker Protection Act which provides freelancer workers with the right to a written contract when the freelancer performs over $500 of work for a client over a four-month period. The contract must outline the scope of the work, pay rate, and payment method. It creates a 30-day payment window, where clients must pay their freelancers within 30 days of completion of work specified in the contract (unless otherwise agreed upon) and empowers the Illinois Department of Labor to help resolve claims by unpaid freelancers. Passed the Senate 35-20 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
HB 2123 (Gong-Gershowitz/Edly-Allen) which creates the Digital Forgeries Act to allow victims of dissemination of nonconsensual sexual images to pursue civil damages and to have the images removed. HB 2123 passed the Senate 56-0 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Representative Robinson Resigns: State Representative Lamont Robinson officially resigned his seat on Thursday. Robinson will be sworn into the Chicago City Council, representing Ward 4, on Monday. Local Democrats are meeting Saturday to appoint his replacement.
House Leadership: Speaker Welch notified House Deputy Majority Leader Mary Flowers this week that she is no longer allowed to attend caucus and leadership meetings and will further be removed from her position as Deputy Majority Leader as of May 31. Her leadership replacement has not been named.
2023 Key Dates:
May 19: Adjournment
New Laws: Governor Pritzker swiftly signed HB 3162, called the Act of Duty Bill, which retroactively provides Chicago police officers and firefighters disability benefits for the time they were unable to serve due to contracting COVID-19 between March 9, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
Reproductive Health: The Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a standing order that authorizes Illinois pharmacists to dispense birth control. The move expands access to self-administered birth control (previously available through physician prescription only) and implements provisions of Public Act 102-0103. Read more here.
COVID Public Health Emergency Ends: Illinois COVID Public Health Emergency officially ended May 11. The Governor reflects on the past three years here and here.
IDOT Funding Opportunities: The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting several workshops throughout the state in May and June to help local governments and communities learn about and apply for funding opportunities. The Special Programs Assistance Conferences are designed to help potential grantees take part in the department’s Economic Development Program, Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program and Safe Routes to School Program.
Advance registration is encouraged. Visit the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program and Safe Routes to School Program pages to view the schedule and learn more. More details on the Economic Development Program are available here.
Mental Health Parity Ad Campaign: The Illinois Department of Insurance announced a new ad campaign highlighting mental health parity that will kick off during Mental Health Awareness Month. The radio, digital, and social media ads aim to raise awareness about mental health parity to help Illinoisans better understand their rights related to health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders, under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
IDOI’s mental health parity ad campaign will also direct consumers to file a complaint with the Department if they believe their health insurer’s mental health and substance use disorder coverage has more restrictive requirements than those for physical health coverage.
O’Hare Fly Quiet Program: The FAA rejected an overnight flight rotation plan for O’Hare Airport that’s been in development since 2016. The program, called Fly Quiet, is intended to spread out the jet noise by rotating overnight traffic between four parallel and two diagonal runways. The FAA rejected the plan based on concerns regarding the separation of planes. The city is allowed to submit a revised plan.
Chicago Mayor Issues Emergency Declaration: Outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an emergency declaration Tuesday as the city braces for an influx of migrants following the end of pandemic-imposed border controls. Mayor Lightfoot argues the city’s migrant crisis has reached “a breaking point” and the city is running out of adequate housing for the migrant community. To date, the city, with help from Cook County and the state of Illinois, has provided emergency care for over 8,000 new arrivals since last August. Read more here.
DeSantis Visits Illinois: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will be in Peoria today speaking to a sold-out crowd at the Peoria and Tazewell County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner where he will share his formula for success in Florida. Illinois’ Democrat Governor JB Pritzker denounced the visit saying, “In Illinois, we reject the cruelty he peddles for political gain.”
Attorney General Files Amicus Brief: Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 22 attorneys general, filed an amicus brief in support of the federal government’s appeal of a Texas decision threatening access to abortion care during life-threatening medical emergencies. Read more here.