103rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois House was in session Tuesday through Thursday of this week and now stands adjourned. The Illinois Senate was not in session this week. Both chambers return to session on Tuesday, March 21.
There is one week left to consider substantive House Bills for final passage in the House; Friday, March 24 is the House Third Reading deadline. Two weeks are left to consider substantive Senate Bills for passage in the Senate.
The deadline to file Floor Amendments to Senate Bills is Friday, March 24 at 3pm.
2023 Key Dates:
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
New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act into law which will grant employees the ability to accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked (up to 40 hours of total earned time.) Employees can start using the accrued time beginning March 1, 2024 or once they have worked 90 days.
This new law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois but does exclude independent contractors. The City of Chicago and Cook County have an existing paid sick leave ordinance in place; employees and employers in those two geographic regions will be subject to those ordinances. The law will also exempt employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the construction industry and parcel delivery industry.
Illinois becomes the third state in the nation – and the first in the Midwest – to mandate paid time off to be used for any reason.
Moody’s Issue Credit Upgrade: Illinois received yet another credit upgrade – the second one in the past month. Moody’s Investor Service upgraded Illinois bonds to A3, marking the eighth credit upgrade for the state in the past two years.
Moody’s said Illinois’ improving governance was a key consideration in the action. “We consider improving governance to be a key consideration in this action.” Illinois, it said, is “displaying improved management of its budget by making conservative revenue assumptions and applying surplus revenue towards the payment of debt and growth in reserves.”
Moody’s Investor Service announced ratings upgrade to A3 (stable outlook) from Baa1 for Illinois’ General Obligation bonds and Illinois sales tax bonds to A3 (stable outlook) from Baa3 (stable outlook).
Illinois Commerce Commission: Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Carrie Zalewski will step down from her position in June. Governor Pritzker will nominate former ICC Chair Doug Scott to replace Zalewski. Conrad Reddick and Stacey Paradis were appointed to the Board.
Hazardous Mitigation: Addressing hazardous mitigation projects at the local level is the goal of the new Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program announced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
While federal funding is not yet available, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) needs to document program interest among communities in order to be considered for the grant. With an eye to this, IEMA is requesting communities to register their interest here. The deadline is April 10, 2023. As noted, the collection and submission of this information triggers the start point for Illinois’ possible participation in the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund.
Medicaid Campaign: “Ready to Renew” is a public awareness campaign launched by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to ensure eligible Illinoisans keep their Medicaid coverage when pandemic era protections end. Paused in March of 2020, Medicaid eligibility verifications will resume this Spring, and the campaign aims to help eligible Medicaid customers to continue coverage without disruption. Multiple formats are being used to disseminate the message, including paid advertisements, print, digital and broadcast communication, and grassroots outreach. Healthcare providers and community organizations who assist in Medicaid enrollment are encouraged to use the Ready to Renew Toolkit.
Reproductive Healthcare: Governor JB Pritzker (along with 14 other Governors) called on major pharmacies (CVS, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Safeway, Health Mart, Kroger, Costco, and Target ) to clarify how they plan to ensure access to abortion medication like Mifepristone. The move is in response to Walgreens recent announcement it would stop distributing medication for abortions in some states where the procedure remains legal. Joining Governor Pritzker are the Governors of California, Maine, Maryland, Massachuets, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
Air Purification for Schools: Approximately 3,000 schools in Illinois are expected to receive HEPA air purifiers as a result of a new grant program from the Illinois Department of Public Health. IDPH, in conjunction with the Illinois State Board of Education, is launching a $29.6 million program to distribute more than 60,000 HEPA purifiers to Illinois schools to help reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Funded by the CDC through ARPA funds, the program is targeted for school districts that serve lower income communities and counties that have elevated air pollution counts.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor appointed the following:
· Steven Isoye will continue to serve as a Member of the State Board of Education.
· Jim Kolar will serve as a Member of the Illinois Gaming Board
· William Stiehl will serve as a Member of the State Police Merit Board.
· Eric Rinehart will serve as a Member of the Executive Board of Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
· Jessica Harris will serve on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Trustees
· Frank Brady will serve as an Arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
· Kathryn Doerries will serve as Commissioner on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
· Marc Parker will continue to serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission.
· Maria Portela will continue to serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
· Donald Shelton will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board
· Ken Tupy will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board
· Barbara Barreno-Paschall will continue to serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.
· Rex Budde will serve as a Member of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
· Audrey Tanksley will serve as a Member of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on the constitutionality of the Pretrial Fairness Act. Capitol News covers the hearing here.