March 6, 2020 Update

The Department of Insurance issued guidance to Insurance companies regarding the Corona virus. The Department offers guidance on balance billing, cost-sharing barriers, prescription drug supply, denial or termination of coverage, travel insurance and public education. A copy of the memo is here. The Department of Insurance also posted answers to frequently asked questions here .
Adult use cannabis sales totaled roughly $35 million for the second month of legalized sales, bringing the two-month total to nearly $75million in sales. In February, sales to Illinois residents totaled $25,615,371; sales to out-of-state residents totaled $9,189,701.01.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting March 12th from 4 -7 pm at Joliet Junior College to share details on a series of proposed improvements to connections between the Interstate 55 and Illinois 59 corridors in Will County.  IDOT will present the preferred alternative for four projects within the study area bounded by U.S. 52, Interstate 80, River Road and Houbolt Road. 
Governor Pritzker made the following appointments:

  • Former State Rep. Jerry Costello II will serve as the Director of Agriculture.
  • Gary Kaatz will serve on the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

Several red-light camera bills were positioned for consideration in the House. The bills were assigned to the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee. A hearing on the legislation is not scheduled at this time. The bills are:

  • HB296 (McSweeney) Requires IDOT to evaluate red-light cameras.
  • HB323 (McSweeney) Abolishes the use of red-light cameras, including in home-rule units.
  • HB1619 (Skillicorn) Limits use of red-light camera enforcement funds to transportation related expenses and operation and maintenance of the camera system. Exempts home-rule units.
  • HB3909 (Wehrli) Abolishes the use of red-light cameras, including in home-rule units.
  • HB3909 (Buckner) Abolishes the use of red-light cameras, including in home-rule units.

The motion to concur on House amendments to the Fix the FOID Act is once again pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The House last spring narrowly passed the controversial legislation, SB1966 (Morrison/Willis), but the motion to concur was not called for a vote in the Senate. The bill makes several changes to the existing FOID process and is a response to the Aurora shooting.  While the bill was negotiated with law enforcement, significant opposition from gun rights advocates remains.  The bill requires a point-of-sale background check for all gun sales, including those by an unlicensed seller.  It also requires applicants for FOID Cards to submit fingerprints as part of their application;  reduces the FOID Card duration from 10 years to five years;  and requires action by the State Police to remove guns once a FOID Card is revoked.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet scheduled a hearing on the motion.
HB3686 (Ortiz), which proposes to end cash bail in Illinois, is pending before the House Judiciary Committee. This week, the Coalition for Public Safety, a group of statewide law enforcement organizations, announced their opposition to ending cash bail. Gov. Pritzker has made ending cash bail a priority.
Legislation to create the Prescription Drug Affordability Act, HB3493 (Guzzardi), has been tabled.
The General Assembly adjourned and is taking a one-week legislative break, returning to session on Wednesday, March 18th. March 17th is the Primary Election in Illinois. March 27th is the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committees in both the House and Senate. The House Revenue Committee will hold a hearing on March 11th at 10 am in the Bilandic Building in Chicago to discuss affordable housing tax credits, prompt payment, the earned income tax credit and online ticket resale taxes. The Senate Subcommittee on Traffic Safety Systems and the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety will hold a joint subject matter hearing March 12th at 10 am in the Bilandic building to discuss red-light cameras. The House Mental Health Committee will hold a hearing on March 13th at 12:30 pm in the Bilandic Building to discuss behavioral therapy health coverag