Organized Retail Crime: Today Governor Pritzker will sign HB 1091 which aims to deter smash-and-grab thefts and supply chain thefts. HB 1091 creates the offense of Organized Retail Crime; reduces the ability to avoid prosecution by giving jurisdiction to any state’s attorney where any element of organized retail crime takes place and giving the Attorney General the use of a statewide grand jury to prosecute organized retail crimes; provides dedicated enforcement resources; addresses online fencing; and enhances public and private coordination through a formal collaboration designed to provide real-time information and intelligence sharing.
Public Safety: Governor Pritzker this week signed into law a trio of public safety bills – HB 4736, HB 3863, and HB 2985.
HB 4736 creates and funds the Co-Responders Pilot Program, through which police and social service agencies will team up to address the root causes of disturbances and crime. The next six months will see the pilot effort rolled out in four communities: Peoria, Springfield, East St. Louis, and Waukegan.
The law authorizes police responding to calls to take with them social workers and mental health professionals to help evaluate if a person is undergoing a mental health crisis and would benefit from some specific supports or care at a mental health facility. The FY23 budget allocates $10 million to the pilot program.
In addition to the Co-Responders Pilot Program, the bill addresses victim’s rights and public safety holistically by mandating trauma-informed training for homicide investigators, authorizing funding to the Violent Crime Witness Protection Act (previously the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act), and creating a grant program to create tip hotlines or other victim and witness resources.
HB 3863 creates the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund, for use by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board. Monies are to be used as grants to an array of recipients (local governments, higher ed institutions, and certain nonprofit organizations) to hire and retain law enforcement officers. The new law specifies priorities for the grant awards, such as in underserved areas and in pursuit of demographic and geographic diversity of officers.
HB 2985 creates a fund to directly pay funeral expenses of children murdered due to gun violence. Previously, families had to pay for these expenses upfront and then apply for reimbursement, adding more burden to an already tragic situation.
New Laws: The Governor signed the following bills into law:
SB 62 Establishes that deposits to payroll cards are to be considered an indication of interest akin to withdrawals from such cards, unless the account holder charges inactivity fees.
SB 145 Extends the time allowed to claim the title of Physician Assistant with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to 60 days of becoming employed.
SB 1016 Amends the Water Commission Act of 1985 to require the chairperson of a water commission to be a resident of the home county to be appointed, one commissioner appointed by said chairperson, and one commissioner appointed by a majority vote of the majors of those territorial municipalities.
SB 1097 Amends the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act by adding disclosure requirements including ownership information, the formula being used for rent increases, and the right to trial by jury.
SB1234 Requires the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to create a plan to replace vehicle inspection stations in the City of Chicago by October 1, 2022.
SB 1411 Amends the Vital Records Act by making death certificates for active duty or retired service members of the U.S. military free of charge.
SB 1571 Amends the Illinois Municipal Code to create the Foreign Fire Insurance License Fee Act, which creates a foreign fire insurance board with the sole and exclusive authority to collect all license fees required to be paid by foreign fire insurance companies, corporations, associations and third parties under this Division.
SB 1711 Aligns the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program with the requirements of the Federal Historic Tax Credit and the River Edge Historic Tax Credit.
SB 2958 Amends the Chicago Laborers Article of the Illinois Pension Code to address pension contributions for those that take leaves of absences in labor organizations.
SB 2963 Amends the Illinois Insurance Code by adding new requirements for Group Life Insurance.
SB 2974 Amends the Health Care Surrogate Act by reconciling the changes to definitions that were made by Public Acts 102-140 and 102-182.
SB 2990 Extends the date of completion of a redevelopment project adopted by the Village of Palatine.
SB 2991 Amends the State Universities Article of the Illinois Pension Code concerning mistakes in benefit calculation.
SB 2993 Amends the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Services Act by removing the provision that would have repealed the Act.
SB 3006 Amends the Collateral Recovery Act to modernize the licensing process, make it easier to navigate, and address audit findings.
SB 3007 Adds violations of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act to the list of reasons for a driver’s license to be revoked. Revokes operation of commercial motor vehicles for life from individuals who use a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony including severe forms of human trafficking. Requires courts to notify the Secretary of State Driver Services Department when a person with a disability is appointed a plenary guardian within 7 days of the order.
SB 3011 Clarifies sections of PA 102-0533 as they relate to surgical smoke evacuation.
SB 3024 Amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act by allowing the Illinois Department of Human Services to enter confidential data sharing agreements with local health officials for substance use disorder patient records.
SB 3936 Creates the Student Confidential Reporting Act which requires the Illinois State Police, in consultation with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, State Board of Education, Department of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Human Services, to establish a program for receiving reports and other information from the public regarding potential self-harm, potential harm, or criminal acts directed at school students, school employees, or schools in Illinois.
SB 3939 Creates a cybersecurity liaison program in the Department of Innovation and Technology to advise and assist units of local government in identifying cyber threats, performing risk assessments, sharing best practices, and responding to cyber incidents.
HB 1568 Changes the age of retirement from 60 to 55 for specific law enforcement officers and mandates LETSB collaborate with the Illinois College Board and the Board of Higher Education to create a report.
HB 2739 Creates the Private Primary Residential Flood Insurance Act by requiring authorized insurers to notify the Department of plans to sell primary residential flood insurance products at least 30 days before selling flood insurance in the State and file a plan of operation and financial projections.
HB 2770 Amends the Illinois Procurement Code by increasing the small purchase threshold and reducing the timeframe for the Procurement Policy Board to review lease extensions and renewals.
HB 2910 Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act by requiring grocery stores or supermarkets display both the regular price and discounted price of an item.
HB 3637 Amends the School Construction Law pertaining to school construction grants.
HB 3717 Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code to allow commercial fishermen to obstruct more than one-half the width of any stream or watercourse under specified circumstances.
HB 4114 Allows the Kaskaskia Port District to own or lease buildings.
HB 4230 Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to allow individuals with a suspended license in the last three years due to failure to pay child support to obtain a school bus driver permit under a new set of circumstances.
HB 4243 Prohibits a school district from withholding a student’s grades, transcripts, or diploma because of an unpaid balance on the student’s school account.
HB 4251 Amends the Township Code by providing that purchase by a township for construction work exceeding 30,000 dollars shall be let to the lowest possible bidder.
HB 4256 Allows a school district to waive the evaluation requirement for a teacher or principal if their evaluation from the previous school year was rated “excellent” or “proficient.”
HB 4257 Reduces the number of professional development hours a professional educator licensee must complete for the 2021-2022 school year.
HB 4271 Mandates insurance coverage for medically necessary breast reduction surgery.
HB 5184 Amends the Counties Code and Militaries Assistance Act by making oversight changes of Veterans Assistance Commissions.
HB 5439 Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that no person shall engage in street sideshows on any street or highway of the state
Credit Upgrade: S&P Global Ratings’ upgraded Illinois bonds. This latest action means that Illinois has now received two-notch bond rating upgrades from the three major credit rating agencies in the last year – making a total of six upgrades in less than a year. S&P last upgraded the state’s bonds in July 2021, and the agency credited stronger-than-forecast tax revenues and transparent reporting both from the Comptroller and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget aiding in addressing long standing credit weaknesses. Read more here.
Department of Children and Family Services: The Illinois Auditor General claimed in a report issued Thursday that DCFS has not complied with 2019 reforms targeted at bolstering child safety.
Shortcomings cited in the report include the agency’s failure to sufficiently document home safety inspections; to adequately track wellness checks and medical exams; and to maintain a satisfactory record keeping system. More info on the audit is here.
ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT:
Justice Rita B. Garman has announced her retirement from the Illinois Supreme Court effective July 7, 2022. Justice Garman, 78, has served on the Supreme Court since 2001 and retires as the longest serving judge in Illinois. She served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 2013 to 2016.
The Supreme Court, which has the constitutional authority to fill interim judicial vacancies, has appointed Fourth District Appellate Justice Lisa Holder White to fill the remainder of Justice Garman’s term. Justice Holder White, whose term is effective July 8, 2022, through December 2, 2024, will be the first Black woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court.
A Cook County Judge this week placed three candidates for the 2nd Supreme Court District back on the ballot after the Illinois State Board of Elections removed the three for not having enough valid signatures. Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, a Democrat, and two Republicans, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and Illinois Appellate Judge Susan Hutchinson will now appear on the June 28th ballot alongside four other candidates. Read more about the decision here.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Firefighter Eric Mattson, one of two candidates vying in the Democratic primary to replace Democratic Senator John Connor, was appointed to fill out the remainder of Connor’s term. Mattson faces Rachel Ventura in the Democratic primary for the 43rd Legislative District. Connor, who is running for a judgeship, resigned effective April 30th to care for an immediate family member.
State Representative Kam Buckner announced he is running for Mayor of the City of Chicago, challenging first-term Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot has not officially announced her re-election campaign, but has hinted she will make the announcement soon. Buckner, who also chairs the House Black Caucus, is serving his second term in the Illinois House. Read more here.