102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
State Senator Rachelle Crowe was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Crowe is expected to officially resign her Senate Seat in the coming days.
Early voting for the June 28th primary election began Thursday, May 19th. The Chicago Tribune compiled a guide to the Illinois primary elections.
Census Update: The Census Bureau released updated census numbers showing that it undercounted Illinois’ population by 1.97% in the 2020 Census. The undercount was discovered in a follow-up survey the bureau conducted to measure the national tally’s accuracy. The net effect of the undercount means Illinois’ population actually grew by roughly 250,000 rather than shrank by 18,000.
Social Equity Licenses: The Illinois Department of Agriculture issued the first pre-construction permits to social equity licensees established under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which clears the way for the businesses to begin construction. The Department issued permits to Galaxy Labs, Mint Cannabis, and Star Buds Illinois.
• Galaxy Labs, located in Richton Park, is 100% Latino and Black-owned
• Mint Cannabis, located in Forest Park, is 51% Latino-owned
• Star Buds Illinois, located in Rockford, is 66% Black-owned
Family Planning Clinics: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted the State of Illinois $5.4 million to support and expand access to family planning services for low-income populations across Illinois. This federal grant, coupled with $5.8 million in state GRF, equates to $11.2 million which will be allocated to 29 delegate agencies that operate 98 family planning clinics throughout the state. The new HHS grant to the Illinois Department of Public Health will support access to Title X services under the Illinois Family Planning Program.
Nearly 100 family planning clinics throughout Illinois will benefit from $11.2 million in funding that will span seven fiscal years, beginning July 1. The funding is a combination of monies from both the federal ($5.4 million) and Illinois ($5.8 million) governments. The funding to the Illinois Department of Public Health will help support and expand Title X services in Illinois. More info here.
Hospital Assessment: Governor Pritzker signed HB 1950 which extends and expands the Hospital Assessment Program through 2026. The new law helps ensure cash-flow predictability for hospitals, tying greater funding to higher Medicaid use to protect safety net hospitals. Also, certain hospitals are re-classified, and some tax exemptions and waivers are enacted to help hospitals recover from the effects of COVID-19.
Ghost Guns: Governor Pritzker signed HB 4383 which bans statewide the sale and possession of so-called ‘ghost guns’ – unserialized, privately made firearms often sold as a set of parts to be assembled at home.
Rural Healthcare: Two bills were signed concerning rural healthcare. SB 3017 amends the Loan Repayment Assistance for Physicians Act to address the shortage of healthcare providers (especially obstetrical services) in rural committees. SB1435 amends hospital licensing procedures to assist with health center mergers and increased healthcare coordination in rural districts.
New Laws: The Governor signed over 100 additional bills into law this week.