102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Senate President Harmon polled members of the Senate Democratic caucus to check availability for a potential special session to address a handful of measures passed by the House and not yet considered by the Senate. While Harmon would not confirm that he will call the Senate back into session, he did confirm that the Senate will not convene before May 31st. Note that legislation with an immediate effective date that is passed after May 31st will require a super-majority vote – 36 votes in the Senate.
If the Senate returns for a special session, they could consider a handful of items that passed the House at the end of session but where not considered by the Senate prior to adjourning. Those items include:
· HB1464 which would protect the state licenses of health care providers from harm if another state sanctioned them for participating in abortion procedures.
· HB1293 which addresses divesture in Russian assets for various pension funds.
· SB2364 which is another trailer bill to the SAFE-T Act which addresses some law enforcement concerns and delays the deadline for the imposition of mandatory supervised release for certain felonies from July 1, 2022 to March 1, 2023.
Census Update: After the Census Bureau reported that Illinois was undercounted in 2020, Governor Pritzker this week urged President Joe Biden and the federal government to ensure that Illinois receives federal funding that reflects its growth of 250,000 residents.
In his letter to the President, Governor Pritzker noted “Illinois is growing, and our federal funding should reflect that reality.” Governor Pritzker’s letter to President Biden calls for adjusted population counts to be considered when allocating over $1.5 trillion in federal funds for Medicare, affordable housing, homeland security, and other essential programs. Census undercounts often disservice Black, Latino, and minority residents who are historically underserved by federal resources such as these, making the correct appropriation of these funds even more important. The letter requests that President Biden support any efforts to factor the new data into equitable funding allocations.
New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed the following measures into law:
· HB836 Creates the Health Insurance Coverage Premium Misalignment Study Act. The Department of Insurance will oversee a study to explore rate setting approaches that may yield a misalignment of premiums across different tiers of coverage in Illinois’ individual health insurance market. The study will produce cost estimates for Illinois residents, along with the impact of the policy on health insurance affordability and access. It will examine the uninsured rates for low-income and middle-income residents with break-out data by geography, race, ethnicity, and income level.
· HB1175 Amends the Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act with regard to name, image, likeness (NIL) opportunities for student athletes.
· HB2775 which expand protections for Illinoisans with disabilities in state government and housing. HB2775 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to ban discrimination in housing selection based on source of income, including non-employment income such as Section 8 vouchers or disability payments.
· HB4306 Requires all youth in foster care be assigned a mental health provider to perform well-being assessments and forms the Holistic Mental Health Care for Youth in Care Task Force.
· HB4703 Amends the Illinois Insurance Code and addresses surprise medical billing by building on the federal No Surprises Act. The new law grants the Illinois Department of Insurance additional authority to assist consumers who were billed at out-of-network rates after unknowingly or mistakenly receiving care from hospitals, doctors and other providers that they believed were in-network.
· SB180 seeks to expand accommodations for people with disabilities seeking to attend legislative meetings, hearings, and other government events at the Illinois Capitol Complex through formation of an Accessibility Task Force.
· SB1975 increases the general homestead exemption and senior citizens homestead exemption, reduces interest rates on tax deferrals for seniors, and allows for automatic renewal of the homestead exemption for qualified people with disabilities in Cook County.
· SB3889 Forms a Children’s Mental Health Council to research and recommend legislative action for children with mental and behavioral disabilities, particularly around residential placement needs.
· SB3895 Amends the Property Tax Code by changing the assessment process and application process for the Affordable Rental Housing program.
· SB3910 Creates a disclosure requirement on health insurance and HMO member ID cards that easily identifies the regulatory entity that holds authority over the plan, any deductible or out-of-pocket maximum applicable to the plan, as well as a phone number or website a cardholder may go to for additional plan information. The bill also allows the Department of Insurance to enforce the ID card transparency requirements that the federal No Surprises Act added to Section 2799A-1(e) of the Public Health Service Act.
· SB4056 Cleans up various provisions of the School Code.