November 1, 2019

The Department of Insurance announced five health insurance carriers will again offer Illinois consumers individual Gold, Silver and Bronze plans for the Illinois Exchange 2020 plan year. New to the exchange this year is Quartz Health Benefit Plans Corporation. Multiple plans are available in all 102 Illinois counties, and in most counties, consumers have more than one carrier to pick from. Overall, premium rates are down and rating areas remain unchanged from 2019. The enrollment period is Nov. 1st through Dec. 15th.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting two public hearings in Joliet to share details on proposed improvements to Interstate 80.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced that Illinois has reached an agreement in the lawsuit filed against U.S. Attorney General William Barr for violating federal law by placing conditions on funding for Illinois law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program. The order secures $6.6 million in federal funding for Illinois law enforcement regardless of the conditions.

The first week of the two-week veto session adjourned with legislators considering one veto override in the Senate. A total of 8 vetoed bills were pending before the General Assembly: 7 total vetoes and one amendatory veto. The Senate considered overriding one veto, but the motion failed. The House did not consider any vetoes this week.
Consideration of several other agenda items is being pushed to next month including Gov. Pritzker’s pensions consolidation proposal, changes to the newly enacted recreational cannabis bill and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s gaming changes and transfer tax. The Chicago Mayor’s requests continue to face an uphill climb in the General Assembly. This week, House Republican Leader Durkin announced his caucus could not support the transfer tax plan. Several House Democrats made their support contingent on a portion of the proceeds funding homelessness in the City, but the Mayor plans to use the funds to fill the City’s budget hole. Passage of changes to the gaming tax structure for a City owned casino may also be challenging. Several downstate lawmakers expressed reservations about voting for changes that benefit only the City of Chicago. Negotiations are ongoing and legislative proposals are expected to be filed next month.
The Illinois Senate voted 27-23-1 to sustain Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s veto of a bill, SB2026 (Rezin/Mason), that would prohibit the current or any future governor from seeking federal approval to weaken consumer protection provisions, including those governing pre-existing conditions, under the Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Arroyo (D, Chicago) resigned today from his State Representative position.
President Cullerton noted he intends to work with Speaker Madigan to jointly address governing rules and statutory changes to enhance ethical standards for members of the General Assembly. 
Sen. Barickman filed SB2297, which gives more autonomy to the Legislative Inspector General by voiding any requirements that the LIG seek Commission approval prior to conducting an investigation or issuing a subpoena.  Rep. Demmer filed HB3946, which requires everyone in Illinois who functions as a lobbyist to register with state regulators and HB3947, which prohibits sitting lawmakers and their spouses/close family members from working as paid lobbyists at the Executive, state or local government levels.
Representative McCombie filed HJR87 which creates the State Ethics Task Force to address corruption within Illinois government.
Gov. Pritzker’s downstate pension consolidation language was filed by President Cullerton as an amendment to SB616. The amendment would create the Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund and the Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund. Provides for the transfer of the assets and investment authority of downstate police and downstate firefighter pension funds to the respective funds. The amendment is currently in the Senate Assignments committee. Action is expected during the second week of veto session.
Legislative highlights include:

  • HB3094 (Welch), the Student Athlete Endorsement Act allows collegiate student athletes to benefit from endorsements beginning in Jan. 2023. The measure received Gov. Pritzker’s support during a press conference this week. Passed the House 86-25-3, heads to the Senate. Companion legislation was filed in the Senate, SB2278 (Harris). Meanwhile, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Board of Governors voted unanimously on Tuesday to begin a process that would allow college athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.” No additional details were provided by the NCAA.
  • HB3941 (Welch) Creates the Illinois Athlete Agents Act of 2021. Requires licensure of agents for student-athletes with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and establishes qualifications for licensure and requirements for athlete agents. Heads to House Rules.
  • HB3888 (Mayfield) Imposes additional regulations on ethylene oxide emissions passed the House 60-47-4. The bill was amended to remove the immediate effective date. Heads to the Senate. HB3885 (Durkin) which would give home rule municipalities the authority ban ethylene oxide emissions from sterilization facilities in their communities failed in the House Energy and Environment Committee on a partisan vote of 11-0-17.
  • SB667 (Manar) Caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply and requires the Attorney General to review causes for rising insulin prices. The bill applies only to insurance plans regulated by the state. Passed the Senate 48 – 7. Heads to the House.
  • SB1784 (Hoffman/Harmon) Follow-up legislation to the Janus case. Protects employees’ personal information, affirms collective bargaining rights and clarifies dues/deductions procedures. Passed House 93-23; heads to Senate for concurrence.
  • Both Senate and House Committees held subject matter hearings on flavored tobacco bans. No votes were taken. Flavored tobacco bans up for consideration during veto session are HB3883 (Conroy) and SB668 (J. Cullerton).   HB 3883 remains in the House Human Services Committee and SB 668 FA # 1 remains in the Senate Assignments Committee.
  • SB1864 (Link) Expands the Smoke Free Illinois Act to include vaping and e-cigarette products. Passed the Senate 41-11. Heads to the House.
  • SB1881 (Hastings/Zalewski) Creates the Local Government Revenue Recapture Act. Provides that a municipality or county that receives a disbursement of tax proceeds from the Department of Revenue may contract with a third party for the purpose of ensuring that the municipality or county receives the amount to which it is entitled. Passed the Senate 57 – 0. Heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • SB665 (Fine) Health insurance rate regulation legislation was positioned again for final passage in the Senate. No vote was taken this week but he bill was placed back on the order of postponed consideration and could be considered for final passage during the final week veto session.

Veto Session: Nov. 12th – 14th