November 18, 2019

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved another cultivation center that can grow cannabis for adult-use purposes in advance of adult-use cannabis becoming legal on January 1, 2020.

Compass Ventures, Inc. in Litchfield is now licensed to grow for adult-use, bringing the number of cultivation centers to 10.  Currently, only cultivation centers licensed to grow medical marijuana can apply for early approval adult-use growth. Social equity applicants will have additional opportunities to open cultivation centers in an upcoming phase.
In addition to Compass Ventures Inc., nine other cultivation centers have been licensed for adult-growth:
* Cresco Labs, LLC- Lincoln
* Cresco Labs, LLC- Kankakee
* Cresco Labs, LLC- Joliet
* Curative Health Cultivation, LLC- Aurora
* PharmaCann, LLC- Dwight
* PharmaCann, LLC- Hillcrest
* Revolution Cannabis, LLC (DBA Ascend Illinois)- Barry
* Wellness Group Pharms, LLC- Anna
* GTI Rock Island, LLC- Rock Island
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, at the request of Gov. Pritzker, granted a Regional Emergency Declaration to permit the transportation of propane, natural gas and heating oil used for heating and drying wet grain.Gov. Pritzker made the following appointments

  • Jill Kastner will serve on the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board.

The General Assembly stands adjourned until Jan. 28, 2020. The final week of veto session concluded without approval of the Chicago mayor’s requests for changes to the gaming law, a graduated real estate transfer tax, and additional restrictions on vaping. No veto action was taken this week, but action was taken on several other high-profile issues including ethics reform, pension consolidation, and insulin caps.
Shortly after adjourning, Senate President John Cullerton announced that he is retiring in January. The plan right now is for the Senate to elect a new President the second week of January. Details continue to emerge and we will keep you updated on developments. Rep. Sara Feigenholtz has already expressed interest in replacing Cullerton as State Senator.
The General Assembly approved Gov. Pritzker’s plan to consolidate 649 downstate police and fire pension funds into two unified systems, SB1300 (Castro/Hoffman) . The final bill was the result of the Pension Feasibility Consolidation Task Force and negotiations with municipalities and fire and police organizations. Currently, each police and fire system is a separate fund with its own board of trustees and its own administrative staff, including investment managers. Supporters argue consolidation the funds could generate up to $1 billion a year in additional earnings through diversification and investment in a variety of instruments, as well as reducing taxpayer’s administrative costs. Governor Pritzker is expected to quickly sign the bill.
The General Assembly also approved changes to lobbying disclosure. Under SB1639 (Steans/Harris), lobbyists will be required to report “sub-registrants” and the clients they represent as well as disclose any local governments they lobby. In addition, lobbyists will be required to disclose appointed or elected public offices they hold. The Secretary of State’s Office is required to build a searchable database that includes lobbyist disclosures, contributions by registered lobbyists under the Election Code, and statements of economic interest. Earlier versions of the bill included changes to statements of economic interest filings but, those provisions were removed from the bill prior to final passage. Lobbyist income disclosure also is not included in the bill. The bill is effective immediately. Heads to the Governor.
HJR93 (Harris/Castro)Creates a 16-member Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform to review and make recommendations for changes to the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act; the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act; the Lobbyist Registration Act; the Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act; and Article 50 of the Illinois Procurement Code. Membership includes appointments by legislators, the Governor, the Attorney General and the Secretary of State. Anyone who is currently registered to lobby or has lobbied in the past 5 years is barred from being appointed to the Commission. A final report and recommendations are due by March 31, 2020.
After a week of intense negotiations on a gaming bill, the only gaming measure that passed both chambers was a clean-up bill requested by the Illinois Gaming Board, SB222 (Munoz/Rita). The bill allows the FBI to conduct fingerprinting on gaming background checks and addresses some confidentiality issues in the sports betting law. SB 222 heads to the Governor. Efforts in the House and Senate to broker a deal to restructure the Chicago casino tax structure stalled. Legislation that addressed changes to the Chicago casino and other changes were filed on SB516 (Link/Rita) and SB669 (J. Cullerton). Neither of those bills were called for a final vote. Representative Rita pledged to continue working to try to find a solution for the Chicago casino.
Other bills considered this week include:

  • SB119 (Steans/Zalweski) is a trailer bill to the Budget Implementation bill passed last spring. This bill makes technical and other changes to ensure the intent of the FY 2020 budget implementation bill is enacted. Passed both houses; heads to the Governor.
  • HB3904 (Welch/Sims) Creates the Student Athlete Endorsement Act which allows collegiate student athletes to benefit from endorsements beginning in Jan. 2023. The bill was assigned to a subcommittee of the Senate Executive Committee.  
  • HB3902 (Bristow/Crowe) Aviation repair tax credit bill. Unbeknownst to the industry, the previous tax credit had expired. Approximately $50 million in back sales-tax is owed for the error and according to proponents, without the exemption, Illinois is at risk of losing aviation repair businesses. Passed the Senate; heads to the Governor. Gov. Pritzker vowed to veto the bill.
  • SB1784 (Hoffman/Harmon) Follow-up legislation to the Janus case. Protects employees’ personal information, affirms collective bargaining rights, and clarifies dues/deductions procedures. Passed the Senate. Heads to the Governor.
  • SB668 (J. Cullerton) Bans flavored E-cigarettes. A second amendment was filed this week and the bill passed committee 13-4 and is pending before the full Senate.
  • SB1557 (Steans/Villanueva) Recreational cannabis trailer bill. The bill includes technical changes, clarifying language, and a revolving door prohibition for members of the General Assembly and their family members who want involvement in the recreational cannabis business. Passed both chambers; heads to the Governor.
  • SB670 (Munoz/Jones) Creates the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Law. Requires insurers to disclose corporate governance structure, policies, and practices to the Director of Insurance. Heads to the Governor.
  • SB767 (Murphy/D’Amico) Requires IDOT to conduct a traffic study following a crash fatality on a state highway. Passed the Senate; assigned to House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee.
  • SB2104 (Jones/Zalewski) Extends the Pharmacy Practice Act and makes changes suggested by the Pharmacy Task Force. Passed both chambers; heads to the Governor.
  • SB1297 (Jones) Requires IDOT to study the use of red-light cameras. Passed the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously; pending before full Senate.
  • HB1271 (Zalewski/Hastings) Trailer bill on craft distiller licenses. Passed Senate; heads to the Governor.
  • SB730 (A. Williams/J. Cullerton) Trailer bill to SB 75 from the spring which was the bipartisan bicameral sexual harassment and ethics reform. Passed both chambers; heads to the Governor.
  • HB3888 (Mayfield/Curran) Imposes additional regulations on ethylene oxide emissions. An amendment was filed in the Senate to extend the phase out in densely populated areas. After lengthy testimony, the bill failed in the Senate Executive Committee 7-4-4.
  • SB667 (Manar/Guzzardi) Caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply. The bill applies only to insurance plans regulated by the state. Passed both houses; heads to the Governor.
  • SB1864 (Link/Williams) Expands the Smoke Free Illinois Act to include vaping and e-cigarette products. The bill is assigned to the House Human Services Committee but was not called for vote. This issue could be revisited in the spring session.

Additional ethics and conflict of interest legislation was filed this week. SB2300 (McConchie) and companion bill HB3963 (Butler) would prohibit a member of the State Board of Elections from also contributing to or being an officer of a state or federal political committee. The bill also lays out the process by which members of the State Board of Elections must resign from political committees. SB 2300 heads to Senate  Assignments; HB 3963 heads to House Rules.
Rep. Welch filed HB3965 which requires every insurance company authorized to do business in this State or accredited by this State with assets of at least $50,000,000 to submit an annual report on its voluntary supplier diversity program to the Department of Insurance. Heads to House Rules.
Sen. Iris Martinez replaced Sen. Hutchinson as the chair of the Senate Revenue Committee.
Patrick Joyce, a businessman from Kankakee and son of longtime late Sen. Jerry Joyce, is the new state senator for the 40th Senate District. Joyce replaces Sen. Hutchinson. Joyce is expected to face at least three challengers in the primary.
Republican State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst announced she will not seek re-election in 2020. Instead, she will run for a judgeship.
Local party leaders meet tonight to select a replacement for Rep. Luis Arroyo.

The 101st General Assembly will reconvene for the 2020 Spring Legislative Session on January 28th, 2020.Here is a link to the 2020 House calendar andhere is a link to the 2020 Senate calendar.
Key 2020 Session Dates:
January 28th: 2020 Spring Session convenes

January 24th: LRB (bill drafting) Deadline, House
January 29th: Governor’s State of the State Address
January 31st: LRB (bill drafting) Deadline, Senate
February 14th: Bill filing deadline
February 19th: Governor’s Budget Address
March 17th: Primary Election
March 27th: Committee deadline for substantive bills
April 6th – 17th: Spring Break
April 24th: 3rd Reading deadline for substantive bills
May 15th: Committee deadline for substantive bills in second chamber
May 22nd: 3rd Reading deadline for substantive bills in second chamber
May 31st: Adjournment