103rd ILLINIOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned. The Legislature will begin its 2024 Spring Legislative Session (the second year in the two-year 103rd General Assembly) on January 16, 2024.
Both chambers are now in the process of forwarding to the Governor all legislation passed during the recent Fall Veto Session. As a reminder, the General Assembly has 30 days (from the date of passage) to forward the bills to the Governor for his consideration. The Governor then has 60 days from receipt of the legislation to act. If the Governor fails to act during that time, the bill automatically becomes law.
2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:
January 19: House and Senate LRB Request Deadline
January 19 – February 9: LRB Blackout Period – No Requests Will Be Accepted
February 9: Senate and House Bill Filing Deadline and LRB Amendment Requests Begin
February 21: Governor’s Budget and State of the State Address
March 15: Senate Committee Deadline for Senate Bills
March 19: Primary Election
April 5: House Committee Deadline for House Bills
April 12: Senate Third Reading Deadline
April 19: House Third Reading Deadline
May 3: Committee Deadline for Bills in the Opposite Chamber
May 17: House and Senate Third Reading Deadline for Bills in the Opposite Chamber
May 24: Adjournment
May 25 – 31: Contingent Session Days
ICC Decisions: The Illinois Commerce Commission disallowed funding and paused the Peoples Gas System Modernization Program (a pipeline replacement program) pending a new investigation into the best approach to modernization of the outdated underground infrastructure. The ICC also approved smaller-than-requested rate increases next year for Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas and Nicor Gas. Read more here and here.
The Illinois Commerce Commission also disallowed $36.34 million to Ameren Illinois’ rate request for its natural gas delivery services in Illinois. The decision is around 50 percent lower than Ameren’s initial request for a $71.57 million increase. Read more here.
Back to Business Grants Available: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering $25 million in grant funding through the Back to Business (B2B) NewBiz program. This latest ARPA-funded opportunity is designed to provide additional support for businesses in hard-hit sectors who launched during the pandemic. Businesses that launched in 2020 or 2021 and remain in operation have faced significant impacts during the pandemic, but they have not been eligible for other federal or state relief programming since they were not operational prior to the pandemic. Read more here.
Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program and Ambulance Revolving Loan Program: Nearly $7.2 million in no interest or low interest loans were awarded to emergency responders through the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program and Ambulance Revolving Loan Program. More information and the full list of recipients is here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Roxanne Nava will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Finance Authority.
Snowmobile Trail Grants: Seven snowmobile trail projects in Illinois were recently awarded $392,150 for the development, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the trails. Read more here.
Wildlife Preservation Fund Grant: Willowbrook Wildlife Center, which is within the Forest Preserve of DuPage County, received a $4,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Preservation Fund to install a shallow pool drain in the rehabilitation bird enclosure to facilitate the drainage, cleaning, and refilling of the water source within that enclosure. Willowbrook Wildlife Center rehabilitates about 10,000 sick, injured, or orphaned wild animals annually. More information, including how to apply for the grant, is here.
Wildlife Habitat Restoration Grants: Seven organizations were awarded state Habitat Fund Project grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This grant program enhances game and non-game wildlife habitat through projects developed by non-profit organizations and governmental entities. Read more, including how to apply for grants, here.
Chicago Budget Approved: The Chicago City Council approved a $16.77 billion budget on Wednesday, the first of Mayor Brandon Jonhson’s tenure. Read more here.
Ige Appointed Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health: Mayor Brandon Johnson selected Dr. Olusimbo “Simbo” Ige to serve as the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, replacing Dr. Allison Arwady whom Johnson fired three months ago. Ige most recently worked at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she was the managing director of programs since January. Prior to that, Ige was the Assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Updated Response to Migrant Crisis: Governor Pritzker announced Thursday that the state of Illinois (through the Department of Human Servies) will provide an additional $160 million to help care for the thousands of migrants in Chicago. The new funding will be allocated as follows: $30 million to create a “large intake and welcome center” at an undisclosed location, $65 million to help Chicago establish a tent base camp to provide shelter for up to 2,000 people at a time and another $65 million to help coordinate the resettlement of migrants, including rental assistance. Read more here and here.
When asked why the General Assembly did not appropriate supplemental funding for this purpose, the Governor’s office argued that this is “humanitarian emergency” and a spokesperson said “the state has authority within the Illinois Department of Human Services budget to reallocate dollars.”
Mayor Brandon Johnson indicated that his administration will be implementing a 60-day limit on shelter stays, which will be paired with intensified case management and housing assistance from the State. Read more here.
Cook County will also offer additional funds to address the migrant crisis. About $70 million be allocated to provide medical care for migrants and another $20 million will be available to suburban communities to help cover costs related to providing services for migrants.
2024 Election Update: Senator Willie Preston will face Lamont Williams in the Democratic Primary in the 16th Senate District.
Representative Mary Flowers will be engaged in a three-way primary race, facing fellow Democrats Michael Crawford and Mark Hamberlin, in the Democratic primary in the 31st House District.
Representative Cyril Nicols will face Lisa Davis in the Democratic primary in the 32nd House District.
Attorney Rick Ryan will face Sonia Ann Khalil in the Democratic primary in the 36th House District to replace retiring Leader Kelly Burke.
Faye Abushaban will challenge Representative Keivin Olickal in the 16th House District Democratic primary.