103RD ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly was not in session this week. Both chambers return next week (November 7 – 9) for the second and final week of the fall Veto Session.
Elected Chicago School Board: The Illinois Senate Democratic caucus released a new Chicago Elected School Board District map proposal which could be considered during next week’s Veto session. The map consists of 20 proposed districts, including seven majority Black districts, six majority Latino districts, five majority White districts and two coalition districts. According to Senate Democrats, “the proposal reflects changes put forth by parents, education advocates and community groups gathered through online map making portals and during multiple public hearings. “
Currently appointed by the mayor, the Chicago Board of Education is scheduled to become fully-elected over the course of a two-year hybrid period. Under existing law, ten members of the Chicago Board of Education will be elected by voters during the November 2024 election, and ten members and the board president will be appointed by the mayor. Elected members will serve four-year terms, while appointed members, including the appointed board president, will serve two-year terms. The board will become fully elected after the November 2026 general election.
Legislators are wrestling with creating 20 districts for the fully elected school board in 2026 as well as how to create districts to elect 10 members and appoint 10 members during the 2024 hybrid period. The Chicago Tribune offers more coverage here. At this time, the proposal has not been formally filed in legislation.
Artificial Intelligence: Three Illinois Legislators visited Washington DC this week to attend the signing ceremony of President Biden’s Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. In attendance were Representatives Rashid, Gong-Gershowitz and Senator Mary Edly-Allen. Representative Rashid is a member of a multi-state legislative working group on AI and the co-chair of Illinois’ AI task force. Representative Gong-Gershowitz and Senator Edly-Allen worked together last session to pass legislation to combat deepfake pornography, which falsely depicts individuals in sexually-explicit acts without their consent. They are now taking steps in Illinois to mirror President Biden’s federal strategy to address the risks that AI poses to individual safety and security as well as its potential as a tool for malicious disinformation.
ISBE Issues 2023 Illinois Report Card: The Illinois State Board of Education released the 2023 Illinois Report Card, offering a new look at how schools and districts across the state are performing. Capitol News offers more here.
ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment: Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace began November 1 in Illinois. Enrollment closes January 15, 2024 which will give Illinoisians an extra month to enroll in a health plan. Note, consumers must enroll by December 15th to have health insurance coverage start on January 1st. Otherwise, coverage will begin at a later date. After the January 15th, 2024 deadline for Open Enrollment, consumers can only purchase insurance coverage on the ACA Marketplace if they have a qualifying life event, including losing job-based coverage, getting married, having a child, adopting a child, or moving. There are now twelve issuers offering ACA Marketplace health plans in Illinois. For the 2024 Analysis of the Illinois Exchange Plan, visit: Illinois Department of Insurance. For information on the ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment period, visit: GetCoveredIllinois.gov.
Electric Vehicle Rebates: The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency opened the next round of funding for the Illinois Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program beginning November 1. Applications must be postmarked no earlier than that date. Individuals can access and complete an application for a rebate under Illinois’ EV Rebate Program here.
LIHEAP: Income-eligible families are encouraged to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to support with utility bill assistance for natural gas, propane, and electricity. Applications expanded effective November 1 to include income-eligible households that are disconnected or facing imminent disconnection. Read more here.
2024 Campaign Update: Martha “Marti” Deuter has filed to run as a Democrat in the 45th House District. The district is currently held by freshman Representative Jenn Ladisch Douglass who recently announced she will not run for a second term.
Jarrett Clem, a farmer, union electrician, IBEW local Business Manager, and community college trustee, is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Representative in the 104th House district currently held by Republican Representative Mike Marron who is not seeking reelection. To date, the only announced Republican candidate is Jacob Lane of Danville, a former aide in the Indiana governor’s office.
Homelessness in Chicago: This week, a Chicago City Council committee voted to put a referendum on the March ballot asking voters to approve Mayor Brandon Johnson’s “Bring Chicago Home” proposal which would authorize increases to the real estate transfer tax to be used to fund homelessness services. The plan is estimated to raise $100 million. The new tax rate on sales under $1 million would be 0.60%, down from the current rate of 0.75%. Sales of $1 million or over, but under $1.5 million, will pay a 2% tax, more than 2.5 times what they pay now. And sales of $1.5 million and higher will pay 3%, four times the current rate. The proposal is now pending before the full City Council. Read more here.
Mayors Head to Washington to Ask for Help With Migrants: Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and mayors from Los Angeles, New York City, Denver and Houston went to Washington to talk about the escalating migrant situation. The mayors are asking for approximately $5 billion in federal aid, with Johnson wanting $1 billion of that for Chicago. Conditions are worsening for migrants in Chicago as the winter approaches. Temperatures plummeted this week and the city experienced its first dusting of snow. Read more here.