November 8, 2019

Gov. Pritzker plans to take a “first step” to address state ethics reforms during next week’s veto session. Pritzker plans to immediately address lobbying disclosure and then look at broader reforms during the spring session. The Governor’s reforms have not been filed at this time.Gov. Pritzker made the following appointments:

  • Tim Drea will serve on the Illinois Employment Security Advisory Board.
  • John Gedney will serve on the Illinois Employment Security Advisory Board.
  • Joanna Webb-Gauvin will serve on the Illinois Employment Security Advisory Board.
  • Helena Lefkow will serve on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Advisory Board.

The State Fire Marshal in conjunction with the Illinois Finance Authority issued over $9.3 million in no interest or low interest loans to emergency responders across the state. The loans are made available through the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program and Ambulance Revolving Loan Program. In total, 23 communities received funds for new fire trucks and 11 communities received funds for ambulances.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture approved two cultivation centers this week to grow cannabis for adult-use purposes in advance of adult-use cannabis becoming legal on January 1, 2020.

Wellness Group Pharms, LLC in Anna and GTI Rock Island, LLC are now licensed to start growing for adult-use purposes. Currently, only cultivation centers that are 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 Wellness Group Pharms and GTI Rock Island, seven other cultivation centers have been licensed for adult-use 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
Craft growers, infusers, and transporters license applications will be available through IDOA on January 7th.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced three more “Same Site” adult use cannabis licenses, which will allow an existing medical cannabis dispensary to obtain an adult use dispensing license. This license will permit the dispensary to begin adult use cannabis sales at that location starting January 1, 2020, provided the dispensary complies with local zoning rules or other local laws. These recent approvals raise the total number of approved “Same Site” licenses to fourteen. New same site licenses were issued for:

Dispensary 335001 N. Clark St.Chicago, IL 60640Maribis of Chicago4570 S. Archer Ave.Chicago, IL 60632     Maribis of Springfield         2272 North Grand Ave. Grandview, IL 62702 

The General Assembly reconvenes Tuesday for the second and final week of the Fall Veto Session. No specific veto action is expected, but several other measures are positioned for consideration next week. Items that could come up for discussion next week include Gov. Pritzker’s pension consolidation legislation, Mayor Lightfoot’s gaming and transfer tax; insulin caps; a red -light camera study; tweaks to the recreational cannabis law; and ethics reforms.
Two pensions bills are pending before the General Assembly next week. SB1671 (Martinez/Harris) amends the General Provisions article of the Illinois Pension Code to facilitate contracts with emerging investment managers. The bill previously passed the Senate and is now pending on 2nd Reading in the House. Gov. Pritzker’s downstate police and fire pension consolidation language was filed as an amendment to SB616 (Cullerton).   The underlying bill is on 3rd Reading in the Senate; the amendment remains in Senate Assignments. Once passed by the Senate, SB 616 would require three full readings in the House.
House Republicans filed a series of ethics reform legislation. HB3954 (Durkin) modifies requirements on the Statement of Economic Interest filings by candidates and members of the General Assembly. HB3955 (Durkin) creates mandatory and publicly available documentation of legislative communications with any state agency regarding contracts. HB3947 (Demmer)would ban legislators from performing paid lobbying work with local governments. HJRCA 36 (Durkin) requires a special election to fill General Assembly vacancies through the same laws governing party primaries. HR588 (Durkin) will allow a Chief Co-Sponsor of any bill with five co-sponsors from each party to call it for a vote in a substantive committee. The bills are all in House Rules.
Rep. Skillicorn also filed ethics legislation. HB3956 bans former legislators from lobbying for a 5 year period following leaving office. HB3957 prevents legislators from participating in any representation of a property tax appeals case.   HB3958 provides that a member of the General Assembly, his or her spouse, and any immediate family member living with that member of the General Assembly shall not, for compensation, engage in any lobbying activity or otherwise communicate with any official of the executive or legislative branch of State government or any official of any unit of local government. The bills are in House Rules.
Rep. Buckner filed legislation, HB3953, to create the Cannabis Banking and Credit Union Act. Establishes a procedure to license financial institutions to provide banking services to cannabis businesses. Heads to House Rules.
Rep. Arroyo resigned his legislative seat Friday, Nov. 1st. A replacement has not been named.
Sen. Mattie Hunter was named the new Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. As Chairman, Sen. Hunter indicated her priorities are:

  • Seeking ways to make public transportation more accessible and affordable, particularly in underserved communities.
  • Reviving the Disadvantaged Business Revolving Loan Program to provide capital necessary for properly certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises – small, minority, and female-owned businesses – to finance IDOT project-specific work, acquire valuable work experience and establish or rebuild credit lines.
  • Conducting a study to evaluate the usage of red-light cameras throughout the state.
  • Increasing the number of minority-, veteran- and woman-owned businesses engaged in state and local government contracting.
  • Ensuring transparent and efficient implementation of IDOT’s Multi-Year Plan.

2020 Elections:
Supreme Court Justice Karmeier is not seeking re-election. Appellate Justice David Overstreet from Mt. Vernon announced he will run as a Republican to replace Karmeier.

The 2020 spring legislative session calendar should be released next week.Veto Session: Nov. 12th – 14th    
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.