October 27, 2023 Update


The Illinois General Assembly concluded its first week of a two-week Veto session. The House was in session two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) and canceled session for Thursday, October 26. The Senate was in session for three days this week (Tuesday – Thursday).  Both chambers will reconvene for three days beginning Tuesday, November 7.

Legislation must pass Veto session with supermajorities − 71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate − to go into effect immediately. Likewise, it will take supermajorities in both chambers to override any Gubernatorial vetoes.  

Below is a summary of this week’s legislative activities.

Total Vetoes: The Governor issued three Total Vetoes. Neither chamber considered any action on total vetoes this week.

Nuclear Moratorium: Senator Rezin filed a motion to override the total veto of SB 76 (Rezin/Yednock), but the Senate did not act on the motion this week. The bill removes the state’s moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants. The Governor vetoed the bill “at the request of the leadership team of the Speaker of the House and advocates” because he believes “the bill removes the moratorium on new construction of nuclear power plants to allow for the construction of both advanced and traditional large-scale nuclear reactors in Illinois.”  Senate sponsor Sue Rezin (R-Morris) introduced SB 2591 , which she says addresses the governor’s objections. That bill also did not move this week.

Halal/Kosher Foods: The Illinois House did not consider the veto of HB 3643 (Rashid/Villivalam). The underlying bill would have required the Illinois State Board of Education to devise a master contract which provided religious dietary options to all public school {deleted hyphen} districts. The Governor vetoed this bill noting this is a local district issue, not a state issue. The Senate sponsor filed an amendment to SB 457 in an attempt to address the concerns raised by the veto. See more below.

E-Verify: The Illinois Senate did not consider the veto to SB 1515 (Cervantes/Delgado). The underlying bill adds restrictions and limitations on the use of the E-Verify system to ensure privacy for workers and ensure a worker can take unpaid leave if there is an issue with verification. According to the Governor’s veto message, the total veto came “at the request of the sponsors and advocates.” Senate Floor Amendment # 1 to SB 508 (Cervantes) – see below –  was filed to correct the issues with SB 1515.

Amendatory Vetoes: The Governor issued three Amendatory Vetoes. Neither chamber acted this week on any of the amendatory vetoes.

Omnibus Procurement: Leader Hoffman filed a motion to accept the amendatory veto of HB 2878 (Hoffman/Castro), but the House did not take action on the motion this week.  The underlying bill represents a procurement omnibus. The Governor objected to language to authorize public-private partnerships for local transportation projects saying the provisions “skirt transparency and anti-corruption requirements established in state statute, including ethics, Business Enterprise Program, campaign finance, and procurement laws. The potential in this bill for opacity and corruption is too great.” The Governor removed those provisions with his amendatory Veto. 

Energy Omnibus – First Right of Refusal: No action was taken this week on the amendatory veto to HB 3445 (Walsh/Stadelman) and the House sponsor indicated that he does not plan to pursue an override this fall and instead will work to educate the body and stakeholders and revisit the first right of refusal issue in the Spring session.  The Governor issued an amendatory veto to remove the “right of first refusal” language allowing Ameren to construct new power lines. The Governor argues the provision “will eliminate competition and raise costs for rate payers by giving incumbent utility providers in the MISO region a monopoly over new transmission lines.”

Property Tax Omnibus/Private Nursing Homes: No action was taken this week on the amendatory veto to HB 2507 (Kifowit/Villanueva).  The underlying bill represents a property tax omnibus. The Governor amendatorily vetoed provisions which would lower property tax rates for private nursing homes in Cook County.  The Governor argues the change will “have the effect of raising property taxes on homeowners who are already overburdened and risks driving some residents into foreclosure while simultaneously threatening local school funding.”

Invest in Kids Tax Credit: There was essentially no movement this week on the extension (or modification) of the Invest in Kids Tax Credit. Representative Guerrero-Cuellar did file HB 4194 as a brand new bill. HB 4194 makes changes to and extends the Invest in Kids income tax credit for private school scholarships (which is set to expire at the end of the year). Note this legislation would require three readings in both chambers in order to move to the Governor’s desk. No action was taken on the bill this week, making its passage unlikely during the last week of veto session. 

Placing the language on a floor amendment (especially to a bill sitting in the opposite chamber) is a faster path to final passage during the short two-week Veto session. Thus far, such an amendment has not surfaced. Republicans are now split on the issue with the conservative Freedom Caucus uniting against the compromise proposal. The Governor has signaled he will sign an extension of the Invest in Kids income tax credit program if it reaches his desk although his team is not actively working the proposal. The Chicago Tribune offers more information on HB 4194 here.

House Action: The Illinois House took action on one legislative matter this week.

The Illinois House approved, by a vote 74-35-4,  HB 4148 (Welch/Harmon) which would allow legislative employees to form a union and collectively bargain. Current law exempts legislative staff from the ability to unionize. Note the legislation prohibits striking during times of legislative session. The bill now heads to the Senate where its fate remains uncertain.  

Senate Action: The Illinois Senate considered several measures this week.

The Illinois Senate approved, by a vote of 43-15, SB 457  (Villivalam/Welch), which as amended, is the revised Halal/Kosher food legislation in response to the Governor’s veto of HB 3643 (Rashid/Villivalam). SB 457 requires the State Board of Education to enter into one or more statewide master contracts to purchase religious dietary food options. Requires the State Board of Education, subject to appropriation, to notify school districts of any prepackaged meal options, including halal and kosher food options, available for purchase under a statewide master contract for the upcoming school year. Requires the University of Illinois Hospital to offer religious dietary food options that comply with federal and State nutritional guidelines. Amends the Halal Food Act and the Kosher Food Act to provide that any halal food product offered by a State-owned or State-operated facility be purchased from a halal-certified or kosher-certified vendor. Establishes penalties for violations of the provisions. Requires any Department of Corrections facility that provides food services or cafeteria services for which food products are provided or offered for sale to also offer religious dietary food options that comply with federal and State nutritional guidelines. SB 457 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved HB 351 (Tarver/Harmon), as amended, which creates the Task Force to Review Eligibility to Hold Public Office to make recommendations as to what criminal conduct should preclude an individual from holding public office. In addition, the bill further clarifies what information notaries must retain for the purpose of petitions. HB 351 now heads back to the House for concurrence.

Senator Ventura filed SFA # 1 to SB 371 which amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to provide that provisions restricting the mailing of postcards or letters under certain circumstances apply to companies not connected to the company from which the recipient has purchased or obtained goods, services, or other merchandise. SFA # 1 was held in the Senate State Government Committee. 

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved SB 382 (Edly-Allen/Welch), which as amended, represents a trailer bill to PA 103-294 which clarifies definitions in the Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act. SB 382 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate approved, by a vote of 37-18,  SB 384 (Feigenholtz/Welch) which, as amended, makes changes to the Electric Vehicle Charging Act to clarify provisions related to EV-capable parking space requirements and residential requirements. SB 384 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate approved, by a vote of 44-12, SB 385 (Turner/Welch) which as amended, allows for quick-take proceedings for the purpose of expanding and redeveloping Springfield High School. SB 385 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Senate Executive Committee voted 8-4 to approve Senate Floor Amendment # 1 to SB 508 (Cervantes) which provides that unless otherwise required by federal or state law, an employer shall not voluntarily enroll in the E-Verify program or a similar system and provides for additional rights and protections granted to an employee if there is a discrepancy. This legislation is intended to clean up SB 1515 (Cervantes/Delgado – which sponsors asked the Governor to veto. The amendment is now pending before the full Senate.

The Illinois Senate approved SB 584 (Cunningham/Welch) as amended by a vote of 50-7. The bill clarifies language to make it easier to transfer funds between accounts related to scratch off lottery games for charities. The bill also grants the Illinois Gaming Board the discretion to authorize an extension of a temporary casino license for a temporary facility (this will benefit Lake County’s casino) and expedites the timeline for Des Plaines to recapture the $5 million annual payment from the state gaming fund. Finally, the bill extends the sunset that enables in- person wagering on Illinois collegiate games from July 2024 to July 2026. SB 584 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate approved SB 690 (Gillespie/Welch) as amended, by a vote of 40-18. The bill validates certain tax levies for community mental health boards to ensure that local referenda previously passed are effective. SB 690 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate approved SB 696 (Aquino/Welch) as amended, by a vote of 53-1. The bill extends TIFs for Village of Bourbonnais, City of Geneva, Village of Downers Grove, City of Chicago, Village of Fox River Grove and the Village of Ohio.  SB 696 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved SB 765 (Harris) which, as amended, addresses changes to reinsurance market for farmers in Illinois. Without this change, nearly 50,000 farmers will lose their coverage at the end of the year. Specifically, the bill requires farmer mutual insurance companies to maintain adequate reinsurance. SB 765 now heads to the House for consideration.

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved SB 767 (Fine/Welch), as amended. The bill requires all hearing instruments offered for sale to be accompanied by a 30-business day return policy. SB 767 now heads to the House for concurrence.

The State Government Committee unanimously approved Senate Floor Amendment # 1 to SB 769 (Halpin) which amends the Swimming Facility Act to provide that the rules adopted by the Department of Public Health must allow sporting good equipment systems and fitness equipment systems to be installed in swimming facilities if the equipment is designed for pool use and installed in accordance with the safe-use parameters specified by the manufacturer. The amendment is now pending before the full Senate.

The Senate State Government Committee approved Senate Amendments # 2 and #3 to SB 853 (Joyce), which together represent an omnibus state government clean-up bill. The amendments, which are now pending before the full Senate, make the following changes:

·        Transfers authority for constitutional officer protection to the Illinois State Police.

·        Extends the Alternative Protein Task Force. 

·        Extends the repeal date of the ISP 911 grants to 2025.

·        Aligns the definition of foster family home and residential treatment with federal guidelines.

·        Extends the repeal date of sentencing guidelines for individuals convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon who have certain prior convictions. 

·        Changes the Crime Victims Compensation Act to allow multiple applicants to receive payment for funeral benefits.

·        Moves the effective date to July 1, 2024 for state employee coverage for all types of medically necessary injectable medicines prescribed on-label or off-label to improve glucose or weight loss for use by adults diagnosed or previously diagnosed with prediabetes, gestational diabetes, or obesity.

The Senate State Government Committee unanimously approved Senate Floor Amendments #1, #2, and # 3 to SB 854 (Glowiak Hilton) which represent the FY 24 omnibus bill to extend multiple sunsets which are set to expire in the next 6 months. The amendments are now pending before the full Senate.

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved SB 856 (Turner/Welch). As amended, the bill allows certain DCFS front-line workers to use their work address rather than their personal address on their driver’s license or state ID. SB 856 now heads to the House.

The Illinois Senate unanimously approved SB 950 (Bryant) which, as amended, transfers land from the Department of Corrections to the City of Chester.

Senator McConchie filed Senate Floor Amendment # 1 to SB 1099 (McConchie) which creates a pathway for the trustees for the Northern Moraine Wastewater Reclamation District to be elected at consolidated elections. The amendment was referred to the Committee on Assignments.

Senator Anderson filed Senate Floor Amendment # 1 to SB 1171 (Anderson) which requires the Department of Central Management Services (in conjunction with the State Employees Retirement System) to enter into a contract to establish and conduct a State Retiree Medicare Primacy Coordination Audit and Assistance Program to identify retirees who are eligible for Medicare, but not enrolled in Medicare, and to assist those retirees in enrolling in Social Security and Medicare. The bill also requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to enter into a contract to establish and conduct a Medicare Primacy Coordination Audit and Assistance Program to identify Medicaid recipients who could benefit from Social Security Disability Insurance representation that could provide them with income and ultimately Medicare benefits. The amendment was referred to the Committee on Assignments.

The Senate Executive Committee voted 7-4 to concur with the House in HFA # 2 to SB 1769 (Ventura/Hoffman) which requires all vehicles purchased or leased by government entities, except law enforcement, to be zero-emission by 2030. HFA # 2 exempts vehicles purchased by the Department of Transportation as part of their consolidated vehicle procurement program. SB 1769 is now pending before the full Senate.

 Upcoming Hearings: The House Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, & IT Committee will hold a joint hearing with the House Judiciary – Civil Committee on November 2 at 10 am in the Bilandic Building in Chicago (and Virtual Room 1) to discuss emerging issues in artificial intelligence.


Early Childhood Education: Governor Pritzker announced a proposal to create a new state agency to house all early childhood programs and funding with the goal of providing a more equitable, integrated, and holistic system of services for young children and families in Illinois. Currently, services are housed in three separate agencies—the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The initiative is a multi-year process which will be implemented via a combination of Executive Order 2023-09 and legislation during the 2024 legislative session.

Ann Whalen will serve as Early Childhood Transition Director, working out of ISBE and in close collaboration with state agencies and the governor’s office. 

An external advisory committee will seek input from stakeholders across the state. The committee will be chaired by Bela Moté and work closely with Ann Whalen. 

The new unified agency will unify the following programs under a single agency: (1) the Early Childhood Block Grant at ISBE, which funds Preschool for All and the Prevention Initiative home-visiting program; (2) the Child Care Assistance Program, Home-Visiting, and Early Intervention services at DHS; and (3) day care licensing currently managed by DCFS. Read more here.

Child and Adolescent Health Funding Awarded: The Illinois Department of Public Health is awarding $9.5 million in funding to 40 different applicants across the state to support post-pandemic child and adolescent health. The size of the grants ranges from $83,000 to just over $400,000. Sixty percent of the grants are going to schools, 20% to hospital or clinic-based programs, 17.5% to local health departments and 2.5% to colleges. Read more here.

Tourism Funding: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering $15.4 million in tourism funding through two grant programs, the Tourism Attractions Grant Program ($10.8 million) and the Tourism Private Sector Grant Program ($4.6 million). Eligible entities can apply for grants to attract, develop, and improve new and existing tourism-related projects, events and festivals in an effort to boost tourism across the state and welcome more visitors. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity process.

Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs: The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced that the designation “Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs” has been conferred on

two Illinois programs: The Central Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Hub and the Chicago Area Quantum Tech Hub. Both were selected based on their innovation and economic growth potential. Both entities will now be eligible to apply for the second phase of the Tech Hubs Program to receive between $50 million and $75 million in federal funding.

The Tech Hubs Program is an economic development initiative designed to drive technology and innovation growth by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies. The program was enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 and will receive $10 billion in funding over the course of five years. The two Illinois Tech Hubs are part of the 31 designees selected from over 198 applicants.

Online Liquor License Process: The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is rolling out a new, streamlined online application option for new 1A retailer licenses and launching the Appointments Only program for in-person liquor license services. Both began October 23, 2023. Read more about the processes here.

Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report: The Illinois Department of Public Health released the third edition of the Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report, covering maternal deaths occurring for Illinois residents during 2018-2020. Among the key findings are that Black women continue to die at disparately higher rates, specifically due to medical causes including cardiovascular disease and pre-existing chronic medical conditions; and that the leading overall cause of pregnancy-related death is substance use disorder. Read more here. All three of the Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality reports can be found at the IDPH Maternal Morbidity and Mortality page.

Illinois Awarded $11.25 Million Grant: The Illinois Department of Employment Security was awarded an $11.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support continued modernization, fraud defense, and equitable access to unemployment insurance systems. Illinois was one of 19 states and territories selected to receive more than $204 million in federal funds to help make UI systems more reliable and accessible to users. Read more here.

Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker appointed Dawn Brown to serve as a Member of the State Board of Health.


Election Update: Assistant Majority Leader Representative Kelly Burke announced she is not seeking reelection in 2024. Burke made the decision after finishing treatment for colon cancer. She plans to continue her service as mayor of Evergreen Park. Burke began serving in the Illinois House in 2011. She currently chairs the House Revenue Committee. Burke is endorsing local attorney Rick Ryan as her replacement. Ryan ran for State Senate in 2000, losing to then-Republican Senator Patrick O’Malley.

South Side activist Joseph Williams is running in the Democrat primary in the 6th House District represented by Democrat Representative Sonya Harper.

Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso will not run for the Illinois House in the 82nd House District which was previously represented by former House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Appointed Representative John Egofske is not running for another term. Nicole La Ha Zwiercan is currently the only Republican running.

Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Meta: Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc. (Meta), the company that owns and operates Facebook and Instagram, for its harmful business practices targeting children.

The lawsuit, backed by a broad bipartisan coalition of 33 states, was filed Tuesday in the federal district court for the Northern District of California. In their lawsuit, Raoul and the attorneys general allege that Meta’s business model, which seeks to capture as much user time and attention as possible to sell advertising, has targeted youth, including teenagers and even younger children, in ways that take advantage of them. Read the lawsuit here.

Illinois Gaming Board: The Gaming Board met Thursday. A summary of their actions is here.