Illinois General Assembly:
The 102nd Illinois General Assembly adjourned sine die. Prior to adjourning, the Illinois General Assembly approved a ban on assault weapons, an omnibus abortion and reproductive health package, an economic development package, a supplemental appropriation and budget implementation legislation, mandatory paid time off for private workers, energy legislation and several other items. Members of the 103rd General Assembly will be sworn into office at noon on Wednesday, January 11. Leadership teams for the Democratic supermajorities were expanded under SB 1720 (Sims/Harris). Beginning in the 103rd General Assembly, two additional leadership positions are created for the House Democrats -- the new position of House Speaker Pro Tempore and an additional Majority Leader. There will also be one additional Senate Majority Leader.
Assault Weapons Ban: An assault weapons ban was approved by the General Assembly and quickly signed into law by the Governor. As amended, HB 5471 (Welch/Harmon), does the following:
- Enacts an immediate ban on the manufacture, delivery, sale, import and purchase of assault weapons, assault weapon attachments and 50 caliber rifles and cartridges and large capacity magazines (10 rounds for long guns and 15 round for handguns).
- Grandfathers existing ownership: Current owners have until January 1, 2024 to obtain an endorsement for the FOID card to include make, model, serial number and caliber of weapons outlined in the bill for weapons in their possession on the bill’s effective date. Grandfathers possession of existing magazines.
- Exemptions are included for active-duty law enforcement and retirees who have served in law enforcement for over 10 years and certain private security personnel.
- Limits where current owners can possess banned guns and magazines – making it lawful to possess only on “private property owned or immediately controlled by the person, private property not open to the public with permission of the owner, on firing ranges, during competitions, at the repair shop and while traveling to and from those locations as long as they have no ammunition in them and are stored in a case.”
- Empowers the State Police to list copies, duplicates, facsimiles of weapons eligible for endorsement by October 1, 2023, and annually thereafter.
- Bans rapid fire devices (switches) immediately.
- Expands the Firearms Restraining Order from 6 months to 1 year.
- Accelerates the implementation date for person-to-person background checks.
- Requires the Illinois State Police Criminal Division to investigate human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking, and illegal firearms trafficking.
- Asks State Police to provide, by administrative rule, further guidance to ensure hunting weapons are not excluded.
Abortion/Reproductive Health: The Illinois General Assembly approved omnibus abortion and reproductive health legislation in HB 4664 (Villanueva/Cassidy). HB 4664 now heads to the Governor’s desk. The bill does the following:
- Protects access to assisted reproductive technology by making it a fundamental right pursuant to the Reproductive Health Act.
- Establishes a 2-year statute of limitations for claims under the Reproductive Health Act.
- Establishes a counter claim for individuals who have a judgement entered against them in another state for reproductive health care that is legal in Illinois.
- Shields individuals in Illinois from foreign subpoenas, summons, extradition, and foreign judgments related to lawful reproductive or gender affirming care in Illinois and requires courts in Illinois to apply Illinois law in cases related to lawful healthcare activity.
- Amends the Parentage Act to (1) allow for the disposition of embryos pursuant to an agreement, (2) allow an intended parent’s legal authorization designee to certify parentage in the event the intended parent dies during pregnancy, (3) allow out-of-state physicians s to certify the genetic makeup of embryos.
- Prevents insurers from charging higher out-of-pocket costs for services under certain insurance plans when patients are forced to seek out-of-network provider care due to an in-network provider care raising moral objections under the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act.
- Requires that abortion care coverage must include medication abortion with or without proof of pregnancy.
- Requires limited healthcare service organizations, as well as schools, municipalities, and counties that offer health insurance plans, to provide coverage for contraceptives and abortions if they offer pregnancy related benefits.
- Protects the Illinois licenses of health care providers who are penalized for providing care that is illegal in another state, but legal in Illinois.
- Establishes expedited temporary licenses for out-of-state healthcare professionals seeking to provide healthcare in Illinois and permits these licensees to offer telehealth services.
- Clarifies that advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants can perform abortions consistent with their training and within their scope of practice.
- Requires IDPH to partner with nonprofit organizations to administer grants to provide abortion training. Training program sites should prioritize underserved areas and transportation hubs.
- Permits IDPH to issue standing orders for hormonal contraceptives,
- Expands birthing centers’ authority to include reproductive health care.
- Removes references to the Parental Notice of Abortion Act in various areas of the statues.
- Amends the Wrongful Death Act to prevent a person asserting a claim against any licensed healthcare professional, medical facility or pregnant person for assisting in a lawful abortion.
- Changes IDPH abortion statistics reporting requirements to quarterly, rather than monthly, to protect patient anonymity.
- Adds protections for physicians, nurses, and physician assistants by preventing a healthcare institution from taking adverse action against them based upon a disciplinary action based upon healthcare that is lawful in Illinois but not elsewhere.
- Prevents a professional liability insurer from denying or revoking coverage or increasing rates for coverage of service in Illinois if it is solely because the service provided is unlawful in another state.
- Clarifies that the Criminal Identification Notification Act does not require a physician or nurse to report lawful healthcare activity that is a violation of other the law in other states.
- Requires no cost coverage for abortifacients, hormone therapy, and PEP and PrEP for health insurance plans issued in Illinois after January 1, 2024.
Budget: The Illinois General Assembly approved a FY 23 supplemental appropriation on HB 969 (Harris/Harmon). The supplemental appropriates $520 million GRF, $3.6 billion other state funds and $78.8 million in federal funds. Highlights include:
- $850 million deposit into the Rainy-Day Fund
- $400 million for the Governor’s Closing Fund
- $185 million one-time rate increase for hospitals
- $42 million for safety net hospitals
- $162 million for costs association with asylum seekers for IEMA and DHS and another $20 million for the City of Chicago
- $100 million for outstanding bills at DoIT
- $75 million in AARPA funds for the Illinois Housing Development Authority
- $12.5 million for the DD community for frontline workers
- $25 million for state operated facilities at DHS
- $19 million for mental health services at public higher education institutions
- $12 million for mental health and substance abuse use providers for stability payments
- $10 million for a new licensing system for IDFPR
- $10 million for the Court of Claims for crime victims’ payments
- $10 million for the Supreme Court for costs association with the Pretrial Fairness Act
- $10 million for the States Attorneys’ Appellate Prosecutor for costs association with the Pretrial Fairness Act
- $10 million for the State’s Appellate Defender for costs associated with the Pretrial Fairness Act
- $2.6 million for CMS to bolster hiring processes
- $2.6 million in operational costs associated with the Theatrical Union Training Center
HB 969 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Illinois Senate concurred in HFA # 3 to SB 1720 (Sims/Harris) which creates the second FY 23 Budget Implementation Bill. (See highlights of the key provisions of this legislation in the report we issued on January 6, 2023.) Because the constitution bars any adjustments in salaries during a term in office, SB 1720 was quickly signed by Governor Pritzker just prior to his officially taking his second term in office.
Energy Omnibus: The Illinois General Assembly approved amendments to HB 4412 (Gabel/Cunningham) which makes several energy policy changes including reforming the siting requirements for wind and solar projects by taking what the sponsor calls “best practices” from “some counties” and applying them statewide, as well as creating a mechanism for financial relief for electrical rate payers in the Ameren Zone (subject to appropriation). Contains Climate Works HUB clean-up provisions and makes changes to the hiring of the Director of the Illinois Power Authority. Critics argue that this legislation takes away the ability of counties to site wind and solar projects. HB 4412 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Economic Development: SB 2951 (Villanueva/Zalewski), as amended, is omnibus economic development legislation. The bill creates the Invest in Illinois Act, which, among other things, includes regulations for the governor’s “closing fund” that will be used to attract electric vehicle-related manufacturing. The new incentives apply to certain businesses that are engaged in manufacturing, processing, assembling, warehousing, or distributing products, conducting research and development, providing tourism services, or providing commercial services in office industries or agricultural processing. As amended, the legislation makes renewable energy manufacturers eligible for credits under the REV Act and provides that agreements under the Act may be renewed for an additional 15- year period. The bill further exempts businesses certified under the REV Act or the MICRO Act from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance Fee and the Simplified Municipal Telecommunications Tax Act. Creates a $1.50/gallon sustainable Aviation fuel credit. Makes changes to the Film Production Services Tax Credit Act. The bill also includes language to prohibit state economic incentives if the Chicago Bears move their stadium to Arlington Heights. SB 2951 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Nurse Agency Staffing: As amended by HFA # 1, SB 1836 (Aquino/Hoffman) corrects an unintended consequence of the passage of the nurse staffing agency legislation last session which prevents international nurse staffing agencies from being able to assign foreign nurses to hospitals in Illinois. SB 1836 makes changes to allow foreign born nurses, working in cooperation with their international staffing agencies, to once again practice in Illinois hospitals. SB 1836 passed both houses and heads to the Governor’s desk.
Paid Leave for All Workers: The Illinois General Assembly approved SB 208 (Lightford/Gordon-Booth), which as amended creates the Paid Leave for All Workers Act granting private workers 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period. Authorizes the Department of Labor to administer and enforce the Act. Provides for the imposition of civil penalties and authorizes individuals to file civil actions with respect to violations. SB 208 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Selected Bills That Passed Both Chambers: The following bills passed and will be headed to the Governor’s desk for consideration:
- SB 1015 (Mattson/Smith) addresses appointments under Champaign and Will County Executive forms of government.
- HB 2870 (Walsh/Mattson) is a trailer bill to the Regional Water Commission legislation passed last year which allows for the building of a new pipeline to supply water for Joliet and the surrounding areas. This version removes the quick take language that was in a nearly identical bill -- HB 5061 (Walsh/Mattson) - passed by the Senate last week.
- HB 1064 (Mayfield/Harmon) provides that a person who was under the age of 21 and is serving a sentence for first degree murder or a term of natural life imprisonment shall be eligible for parole review by the Prisoner Review Board after serving 40 years or more of his or her sentence or sentences.
- HB 1688 (Hernandez/Villa) streamlines the training and permit process for school bus drivers. Establishes an initial course and annual refresher training courses for Small School Bus Driver Permits and maintains the existing courses for Larger School Bus Driver Permits.
- HR 1043 (Lilly) urges the General Assembly to address gun violence in Illinois through comprehensive policy change and support proper appropriations for victim services.
- HR 1021 (Flowers) urges state agencies to expand comprehensive cardiovascular screening programs to allow for earlier identification of patients at risk of cardiovascular events and to explore ways to collaborate with federal and national agencies and organizations to establish or expand comprehensive cardiovascular screening programs. Urges an update of the State's cardiovascular plan.
- HB 2542 (Cassidy/Cunningham) eases restrictions in the process to legally change an individual’s name. The sponsor testified this bill primarily helps transgender individuals to change their first name and victims of human trafficking who often fall into criminal conduct.
New Members: City of Champaign Township Assessor Paul Faraci will replace the late Senator Scott Bennett in the 103rd General Assembly. Nine individuals, including State Representative Carol Ammons, had sought the appointment.
State Representative Tom Bennett was selected to replace Senator Jason Barickman in the 103rd General Assembly. Barickman recently announced his resignation. Bennett was reelected to represent the 106th House District in November. Local Republicans will select a replacement for Bennett within the next month.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin resigned his House seat effective Tuesday, January 10. Durkin, who has served the past 22 years in the House (with the last 9 as Republican leader), did not seek another term as Republican Leader for the 103rd General Assembly.
Democratic State Senator Patricia Van Pelt announced she is resigning at the end of January. Local Democrats will select her replacement.
Governor JB Pritzker was sworn into office for a second term on Monday, January 9. The Governor used his inaugural speech to begin to outline his priorities for his second term in office. Key priorities for the Governor include making preschool available for all families, eliminating childcare deserts, and expanding childcare options. The Governor also wants to focus on making college tuition free for “every working-class” family. Making healthcare coverage more affordable and widespread will also be a priority for the Governor’s second term as well as “more permanent” tax relief. The Governor also called for an assault weapon ban and giving women the right to privacy and bodily autonomy, most likely in the form of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion. Finally, the Governor plans to address the increase of hate crimes in Illinois.
COVID-19: The Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Department of Public Health launched a new website that tracks the levels of COVID-19 in wastewater samples in Chicago and other cities across Illinois.
Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias issued an executive order which upgrades and improves transparency, codifies key procedures in the office’s internal policy manual, enhances protections afforded to victims of sexual harassment or threats of violence, and simplifies the public’s ability to submit complaints to the Inspector General’s office.
2023 Key Dates: Due to ongoing construction in the north wing of the Illinois Capitol, the Senate will hold its 103rd General Assembly Inauguration in the House of Representatives chamber in the Old State Capitol Building, 528 East Adams St., Springfield.
- January 11: Inauguration of the 103rd General Assembly
- January 27: Deadline – Senate LRB Requests
- February 3: Deadline – House LRB Requests
- February 10: Deadline – Introduction of Substantive Senate Bills in the Senate
- February 17: Deadline – Introduction of Substantive House Bills in the House
- February 15: Governor’s State of the State/Budget Address
- February 28: Consolidated Primary Election March 10: Deadline – Substantive Bills Out of Committee in both chambers
- March 24: Deadline –Third Reading Deadline – Substantive House Bills in the House
- March 31: Deadline – Third Reading Senate Bills in the Senate
- April 4: Consolidated Election
- April 28: Deadline – Substantive Bills out of Committee in both chambers
- May 11: Deadline – Third Reading Substantive House Bills in Senate
- May 12: Deadline – Third Reading Substantive Senate Bills in House
- May 19: Adjournment