103RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois House was in session last week, while the Illinois Senate was not. Both chambers return to session on Tuesday, March 21.
There is one week left to consider substantive House Bills for final passage in the House; Friday, March 24 is the House Third Reading deadline. Two weeks are left to consider substantive Senate Bills for passage in the Senate.
The deadline to file Floor Amendments to Senate Bills is Friday, March 24 at 3pm. 2023
March 24: Deadline – Third Reading Deadline – Substantive House Bills in the House
March 31: Deadline – Third Reading Deadline – Substantive 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
HB3203 – Fentanyl Test Strips and Drug Safety Materials Test strips and other drug-safety materials would be available for sale over the counter under a bill filed by House Republican Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna). HB3203 (McCombie) passed unanimously out of the House Health and Human Services Committee last week and was read for a second time. It would allow retail pharmacies to sell fentanyl test-strips over the counter.
HB2341 – Bans Zooming While Driving Individuals working from home or in hybrid scenarios who make a habit of "zooming while driving" would be barred from doing so under proposed legislation from the Illinois Secretary of State. HB2341 (Evans) would make it illegal to watch or participate in a video conference, stream video, or access social media while driving. The bill is being carried by Rep. Marcus Evans (D-Chicago) and Sen. Javier Cervantes (D-Chicago).The bill would still allow individuals to use hands-free devices if the video is turned off. Illinois made the use of cellphones while driving without a hands-free device illegal in 2019.
HB1346 – GATA Limitations on Administrative Costs Restrictions HB1346 Amends the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act. Provides that grants shall not restrict the amount of money used to pay for fringe benefits. Provides that grants shall not restrict administrative costs to less than 20% of the grant award. Defines "fringe benefits". Second Reading.
HB2039 – Access to Public Health Data HB2039 Creates the Access to Public Health Data Act. Provides that the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Children and Family Services shall, at the request of a local health department in Illinois, make any and all public health data related to residents of that local health department's jurisdiction available to that local health department for the purposes of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability. Provides that the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services may adopt any rules necessary to implement the Act. Exempts specified information from inspection and copying under the Freedom of Information Act and makes a conforming change in that Act.
HB2086 – Consumer-Owned Containers HB2086 amends the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. In provisions allowing the filling or refilling of personal containers with bulk food, refers to restaurants and retailers (rather than just retailers). Allows restaurants and retailers to fill or refill a consumer-owned container with ready-made food. Allows clean consumer-owned containers provided or returned to a restaurant or retailer for filling or refilling to be filled or refilled and returned to the same consumer if the consumer-owned container is filled or refilled by either an employee of the restaurant or retailer or the owner of the consumer-owned container. House Floor Amendment #1 – Referred to Rules Committee.
SB1561 – Smoke-Free Illinois E-Cigarettes HB1561 Senate Committee Amendment No. 2 - Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Smoke Free Illinois Act. Provides that a retail tobacco store that derives at least 80% of its gross revenue from the sale of electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette equipment and accessories in operation before the effective date of the amendatory Act qualifies for a specified exemption for electronic cigarettes only. Provides that a retail tobacco store claiming an exemption for electronic cigarettes shall annually file with the Department of Public Health by January 31 an affidavit stating the percentage of its gross income during the prior calendar year that was derived from the sale of electronic cigarettes. Includes a workplace that manufactures, imports, or distributes electronic cigarettes in the definition of "retail tobacco store". Includes the use of an electronic cigarette in the definition of "smoke". Defines "electronic cigarette". Senate Bills on Third Reading
New Laws: Governor Pritzker signed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act into law which will grant employees the ability to accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked (up to 40 hours of total earned time.) Employees can start using the accrued time beginning March 1, 2024 or once they have worked 90 days. This new law applies to every employee working for an employer in Illinois but does exclude independent contractors. The City of Chicago and Cook County have an existing paid sick leave ordinance in place; employees and employers in those two geographic regions will be subject to those ordinances. The law will also exempt employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the construction industry and parcel delivery industry. Illinois becomes the third state in the nation – and the first in the Midwest – to mandate paid time off to be used for any reason.
Moody’s Issue Credit Upgrade: Illinois received yet another credit upgrade – the second one in the past month. Moody’s Investor Service upgraded Illinois bonds to A3, marking the eighth credit upgrade for the state in the past two years. Moody’s said Illinois’ improving governance was a key consideration in the action. “We consider improving governance to be a key consideration in this action.” Illinois, it said, is “displaying improved management of its budget by making conservative revenue assumptions and applying surplus revenue towards the payment of debt and growth in reserves.” Moody’s Investor Service announced ratings upgrade to A3 (stable outlook) from Baa1 for Illinois’ General Obligation bonds and Illinois sales tax bonds to A3 (stable outlook) from Baa3 (stable outlook).
Illinois Commerce Commission: Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Carrie Zalewski will step down from her position in June. Governor Pritzker will nominate former ICC Chair Doug Scott to replace Zalewski. Conrad Reddick and Stacey Paradis were appointed to the Board.
Hazardous Mitigation: Addressing hazardous mitigation projects at the local level is the goal of the new Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program announced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While federal funding is not yet available, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) needs to document program interest among communities in order to be considered for the grant.
Medicaid Campaign: “Ready to Renew” is a public awareness campaign launched by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to ensure eligible Illinoisans keep their Medicaid coverage when pandemic era protections end. Paused in March of 2020, Medicaid eligibility verifications will resume this Spring, and the campaign aims to help eligible Medicaid customers to continue coverage without disruption. Multiple formats are being used to disseminate the message, including paid advertisements, print, digital and broadcast communication, and grassroots outreach. Healthcare providers and community organizations who assist in Medicaid enrollment are encouraged to use the Ready to Renew Toolkit.
Reproductive Healthcare: Governor JB Pritzker (along with 14 other Governors) called on major pharmacies (CVS, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Safeway, Health Mart, Kroger, Costco, and Target ) to clarify how they plan to ensure access to abortion medication like Mifepristone. The move is in response to Walgreens recent announcement it would stop distributing medication for abortions in some states where the procedure remains legal. Joining Governor Pritzker are the Governors of California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
Air Purification for Schools: Approximately 3,000 schools in Illinois are expected to receive HEPA air purifiers as a result of a new grant program from the Illinois Department of Public Health. IDPH, in conjunction with the Illinois State Board of Education, is launching a $29.6 million program to distribute more than 60,000 HEPA purifiers to Illinois schools to help reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Funded by the CDC through ARPA funds, the program is targeted for school districts that serve lower income communities and counties that have elevated air pollution counts.
Gubernatorial Appointments: The Governor appointed the following:
- Steven Isoye will continue to serve as a Member of the State Board of Education.
- Jim Kolar will serve as a Member of the Illinois Gaming Board
- William Stiehl will serve as a Member of the State Police Merit Board.
- Eric Rinehart will serve as a Member of the Executive Board of Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
- Jessica Harris will serve on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Trustees
- Frank Brady will serve as an Arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Kathryn Doerries will serve as Commissioner on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
- Marc Parker will continue to serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission.
- Maria Portela will continue to serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
- Donald Shelton will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board
- Ken Tupy will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board
- Barbara Barreno-Paschall will continue to serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.
- Rex Budde will serve as a Member of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
- Audrey Tanksley will serve as a Member of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
Illinois Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on Pretrial Fairness Act
The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week on the constitutionality of the Pretrial Fairness Act.
IPHA Signs Letter in Support of Federal Gun Violence Prevention Research Funding
IPHA has joined the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical and state and federal public health organizations in a letter supporting funding for gun violence prevention research. The AAP, along with partners in the Gun Violence Prevention Research Roundtable coalition, is circulating a letter in support of federal gun violence prevention research funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. Last year, Congress provided $12.5 million each to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), and for the first time, dedicated $1 million to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). This letter calls on Congress to provide $35 million for the CDC, $25 million for the NIH, and a continuation of $1 million at the NIJ for this critical research. Last year, IPHA joined 288 organizations in signing the FY2023 letter. Members of Congress and their staff have indicated the enormous impact that this letter has had in past years. Medical, public health, and research organizations are key validators for the importance of this research funding and signing this letter can help secure the important bipartisan support for this funding.
IDPH Senate Appropriations Hearing Scheduled for April 5 – Time and Location Pending