103rd ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly was in session four days this week – Tuesday through Friday. The Illinois House convenes again on Tuesday, March 14 at noon for three days. The Illinois Senate is off next week.
March 10 is the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committee in the chamber of origin. Thousands of bills were scheduled for committee hearings this week in both chambers (roughly 817 Senate Bills and 1,157 House Bills) making for long committee hearings and long days.
Some of the bills that passed committee this week include:
- HB 2118 (Mussman) authorizes any supplier to sell any amount of sterile hypodermic syringes or needles to a person who is at least 18 years of age. Under current law, only pharmacists are allowed to sell up to 100 needles at a time. Passed the House Healthcare Availability and Accessibility Committee by a vote of 6-3.
- HB 2188 (Crespo) moves the Medicaid Fraud Unit from the Illinois State Police to the Office of the Attorney General. Passed the House Judiciary Committee 14-0. Identical legislation - SB 1613 (Joyce) passed the Senate State Government Committee 9-0.
- HB 2202 (Hoffman) which creates the Underground Carbon Dioxide Storage Act. Passed the House Energy and Environment Committee 17-10.
- HB 3119 (Williams) which creates the Carbon Dioxide Transport and Storage Protections Act. Passed the House Energy and Environment Committee 19-10.
- HB 2719 (Avelar) which requires hospitals to screen each uninsured patient for eligibility in State and federal health insurance programs, financial assistance offered by the hospital, and other public programs that may assist with health care costs and provide information about those programs. Also requires hospitals to screen insured patients for discounted care in certain circumstances. Passed the House Healthcare Availability and Accessibility Committee 6-3.
- HB 3128 (Moeller) provides that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency shall establish a take-back program for local fire departments and fire protection districts that use and store firefighting foam containing PFAS. Passed the House Energy and Environment Committee 19-10.
- SB 1769 (Ventura) which, as amended, creates the Government Zero Emission Vehicle Act to require all government passenger vehicles purchased by a governmental unit after 2025 to be zero emission vehicles. Passed the Senate Environment Committee 6-2.
- HB 1110 (Buckner) authorizes the issuance of digital driver’s licenses. Passed the House Transportation Vehicles and Safety Committee 11-0.
- SB 1561 (Morrison) which, as amended, bans the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor public spaces. Passed the Senate Executive Committee 10-4.
- SB 76 (Rezin) which would end the state’s moratorium on building new nuclear reactors. Passed the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee 15-1.
Other Bill Action:
HB2039 ACCESS TO PUBLIC HEALTH DATA (Moeller, A) 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. Contains other provisions. Amends the Vital Records Act. Provides that no rule adopted by the Department of Public Health shall be construed as restricting access to vital records by any municipality, county, multicounty, public health district, or regional health officer recognized by the Department for the purposes described in specified provisions.
3/9/2023 - Do Pass / Short Debate Public Health Committee; 005-003-000
3/9/2023 - House Public Health
3/9/2023 - Placed on Calendar 2nd Reading - Short Debate
HB2099 FOOD TRUCK FREEDOM ACT (Vella, D) Creates the Food Truck Freedom Act. Provides that a unit of local government may not require a separate license, permit, or fee beyond an initial or reciprocal business license for a food truck business. Contains provisions regarding reciprocal business licenses issued to food truck businesses by different units of local government or local health departments. Contains prohibitions against units of local governments or local health departments from imposing additional license qualification requirements on a food truck business before issuing licenses. Provides that, for an initial business license, a unit of local government or local health department may only charge a licensing fee to a food truck business in an amount that reimburses the unit of local government for the actual cost of processing the business license. Requires food truck businesses to obtain, for each food truck that the food truck business operates, an annual health department food truck permit from the local health department with jurisdiction over the area in which the majority of the food truck's operations takes place. Includes provisions relating to food truck events and food trucks at temporary mass gatherings. Contains other provisions. Effective January 1, 2024.
3/9/2023 - House Consumer Protection
HB2121 FIREWORKS REGULATION-SPARKLERS (Rita, R) Amends the Fireworks Regulation Act of Illinois and the Pyrotechnic Use Act. Provides that "fireworks" and "consumer fireworks" do not include handheld or ground-based sparklers that are nonexplosive and nonaerial, sometimes producing a crackling or whistling effect, and containing 75 grams or less of pyrotechnic composition per tube or a total of 500 grams or less for multiple tubes (rather than only sparklers) or wood stick or wire sparklers containing not more than 100 grams of pyrotechnic mixture per item. Effective January 1, 2024.
3/9/2023 - House Consumer Protection
HB2189 ACCESS TO AFFORD INSULIN ACT (Guzzardi, W) Creates the Access to Affordable Insulin Act. Sets forth provisions concerning an insulin urgent-need program. Provides that each manufacturer shall establish procedures to make insulin available to eligible individuals who are in urgent need of insulin or who are in need of assistance to access an affordable insulin supply. Sets forth provisions concerning insulin urgent-need program exceptions, eligibility, forms, applications, claims and reimbursement, copayments, information sheets, navigators, and penalties. Defines terms. Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. In provisions concerning cost sharing in prescription insulin drugs, provides that an insurer that provides coverage for prescription insulin drugs under the terms of a health coverage plan the insurer offers shall limit the total amount that an insured is required to pay for a 30-day supply of covered prescription insulin drugs at an amount not to exceed $35 (rather than $100). Effective immediately.
3/9/2023 - Placed on Calendar 2nd Reading - Short Debate
SB1559 (Murphy, L) ACCESS AFFORDABLE INSULIN ACT - Creates the Access to Affordable Insulin Act. Sets forth provisions concerning an insulin urgent-need program. Provides that the Department of Public Health shall establish procedures and applications for the insulin urgent-need program. Sets forth provisions concerning insulin urgent-need program exceptions, eligibility, forms, applications, claims and reimbursement, copayments, information sheets, and navigators. Defines terms. Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. In provisions concerning cost sharing in prescription insulin drugs, provides that an insurer that provides coverage for prescription insulin drugs under the terms of a health coverage plan the insurer offers shall limit the total amount that an insured is required to pay for a 30-day supply of covered prescription insulin drugs at an amount not to exceed $35 (rather than $100). Effective immediately.
HB2309 DHS-NALOXONE KIT PILOT PROGRAM (LaPointe, L) Amends the Early Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Act. Requires the Department of Human Services to implement a 2-year pilot program to provide FDA-approved 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray kits to licensed community substance use providers and public health departments in Cook County, DuPage County, Winnebago County, Sangamon County, and St. Clair County. Requires the Department to implement a data collection program to determine the number of 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray kits administered by emergency medical service providers and bystanders per overdose incident during the 2-year term of the pilot program. Provides that the data collected must also include the number of overdose reversals and deaths following the administration of the 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray. Requires the Department to prepare a report on the results of the 2-year pilot program and submit the report to the General Assembly by July 1, 2026. Effective January 1, 2024.
3/9/2023 - Do Pass as Amended / Short Debate Mental Health & Addiction Committee; 020-000-000
3/9/2023 - Placed on Calendar 2nd Reading - Short Debate
3/9/2023 - House Mental Health & Addiction
3/9/2023 - House Committee Amendment No. 1 Adopted in Mental Health & Addiction Committee; by Voice Vote
HB2631 MEDICAID-HEPATITIS C-TREATMENT (Evans, M) Amends the Medical Assistance Article of the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that for the purpose of removing barriers to the timely and equitable treatment of hepatitis C, prior authorization mandates and utilization management controls shall not be imposed under the fee-for-service and managed care medical assistance programs on any FDA-approved direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C that are listed as preferred on the Illinois Medicaid Preferred Drug List.
3/9/2023 - House Appropriations-Health & Human Services
3/9/2023 - To Medicaid & Managed Care Subcommittee
SB1561 SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS-E-CIG (Morrison, J) 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".
3/10/2023 – Second Reading
SB2212 CONSUMER-OWNED CONTAINERS (Edly-Allen, M) 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. Requires filled or refilled consumer-owned containers to be designed and constructed for reuse in accordance with specified federal requirements. Contains requirements for restaurants and retailers. Directs the Department of Public Health to produce materials for restaurants and retailers on or before January 1, 2024 indicating that consumer-owned containers are not prohibited for use under Illinois law and specifying best practices for food safety requirements for consumer-owned containers. Effective immediately.
3/9/2023 - Senate Environment and Conservation
3/9/2023 - Placed on Calendar Order of 2nd Reading March 10, 2023
3/9/2023 - Added as Chief Co-Sponsor Sen. Adriane Johnson
3/9/2023 - Added as Co-Sponsor Sen. Napoleon Harris, III
3/9/2023 - Do Pass Environment and Conservation; 008-000-000
SB1402 (Fine, L) DHS-NALOXONE KIT PILOT PROGRAM - Amends the Early Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Act. Requires the Department of Human Services to implement a 2-year pilot program to provide FDA-approved 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray kits to licensed community substance use providers and public health departments in Cook County, DuPage County, Winnebago County, Sangamon County, and St. Clair County. Requires the Department to implement a data collection program to determine the number of 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray kits administered by emergency medical service providers and bystanders per overdose incident during the 2-year term of the pilot program. Provides that the data collected must also include the number of overdose reversals and deaths following the administration of the 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray. Requires the Department to prepare a report on the results of the 2-year pilot program and submit the report to the General Assembly by July 1, 2026. Effective January 1, 2024.
COGFA Revenue Update: This week, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability increased the revenue estimate for the current fiscal year by $575 million. The latest revision anticipates revenues for the fiscal year that ends June 30 to exceed original estimates by $5.5 billion bringing the total revenue project to $51.9 billion. Much of the anticipated revenue has already been allocated. Approximately $3.6 billion was appropriated in a supplemental spending package in the January lame duck session; and the Governor’s budget proposal anticipates spending another $490 million by the end of the fiscal year. Next fiscal year’s revenue projections were also readjusted upward and are now $465 million above the governor’s budget office forecast from last month.
COGFA February Revenue Report: The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its Revenue Report for the month of February. From the report: “For the ninth consecutive month, including all eight months so far in FY 2023, General Funds revenues have increased compared to the same month of the prior fiscal year. The last drop occurred in May of 2022. February 2023 revenues were $256 million higher than last year, mainly on the strength of income tax revenues. February had the same number of receipting days as last year.
After experiencing a slight setback in January, Individual Income Tax revenues bounced back strongly in February with a gross gain of $252 million. When removing the non-general fund distributions to the Refund Fund and the Local Government Distributive Fund, the net increase was $213 million. Corporate Income Tax revenues continued their positive performance for the fiscal year with an increase of $29 million or $24 million net. Similarly, Sales Tax revenues had another strong month, growing $99 million with a net gain of $58 million.
2023 Key Dates:
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 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
Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center: Illinois launched a new Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center which is designed to increase the state’s capacity to recruit, educate, and retain behavioral health professionals. The Center, which will be housed at Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine, was created in partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS).
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will serve as the primary administrative hub in Springfield, providing coordination and support for building the behavioral health workforce pipeline and increasing entry into the field. The UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work will serve as the secondary hub, supporting specific data collection and training initiatives. Public and independent universities, as well as community colleges in ten regions, will be invited to participate as partners to increase the statewide impact.
SIU SOM, UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work, and all consortium members will coordinate programs and oversee initiatives to increase the behavioral healthcare workforce and its capacity to provide high-quality behavioral health services across the state.
The Center will receive a $5 million annual investment from the Department of Human Services to help both rural and urban areas of our state address the behavioral healthcare crisis to increase access to effective services. Lead Service Line Replacement: The Illinois Environmental Protection announced a second funding opportunity to assist communities in meeting the requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act (LSLRN Act). The Lead Service Line Inventory (LSLI) Grant Program offers grants to local government units ranging from $20,000 - $50,000 to fund the creation of a complete lead service line inventory. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) has been posted to the Illinois EPA website.
The latest LSLI NOFO, and all required forms and information is here. Applications for the LSLI Grant Program will be accepted March 3, 2023, through 1:00 PM (CST) on April 25, 2023. All applicants must pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor Pritzker appointed the following:
- Donna Leak will continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois State Board of Education.
- Jason Lesniewicz will continue to serve as a Trustee on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Trustees.
- Cherita Ellens will serve as a Member of the Labor Advisory Board
- Mary Huffman will serve as a Member of the Illinois State Medical Board.
Energy Transition Community Grants: More than 50 localities and municipal entities will receive Energy Transition Community Grants – an initiative under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act that provides funding for communities that have been impacted by fossil fuel plant or coal mine closures or significant reductions. Communities in 22 areas impacted by recent or impending plant or mine closures or reductions were eligible to apply for the program. Read more here.
Capital Program Website Launched: The Illinois Department of Transportation unveiled a new webpage dedicated to keeping the public informed of the progress of the Rebuild Illinois capital program. The online dashboard offers up-to-date cumulative data on accomplishments for improving roads and bridges since the 2019 passage of Rebuild Illinois. Via the dashboard, the public can find information on the number of projects awarded, miles and bridges improved and safety improvements completed, as well as the total amount of investment that has been made. The page will be updated on a quarterly basis, adding accomplishments as the year progresses.
Executive Order: Executive Order 2023-05 reissues previous Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic through April 1, 2023.
Assault Weapons Ban: The Illinois Supreme Court granted an expedited appeal of a Macon County judges recently ruling on the state’s newly enacted assault weapons ban.
BCBS Fined by Illinois Department of Insurance: The Illinois Department of Insurance levied a $605,000 fine for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, for violating the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) paid the fine and agreed to take corrective action based on the exam findings. The Department will conduct follow up exams to ensure the company remains in compliance.
The final report found that BCBS:
- Failed to properly apply maximum time and distance standards to reflect proper availability of providers.
- Failed to audit for each network plan at least 25% of its provider directories to verify the accuracies of the provider directories.
- Failed to list all available specialty providers for HMO plans in its provider directories or notate that authorization may be required to access some providers.
- Failed to make its provider directories clear for consumers to determine which directory applies to which plans.
- Failed to provide a written response to written inquiries and complaints within 21 days of receipt.
- Failed to provide accurate and most up-to-date network adequacy information in its SERFF filings to the state.
- Failed to maintain provider information on its website to reflect the current status of its providers.