October 29, 2021
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned in the late hours Thursday evening after concluding a busy week of session. While Legislators did not actually contemplate any vetoes during the October Veto Session, lawmakers did tackle several high profile and often controversial matters during this week’s session.
Pursuant to the Illinois Constitution any bill passed after May 31st cannot take effect until June 1 of the following year, unless it receives a three-fifths majority in both chambers (71 votes in the House/36 votes in the Senate).
Redistricting: After unveiling three sets of Congressional maps over the last week, Legislative Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly approved new Congressional maps in the late hours of Thursday night. HB 1291 (Hernandez/Harmon) was approved along partisan lines and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The new map favors 14 Democrat districts and 3 Republican Districts. Illinois currently is represented by 13 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Illinois lost one Congressional seat following the decennial census.
The newly approved maps draw four incumbent Republicans into two Districts -- Mike Bost with Mary Miller and Adam Kinzinger with Darin LaHood. Two incumbent Democrats -- Marie Newman and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia-- are also drawn into the same district. Note, members of Congress are required to live in the state, but not necessarily the district, in which they run/represent.
The new maps also create a new Latino influenced district, making way for the opportunity to elect a second Latino from Illinois to Congress.
View the maps here.
Parental Notice of Abortion Act: the Illinois General Assembly approved HB 370 (Moeller/Sims) which repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act and creates the Youth Health and Safety Act which restates Illinois’ commitment to full and equitable access to reproductive health care for all persons across the State, without barriers based on race or ethnicity, immigration status, age, geographic location, economic means, education level, or other categories of identity. The Act confirms that Illinois will not “move backwards” and will continue to assure that reproductive rights are protected and recognized. The bill also creates the Youth Health and Safety Advisory Working Group for the purpose of identifying and reviewing laws and regulations that impact pregnant and parenting youth. Capitol News offers a recap here. HB 370 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Healthcare Right of Conscience Act: The Illinois General Assembly also approved SB 1169 (Harmon/Gabel) which adds language to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act to prevent individuals from using the Act to avoid COVID vaccination and testing requirements. SB 1169 creates a section of the Health Care Right of Conscience Act pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic providing that “It is not a violation of this Act for any person or public official, or for any public or private association, agency, corporation, entity, institution, or employer, to take any measures or impose any requirements, including, but not limited to, any measures or requirements that involve provision of services by a physician or health care personnel, intended to prevent contraction or transmission of COVID-19 or any pathogens that result in COVID-19 or any of its subsequent iterations”.
Furthermore, “It is not a violation of the Act to enforce such measures or requirements. This Section is a declaration of existing law and shall not be construed as a new enactment. Accordingly, this Section shall apply to all actions commenced or pending on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly. Nothing in this Section is intended to affect any right or remedy under federal law”. SB 1169 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
COVID-19 Wage and Benefit Protection: The General Assembly approved HB 2778 (Rohr/Belt) which addresses COVID pay for schools, public universities and community colleges. Specifically, HB 2778 requires school districts, public universities and community colleges to provide paid administrative leave to an employee when COVID mandates and protocols restrict an employee from working in person. It further requires a school district to pay to its educational support personnel and contractors their daily, regular rate of pay and benefits for any school closures or e-learning days. Finally, the bill requires school districts to return any sick leave used during the 2021-2022 school year by a teacher or employee for reasons related to the issuance of guidance, mandates, or rules related to COVID-19 and public health. In order to access the provisions of paid administrative leave, employees must have received the COVID-19 vaccination or actively participate in COVID testing. The provisions of the bill apply only for the duration of the existing Emergency Order. The House sponsor acknowledged that Governor Pritzker is opposed to the legislation as drafted. HB 2778 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Electric Vehicle Incentives: HB 1769 (Harris/Stadelman) creates the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act to offer various incentives which are designed to spur growth in the electric vehicle industry in Illinois. HB 1769 passed both houses and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Elected Chicago School Board: SB 1784 (Martwick/Buckner) represents a negotiated trailer bill to the elected Chicago school board legislation. Under SB 1784, the mayor of the City of Chicago will make 10 appointments to the board and choose its president without having to seek City Council approval. Under the law passed earlier, mayoral appointments must be approved by aldermen. The school moratorium is now effective immediately under this bill. The bill further clarifies that board members serve without compensation. The bill also moves several dates and deadlines in the underlying bill. SB 1784 passed both houses and heads to the Governor’s desk.
Gaming: The Illinois General Assembly approved a gaming package on HB 3136 (Zalewski/Cunningham). The bill allows for online registration for sports gaming applications beginning March 5, 2022. The bill allows for limited betting on in-state college sports teams, as long as there is no betting on an individual player. The bill also allows the Chicago Sky’s home arena to apply for a sports betting license. The legislation increases the non-home rule municipality video gaming terminal fee to $250 (currently $25). Prohibits municipalities from enacting a video gaming “push tax” while grandfathering in existing push taxes. Capitol News offers more on the legislation here.
Election Omnibus: The Illinois General Assembly approved an omnibus election package. SB 536 (Harmon/Stuart) prohibits “dark money” and out of state money in judicial races. Allows the General Assembly to redraw judicial subcircuits in 2022 rather than 2021. Creates a Task Force to assist persons with disabilities and makes various changes related to the delayed primary and filling of vacancies. The bill changes the permitted size of precincts, ensuring one voting booth is wheelchair accessible. Also allows the DuPage Forest Preserve District to redraw its district. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Other Bills that Passed Both Houses: Several other bills passed both houses this week. They are highlighted below:
SB 336 (Hunter/Lilly) represents a trailer bill to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus health and human services pillar. The trailer bill provides clarity to the Community Health Worker provisions of the original bill and extends several of the original deadlines contained in the underlying bill at the request of the Governor’s Office. The bill, as amended, also provides for enhanced rates for inpatient psychiatric services for a Peoria hospital and allows FQHCs to continue to collect rape kits for sexual assault victims. Similar rate changes were made earlier in the year for safety net hospitals.
HB 2791 (Slaughter/Peters) makes several changes to the implementation of the Reimagine Public Safety Act. The bill increases the number of communities that can receive grant money for gun violence prevention, based on population size, under the recently enacted Reimagine Public Safety Act. The legislation would also allow for five more communities to be eligible statewide and would allow organizations to apply directly for training and technical assistance from contractors.
HB 594 (Kifowit/Lightford) is an omnibus legislation to extend various deadlines and sunsets including moving the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund “speed bump” from January 1, 2022 to July 3, 2022 which gives labor and business more time to negotiate.
SB1040 (Harmon/Harris) addresses the recent surge of hospital closures, particularly in underserved communities. Once a hospital closes, it loses access for Medicaid payments. This bill allows new owners to access Medicaid rates for the first three years based on the utilization of the previous hospital, until the new hospital can establish its own utilization data for ratemaking purposes. The bill currently applies to Westlake, Lakeshore and Metro South hospitals.
HB359 (Kifowit/Cullerton) creates the Veterans’ Accountability Unit.
HB 1975 (Mussman/Bennett) closes loopholes that allow predators in the school system to groom students. The bill also expands the offense of grooming and requires schools to develop an employee code of professional conduct policy.
HB 3401 (Gabel/Castro) creates the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act.
SB 1139 (Villivalam/Hoffman) represents the omnibus TIF extension bill: extending TIFS for Homer, Greenville, Belleville, Pekin, Springfield and the City of Chicago.
HB 1976 (DeLuca/Fine) is a technical clean-up bill which makes fixes to travel insurance and Public Act 102-578.
HB 3490 (Hernandez/Hunter) allows restaurants to serve chocolate milk as a default beverage in a children’s meal. Clarifies who has the ability to charge and collect civil penalties.
HB 106 (Andrade/Villivalam) is the veto session transportation omnibus legislation. Extends the Secretary of State’s discretion to extend expiration dates of drivers licenses and other items to Jan 1, 2023. Extends certain SOS emergency rulemaking authority to Jan. 1,2023. Makes changes to the state’s aviation program regarding soundproofing of windows and doors, including allowing homeowners to select color and style options. Modifies the RTA farebox equation. Amends the Employee Sick Leave Act concerning certain aviation employees.
SB 280 (Connor/Walsh) establishes a framework for the creation of a Regional Water Commission to service Joliet and the surrounding communities as a water source alternative to the Ironton-Galesville aquifer.
HB 3416 (Harper/Joyce) requires the Illinois Department of Agriculture to submit to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture a hemp production plan to allow the Illinois Department of Agriculture to monitor and regulate hemp production in this State.
HB 3666 (Williams/Hastings) is a technical trailer bill to the omnibus energy package -- the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. Technical changes are made to prevailing wage provisions, high impact business construction jobs provisions, and energy and wind exemptions from certain annual reporting. The bill, as amended, also resolves conflicts between public acts regarding the Energy Assistance Charge. Another technical trailer bill is expected during the 2022 spring session.
HB 220 (Walsh/Cullerton) amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act regarding firefighters by defining the role and responsibilities of company officers.
HB 307 (Harris/Cunningham) represents the Second 2021 General Revisory Act.
SB 101 (Pacione-Zayas/Andrade) provides language for local school councils in the Chicago Public School District. This language represents an agreement among the parties.
Other Senate Action:
The Senate approved HB 3293 (Gong-Gershowitz/Castro) addresses general contractor liability if a subcontractor fails to pay wages. The motion to concur passed the House Executive Committee and is now pending before the full House.
The Senate approved SB 1420 (McConchie) which addresses a Fire Protection District merger in Lake County. SB 1420 now heads to the House for consideration.
The Senate approved SJR 36 (Jones) which Urges the Office of the Attorney General to establish a task force to examine the creation of a statewide conviction integrity unit within its office. SJR 36 heads to the House for consideration.
The Illinois Senate approved SB 302 (Lightford) regarding the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation and the State Historian. The bill now heads to the House.
As amended, HB 2431 (Davis/Koehler) requires the Department of Public Health to adopt rules permitting immediate reciprocity to all emergency medical services personnel who have received a certification issued by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, allowing such individuals to operate in a provisional status until the Illinois license is issued. The bill is designed to address the current shortage in ambulance personnel. The bill was held in the House after an agreement was reached with the Department of Public Health.
The Illinois Senate approved HB 3512 (Slaughter/Sims) which is a second trailer bill to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus criminal justice pillar. This trailer addresses provisions of the underlying bill that are scheduled to take effect January 1, 2022. Changes are made to pretrial services, body camera, detaining phone calls and recertification of officers provisions. HB 3512 passed the Senate and is pending on concurrence in the House.
The Senate approved HB 3702 (Willis/Johnson) which broadens the requirements for County Public Works Superintendent qualifications. This is an initiative of Lake County. HB 3702 is now pending on concurrence in the House.
The Illinois Senate approved SB 145 (Murphy/Willis) which represents an agreement between physician assistants and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regarding physician assistant licensing. SB 145 now heads to the House for consideration.
Other House Action:
The Illinois House approved SB 1041 (/Harris/Flowers) which creates the Consumer Choice in Maternal Care for African-American Mothers Program Act. Requires the Task Force on Infant and Maternal Mortality Among African Americans to partner with Holistic Birth Collective to develop rules for a Medicaid voucher program to expand consumer choice for Black mothers that includes planned home birth services and in-home perinatal and postpartum care services provided by racially concordant nationally accredited certified professional midwives. This bill is similar to HB 3084 which passed the House in April. SB 1041 now heads to the Illinois Senate for concurrence.
The Illinois House also debated SB 828 (Simmons/Ford) which restores voting rights for incarcerated persons. The bill failed on third Reading in the House and was placed on postponed consideration.
The Illinois House approved SB 217 (Castro/Zalewski) which represents a revenue omnibus bill. Extends the sunset on the rule preemption concerning taxes or fees related to electricity. Includes provisions for the Clerk of the Court of Cook County regarding tax sales. Includes a property tax exemption for educational trade schools in Cook and DuPage. Allows municipalities to use TIF funds for COVID relief for a limited time. Exempts tax on municipal parking garages. SB 217 heads to the Senate for concurrence.
Other Legislative News;
Senate Republican Chief of Staff Dale Righter is leaving his role in the Senate Republican Caucus effective November 12th. Deputy Chief of Staff Jenna Mitchell will become the next Chief of Staff.
COVID-19 Update: COVID hospitalizations hit a three-month low this week. As of Tuesday, 20% of ICU beds and 70% of ventilators were available statewide. On Thursday, Illinois health officials reported 2,601 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 new deaths. As of Wednesday night, 1,228 individuals were hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19. Of those 289 were reported to be in the ICU and of those, 139 were on ventilators. Currently, 63.5% of Illinoisans are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-28 which requires daycare center staff statewide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not done so already. Employees who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week. Increased testing frequency may be required in certain situations.
The Governor’s Administration reached a vaccine mandate agreement with AFSCME bargaining units that represent Illinois Departments of Veterans Affairs and Human Services congregate setting employees. The latest agreement covers 7,800 employees.
Employees under all union vaccine agreements are required to get their first shot by October 26th and their second shot by November 30th. Under the latest agreement with AFSCME, paid time off is available for employees who contract the virus, must quarantine due to exposure, or have to care for a dependent who is sick or quarantined, as well as an added personal day off for employees who are fully vaccinated. In addition, a special Labor-Management COVID Safety Committee will be established in each impacted agency to fight the spread of the virus on all fronts.
The Administration declared an impasse with AFSCME bargaining units that represent approximately 10,000 security employees at the departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice. The mandate cannot be implemented until arbitration is concluded. The Administration also declared an impasse with non-security related employees at the two Departments. Those positions are not subject to arbitration and the Department is preparing to proceed with the mandate. AFSCME is not agreeing that the two parties are at an impasse and is taking the matter to the Labor Relations Board.
The Governor’s Administration is partnering with pediatricians, local health departments, schools, and other organizations in anticipation of the expected emergency-use authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration. Once the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use in children ages 5-11, more than 2,200 locations and providers statewide are prepared to administer the vaccine. Illinois is expected to receive 500,000 doses in its initial allocation.