January 28, 2022
New Laws: HB359 (Kifowit/Cullerton) is now law. The bill, which creates a veterans’ accountability unit within the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs, was in response to the Department’s handling of COVID which resulted in 36 veterans dying earlier in the pandemic. The bill became law after the Governor failed to either sign or veto the measure within constitutionally required 60 days. The Governor’s office blamed the failure to sign the bill in the requisite amount of time as an “internal miscommunication.”
Educator COVID Time Off: Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and other stakeholders reached a negotiated a compromise that they say “will keep students and teachers safely in the classroom without penalizing vaccinated employees for taking COVID-required sick time”. As a result of this collaboration, the Governor vetoed legislation on the topic - House HB 2778 (Rohr/Belt) which passed the General Assembly during veto session over the Governor’s objections. Read more about the compromise here.
Gubernatorial Appointments: Governor JB Pritzker appointed Ann McCabe to a five-year term on the Illinois Commerce Commission.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMLBY:
The Illinois House canceled in-person session this week. The Senate was not scheduled to be in session. House committees met virtually. Friday, January 28th is the deadline to file substantive legislation in the House. Now that bill filing deadlines have passed in both chambers, work at the committee level will increase substantially.
Representative Avery Bourne resigned from the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission following her announcement that she will run for the Republican Lt. Governor nomination. Representative Jeff Keicher has been appointed to replace Bourne on the Legislative Ethics Commission.