April 1, 2022
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned following a busy week of session. Friday, April 1, was the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of the opposite chamber. Deadline extensions are likely for bills still pending on the calendar or in committee. One week remains in the scheduled spring session.
Budget Update: Comptroller Susan Mendoza announced that her office has paid the final $297 million in short-term borrowing from 15 state funds needed to recover from the 2015-2017 budget impasse. Read the Comptroller’s press release here.
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its mandated three-year budget forecast. The Commission is required to identify fiscal risks and opportunities for Illinois over the next three fiscal years. On the risk side, the report notes that unfunded pension liabilities “continue to pose a threat to the current fiscal outlook.” In addition, Moody’s identified weak demographics and fiscal instability as constraints on future growth. While the Commission does not advocate for any specific ideas, the report does detail possible opportunities for Illinois’ budget makers over the next three years. Those opportunities include: aligning expenditures with revenue; reducing rates for the timely and prompt payment interest; maximizing Illinois’ economic advantages; expanding the sales tax base; and taking advantage of the current uptick in revenue. The full report is here.
Senate Democrat “Inflation Relief Plan”: The Senate Democratic caucus released their $1.8 billion “Inflation Relief Plan” late Friday Afternoon. The plan is filed as a series of amendments to SB1150 (Harmon). Senator Sims stated that the plan includes the tax relief in the Governor’s proposed FY 23 budget and adds additional items. Senator Sims also noted that this package does not represent a negotiated compromise, rather it is the Senate Democrats proposal. All the amendments are assigned to the Senate Assignments Committee.
Amendment 1 provides one-time income tax relief in the form of a $100 check for each income tax payer plus $50/dependent child up to 3 children. The rebate is limited to individual filers making less than $250,000 or joint filers making less than $500,000. Checks would arrive in the fall of 2022.
Amendment 2 freezes the grocery tax for 6 months.
Amendment 3 freezes the Motor Fuel Tax at 39.2 cents/gallon beginning on July 1, 2021 and until January 1, 2023.
Amendment 4 provides a one-time $300 property tax rebate for homeowners based on the credit the homeowner receives on state income taxes. The rebate is limited to individual filers making less than $250,000 or joint filers making less than $500,000.
Amendment 5 enacts a back-to-school sales tax holiday from August 5-14, 2022 on qualified clothing and shoes up to $125 and all school supplies (no cap).
Amendment 6 permanently increases the Earned Income Tax Credit from 18% to 19%.
Amendment 7 creates a permanent $300 income tax credit for instructional materials.
Amendment 8 creates a permanent $500 income tax credit for volunteer emergency workers who served in that capacity for at least 9 months in the previous year.
Omnibus Russian/Ukraine Response Legislation: The House Executive Committee unanimously approved House Floor Amendment 5 to HB 1293 (LaPointe) this afternoon. The amendment represents a multi-pronged response to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The measure keys in on six aspects, addressed below: Public Funds/Pension; Ukrainian Resettle Services; Real Estate; Election Integrity; Property-related Crimes; and Higher Education.
The investment of State funds and public funds in certain investments or institutions tied to Russia or Belarus.
The State-funded retirement systems from investing moneys in Russian or Belarusian sovereign debt, Russian or Belarusian government-backed securities, any investment instrument issued by an entity that is domiciled or has its principal place of business in Russia or Belarus, or any investment instrument issued by a company that is subject to Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions.
retirement systems from investing or depositing State funds in any bank that is domiciled or has its principal place of business in Russia or Belarus.
Also, with respect to Public Funds/Pension, HB 1293 requires:
Each State-funded retirement system to instruct its investment advisors to sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all direct holdings of Russian or Belarusian sovereign debt and direct holdings of Russian or Belarusian government-backed securities from the retirement system's assets under management in an orderly and fiduciarily responsible manner.
The Illinois Investment Policy Board to make its best efforts to identify all companies that are domiciled or have their principal place of business in Russia or Belarus and companies subject to Russian harmful foreign activities sanctions and to include those companies in the list of restricted companies.
Ukrainian Resettle Services: Grants the Illinois Department of Human Services emergency rulemaking powers with respect to its refugee resettlement program in the case of an imminent, large-scale refugee resettlement event.
Real Estate: Creates the Money Laundering in Real Estate Task Force Act to, among other things, assess the exposure of real estate sectors in Illinois to illicit Russian money.
Election Integrity: Creates the Illinois Elections and Infrastructure Integrity Task Force to evaluate and make recommendations to prevent not only foreign interference in the 2024 and other future elections, but also cyberattacks on State infrastructure.
Property Related Crime: Requires the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct investigations of any property-related crimes -- such as money laundering -- involving individuals or entities listed on a sanctions list.
Higher Education: Requires all public institutions of higher education to disclose to the Board of Higher Education any endowment or other donation given to the institution from a source associated with any individual or entity listed on the sanctions list maintained by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control. This same disclosure policy applies to any company that is domiciled in (or has its principal place of business in) Russia or Belarus and is on the list of restricted companies developed by the Illinois Investment Policy Board.
Organized Retail Crime: Senator Glowiak Hilton filed Senate Floor Amendment 1 to HB 1091 (Hirschauer/Glowiak Hilton) which addresses the recent uptick in organized retail crime. The bill aims to deter smash-and-grab thefts and supply chain thefts. SFA 1 creates the offense of Organized Retail Crime. The amendment also reduces the ability to avoid prosecution by giving jurisdiction to any state’s attorney where any element of organized retail crime takes place and giving the Attorney General the use of a statewide grand jury to prosecute organized retail crimes. The Illinois Attorney General is granted the flexibility to also pursue RICO charges against both Illinois and multi-state criminals. The amendment also provides dedicated enforcement resources, addresses online fencing, and enhances public and private coordination through a formal collaboration designed to provide real-time information and intelligence sharing. As currently drafted, the banking industry is opposed to provisions in the bill that attempt to supersede other governing regulations between card processors and merchants. Watch for the possibility of compromise language on that issue in a subsequent amendment. SFA 1 has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee and is awaiting a hearing. Capitol News covers the legislation here.
Crime Legislation: Progressive Democrats in the House and Senate unveiled their legislative package that they say will combat the increase in crime through “expanding efforts to tackle crime through community involvement and investment”.
Senator Peters filed Senate Floor Amendment 1 to HB 4736 (Davis/Peters) which creates the Crime Reduction Task Force. The Task Force is charged with reviewing available research and best practices and taking expert and witness testimony. The Task Force is required to produce and submit a report detailing the Task Force's findings, recommendations, and needed resources to the General Assembly and the Governor on or before March 1, 2023.
SFA 1 also requires the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, subject to appropriation, to establish a grant program for organizations and units of local government for the purposes of providing a tip hotline or other system for crime victims and witnesses that: (1) allows the callers or participants to remain anonymous; and (2) provides cash rewards for tips that lead to arrest.
SFA 1 makes changes to witness protection programs. Requires, by January 1, 2023, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, to establish a program to assist victims and witnesses who are actively aiding in the prosecution of perpetrators of violent crime, and appropriate related persons or victims and witnesses determined by the Authority to be at risk of a discernible threat of violent crime. SFA 1 is assigned to the Criminal Law Committee.
Senator Peters also filed SB4203 which appropriates $20 million for the Witness Protection Program and $1 million for the anonymous tip program. SB 4203 is assigned to the Senate Assignments Committee.
Representative Gordon Booth filed House Floor Amendment 1 to HB1360 to create the Co-Responder Unit Pilot Program at police departments in East St. Louis, Peoria, Springfield and Waukegan. These co-responder units would employ social workers and focus on serving communities by focusing on mental and behavioral health, substance use disorder services and homelessness issues. In particular, the proposed units would work to connect violence survivors with needed services, including trauma-informed crisis intervention and counseling. HB 1360 is currently in the House Rules Committee.
Senator Celina Villanueva filed SB 4202 which would increasing funding for various programs for Illinois children and families including funding for early childhood education($598 million), the Parents Too Soon program ($7.7 million), the Healthy Families Illinois program ($10.8 million), the Teen REACH After-School Program ($19.6 million), the Child Care Assistance Program ($3 billion), Redeploy Illinois ($14.3 million), after school programing ($45 million), and MAP grants for college ($529 million). SB 4202 is in the Senate Assignments Committee.
Women’s Reproductive Health: The Illinois House approved HB 1464 (Hirschauer) which prevents the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from disciplining or revoking the license of any health care profession who has been disciplined or had their license revoked in another state due to participation in an abortion related procedure. HB 1464 now heads to the Senate.
The House also approved three resolutions: HR 94 (Avelar) which supports funding Planned Parenthood; HR 789 (Lilly) which supports women’s reproductive rights and condemns those states that have voted to “undermine women and their healthcare”; and HR 790 (Croke) which declares support for upholding Roe v. Wade.
Other Legislative Action:
HB1563 (Stuart), as amended, creates the Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force to study safety standards in Illinois’ warehouses. HB 1563 passed the House by a vote of 94-9-2.
The Illinois Senate unanimously approved HB 3205 (Andrade/Feigenholtz) which creates the Fair Food and Retail Delivery Act which prohibits a third-party delivery service from using the likeness, registered trademark, or intellectual property belonging to a merchant, and from taking or arranging for the pickup or delivery of an order from a merchant through the marketplace, without first obtaining written consent from the merchant. The bill was heavily negotiated. HB 3205 heads back to the House on concurrence.
The Illinois Senate approved HB 4292 (Morgan/Martwick) which reauthorizes the pension buyout program which was first created in 2019. To date, the program has generated $1.4 billion in savings. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Illinois House approved SB 3032 (Fine/Morgan) which creates the Student Debt Assistance Act which prohibits an institution of higher education from refusing to provide a transcript to a current or former student on the grounds that the student owes a debt. SB 3032 heads back to the Senate on concurrence.
The Illinois House approved HB 1567 (Hernandez) which reconstitutes the Governor’s Office of New Americans to support the successful integration of immigrants, including immigrants from Ukraine who have been displaced by the war. HB 1567 now heads to the Illinois Senate.
The Illinois House approved HB 4316 (Mussman/Connor) which is a negotiated trailer bill to Faith’s Law, which was designed to protect students from sexual abuse (including grooming) by school employees. When the original bill creating Faith’s Law passed last year, the sponsor acknowledged the need to pass follow-up legislation to address several outstanding issues. HB 4316 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Illinois Senate approved legislation to allow Illinois visitors and non-resident students to continue to receive therapeutic services via telehealth from an out-of-state certified social worker they have an established relationship with, HB4797 (LaPointe/Villa). HB 4797 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Illinois Senate approved HB1780 (Gong Gershowitz/Fine) which creates the Illinois Drug Takeback Act establishing a statewide drug takeback program. HB 1780 now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Senate Executive Committee heard testimony on HB 4116 (Morgan/Peters) which creates the Justice in the Workplace Act to provide protections for employees who use medical or recreational cannabis. As amended, the bill exempts safety-sensitive positions and employers at risk of losing federal funding. HB 4116 remains in the Senate Executive Committee.
The Illinois House approved SB 2981 (Villivalam/Evans) which creates the Innovations for Transportation Infrastructure Act, which authorizes IDOT to use the design-build method to allow for a single entity to both design and start construction on a project. SB 2981 passed both houses and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Illinois Senate approved SB 3625 (Bush/Mason) which extends the sunset of the Design Build Procurement Act from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2027. SB 3625 passed both houses and heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Senate Executive Committee approved Senate Floor Amendment 1 to HB 691 (Willis/Peters) which creates the Illinois Rust Belt to Green Belt Pilot Program Act to encourage and facilitate work on a new privately owned utility-scale offshore wind project in Lake Michigan. SFA 1 is pending before the full Senate.
The Illinois Senate approved HB 1167 (Yang Rohr/Harmon) authorizing COVID paid time off for school, public university and community college employees. The provisions apply only to employees who are fully vaccinated and are retroactive to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Governor Pritzker vetoed earlier legislation on this issue - HB 2778 (Yang Rohr/Belt) - and pledged to work on a compromise proposal. The revised legislation was negotiated with the teachers’ unions, the Governor’s office and other stakeholders. HB 1167 passed the Senate by a vote of 32-18-0 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Senate Executive Committee approved, along partisan lines, HB 5412 (Evans/Castro) which holds a primary contractor liable for wages if their subcontractors fail to pay their employees. The committee also approved a separate trailer bill, HB 4600 (Collins/Castro), that creates exemptions for projects costing less than $20,000 and renovations on existing private residences. While the legislation has been heavily negotiated for three years, several small minority contractor organizations remain opposed to the legislation as drafted. Both bills are pending before the full Senate.
As amended, HB 1175 (Buckner) makes several changes to tighten and strengthen the Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act. HB 1175 now heads to the Senate.
The Illinois Senate approved SB 1104 (Harris/Gabel) which creates the Illinois Regional Generation Reliability Task Force to study the effect of state laws, including the recently passed CEJA, on energy prices and grid reliability. The Task Force will also study ways to deploy new technologies and other ways to improve power supply. SB 1104 passed the Senate by a vote of 32-16 and now heads to the House.
The Senate approved, by a vote of 37-12, HB 4430 (Cassidy/Simmons) which allows Illinois pharmacists to dispense, administer, order laboratory tests, and consult with individuals related to HIV prevention medication known as PREP and PEP. HB 4430 now heads back to the House for concurrence.
The Illinois House will reconvene on Sunday, April 3 at 4pm. The Illinois Senate will reconvene on Monday, April 4 at 3pm. Friday, April 8 is the scheduled adjournment deadline.
2022 Key Session Deadlines:
April 8: Adjournment
Illinois Cyber Security Commission: Executive Order 2022-08 establishes the Illinois Cyber Security Commission to support the coordination effort across all levels of government to build and enhance cyber security. The Commission will work to protect information by identifying and disrupting cyber-attacks; developing cross sector and community training and exercises for critical infrastructure partners; and establishing regional critical infrastructure cyber response teams. Read more about the effort here.
Homeowner Assistance Fund: Beginning April 11, 2022, homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments and related housing expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for assistance through the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF). Eligible households are able to apply for up to $30,000 in free assistance to pay past due mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, and delinquent homeowner and/or condo association fees. Homeowners in need of assistance can find more information on program eligibility and the application process here. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
Executive Orders: Executive Order 2022-09 creates the Illinois Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. Executive Order 2022-10 extends the Governor’s Emergency Order through April 30, 2022.
Sale of the JRTC: The State has executed the Purchase and Sale Agreement with JRTC Holdings, LLC. This is the next step in the sale of the JRTC in Chicago. According to JRTC Holdings, LLC, the JRTC renovation is expected to begin later this year following the financial closing and take approximately two years to complete. More information is here.