By: Evan Manning, Lobbyist - September 7, 2021
Governor Pritzker has now acted on all the legislation approved during the spring session. In total, the General Assembly approved 666 bills during the spring session (349 House Bills and 317 Senate Bills). The Governor approved all but 7 of those bills (4 Total Vetoes and 3 Amendatory Vetoes).
More information on the Governor’s bill action is here.
New Health Insurance Laws: Gov. JB Pritzker approved over a dozen healthcare-related bills recently. The new laws include:
COVID-19 Update: Illinoisans are now required to masks indoors regardless of vaccination status under Governor Pritzker’s latest Executive Order.
The United Center announced that it is requiring all persons who attend to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
Bill Backlog: Comptroller Susana Mendoza reports that the oldest voucher in her office is approximately 10 days old – placing the state well within a 30-day payment cycle. According to Mendoza, this is the fastest the state has been paying its bills since September 11, 2001.
2022 Election Update:
Senator Adriane Johnson (D – Buffalo Grove) announced she will be seeking reelection. Johnson was appointed in 2020 to replace Senator Terry Link.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
The Illinois General Assembly stands adjourned after convening in a marathon one-day special and regular session. The General Assembly stands adjourned until the call of the House Speaker and Senate President. The House is expected to reconvene this Thursday to take up the clean energy legislation.
The Illinois General Assembly was initially called into a one-day special session by the Speaker and Senate President to approve new legislative districts. But once in Springfield, the chamber’s Democratic leaders also convened in regular session to act on the Governor’s vetoes, clean energy legislation and a couple of other items.
Redistricting: As expected, the Democratically controlled General Assembly approved new legislative maps taking into account recently released federal census data. SB927 (Harmon/Hernandez) passed both chambers on a partisan roll call and heads to the Governor’s desk for approval.
Each chamber also approved a resolution – HR443 (Hernandez) and SR3 (Harmon) -- setting forth redistricting principles, the hearing process, and summaries of Legislative Districts with respect to the 2021 General Assembly Redistricting Plan.
Some of the changes made in the new legislative maps separate incumbents who were previously grouped into the same legislative district. The new maps now have Republican Representatives Dan Ugaste and Keith Wheeler in separate districts as well as Republican Representatives Tony McCombie and Andrew Chesney. Under the newly approved map, Representative Chesney is now in the same district that former Republican Representative John Cabello is reportedly considering running in.
The newly approved maps now have the following incumbents in the same districts:
Representative Caulkins has indicated his intention to move into a neighboring open district to avoid running against Representative Halbrook. Senator Tom Cullerton is rumored to not be seeking reelection. Senator Bailey has announced his bid for the Republican nomination for Governor.
Veto Action: Both Chambers read the Governor’s Veto messages into the record, triggering the constitutional time frames to act on them under Article IV, Section 9 of the Illinois Constitution. The General Assembly considered one total veto and two amendatory vetoes this week.
The Illinois General Assembly overwhelming overrode the Governor’s total veto of legislation to exempt non-emergency ground ambulance services from Medicaid managed care, HB684 (Gabel/Villivalam).
Both chambers approved the Governor’s amendatory veto to SB 967 (Castro/Greenwood) to correct the bill’s effective date. The legislation requires a Family Planning State Plan Amendment to expand Medicaid for preventative contraceptive care and screenings related to reproductive health.
The fate of the ethics reform bill remains in limbo at this time. The Illinois Senate approved the Governor’s specific recommendations for change to the omnibus ethics reform bill SB539 (Gillespie/Burke). However, the House did not have enough votes to pass the measure late Tuesday night after Republicans withdrew their support saying that the amendatory veto did not go far enough to fix the problems with the legislation. The amendatory veto corrected what the Governor called “a technical drafting error” – ensuring that the Executive Inspectors General are able to maintain current processes and procedures regarding investigations. Read the Governor’s full veto message here. The Illinois House can revisit the amendatory veto if they reconvene within the constitutional time frame to act. The General Assembly could also amend the language onto a different bill during the October session and send that bill to the Governor’s desk.
Clean Energy Legislation: Despite not reaching a consensus with all stakeholders, the Illinois Senate approved an omnibus clean energy bill in the early morning hours of Wednesday – SB18 (Hastings/Joyce) sending it over the House for continued work. Negotiations will continue in the House on the remaining outstanding issues. Senate President Harmon characterized the negotiations as the most complicated issue he has dealt with in his 21 years as a State Senator. Harmon said he remains “optimistic” the House can finalize a deal in the “coming days”. Speaker Welch reiterated that he will not consider a bill that is not agreed.
Exelon reiterated the need for swift action by the General Assembly. In discussing the company’s plans for its nuclear fleet, a spokesman said “While we currently have no choice but to continue preparing for their premature retirement, we have established offramps that will allow us to reverse that decision if lawmakers pass legislation with enough time for us to safely refuel the plants. To be clear, Byron will run out of fuel and will permanently shut down on Sept. 13 unless legislation is enacted.”
Other Action: The Illinois General Assembly also approved a technical fix to the unemployment insurance for certain academic personnel – SB2065 (Holmes/Hoffman). SB 2065 now heads to the Governor’s desk.