December 2023

Legislative Report

Government Strategy Associates

Illinois lawmakers passed and Governor Pritzker signed nearly 600 bills into law this year. They range from making all indoor public spaces smoke-free including vaping, to banning video conferencing while driving to requiring paid time off for all employees.  With 2024 being an election year, there will likely be fewer bills debated and passed by the General Assembly.

Paid Leave for All Workers Act

On January 1, 2024, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act will be effect in Illinois. This Act will require Illinois employers to provide each of their employees, including part-time employees and domestic workers, up to 40 hours of paid leave for every 12-month period.

In January 2023 the legislation was amended in the House, passed the House, was sent to the Senate that day, and passed the Senate on a concurrence vote the same day. This is why, like sausage, you don’t want to see how legislation is made. The Department of Labor continues to work on all the rules to implement this new law.

Copy of the Act:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=4351&ChapterID=68

IL Dept of Labor Rules w/Webinar Registration Option:

https://labor.illinois.gov/laws-rules/paidleave.html

IL Dept of Labor FAQ’s:

https://labor.illinois.gov/faqs/paidleavefaq.html

State Warns of Challenging Budget Outlook

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget revised projected Fiscal Year 2024 revenues upward by $1.4 billion, with a projected year end surplus of $422 million. However, “most of this fiscal year 2024 revenue forecast revision is assumed to be one-time in nature,” the budget office warned.

That net $422 million surplus, if the estimates hold, will come in handy because GOMB is projecting Fiscal Year 2025’s revenues will be $480 million below its revised FY24 estimate. That, combined with increased spending, will result in a projected deficit next fiscal year of $891 million. The deficit is expected to rise to $1.4 billion in FY26 and $1.66 billion in FY27.

“No Cash Bail” Review

Elimination of cash bail began implementation on September 18th. The jury is still out how it is working. Initial reports show that jail populations are down while there has not been a spike in crime. The impact of this new law is being watched around the country and will be studied for years because Illinois is the first to eliminate bail as an option statewide. Expect to hear more about this issue, especially during the election cycles.

New Law Regulates Power Utility Shutoffs

House Bill 1541 will prohibit utilities from disconnecting service when temperatures are 90 degrees or above, or when the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat watch, heat advisory or excessive heat warning. The law previously barred shutoffs when temperatures were 95 degrees or above and didn’t take into account factors like heat index. We need to keep an eye on this “trend.”

Illinois Minimum Wage Increases

The minimum wage in Illinois is increasing on January 1st, 2024 with an increase of $1 per hour from $13 to $14. The minimum wage for tipped workers will rise to $8.40 per hour and youth workers (under 18) working fewer than 650 hours per calendar year will see their hourly wage increase to $12 per hour. This minimum wage increase law was passed in 2019 by a previous General Assembly.

Lawmakers Retire Early

Rep. Schweizer Replaces Rep. Mike Marron in Danville Area

Brandun Schweizer on Thursday was selected by the 104th Representative District Committee to fill the vacancy of retiring state Rep. Michael Marron, R-Fithian, in the Illinois House of Representatives for the downstate district that is in Champaign and Vermilion counties.

Schweizer is a retired United States Marine Corps Master Sergeant. He served as an Intelligence Chief, Equal Opportunity Advisor, and Recruiter during his 21-year career. After his retirement from the USMC earlier this year, he began working for the City of Danville as a Code Enforcement Inspector. He is a member of IBEW labor union.

Appointed State Rep. Egofske Steps Down

Rep. John Egofske (R-Lemont), the Lemont Mayor who was appointed to replace former House GOP Leader Jim Durkin earlier this year, resigned after serving nine months in the General Assembly. Egofske previously said he would not seek election to the House of Representatives due to his responsibilities as Mayor of Lemont. The district runs from Western Springs in the north to Homer Glen to the south. In a statement, Egofske said that party leaders will convene a public appointment process to determine a successor before the legislature reconvenes January 16th.

Legislative Drafting Bureau Sets New Guidelines

The Legislative Reference Bureau in Springfield drafts all bills and amendments introduced in the General Assembly. The bill request deadline for both chambers will be on Friday, January 19, 2024. There will be a request blackout period Friday, January 19, 2024 to Friday, February 9, 2024.

Illinois in Spotlight in 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, the Democratic National Convention in 2024 will put Chicago and the state of Illinois in the spotlight. How the migrant continues to be handled will likely be a major focus.

Also, there will be many eyes on the corruption trial of former Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. Madigan was the ever-present power broker in Illinois politics for a half century. Politics in Illinois is never boring.

Upcoming Dates

January 16, 2024                  Legislature Reconvenes

January 19, 2024                  Deadline for LRB requests

February 9, 2024                  Deadline for House/Senate bill introductions

New Laws with January 1, 2024 Implementation Date

Below is a summary of some new laws that may be of interest that you may have seen in media or in previous reports.  To see a full list of all new laws you can visit

https://www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/images/PDFS/2023/bills-taking-effect-2024.pdf  The full text of the bills can be found at www.ilga.gov.

HB 0475 Community Mental Health Validation. Requires that when a successful referendum is held to levy an annual tax for the purposes of providing mental health facilities and services, community mental health board members must be appointed within 60 days after the local election authority certifies the passage of the referendum.

SB 1543 Creates the Statewide PTSD Mental Health Coordinator. The Statewide PTSD Mental Health Coordinator shall be responsible for implementing a program of mental health support and education for law enforcement officers.

SB 1568 Requires the Department of Insurance to conduct a data call to collect information from insurance companies to assist with providing parity for mental, emotional, nervous and substance use disorders or conditions that are no more restrictive than any other medical condition coverage.

SB 1913 Adds telehealth coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment to the Public Aid Code.

HB 3345 Requires the Secretary of State to provide individuals committed to Illinois Department of Corrections or Department of Juvenile Justice with an ID upon receipt of the individual’s birth certificate, social security card, photograph, proof of residency upon discharge, and application which must be submitted 60 days prior to the individual’s release.

House Bill 1200 stiffens penalties for any person who financially exploits an elderly person or a person with disability.

House Bill 1540 adds electronic cigarettes to the list of tobacco products banned inside public places.

House Bill 2123 will allow victims of digital forgeries known as “deepfakes” to sue their perpetrators and collect damages. Similarly, House Bill 2954 would allow for victims of “doxing” — the act of intentionally releasing private information about someone without their consent and with malicious intent — to sue their perpetrators for monetary damages.

House Bill 2389 clarifies that law enforcement cannot pull over a driver solely for having an object, such as a disability placard or air freshener, hanging from their rearview mirror.

House Bill 2789 will allow the Illinois Secretary of State to withhold state grant funds from public libraries that ban books for political reasons.

House Bill 2431 will prohibit a person from participating in video conferencing while operating a motor vehicle.

House Bill 2789 prohibits state-funded libraries from banning or removing materials due to religious or partisan disapproval.

House Bill 3203 permits pharmacists and retailers to sell fentanyl strips to the public over-the-counter to test for the presence of fentanyl in any drug.

House Bill 3326 will prohibit the use of automatic license plate reader cameras for tracking out of state people seeking abortion care in Illinois. It would also prevent the use of LPRs to track a person’s immigration status.

HB 3559: A school building’s emergency and crisis response plan must include a plan for law enforcement to rapidly enter a school building in the event of an emergency.

House Bill 3751 will allow for non-citizens who are federally authorized to work in the United States to become police officers. It would also open the door for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, to apply to be police officers.

HB 3932: Students in grades 9-through-12 shall be educated on allergen safety, including ways of recognizing symptoms and signs of an allergic reaction, and steps to take to prevent exposure to allergens, and how to safely administer epinephrine.

HB 3957: Manufacturers and wholesale drug distributors will be required to abstain from price gouging in the sale of essential off-patent and generic drugs.

Senate Bill 40 will require that new construction of single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings include basic infrastructure for electric vehicle charging in a certain number of parking spaces.

Senate Bill 328 will require businesses to give clear notice before a contract, such as a streaming or newspaper subscription, is automatically renewed.

SB 1526: The Department of Transportation must develop a mobile app that provides motorists with updated travel conditions.

Senate Bill 2123 is an elections bill that, among other things, makes Election Day 2024 a state holiday, creates a task force on ranked-choice voting and allows 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.