NAIFA Illinois Legislative Update

    By: Evan Manning, NAIFA IL Lobbyist - February 7, 2020

    Governor’s Highlights:

    Sexual Harassment Training:  The Illinois Department of Human Rights  launched an information-based webpage concerning the Workplace Transparency Act, a new Illinois law that requires all Illinois employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to their employees on an annual basis. A full copy of the announcement is here.

    Tax Amnesty: The Illinois Department of Revenue announced on Thursday, February 6th it collected nearly $240 million through its tax amnesty program. Over $60 million of the funding collected through the program will go to local governments, with roughly $7.5 million going to the City of Chicago. Gov. JB Pritzker proposed the amnesty program as part of last year's budget, and the Office of Management and Budget estimated the program would recover $175 million in outstanding tax liabilities.

    Broadband InvestmentGov.  JB Pritzker announced that the state is releasing $50 million in funding for the first round of matching grants of Connect Illinois, the state’s $420 million statewide broadband expansion. Applicants are required to provide at least 50% of non-state funding. Grant responses for the initial $50 million round of funding can be submitted through Friday, April 3, 2020. Up to $5 million per project will be available during the first round, and subsequent rounds will follow over the course of the next several years. The Notice of Funding Opportunity is available here.

    Fire/Police Pension Boards:  Gov. JB Pritzker named 18 members to two interim boards that will manage the new statewide downstate police and fire pension investment funds. The transition board trustees will oversee the consolidation of local funds over the next year, when permanent board trustees will be elected. The funds’ boards consist of five members drawn from employees and retirees, and four members representing employers.
    The General Assembly was in session Tuesday and Wednesday of this week; both chambers canceled session for Thursday. Legislators primarily spent the week filing new legislation and considering bills at the committee level.

    The House and Senate Insurance Committees both canceled their hearings this week. The House Insurance Committee was set to hear HB 4137 – Flood Insurance Act. IIA of IL along with the Illinois Insurance Association and the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association created a joint opposition letter and sent it to the sponsor Rep. Bob Morgan and Chairman Jones. The letter is attached.

    The Illinois General Assembly overrode the Governor’s total veto of HB3902 (Bristow/Crowe) which reinstates a sales tax exemption on aircraft parts which had previously expired.  The bill impacts 14 aviation facilities in Illinois.  The bill now becomes law.

    The House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee unanimously approved HB322 (McSweeney) which  would prevent non-home rule communities from installing red light cameras in the future, and also require towns currently using the devices to remove them by the start of next year. The bill is now on 2nd Reading in the House.

    HB3493 (Guzzardi), which creates the Prescription Drug Affordability Act, was re-assigned this week to the House Prescription Drug Affordability and Accessibility Committee.  A hearing has not been scheduled at this time.
    Noteworthy bill filings from this week include:

    • SB2888 (Barickman) Provides that provisions prohibiting advertisement of cannabis or cannabis-infused products do not apply to newspapers. Assigned to Senate Assignments.
    • SB2902 (Hunter) bans the use of red-light cameras. Assigned to Senate Assignments.
    • SB2920 (Jones) Creates the Plastic Straw Ban Act. Prohibits a bar, restaurant, or any business that sells food to the public from giving a customer a single-use plastic straw unless the customer requests one. Assigned to Senate Assignments.
    • SB2746 (Morrison) Prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses in fully insured life, health, or disability insurance policies.  Assigned to Senate Assignments.
    • HB4416 (DeLuca) Prohibits a county from authorizing a permit for the sale of adult use cannabis sales within 1.5 miles of municipalities that have banned cannabis sales.  Assigned to House Rules.
    • HB4514 (Andrade) Prohibits a public employee or officer from influencing the use of specific vendors in the placement of video gaming terminals.  Assigned to House Rules.
    • HB4522 (Flowers) Requires cannabis or cannabis-infused products to be tested for vitamin E acetate. If any sample fails the test, the entire batch must be recalled.   Prohibits cannabis and cannabis-infused products from containing vitamin E acetate.  Assigned to House Rules.

    The Illinois General Assembly adjourned until Tuesday, Feb. 18th at noon.  Friday, Feb. 14th is the deadline to file substantive legislation in both chambers.  Gov.  JB Pritzker will deliver his FY 2021 budget to a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Feb.  19th. Committee hearings are expected to intensify in the coming weeks.

    The Senate Criminal Law Committee will hold joint subject matter hearing with the Senate Special Committee on Public Safety and House Judiciary-Criminal Committee on Feb. 13th at 10am in in the Bilandic Building in Chicago to discuss the state of criminal justice in Illinois.

    Key 2020 Session Dates:
    February 14th: Bill filing deadline both chambers
    February 19th: Governor’s Budget Address
    March 17th: Primary Election
    March 18th: Insurance Industry Legislative Day
    March 27th:  Committee deadline for substantive bills
    April 6th – 17th:  Spring Break
    April 24th:  3rd Reading deadline for substantive bills
    May 15th:  Committee deadline for substantive bills in second chamber
    May 22nd:  3rd Reading deadline for substantive bills in second chamber
    May 31st:  Adjournment