Illinois General Assembly 2022 Fall Veto Session Summary

December 14, 2022

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The Illinois General Assembly returned to Springfield for a two-week fall Veto Session from November 22-23 and November 29-December 1, 2022. The first week featured a limited policy agenda, but Republicans selected new caucus leaders in both the House and Senate. Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) will replace Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) as House Republican Leader, and Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) will replace Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) as Senate Republican Leader for the 103rd General Assembly. More information on the new Republican leaders is available below.

After a week off for Thanksgiving, the General Assembly returned to address top policy priorities, such as paying off remaining Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (UITF) debt and making changes to the SAFE-T Act before the January 1, 2023 implementation date.

Prior to the beginning of the 103rd General Assembly on January 11, the House and Senate will head back to Springfield for a Lame Duck Session from January 4-10. The House still needs to pass the appropriation bill to address UITF debt (SB 2801). Additionally, Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Highland Park) introduced HB 5855, which includes an assault weapons ban, and could be taken-up in Lame Duck Session or the ensuing 103rd General Assembly.

103rd General Assembly House and Senate Republican Leadership

Republicans in the House and Senate elected new caucus leaders on November 22. Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) and Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) will serve as the House and Senate Republican Leaders for the 103rd General Assembly beginning on January 11. On the Democratic side, House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) and Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) were both reelected to their respective caucus leadership positions.

Rep. Tony McCombie was elected to serve as the next House Republican Leader by a 31-8 caucus vote over Rep. Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills). McCombie was first elected to the House in 2016 and represents a large northwestern Illinois district. Prior to serving in the House, she was Mayor of Savanna and a Savanna City Councilwoman. McCombie will replace outgoing House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) who announced that he would be stepping down from leadership after the midterm election in which his caucus lost seats, after being largely expected to gain and potentially break a Democrat supermajority. McCombie is the first woman elected to lead either a Democrat or Republican caucus in the Illinois House, and the first Republican leader from outside the Chicagoland area since the late 1960s. This reflects a shift in the Illinois Republican Party base, which has moved from the Chicago suburbs to downstate Illinois. McCombie is considered to be slightly further to the right than the outgoing Durkin, but called for moderation in the wake of the recent election, stating that extremes are “not what Illinois wants.” She also expressed the need to “work with members on both sides of the aisle, advocates on both sides of the aisle, to bring Illinois back.” A full bio of Rep. McCombie is available here.

Senate Republicans unanimously elected Sen. John Curran to replace Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) as the next Senate Republican Leader. Curran began serving in the Senate in 2017 after being appointed to replace former Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, who resigned amidst the budget impasse. He represents a suburban Chicago district in Cook and DuPage Counties. Prior to serving in the Senate, Curran was a Cook County prosecutor, DuPage County Board vice chairman, and Woodridge Village Trustee. In addition to serving in the Senate, he also works as a private attorney specializing in labor, employment, and workers’ compensation. Curran is a moderate who has supported gun control measures, the Workers’ Rights Amendment, and was the lone Senate Republican to vote in favor of the Black Caucus healthcare pillar (Public Act 102-4). After being elected to represent his caucus, Curran stated “We stand ready, with our focus directed toward the future, on developing solutions that will address the critical issues facing our state.” A full bio of Sen. Curran is available here.

UITF Debt Package

On November 29, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a $1.8B payment to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (UITF). This agreement comes after months of negotiations between stakeholders in business, organized labor, and state government. The $1.8B general funds appropriation will pay off Illinois’ remaining $1.36B federal UITF debt loan and deposit $450M into the UITF as an interest-free loan from the state to replenish the Fund’s balance. The $450M loan will be paid off by employers over the next ten years in annual increments of $45M, and all repaid funds will be deposited into the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund.

Additionally, the agreement makes reforms to the unemployment insurance system, most notably, increasing the target UITF solvency balance by 75% from $1B to $1.75B and expanding the taxable wage base by 2.4% annually from 2023 to 2027. Crucially, the agreement does not reduce the standard number of weeks for unemployment benefits, or the amount of unemployment benefits an individual can claim. It also saves employers $950M in taxes over five years, and saves taxpayers $20M in interest costs from the federal loan, that they would have otherwise paid if an agreement was not reached.

Gov. Pritzker praised the bipartisan agreement, stating, “I’m proud to announce that together, we’ve reached a historic, bipartisan agreement to eliminate pandemic-induced UI Trust Fund debt, replenish the Fund for the future, protect benefits for working families, and further fuel Illinois’ strong economic trajectory.” Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris), a Republican member of the Unemployment Insurance Working Group, agreed with the governor, stating, “It’s good to know we’re working together to pay off debt and even better to know that the funds previously allocated to paying down that debt will now go to shoring up the state’s rainy-day fund.”

The House passed SB 1698 by a vote of 98-8-2 on December 1, containing provisions to implement the UITF changes above. Later in the day, the Senate passed SB 1698 by a vote of 45-8-0, and the bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

SB 2801 is the associated supplemental appropriation bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 46-9-0 on December 1, but will not be called in the House until Lame Duck Session in the first week of January. If the House does not pass the appropriation bill in January, HB 1689 will be revoked.

SAFE-T Act Trailer

On December 1, the General Assembly passed HB 1095, a trailer bill to the SAFE-T Act, first passed in January 2021. HB 1095 passed the House by a vote of 38-17-0 and the Senate by a vote of 71-40-0. It was signed by the governor on December 6. Among other reforms, the SAFE-T Act eliminates cash bail in Illinois effective January 1, 2023. In place of cash bail, the SAFE-T Act largely gives judges discretion on whether or not to detain an individual based on various factors, including how much of a risk they pose if released. After facing criticism in the 2022 election cycle, this trailer legislation aims to address stakeholder concerns. Key components of the legislation, such as the end of cash bail, will still take effect on January 1. Below is a summary of some of the changes to the SAFE-T Act included in HB 1095.

Transition Period

HB 1095 creates a transition period for anyone detained on cash bail as of January 1, 2023. These individuals will still be held on cash bail, but will now have the option to have their case heard again under the new system of judicial discretion. Priority for rehearing will be given to low-level, non-violent, offenses.

Detention Net

HB 1095 expands the list of offenses eligible for pretrial detention to include violent offenses, such as all non-probationable felonies and forcible felonies, among other crimes. The bill provides a complete list of all detainable offenses. Notably, burglary is not included in the detention net, although some cases of burglary would be detainable as forcible felonies. Offenses not included in the detention net could still be eligible for pretrial detention at the discretion of a judge based on the dangerousness standard.

Dangerousness Standard

HB 1095 defines “dangerousness” as a real and present threat to any person or the community based on the facts of the case. The state’s burden of proof to detain under the dangerousness standard is higher for non-violent offenses than for violent ones.

Citation in Lieu of Arrest

HB 1095 gives law enforcement officers discretion to issue a citation in lieu of arrest for low-level, non-violent, offenses, such as trespassing. Officers may issue an arrest in cases of repeated violation or if the individual poses a threat.

Trial Changes

HB 1095 allows for remote pretrial detention hearings to ensure that all hearings will occur within 48 hours of arrest in any location throughout the state. It also creates a 90-day time-to-trial period.

Other Key Bills from Veto Session

HB 1293 (LaPointe/Harmon) is a bill that divests the State of Illinois from Russian interests. It prohibits the investment of state funds into Russian or Belarusian companies and institutions. Similarly, it requires all state-funded retirement systems to divest from Russian interests as soon as feasibly possible. Requires public higher-education institutions to disclose any endowments or donations they receive from Russia. Creates the Money Laundering in Real Estate Task Force to assess the exposure of the real estate sector in Illinois to illicit Russian money, and the Illinois Elections and Infrastructure Integrity Task Force to prevent foreign interference in upcoming elections as well as prepare for cyberattacks on state infrastructure. Gives DHS emergency rulemaking authority in the event of a large-scale refugee resettlement initiative. SFA 1 updates the legislation to fit with events in the Russia-Ukraine conflict that have occurred since the bill first passed the House in April. HB 1293 unanimously passed the House on April 5. It unanimously passed the Senate on November 16, after being amended. The House unanimously concurred to the Senate amendment on November 30, and the bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

HB 2406 (Stuart/Hunter) extends a variety of sunset dates within various acts. Notable sunset extensions include: extending a section of the Illinois Power Agency Act that grants the state the exclusive power to tax electricity generation through January 1, 2024; extending the Transportation Network Providers (TNP) Act through September 1, 2023; and extending the requirement for every voting jurisdiction to have at least one voting center where all residents can submit a ballot through July 1, 2023. HB 2406 unanimously passed the House on April 20, 2021. It unanimously passed the Senate December 1, 2022, after being amended. The House concurred to Senate amendments by a vote of 96-0-4 later in the day on December 1, and the bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

HB 4228 (Hoffman/Morrison) makes various changes to the Decennial Committees on Local Government Efficiency Act. Clarifies the difference between a “governing board” and a “governmental unit” under the Act. Extends the start date for the formation of committees until June 10, 2023. For counties with populations under 400,000, establishes a joint committee formation process and establishes membership requirements. Clarifies that post-meeting surveys must be conducted via email. Clarifies reporting requirements for governmental units located in multiple counties. HB 4228 passed the House on March 4 by a vote of 86-18-0. It unanimously passed in the Senate on November 30, 2022, after being amended. The House still needs to concur with the Senate amendment, which will likely occur in the January Lame Duck Session.

HB 4846 (Walsh/Gillespie) makes a variety of changes to healthcare-related bills that passed earlier in the year: the Hospital Assessment Program changes (Public Act 102-886), Nursing Home Rate Reform changes (Public Act 102-1035), and Medicaid Omnibus (Public Act 102-1037). HB 4846 unanimously passed the House on March 3. It unanimously passed the Senate November 30, after being amended. The bill awaits House concurrence, which will likely occur in the January Lame Duck Session.

HB 5049 (Hoffman/Villivalam) extends the Secretary of State’s COVID-19 emergency rulemaking authority to drop the requirement for seniors aged 75 through 79 to take an annual road test from through October 1, 2023. Instructs the Secretary of State’s Office to conduct a study aiming to evaluate the efficacy of increasing the age for an annual road test from 75 to 80. Creates a special license plate for retired executive branch constitutional officers. HB 5049 unanimously passed the House on March 3. It passed the Senate by a vote of 52-1-0 on December 1, after being amended. The House concurred to the Senate amendment by a vote of 80-14-1 on December 1, and the bill was signed by the governor on December 6.

HB 5189 (Zalewski/Villanueva) makes various changes to tax credits, including the Reimagining Electric Vehicles (REV) in Illinois Act and the Live Theater Production Tax Credit Act. Makes a clarifying change to the definitions of “electric vehicle component parts manufacturer” and “retained employee” in the REV Act. Grants DECO the expressed authority to determine conditions and procedures to renew REV credits. Creates a process for existing EGDE credit recipients who would qualify as a REV project to apply for REV credits. If they ever stop qualifying as a REV project, they will automatically revert to EDGE credits. HB 5189 unanimously passed the House on March 3. It passed the Senate on November 30 by a vote of 49-5-0, after being amended. The House concurred to Senate amendments by a vote of 84-9-0, on December 1, and the bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

SB 1595 (Cunningham/Hurley) extends various tax increment financing (TIF) projects in the following municipalities: Chicago, Elkhart, Robinson, Valmeyer, McHenry, and Pontiac. SB 1595 unanimously passed the Senate on April 23, 2021. It passed in the House after being amended on December 1, 2022, by a vote of 93-11-5. The Senate unanimously concurred to the House amendment on December 1, and the bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

SB 1794 (Murphy/DeLuca) makes various changes to the Local Government Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Act, including a clarifying change regarding municipal tax collection for utilities. Requires municipalities to report changes to their territory to utilities using a web portal rather than by email. SB 1794 unanimously passed the Senate on May 20, 2021. It passed the House on November 30, 2022, by a vote of 97-0-1, after being amended. The Senate needs to concur to the House amendment, which will likely occur in the January Lame Duck Session.

HR 1017 (Harris) extends remote participation rules in the House through January 11, 2023, which is the first day of the 103rd General Assembly. The Senate already ended its remote participation procedure. The House adopted HR 1017 by a vote of 70-34-0 on November 30.