Illinois’ 101st General Assembly adjourned Wednesday afternoon and gave way to the new 102nd General Assembly, which was sworn in immediately after. After a six day “lame duck session,” which had lawmakers working through the weekend and all through the night Tuesday, an era came to a close as the House of Representatives elected Emmanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Westchester) Speaker of the House, replacing Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). Madigan had served as House Speaker for nearly 40 years. Prior to being elected to the statehouse, Welch served on his local school board, Proviso Township High School District 209. Welch is the first African-American to serve as Speaker of the House in Illinois.
LEGISLATURE COMPLETES BUSINESS, MOVES FORWARD
The mini-session was full of drama and some controversial issues as a comprehensive social justice legislative package was forwarded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC). This agenda took center stage, and occupied most of the time spent by legislators. When it all ended, legislation was approved for education reform, police and judiciary reform, and employment practices reform. HB 2170, the education bill, was approved Monday night and was highlighted in IASB Legislative Report 101-26.
Some other prominent legislation failed to gain approval before adjournment, including:
- Governor JB Pritzker’s initiative to decouple Illinois’ income tax provisions from the federal provisions in an effort to bring in new tax revenue.
- A prohibition on school districts’ use of timeout, seclusion, and restraint practices.
- Changing Chicago Public Schools process of appointing board members to that of electing them.
- Allowing for the General Assembly to hold legislative sessions remotely.
- Revising the state’s ethics laws.
BILLS THAT WERE APPROVEDThe following bills were approved by both chambers and will be sent to the governor for consideration. The governor will have the customary 60 days to act on the legislation from the 101st General Assembly passed this week. However, if any bills are vetoed, they will not be returned to the General Assembly for action and would considered dead.
SB 1480 (Belt, D-East St. Louis) an ILBC bill that creates a civil rights violation for employers who use a conviction record to refuse to hire an applicant for employment unless there is a substantial relationship with the position being filled. The bill exempts the “State of Illinois, any political subdivision, municipal corporation, or other governmental unit or agency” from the provisions of the “Equal Pay Act” outlined in the bill.
HB 570 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) extends the life of the Tax Increment Financing districts in Charleston and Cahokia to 47 years.
HB 3653 (Slaughter, D-Chicago) the ILBC bill that contains the provisions for police and judicial reform. Among the many provisions in the 700 page bill, it phases out cash bail and requires the use of body cameras by police officers.
HB 4276 (Hoffman) includes workers compensation language extending rebuttable presumption because of COVID until June 30, 2021.