The General Assembly convened on October 24-25 but did not act on several bills that the Governor had vetoed or issued amendatory vetoes. The bills receiving vetoes or amendatory vetoes that are of most interest to counties are linked to below:
SB 76 - Nuclear Power Plant Construction Moratorium (Veto Message)
Senator Rezin filed a motion to override the total veto of SB 76, but the Senate did not act on the motion this week. The bill removes the state’s moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants. The Governor vetoed the bill “at the request of the leadership team of the Speaker of the House and advocates” because he believes “the bill removes the moratorium on new construction of nuclear power plants to allow for the construction of both advanced and traditional large-scale nuclear reactors in Illinois.” Senate sponsor Sue Rezin introduced SB 2591, which she says addresses the governor’s objections. SB 2591 also did not move this week.
SB 1515 - Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (Veto Message)
The Illinois Senate did not consider the veto to SB 1515. The underlying bill adds restrictions and limitations on the use of the E-Verify system to ensure privacy for workers and ensure a worker can take unpaid leave if there is an issue with verification. According to the Governor’s veto message, the total veto came “at the request of the sponsors and advocates.” Senate Floor Amendment (SFA) #1 to SB 508 was filed to correct the issues with SB 1515.
HB 2507 - Omnibus Property Tax Legislation (Amendatory Veto Message)
No action was taken this week on the amendatory veto to HB 2507. The underlying bill represents a property tax omnibus. The Governor issued an amendatory veto due to provisions which would lower property tax rates for private nursing homes in Cook County. The Governor argues the change will “have the effect of raising property taxes on homeowners who are already overburdened and risks driving some residents into foreclosure while simultaneously threatening local school funding.”
HB 2878 - Public-Private Partnership Projects (Amendatory Veto Message)
Leader Hoffman filed a motion to accept the amendatory veto of HB 2878, but the House did not take action on the motion this week. The underlying bill represents a procurement omnibus. The Governor objected to language to authorize public-private partnerships for local transportation projects saying the provisions “skirt transparency and anti-corruption requirements established in state statute, including ethics, Business Enterprise Program, campaign finance, and procurement laws. The potential in this bill for opacity and corruption is too great.” The Governor removed those provisions with his amendatory Veto.
HB 3445 - Omnibus Energy Legislation (Amendatory Veto Message)
No action was taken this week on the amendatory veto to HB 3445 and the House sponsor Representative Walsh indicated that he does not plan to pursue an override this fall and instead will work to educate the body and stakeholders and revisit the first right of refusal issue in the Spring session. The Governor issued an amendatory veto to remove the “right of first refusal” language allowing Ameren to construct new power lines. The Governor argues the provision “will eliminate competition and raise costs for rate payers by giving incumbent utility providers in the MISO region a monopoly over new transmission lines.”
Representative Larry Walsh announced that he would not pursue a veto override for HB 3445.
While not acting on any vetoes, the Illinois Senate considered several measures last week.
The Illinois Senate unanimously approved HB 351, as amended, which creates the Task Force to Review Eligibility to Hold Public Office to make recommendations as to what criminal conduct should preclude an individual from holding public office. In addition, the bill further clarifies what information notaries must retain for the purpose of petitions. HB 351 is headed back to the House for concurrence.
The Senate Executive Committee voted 8-4 to approve SFA #1 to SB 508 which provides that unless otherwise required by federal or state law, an employer shall not voluntarily enroll in the E-Verify program or a similar system and provides for additional rights and protections granted to an employee if there is a discrepancy. This legislation is intended to clean up SB 1515 which sponsors asked the Governor to veto. The amendment is now pending before the Senate.
The Senate State Government Committee approved Senate Amendments (SA) #2 and #3 to SB 853, which together represent an omnibus state government clean-up bill. The amendments, which are now pending before the Senate, make the following changes:
- Transfers authority for constitutional officer protection to the Illinois State Police (ISP).
- Extends the Alternative Protein Task Force.
- Extends the repeal date of the ISP 911 grants to 2025.
- Aligns the definition of foster family home and residential treatment with federal guidelines.
- Extends the repeal date of sentencing guidelines for individuals convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon who have certain prior convictions.
- Changes the Crime Victims Compensation Act to allow multiple applicants to receive payment for funeral benefits.
- Moves the effective date to July 1, 2024 for state employee coverage for all types of medically necessary injectable medicines prescribed on-label or off-label to improve glucose or weight loss for use by adults diagnosed or previously diagnosed with prediabetes, gestational diabetes, or obesity.
The Senate State Government Committee unanimously approved SFA #1, #2, and #3 to SB 854 which represent the Fiscal Year (FY) 24 omnibus bill to extend multiple sunsets which are set to expire in the next 6 months. The amendments are now pending before the Senate.
The General Assembly returns on November 7-9 to conclude the 2023 fall Veto Session. Upon their return, legislators will consider reforms to the state's nuclear policy and potential extension of a controversial tax credit program that funds private school scholarships.