* Tina Sfondeles…
Hoping for another productive legislative session, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday vowed to tackle pensions, early child education, criminal justice reform and health care next year — as well as the elusive Chicago casino.
“I’m very hopeful that in the session of the Legislature that is coming up starting in January that we’ll begin to put together a bill, and get it passed,” the rookie governor said when asked about a Chicago casino. […]
“Criminal justice reform is an area that I’ve already done a lot on in the spring session last year, but now I think we’ll be revisiting some of the issues that came up over the last few years that never got passed,” Pritzker said. “I’m also very focused on making sure that we’re expanding opportunities for working families to get ahead of — you know, I‘ve talked a lot about lowering the cost of healthcare, lowing the cost of childcare, lowering the cost of education, so that we can raise the standard of living and people who are working in our state.”
And the billionaire Chicagoan remains bullish about finally winning the casino Chicago has been pursuing off and on for more than a quarter of a century.
* McGuireWoods Consulting published its own 2020 session preview. Here’s part of it…
2019 saw a breakout of respiratory illness among vape users. With 5 deaths this year, Illinois leads the nation in vaping-related deaths. In response, law makers in Springfield have sought to enact various new regulations on vaping and vaping products. House Bill 3887, which would create the Flavored Tobacco Ban Act, prohibiting the sale of flavored e-cigarette and tobacco products was filed in September. Although a hearing was held, the legislation failed to move forward, but will likely come up again next year. Governor JB Pritzker has stated his support for a ban on flavored vaping products.
Ethylene oxide, a chemical used by medical device cleaning facilities and various manufacturers was thrown into the political spotlight in this year. One facility, Sterigenics, was shut down in February 2019 following an EPA report showing higher cancer rates in the areas surrounding the facility. The first ethylene oxide related bills to come through the legislature were passed in the spring. SB 1852 and SB 1854 were passed with broad bi-partisan support and have been touted as the most stringent ethylene oxide regulations in the country. Despite this, some members of the public and of the legislature believe the new laws do not go far enough. During veto session, two additional pieces of legislation were introduced including HB 3888, a bill to completely phase out the use of ethylene oxide in the state. While HB 3888 passed the Senate, both bills have been postponed and will be taken up again once the legislature comes back into session in January. The Governor has vowed to sign the legislation if it passes.
Gig Economy Taxation
A bill presented by State Representative Will Guzzardi aims to require online based companies, like Uber, to treat staffers as employees and not as independent contractors. This would require the companies to comply with minimum wage and other employee protections and would require their incomes to be taxed at a normal rate. This bill is based off of a similar one that California passed in September and is expected to come up in the 2020 session.