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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Crain’s

A bill placing a moratorium on significant changes to Chicago Public Schools’ selective enrollment schools is heading to the state Senate, where the legislation would already have political cover from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Still unclear is whether the 92-8 vote in the Illinois House last week represents growing fatigue with the Chicago Teachers Union’s fiery tactics. Ahead of the floor vote, CTU Legislative Director Kurt Hilgendorf called the bill “racist,” WTTW-TV/Channel 11 reported. A statement from CTU President Stacy Davis Gates employed similar rhetoric. […]

Privately, some lawmakers acknowledge it wasn’t wise of the CTU to use the term “racist,” but they wouldn’t comment publicly for fear of stepping into the powerful union’s crosshairs. When Crain’s asked whether he was concerned with the CTU’s use of the term “racist” in their statement, progressive state Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, avoided answering the question directly.

State Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, sponsored the House bill and did express concerns with the union’s comportment.

“I was disappointed in that rhetoric and I think everybody was,” she said. “I don’t think that was the best approach.”


Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan to crack down on lengthy delays and coverage denials in the health insurance insurance industry sailed through the House of Representatives with bipartisan support last week, and it has “great momentum” heading into the Senate, he said at a Monday morning stop in Belleville. […]

Lobbyists representing health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry opposed the regulations in the House. Their last stand in the Senate could come in the Insurance Committee where State Senator Napoleon Harris serves as chair.

The insurance industry has invested significantly in Harris’ political pursuits. According to 5 On Your Side’s review of public campaign finance records, the insurance lobby has given Harris’ campaign $197,750 since 2013. That accounts for more than 14% of all outside donations to his campaign, more money than any other industry.

Pritzker said he’s already spoken to Harris about the proposal and praised the Dixmoor legislator for “wanting to lift up particularly patients and those who may be suffering.” […]

“I am a strong supporter of ensuring accessibility and availability to health care services in Illinois,” Sen. Harris said. “If the Healthcare Protection Act comes before the Senate’s Insurance Committee, I’ll treat it fairly as I do with everything that comes before the committee. It is vital that affordable and quality health care is available for all Illinoisans.”

* SJ-R

As state lawmakers weigh carbon capture and sequestration regulations, federal officials are trying to woo support in Illinois — an area they see ripe for investment thanks to its geologic features.

Following visits to Archer Daniels Midland facilities in Decatur and Springfield, U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Brad Crabtree touched down in the Illinois State Capitol on April 16. The state, he said, plays a major role in helping the Biden administration’s goal of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. […]

Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, said “regulatory gaps” existing at both the state and federal levels need to be addressed before moving forward. She is in support of the moratorium legislation, House Bill 4835, currently awaiting a full chamber vote in the House in addition to her recently filed bill clarifying pore space ownership.

“We are simply not prepared yet to protect Illinois citizens in the way they need to be protected from the risks of this relatively unproven technology,” Williams said during a press conference last week. “With capturing, transporting and injecting fossil fuel pollution, that’s a big deal and we need to make sure we get it right.”

* Center Square

An Illinois Secretary of State initiated measure that seeks to enhance penalties for those convicted of threatening libraries stalled after the Democrat sponsor pulled the bill from the record.

Long pauses were taken by state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove, when she was questioned by a fellow Democratic representative on the House floor Friday. The bill would enhance penalties for those who transmit lewd or offensive behavior against a librarian in any manner.

State Rep. Curtis Tarver, D-Chicago, said Murray didn’t have a clear definition for lewd and offensive behavior. […]

Ultimately, she pulled House Bill 4567 from the record after being questioned by Tarver.

* The Real Deal

An Illinois Senate bill to lift the rent control ban, introduced in February by state Sen. Natalie Toro of Chicago’s 20th District, is on ice after it was not called in time to meet a legislative deadline.

The bill was not assigned to a committee before April 12, meaning it will not move forward this session, Toro’s spokesperson, Natalie Bak, said in an interview shortly before the deadline. It could still move forward if it is called in one of the body’s special sessions or resurrected in the fall.

Toro was not available for comment Monday, but said in a written statement that the bill continues to await assignment to committee. […]

Toro’s bill, SB3484, seeks to repeal the Illinois Rent Control Preemption Act, passed in 1997 to prohibit municipalities from enacting measures that exert control over the amount of rent charged to tenants in their area.

* Riverbender

State Representative Kevin Schmidt (R-Cahokia Heights) has co-sponsored several important pieces of legislation aimed at supporting the well-being of women and families across Illinois. These bills, recently passed by the House and moving to the Senate, address crucial issues such as healthcare access, caregiver support, and the protection of pregnant women. […]

House Bills Co-Sponsored by Rep. Schmidt:

    HB4055 - Ensuring Healthcare Access:House Bill 4055 ensures equitable access to essential medical treatments by mandating coverage for specific healthcare services under insurance policies.

    HB5643 - Affordable Maternal Care: House Bill 5643 mandates coverage for at-home pregnancy tests under insurance policies, aiming to remove barriers to prenatal care and empower women to make informed decisions about their health.

    HB4677 - Supporting Caregivers:House Bill 4677 establishes the Illinois Caregiver Assistance and Resource Portal, a one-stop shop for families that helps them navigate caregiving resources.

    HB5431 - Protecting Pregnant Women:House Bill 5431 expands healthcare provisions for pregnant women in correctional facilities.

* Rep. Sharon Chung…

State Rep. Sharon Chung, D-Bloomington, is ensuring fair employee rights to educators and other higher education employees by passing legislation that affirms that higher education employees can receive compensation and benefits beyond what is established in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

“Both employers and employees can be hesitant to agree to terms of employment that differ from what was agreed upon through collective bargaining,” said Chung. “Explicitly clarifying that schools should treat their employee’s collective bargaining agreement as a minimum will allow both employees to receive greater rights and benefits, and allow school employers greater freedom to find and keep top talent.”

Chung’s House Bill 5079 clarifies existing law that employees of Illinois state universities can agree to employee rights that exceed those acquired through a CBA subject to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. Chung led the bill to bipartisan support in the House, and now moves to the Senate.

“From community colleges to four-year universities, our state has some of the best schools in the nation,” said Chung. “Many of the fantastic employees that make our schools run deserve not only all the rights acquired in their collective bargaining agreement, but further compensation beyond that. This bill will help higher education employees understand the benefits they are able to receive.”


The Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation on Tuesday that would have Illinois recognize June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. House Bill 4928 is sponsored by State Rep. Harry Benton of the 97th district in Plainfield.

Benton says that people across the state suffer from PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, and his bill aims to promote better recognition of the effects that it can have on individuals. Benton says that it is also important to recognize those who provide assistance to PTSD patients, including friends, family and other caretakers.

Millions of Americans suffer from PTSD, which can affect individuals who were a part of or near a traumatic event. Many PTSD cases involve veterans, assault victims and first responders.

After passing the House, the bill now heads to the Senate.


  1. - Bob - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 12:39 pm:

    Mark Maxwell keeps stirring up useless BS even after leaving Springfield.

  2. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 12:55 pm:

    =State Rep. Sharon Chung, D-Bloomington, is ensuring fair employee rights to educators and other higher education employees by passing legislation that affirms that higher education employees can receive compensation and benefits beyond what is established in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).=

    Tell me you do not know what a CBA is or does without telling me.

    What this (banned word) legislator is suggesting is that different people get different benefits and special treatment. She has absolutely zero concept of the chaos and bad feelings she is opening the door to.

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 1:38 pm:

    Bob, so you’re saying Napo’s committee is actually not friendly to the insurance industry?

  4. - H-W - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 1:58 pm:

    Any updates on the legislative efforts to prevent insurance companies from using secondary and unrelated factors to assign risk? I just got a call from my company explaining how they are going to do so, assign all vehicles to one policy per household, and this was going to be in my interest (which it is not).

  5. - emoney - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:03 pm:

    Ha. Good on Maxwell for explaining how the system works. Each industry runs, more or less, their own committee. Good bills die, industry bills move. Thank you, Mark.

  6. - Frida's boss - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:17 pm:

    Guess it was more important for Progressive leadership in the Senate to get Guzman elected than help Toro get a badly needed bill across the line. Oh well, hopefully, someone explains to your constituents that rent control isn’t needed, far more important to get another CTU pawn on the Government payroll.

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===than help Toro get a badly needed bill across the line.===


    That bill was introduced to help her campaign. Pure and simple. The main person backing her campaign was Senate President Harmon, who never moved the bill out of Assignments.

    Seriously, what planet are you on?

  8. - Felix - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 3:36 pm:

    Senator Harris is hardly the first Insurance Committee chair to have a friendly disposition toward the insurance industry — that applies to both chambers and has been true for a long time. I think one could put a lot of chairs of other committees under similar scrutiny and find they receive a similar level of financial support from the industry stakeholders they oversee. Not saying it’s right, just saying it’s not unusual.

  9. - Duck Duck Goose - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 4:34 pm:

    HB 5079 makes little sense. It says that parties to a CBA can agree to a provision that enhances benefits. But parties can always agree to modify the terms of a CBA. That’s kinda how contracts work. I would be worried that this bill’s implication is that CBAs can every only be modified to enhance benefits. Otherwise, what’s the point of the bill?

  10. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 9:47 pm:

    “We are simply not prepared yet to protect Illinois citizens in the way they need to be protected from the risks of this relatively unproven technology,” Williams said during a press conference last week. “With capturing, transporting and injecting fossil fuel pollution, that’s a big deal and we need to make sure we get it right.”

    If it backfires, so what…it’s just Decatur?

  11. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 10:22 pm:


  12. - Westsider - Wednesday, Apr 24, 24 @ 9:48 am:

    “That bill was introduced to help her campaign. Pure and simple.”

    Can you give an example of a bill that is introduced to not to help a campaign?

  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 24, 24 @ 9:53 am:

    ===Can you give an example of a bill that is introduced to not to help a campaign? ===

    That’s not the point. This was purely a campaign bill, which was never designed to go anywhere.

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