The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 31, 2013. A couple of PCG’s 2013 Legislative Priorities have successfully passed both Chambers! There are also a number of bills still pending—please contact your legislators today and urge them to support. Thanks to your ongoing advocacy, we are making a difference!
Passed Both Houses!
HB 1, Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act – Creates a four-year pilot program for the doctor-advised medical use of cannabis by patients with serious medical conditions – passed the Senate 35-21 on May 17. It previously passed the House 61-57 in April. HB 1 now moves to Governor Pat Quinn, who is reportedly “open-minded,” for approval. We call on Gov. Quinn to show mercy and compassion to people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, HIV, spinal disease, ALS and other terrible ailments. Read more here.
HB 3061, Illinois Sealing Criminal Records – Allows individuals with low-level, non-violent class 3 and 4 felonies to petition for their records to be sealed four years after completing their sentence – passed the Senate 42-13 on May 22. It previously passed the House 65-35 on April 19. The fate of HB 3061 to expand opportunities for employment, housing and education for people with low-level, non-violent records now rests in Gov. Quinn’s hands.
HB 2262, Eliminate the Asset Limit on TANF – Removes a significant barrier allowing Illinois’ poorest families to save money and become financially independent – passed the Senate 32-21 on May 21. It previously passed the House 62-55 on April 16. Now the bill heads to the Governor’s Desk. Read more about HB 2262 from the Illinois Asset Building Group.
Pending — Act Now!
SB 1872, Eliminate the Felony Enhancement for Prostitution – Amends the sentencing provision for prostitution in the criminal code to a Class A misdemeanor and deletes the felony sentence enhancement – could be voted on by the House this week. House Floor Amendment 1 specifying that victims of prostitution may be eligible for mental health services was recently filed. If the amended bill passes the House, it will go back to the Senate for consideration. SB 1872 previously passed the Senate 53-1.
SB 1715 Amendment 1, Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act – Creates some of the most stringent regulations on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the nation – unanimously passed House Executive Committee on May 21 and could be voted on by the House this week. Previously, this legislation was HB2615 but was changed to SB1715 Amendment 1 due to a technical issue.
HB 183 Amendment 1, Concealed Carry/Anti-Gun Trafficking Initiatives – Includes regulations for universal background checks and reporting lost or stolen guns – stalled in the Senate last week before a floor vote. A concealed carry bill may also be introduced in the House this week. We are not certain what the measure will look like at this time, but we need to make sure our legislators know that any concealed carry bill must include common-sense gun violence prevention measures that save lives as part of the final bill. Contact your legislators now and urge them to support common-sense gun legislation.
SB 26, Expand Medicaid Eligibility – Authorizes Illinois to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide Medicaid to about 342,000 low-income Illinois citizens who are currently uninsured – the House Human Services Committee added and passed Amendment 1 on May 21. It could be considered by the House this week. If the amended bill passes the House, it will need to be voted on by the Senate again. The Senate originally passed SB 26 in February. Contact your Representative now and ask them to support SB 26.
SB 68, Increase the Minimum Wage – Raises Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to just over $10 per hour over the course of three years – could be considered by the Senate Executive Committee this week.