On November 14, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up its Fall Veto Session after dealing with a myriad of issues in the six-day session. However, major energy policy issues were not among those taken up.
As is often the case in short Veto Sessions, major legislation surfaced. Included among the issues discussed were a wide variety of topics ranging from local pension reform to legislation designed to tweak the state’s new recreational cannabis law.
The only significant energy-related legislation to move in either chamber of the legislature was Senate Bill 671 (Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign), which was a so-called “trailer” bill to address issues that had arisen during implementation of the underlying Senate Bill 9 that was passed during the Spring and signed into law by Governor Pritzker.
SB 671 as amended was approved by the Senate on a vote of 39-12 with 1 voting Present. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration during the 2020 Spring Session which begins in January. In the meantime, proponents and opponents continue to discuss possible further changes to the bill.
Among other topics debated during the late October and early November Session were: changes to the recently passed gaming law that authorized a significant expansion of casinos and other gaming in the state; a cap on out-of-pocket expenses by patients with insulin prescriptions; limitations on electronic smoking devices (vaping); and attempts to strengthen the state’s ethics laws in light of recent federal investigations.
The General Assembly will return to action in January but the schedule for the period leading up to the mid-March Primary Election is expected to be relatively light.