100th General Assembly Legislation in Progress
House Bill 645 - Amends the State Finance Act. Provides that no salary or per diem shall be paid to a member of a State board or commission that meets part-time.
House Bill 647 - This bill would amend the Illinois Human Rights Act in which it would be a civil rights violation for an employer to refuse to make certain reasonable accommodations in the workplace for an employee that is protected under a respective order of protection. However, it also provides that the employer is not required to make such accommodations if they undeniably cause undue hardship on the actual work operations of the employer.
House Bill 648 - Amends the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act. Preserves family farms in IL. Provides that the value of farm property transferred to a qualified heir shall not be included in the decedent's taxable estate for the purposes of calculating the State tax credit if any qualified heir of the decedent will be engaged in active management of the farm for a period of at least 10 years after the date of the transfer, or until the death of that qualified heir, whichever occurs first.
House Bill 2648 - Appropriates to the School Construction Fund for school construction grants as authorized under the School Construction Law. These grants have been due for over 10 years.
House Bill 2650 and 2651 - Appropriates funds for the payment of MAP grants for Veterans.
House Bill 2654 - This bill would amend the Department of Veterans Affairs Act and provide that the DVFA would provide training to frontline employees at veterans service organizations. This training may include, but not be limited to, mental health first aid training and amplified suicide advanced training programs. The purpose of the bill is to assist those working with veterans in identifying which individuals may be at risk of suicidal ideations. The bill also provides that the Department shall find combat veterans who will serve as veteran service officers at veterans service organizations established under the Act. These veteran service officers will be able to properly relate to fellow combat veterans.
House Bill 2658 - Amends the Department of Veterans Affairs Act. Provides that the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall provide training to frontline employees at veterans service organizations established under the Act on mental health services to identify veterans who might be at risk of suicidal thoughts. Provides that the training may include, but not be limited to, mental health first aid training and amplified suicide advanced training programs. Provides that the Department shall provide assistance to Veterans Assistance Commissions established under the Military Veterans Assistance Act and veterans' service associations, including, but not limited to, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and AMVETS, in providing the training. Provides that the Department shall find combat veterans to serve as veteran service officers at veterans service organizations established under the Act for the purpose of having veteran services officers who are able to properly relate to fellow combat veterans. Requires the Department of Veterans' Affairs to adopt any rules necessary to implement these provisions.
House Bill 2659 - This bill would amend the Election Code and provide that general election candidates shall, not less than 60 days prior to the general election in which they are seeking office, file federal and state tax returns for the 5 most recent taxable years. This would only apply to candidates for the following offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Comptroller, State Treasurer, and member of the General Assembly. The bill would also require the State Board to post said tax returns online after redacting certain identifying information. Those who violate these requirements shall be challenged by a procedure that is required to be established by the State Board.
House Bill 2662 - Amends the State Prompt Payment Act. Provides that in order to receive payment under the Act, State agencies shall submit all invoices to the State Comptroller within 30 days after receiving sufficient information to create a proper bill or invoice. Provides that no contracts shall be entered into by a State agency without appropriation authority for the term of the contract. Effective immediately.
House Bill 3073 - This bill would create the Long-Term Accounting Act. The purpose of the Act is to improve transparency and accountability during the State budget process. The bill contains provisions regarding the passage and electronic publication of appropriation bills. This bill also provides that the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability must publish fiscal budget statements. HB3073 would also set forth the requirements for those fiscal budget statements.
House Bill 3074 - Amends the Criminal Code of 2012, Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, Drug Asset Forfeiture Act, and the Narcotics Profit Forfeiture Act. Provides provisions pertaining to forfeiture proceedings that the court shall admit a signed statement by a person who is 65 years old or older to demonstrate that the conveyance or other property was used without his or her consent. Provides that a claimant may file a temporary restraining order against the person who used his or her property without his or her consent under the Code of Civil Procedure.
House Bill 3218 - Amends the Election Code. Provides that the municipal or local consolidated primary shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March (rather than the last Tuesday in February), and the consolidated election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (rather than the first Tuesday in April). Repeals provisions concerning Passover and Easter.
House Bill 3613 - This bill would amend the Illinois Municipal Code and provide that an office is considered "uncontested" when not more than 2 (currently 4) persons to be nominated for each office have filed valid nomination papers in a timely manner; or if a third (currently fifth) candidate becomes a write-in candidate under specified circumstances.
House Bill 3614 - Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that an office is uncontested at an election when not more than 2 (currently 4) persons to be nominated for each office have timely filed valid nominating papers seeking nomination for the election to that office, or if a third (currently fifth) candidate becomes a write-in candidate under specified circumstances.
HB 4090 - Amends the Illinois Municipal Code and the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that a municipality or county may not collect any debt due or owing the municipality or country for a parking violation during any period of time that is 5 or more years after the date the first notice of violation is sent to the registered owner.
HB 4100 - Amends the Nurse Practice Act. Defines "retail health care facility". Creates provisions concerning workplace violence against nurses in specified medical facilities concerning notice, contacting law enforcement, and mental health services. Requires specified medical facilities to create a workplace violence prevention program with specified requirements. Provides whistleblower protections for any nurse of a specified medical facility if management retaliates against the nurse for certain actions. Provides appropriate cross references in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, the University of Illinois Hospital Act, the MC/DD Act, the ID/DD Community Care Act, and the Hospital Licensing Act. Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Provides that Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice institutions or facilities shall provide notice and specified protections when a committed person is transferred out of the institution or facility to receive medical care and treatment.
HB 4226 - Amends the Department of Public Health Powers and Duties Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Provides that the Department of Public Health shall develop, publish, and disseminate a brochure to educate the general public on the effects of concussion in children and discuss how to look for concussion warning signs in children. The brochure shall be distributed free of charge by schools to any child or the parent or guardian of a child who may have sustained a concussion, regardless of whether or not the concussion occurred while the child was participating in an interscholastic athletic activity. Amends the School Code. Provides that, amongst other duties, the regional office of education (rather than the district superintendent or chief school administrator) of a public elementary or secondary school or charter school shall supervise an athletic trainer or other person responsible for compliance with the return-to-play or return-to-learn concussion protocol established under the Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall (rather than may) adopt rules governing concussion protocol under the Code, including, but not limited to, rules governing the informal or formal accommodation of a student who may have sustained a concussion during an interscholastic athletic activity.
HB 4278 - Amends the Department of Veterans' Affairs Act. Requires that, if an Illinois Veterans Home administrator or a member of the administrative staff is notified that, within one month or less, 2 or more persons residing within the Veterans Home are diagnosed with an infectious disease by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches; a hospital licensed under the Hospital Licensing Act or organized under the University of Illinois Hospital Act; a long-term care facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act; a freestanding emergency center licensed under the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act; a local health department; or any other State agency or government entity, then, within 24 hours after the facility is notified of the second diagnosis, the Illinois Veterans Home must: (1) provide a written notification of the incidence of the infectious disease to each resident of the facility and the resident's emergency contact or next of kin; (2) post a notification of the incidence of the infectious disease in a conspicuous place near the main entrance to the Illinois Veterans Home; and (3) provide a written notification to the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Department of Public Health of the incidence of the infectious disease and of compliance with the notification requirements concerning residents and the resident's emergency contact or next of kin. Requires that, in addition to the initial written notifications, the Veterans Home must provide written notifications of any updates on the incidence of the infectious disease and any options that are available to the residents. Provides that the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Department of Public Health must post the notification of the incidence of the infectious disease, any updates, and any options that are available to the residents on their websites. Effective immediately.
HB 4774 - Amends the Counties Code. In provisions regarding determination of the lowest responsible bidder in purchases by a county with fewer than 2,000,000 inhabitants for services, materials, and equipment, a local company that bids within 5% to 10% of the lowest bid, if that lowest bid is made by a non-local company, is the lowest responsible bidder. Provides that if more than one local company's bid is within 5% to 10% of the lowest bid made by a non-local company, the county board shall award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder among the local company bids. Defines "local company" as a company or business entity located within the contracting county or any contiguous county in the State that has the majority of its regular, full-time workforce located within the contracting county or contiguous county. Amends the Township Code. Makes similar changes in provisions concerning construction contracts and contracts for services, materials, equipment, or supplies. Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Makes similar changes in provisions concerning purchasing and public works contracts in municipalities of less than 500,000.
HB 5148 - Amends the School Code. Provides that course material and instruction in a sex education course shall include, with an emphasis on the workplace environment and life on a college campus, material and discussion on what constitutes sexual consent and what may be considered sexual harassment or sexual assault. Effective July 1, 2018.
HB 5172 - Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Creates a credit in an amount equal to 50%, but not to exceed $2,500, of the costs incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year in connection with the practice of hydroponics. Effective immediately
HB 5574 - Amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. Provides that in lieu of filing a statement of economic interests, members of the General Assembly and executive branch constitutional officers may enter into a blind trust. Provides that any elected official choosing to set up a blind trust shall submit documentation to the Secretary of State attesting to the creation of a blind trust on his or her behalf, and confirming his or her intent to do so in lieu of filing a statement of economic interests. Defines "blind trust".
100th General Assembly Laws Enacted
House Bill 2390 - Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Updates various areas of the law to define Hate Crimes and remedies for those engaging in hate crime behavior.
House Bill 2407- Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that, for the purposes of annexation of contiguous territory, territory shall be considered contiguous to a municipality notwithstanding that the territory is separated from the municipality by a lake, river, or other waterway.
House Bill 2647, 2652, 2653, 2656 and 2657 - These bills collectively would amend the Department of Veteran Affairs Act with provision which would establish a variety of programs and services for the benefit of veterans including the following: a proactive outreach program for veterans that served in high casualty units, high conflict areas, and in units where at least one service member committed suicide following his or her service; a public awareness campaign regarding the trauma suffered by veterans; specified training concerning mental health services for employees of veterans service organizations, associations, and commissions; educational success programs for veterans experiencing specified difficulties in higher education; a family preparation course for the families of returning veterans; a licensing program for therapy dogs for veterans; a transition program for returning veterans that reside in the State; a system that allows veterans to file a specified federal form immediately upon discharge; creation of an employer training program; and a standard statewide training program that will help familiarize veterans with the veterans' services that are available at the local, State, and federal levels.
House Resolution 101 - According to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, there have been 2.5 million American women that have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces since the American Revolution. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs records show that approximately 55,000 of those women veterans reside in the State of Illinois. To honor these women veterans, HR 101 would declare the date of November 9, 2017 as "Illinois Women Veterans Day".
99th General Assembly Laws Enacted
House Bill 5885 – Saving the State of Illinois Money
Rep. Kifowit’s bill would amend the township code and remove the 126 mile cap that is currently in place. This would allow townships the ability to consolidate beyond 126 square miles, including territories connected by a waterway. As recommended by the Consolidation Task Force, this can help the state save money.
House Bill 5730 – Providing the Care Our Veterans Need
The budget impasse in Illinois has caused funding for the Chicago Veteran’s Home to be held up. Rep. Kifowit has introduced a bill that would allow the $70 million dollar fund to be released to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for construction on the much needed 200-bed facility.
House Bills 690, 691, 695 & 178 - Fighting Soaring Property Taxes
With the second-highest property taxes in the country, even as home values decline, Illinois taxpayers and middle-class families need relief. To help overburdened residents, Kifowit voted multiple times to freeze property taxes, supporting House Bill 690, House Bill 691, and House Bill 695. While many legislators refused to take a stand with taxpayers, Kifowit listened to calls from overtaxed constituents and employers asking for relief. She also supported House Bill 178 to extend a property tax freeze for townships under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for 2015.
House Bill 3103 – Protecting Consumers from Online Scams
When Kifowit learned from the Paramount Theater that customers were losing their hard-earned dollars to online ticket scams, she sponsored consumer protection legislation that included requiring online ticket brokers to provide important disclosure information and also provide a full refund policy to better protect purchasers.
House Bill 1441 - Cut Legislator's Pay
House Bill 1441, co-sponsored by Kifowit, requires members of the General Assembly to take 12 unpaid furlough days next fiscal year, beginning July 1, and freezes salaries and reimbursement rates for representatives, senators, state’s attorneys, statewide officials, members of state departments, boards and commissions. At a time when state government needs to make budget cuts andlive within its means, Rep. Kifowit supported legislation that cuts
lawmakers’ salaries by forcing them to work without pay and rejects automatic pay raises for legislators and other elected officials. House
Bill 1441 is now law (Public Act 98-0030).
House Bill 2767 - Eliminate Pension benefits for members of boards and commissions
During the spring legislative session, Kifowit introduced and sponsored several additional cost-cutting measures. Specifically, she introduced and passed legislation, House Bill 2767, to eliminate pension benefits for members on state boards or commissions because they are not full-time state workers.
Kifowit backed a measure, House Bill 71, to fight Medicaid fraud by penalizing those who knowingly help other defraud the system. Both bills were approved by the General Assembly and are awaiting the governor’s signature to become law. Kifowit also supported significant pension reform to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension debt. Unfortunately, the measure stalled in the Senate. However, Kifowit will continue to work to make sure that pension reform becomes law.
House Bill 3041 - Property taxes should not go up when the value of your house goes down.
Many homeowners struggle with rising property taxes, forcing some out of their homes and others even into foreclosure. Rep. Kifowit believes that if
home values in your neighborhood decrease, your taxes should not increase. To help provide needed relief, she introduced legislation that would save
taxpayers money by preventing property tax increases when home values decline. House Bill 3041 is awaiting a vote in the full House.
House Bill 189 - Exact calculation of your property taxes will save you money
Currently, property tax bills are rounded up after three decimal places, costing taxpayers more than they truly owe. To reduce property taxes for families
across Illinois, Kifowit sponsored legislation allowing property tax rates to be calculated beyond three decimal points, making rates as close to the levy
requested as possible without exceeding it. Her measure helps to increase accuracy while putting extra money in taxpayers’ pockets. House Bill 189
awaits further action in the house.
House Bill 2916 - Let Them Rest in Peace
House Bill 2916 strengthens the laws that ban disorderly conduct at funeral and memorial services of soldiers. Disorderly conduct can include: making disruptive noises, such as yelling, singing or chanting; displaying threatening visual images or words; and preventing another person’s entry or exit to the funeral site.
Under current law, protestors must be at least 300 feet away from the site of the funeral or memorial, and they are prohibited from conducting protests 30 minutes before or after the service. Kifowit’s proposal would require that all protests take place at least 1,000 feet away from the funeral, and extend the time that protests are banned to one hour before and after the service.
House Bill 207 - Senior Care Program Funding
House Bill 207, now Public Act 98-0011, provides $173 million to CCP to pay for old bills that rolled over from fiscal year 2012. Without the additional funding, program providers would have been unable to continue providing essential senior services until July 1. CCP provides in-home assistance to the elderly as an alternative to an institutionalized setting like a nursing home, which can also be much more costly. It costs about $8,000 a year for a senior enrolled in CCP compared to about $35,000 a year for a senior in a nursing home.
Recent legislation passed by Kifowit will help preserve the CCP program and save taxpayers more than $66 million by cutting costs through better accountability and fraud prevention measures.
House Bill 1063 - Holding Sex Offenders accountable for their crimes
Provides law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to prosecute individuals who commit sex crimes against children, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit joined her colleagues in passing House Bill 1063, legislation to remove the statute of limitations sex offenders often hide behind.
Under current law, the ability to prosecute criminal sexual abuse of a minor may expire after one year of the victim turning 18 years old. House Bill 1063 will remove the statute of limitations for aggravated or predatory sexual offenses or criminal sexual abuse in cases where the victim was under 18 at the time of the offense. Additionally, the bill extends the time period an individual may report a sexual assault by 20 years.
“We are committed to ending the suffering of sexual assault victims and holding sex offenders accountable for their crimes,” said Lyn Schollett, general counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Children who have been victimized by sexual violence experience unimaginable trauma. Sex offenders often prevent child victims from reporting the crime by blaming or threatening the child. This bill will ensure that when a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is safe enough to report the crime, prosecutors can stand ready to charge the offender.”
House Bill 1063 has been sent to the Governor and awaits his signature to become law.
Senate Bill 9 – Protecting Our Children from Powdered Caffeine
Studies show that only a small dose of powdered caffeine can be lethal. After two young adults overdosed on caffeine, Rep. Kifowit sponsored legislation to ban the sale or distribution of powdered caffeine to anyone under the age of 18. Powered caffeine is currently available on the internet as a supplement and not subject to FDA approval.
Senate Bill 107 – Honoring Those Who sacrificed for Us
Kifowit believes those who have sacrificed so much for the United States shouldn’t fear losing their homes because they cannot afford high property taxes. She sponsored Senate Bill 107 to exempt veterans with very severe disabilities – at least 70 percent or greater service-connected – from having to pay property taxes. Her legislation would also expand property relief to other disabled veterans.
Senate Bill 1793 – PASSED ANNMARIE’S LAW ON SUICIDE AWARENESS
In 2013, 11-year-old AnnMarie Blaha committed suicide after being tormented by bullies. Kifowit passed legislation to provide schools with resources and training on how to notice signs that a child may be suicidal. Known as AnnMarie’s Law, this measure will empower educators to give children the care they need.