SENATE RECAP: Presidential tax return measure heads to Illinois House
Republican calls measure “embarrassing waste of the Senate’s time”
By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is one step closer to requiring presidential or vice-presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s election ballots – if such a measure is even constitutional.
State Sen. Tony Munoz’s Senate Bill 145 passed the Senate by a 36-19 vote Thursday. It would require the release of tax returns for those running for the nation’s executive branch, but not for U.S. senators or representatives or any statewide elected officials such as the governor.
“Why aren’t any of those people in this?” state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, asked.
Munoz, a Chicago Democrat, said he is open to expanding the elected officials included in the bill upon negotiation in the House.
Righter called the bill “an embarrassing waste of the Senate’s time,” citing two U.S. Supreme Court cases which say the Constitution lays out ballot qualifications and states cannot make them more strict.
Munoz said the bill does not add qualifications, but simply requires release of another document.
“They’re doing this in 25 states whether you agree with it or not,” Munoz said, adding “If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t worry about anything.”
The bill would require the release of five years of tax returns to the secretary of state, whose office would redact sensitive information.
It will now move to the House for further consideration.
Alcohol delivery standards set in bill passed by Senate
SPRINGFIELD – A bill which passed the Illinois Senate on Thursday would set a statewide standard for alcohol delivery from retailers such as grocery stores.
“More and more people are ordering their groceries online,” state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) said. “We want to keep up with this modern way of shopping and make sure that any retailers who want to provide this service to their customers are confident that they will be able to deliver anywhere in the state.”
Senate Bill 54 would allow for home delivery of alcohol from grocery stores and other licensed retailers if certain conditions, including age verification and training, are met.
The bill passed the Senate without opposition and heads to the House, where Harmon said he is continuing to meet with working groups to finalize the legislation.
In other action Thursday, the Senate also passed the following bills to the House for further action:
Senate Bill 75: Requires hotels, motels and casinos to provide employees working in isolated spaces safety devices for use if they are sexually assaulted. It also requires such businesses to adopt sexual harassment policies. Vote: 51-3
Senate Bill 24: Requires freight trains and rail carriers to have an operating crew of at least two individuals. Gives the Illinois Commerce Commission the power to conduct hearings and issue and enforce orders such as sanctions, with respect to crew size. Vote: 35-19
Senate Bill 161: Gives the Illinois Attorney General’s office statutory authority to enforce violations of wage theft and workplace rights violations. The bill is similar to previous bills carried by now-Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who was previously a state senator. Vote: 57-0
Senate Bill 222: An initiative of the Illinois State Treasurer’s office, making it illegal to offer consumers a rebate in the form of a card which charges dormancy fees or other post-issuance fees. A similar bill passed in a previous General Assembly and was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Vote: 40-17
Senate Bill 455: Allows a school nurse or administrator to administer or supervise self-administration of medical cannabis-infused products to a student who is a registered patient of the medical cannabis pilot program. The bill outlines requirements for product storage and parental notification. The bill will be further negotiated in the House. Vote: 52-0
Senate Bill 516: Allows all existing riverboat casinos to move to land-based facilities. The bill provides that an application for an owner’s license shall include an additional fee of $100,000 to the Illinois Gaming Board, and that a fee for renewal of an owner’s license is $100,000. The bill will not interfere with future gambling legislation. Vote: 44-5
Senate Bill 637: Requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to reimburse a patient for custom prosthetic and orthotic devices at the Medicaid rate minus 6 percent. It also prohibits HFS and managed care organizations from providing less favorable coverage than applies to all medical and surgical benefits provided under the fee-for-service medical assistance program or the Medicaid managed care plan. Vote: 42-4-2
Senate Bill 946: Allows the Department of Human Services to issue pediatric cancer awareness decals for license plates. Provides fees for the decals will go to the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Fund to go to the University of Illinois Cancer Center for pediatric cancer treatment and research. Vote: 56-0
Senate Bill 1226: Abolishes the Illinois State Charter School Commission, removing the ability of any state entity to overturn a local school board’s decision to deny a charter school application. Creates a charter school application process where only local school boards and communities can decide if a charter school will be allowed. Places existing charter schools under authority of the Illinois State Board of Education. Vote: 40-11-1
Senate Bill 1255: Allows Illinois veterans education grants to be transferred to qualifying dependents between the ages of 18 and 26. Vote: 55-0
Senate Bill 1473: Allows the secretary of state to remove the suspension of an individual's driver's license that was revoked for nonpayment of child support if the individual has arranged for payment in a manner satisfactory to the court or the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Vote: 44-10
Senate Bill 1828: Aims to combat the opioid epidemic in Illinois and provides that the Department of Human Services’ report on drug overdose trends statewide shall provide information on the current substance use disorder treatment capacity within the state. Increases access to drug safety testing and clean needles. Vote: 46-3
Senate Bill 1829: Omnibus, compromise package which strengthens sexual harassment and discrimination laws and gives more protections to private-sector workers who experience sexual harassment and discrimination. Vote: 56-0
Senate Bill 1909: Calls on the state to improve health care for pregnant and postpartum individuals. Requires certain group health insurance policies and other specified policies to provide coverage of medically necessary treatment for postpartum complications as determined by the woman's treating physician. Extends post-pregnancy Medicaid coverage to 12 months from 60 days. Vote: 55-1
Senate Bill 2075: Lowers the compulsory school age from 6 to 5 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. Requires each district to establish kindergarten for 5-year-old children. Vote: 39-16
Senate Bill 1536: Provides that term limits enacted by referendum, ordinance or otherwise must be prospective and shall not prohibit a person otherwise eligible from running for or holding elective office in that municipality. Provides that imposition of term limits shall apply only to terms for the same office. For example, a person hitting aldermanic term limits could still run for mayor. Initial Vote failed: 29-19; it was voted on again hours later on postponed consideration, passing 31-19.