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END OF SESSION REPORT – April 12, 2022

END OF SESSION REPORT – April 12, 2022


The Illinois General Assembly adjourned the spring legislative session roughly on its scheduled deadline. Legislative leaders had set the adjournment date for April 8. Lawmakers convened that morning, and completed its work in the wee hours of Saturday morning, April 9. Dawn was breaking when the House of Representatives finally adjourned after approving the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Legislation was approved to start a student loan forgiveness program and a scholarship program for health care providers. The Equity and Representation in Health Care Act includes the Health Care Workforce Repayment Program and the Equity and Representation in Health Care Workforce Scholarship Program. Eligibility requirements are fairly narrow, and are focused on those health care providers who work for a federally qualified health center, and/or work in a health professional shortage area or medically underserved area.


As historically has been the case with these programs, the original bill (HB 4645, Greenwood, D-East St. Louis) omitted chiropractic physicians from eligibility. Several current programs also exclude chiropractors. ICS, however, was successful in working with the bill sponsor to amend the bill to add chiropractic pysicians to those that qualify for eligibility. The amendment was included in the final legislation that ultimately was approved by both legislative chambers. ICS believes that this may open the door for future opportunities to increase parity among health care providers. The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

The bill also had a provision that stated that the program was “subject to appropriation”. The final budget bill does include funding for the program. A line item in HB 900 appropriates $1 million for a “Health Professional Educational Loan Repayment Program”.

Healthcare Licensure

ICS worked diligently on a number of healthcare licensure issues this spring. Renewal of the licensing acts for Naprapathics, Athletic Trainers, and Dietitians were all on the table this year. ICS worked with bill sponsors, IDFPR, and other stakeholders to come to an agreed bill on SB 4016 (Jones, D-Chicago), which extends the repeal date of the Naprapathic Practice Act to January 1, 2028; HB 4665 (Mah, D-Chicago) that extends the repeal date of the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2028; and the Athletic Trainers bill, HB 4629 (Burke, D-Oak Lawn). ICS amendments to the bills will ensure greater parity among licensees under the Medical Practice Act and enhance physician equality.  All three bills were approved and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

State Budget And Other Initiatives

Other major issues this spring included a Fiscal Year 2023 state budget, crime prevention, and tax cuts. HB 900 contained the appropriations for the coming year. With help from an influx of federal funds, the state saw its first budget surplus in years. This allowed lawmakers to fully fund bedrock programs like healthcare, social services, and education. HB 157 was a tax policy bill that shared some of the surplus with taxpayers. Taxes for groceries, gasoline, and school supplies were suspended for the coming year, while the property tax credit was doubled from $150 to $300. Direct checks will be sent to taxpayers in the amount of $50 per household plus $100 for each child.

A crime bill package was also approved. HB 1091 creates a crime and accompanying penalties for organized retail theft. HB 3699 and HB 3772 address the rapid rise in carjackings by providing funding for police to combat the crime, enhanced penalties for offenders, and relief for victims through waiving car impoundment fees. HB 3893 provides funding to hire more police officers; HB 4736 creates a Crime Reduction Task Force; and HB 1571 funds a program for the Department of Human Services to establish after hours childcare programs for the children of first responders.

Lawmakers Turn Toward Elections

The main reason for the earlier-than-usual adjournment date was the 2022 election. This was the year for the decennial legislative redistricting process. Those running for legislative seats will be running in newly drawn districts where they will be wooing a brand new set of voters. The General Primary Election, usually set in March in Illinois, was pushed back to June 28. This allows candidates to start campaigning a little earlier in their new districts. The General Election is set at its usual time in November.

Legislators will not return to the Capitol again until the fall Veto Session.

About Author

Ben Schwarm

Ben Schwarm brings a wealth of experience in government relations, advocacy and member service from a successful career at previous member-driven organizations. He has worked with state legislators, members of Congress and governors to bring positive results and find common sense solutions to legislative problems. Ben is a graduate of Illinois State University where he concentrated on Mass Communications and Public Relations.

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