13 bills Illinois lawmakers have introduced in 2023 (copy)


After the frenetic flurry of legislating during the lame duck session and the pomp and circumstance of inaugural activities early last month, state lawmaking has entered a lull period.

Legislators took a full week off in the middle of last month. The Senate returned last week but did not do much. The House is back this week, but isn’t doing much. It is a slow pace that is more reminiscent of the start of past legislative sessions. Call it a return to normal after years of pandemic disruptions.

Beyond getting their committee assignments and establishing rules in each chamber, lawmakers have been introducing a number of bills. Of course, there is no guarantee that any of these bills will receive a hearing, let alone pass and eventually be signed into law.

But, it is still good to get a flavor of what’s being proposed. So far, 1,646 House bills have been introduced while 280 Senate bills have been put forward.

The number is inflated as hundreds of them contain no substance. Known as “shell bills,” these are used as “gut and replace” vehicles at the end of the legislative session for larger items like the budget. It’s a trick for legislators to get around constitutional requirements for bills, such as they be read three separate days in each legislative chamber.

But several did contain more consequential material. With the caveat that this is far from an exhaustive list, here are 13 substantive bills that have been introduced:

  • Senate Bill 43, introduced by state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, would remove the 2024 sunset date on the state law permitting bars and restaurants to sell to-go cocktails. Lawmakers approved the measure on a temporary basis in 2020 as a means of helping the state’s hospitality industry survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The law, initially in effect for one year, was extended for another three years in 2021.
  • Senate Bill 73, introduced by Sen. Sally Turner, R-Beason, would create a new Class X felony — the designation for the most serious crimes short of first-degree murder — requiring nine to 40 years in prison for anyone selling or distributing a scheduled drug, such as Adderall or Vicodin, that is laced with a detectable amount of fentanyl. The legislation would also create a Class 1 felony with a fine of up to $100,000 attached for any person who uses an electronic device, such as a cell phone or computer, to sell drugs containing fentanyl.
  • Senate Bill 95, introduced by state Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Park Ridge, would prohibit a legislator from engaging in paid lobbying of a municipality, county, township or the executive branch of state government.
  • Senate Bill 100, introduced by state Sen. Laura Fine, D-Evanston, states that starting in 2025, a retail establishment may not use a disposable food service container that is composed of polystyrene foam.
  • House Bill 1, introduced by state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, would establish a regulated psychedelic therapy program by legalizing and regulating psilocybin, also known as "magic mushrooms."
  • House Bill 1110, introduced by state Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, would give people the option to carry a digital driver’s license. A person would not be issued a citation for driving without a physical driver’s license if they present a digitized driver’s license. Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias has also expressed support for the concept. 
  • House Bill 1113, introduced by state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, provides that the Secretary of State’s office would only issue just one license plate for newly registered motor vehicles to be attached to the rear. Currently, Illinois is one of 29 states that requires plates on both the front and rear of vehicles. 
  • House Bill 1188, introduced by state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, creates the "Phase Out Corporate Giveaways Interstate Compact." It enters Illinois and any other state that would like to join into a compact in which each member state agrees not to offer or provide any company-specific tax incentive or company-specific grant for a corporate headquarters, manufacturing facility, office space, or other real estate development located in any other member state as an inducement to relocate to the offering member state.
  • House Bill 1255, introduced by state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, would create the "Local Government Business Anti-Poaching Act." This would prevent any city or county from offering an incentive to a business or corporation to move its Illinois headquarters away from the current location.
  • House Bill 1252, also introduced by Sosnowski, would raise the legal age to marry to 18. Under current law, 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to marry with parental consent or the approval of a judge.
  • House Bill 1460 and House Bill 1460, both introduced by state Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savana, would collectively be known as the Knight-Silas Act. They would increase penalties for individuals who commit crimes against Illinois Department of Childhood and Family Services (DCFS) employees. The legislation, named after two DCFS caseworkers who died in the line of duty, has been proposed several years in a row. Though it garnered the support of Pritzker and other prominent Democrats last year, it stalled over concerns about the impact of penalty enhancements.  
  • House Bill 1533, introduced by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, would ban the practice of declawing cats except for a therapeutic purpose. Violators would be subject to a $500 fine for a first violation, $1,000 for a second violation, and $2,500 for a third or subsequent violation.


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February 1, 2023 at 07:34PM

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