This Week in Springfield – 100-05

In This Issue:


This Week in Springfield only the House was in Session. A subject matter hearing was held on a Teamsters pharmacy mandate bill and two bills passed the labor committee that are a concern for Illinois’ businesses.

Pharmacy Mandates

 A subject matter hearing was held to discuss HB 2392 (Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago) that was filed on behalf of the Teamsters in attempt to capitalize on a Chicago Tribune investigative report regarding drug interactions. The problem presented in the report involved a patient presenting two scripts which, if dispensed together, had the possibility of a severe interaction. What should have happened is the pharmacist should have called the prescriber, who should not have prescribed the combinations in the first place, or counseled the patient about the potential interaction and urged them to contact their prescriber. In response, at the behest of Governor Bruce Rauner, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) proposed new rules governing counseling by pharmacists. Once these rules are formally adopted by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) Illinois will have one of the strictest, if not the strictest, counseling laws in the nation. These significant regulatory changes move Illinois from an ‘offer to counsel’ state to a ‘mandatory counsel’ state.

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This Week in Springfield – 100-04




Illinois has gone nearly two years without a state budget. The result has been several downgrades of the state’s bond rating, spending, as a result of court orders, that exceeds revenues, unpaid bills that grow at the rate of $11 million per day, some state vendors not getting paid, etc. Against this backdrop, on Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his third annual Budget Address.

As he did a few weeks ago during his State of the State speech, the Governor struck an optimistic tone about the future possibilities of Illinois noting the state’s many strengths if we make the reforms necessary to be competitive – a focal point of his speech. According to the Governor, if Illinois had been more competitive over the last six years, 540,000 fewer residents would have left the state. If our economy had grown at the national average since 2000, we would have had 650,000 more jobs and an $8.5 billion surplus.

Among the reforms the Governor wants to see in any budget deal, he called out workers’ compensation reform and a permanent property tax freeze as essential reforms as well as term limits and redistricting. The Governor also called for a hard cap on spending to try and force government to live within its means.

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This Week in Springfield – 100-03



This Week in Springfield, the Senate ‘Grand Bargain’ hit a few speed bumps and lawmakers and advocates rushed to file legislation before the Friday filing deadline.


As reported in TWIS in early January, Senate President John Cullerton (D- Chicago), Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R- Lemont) and some members of their respective leadership teams, have been attempting to craft a bi-partisan budgetary framework with the goal of trying to end the nearly two-year old budget impasse. Every day that passes, Illinois adds at least another $11 million in debt. If nothing is done by the end of 2018, the deficit would exceed $20 billion. IRMA and one other business group have been in constant communication with the leaders and their top staff. The engagement is designed to ensure that whatever is ultimately put forth truly solves the decades-old fiscal problems of the state and provides stability going forward while providing the reforms necessary to ensure employers of all sizes can prosper in Illinois. From the perspective of IRMA members, reforms must include restraint of local governments’ ability to continue to layer on seemingly endless and costly mandates in addition to never-ending tax and fee increases. Without this restraint, local governments can easily undo any positive action that may come out of Springfield.

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