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November 2023

ACMHAI Veto Session Wrap Up

Government Strategy Associates

Last week, the General Assembly concluded their veto session. Several measures were advanced while many high-profile measures remained on the sideline. The Legislature will reconvene in January. 

Community Mental Health Act Gets Revisions

Illinois lawmakers voted to validate multiple referendums despite concerns that ballots were improperly written. The newly passed legislation, if signed into law, will validate and uphold multiple referendums despite concerns that ballots were improperly written.  These referenda created mental health boards to levy taxes for mental health programs. By validating these mental health boards, units of local government can levy the taxes to allow the boars to function as intended.

The legislation also includes a provision that allows the city of Rockford to appoint two new members to the Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board. It also states that there may not be a mental health ballot question during 2024 in a township if there was an approved mental health ballot initiative in 2022.

IDPFR Gets Emergency Rules to Upgrade Licensing System

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has been plagued by historic delays in the processing of license applications. The agency has argued that their outdated computer system has played a significant role is those delays. They had already received funding for the new system and there was a previous lengthy effort for a new system. It ultimately did not meet the requirements of the state’s Procurement Act.

To help alleviate their problems, recently passed legislation creates emergency rules for an expedited and competitive bid procurement process for software to modernize the way IDFPR processes licensing.  This will allow IDFPR to expedite the procurement process and not require the state to start from scratch.  The law says the contract for the software solution shall be executed not later than 90 days the effective date of the act and implementation is required withing 90 days after the contract begins.

IDFPR administers licenses for over 100 different professions including mental health counselors, nurses, barbers, roofers, social workers, dentists, and others. In Illinois, over 1 million people need a professional license or registration to work.

Lawmakers Approve Measure to Allow Small Scale Nuclear Development

A revised bill ending Illinois’ 36-year-old moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants has passed. Governor Pritzker vetoed a bill passed in the spring over concerns it would enable full nuclear power plants. The new measure specifically references and enables small modular reactors, generating less than 300 megawatts.

Proponents argue nuclear energy is more reliable and a transition away from fossil fuels. Opponents of the bill express concerns with safety risks and are worried that an investment in nuclear could deter or delay further investment in renewable energy.  

Invest in Kids Scholarship Program Fails to Achieve Extension

Lawmakers wrapped up the veto session without extending the Invest in Kids tax credit program, which provided indirect state support to children attending private and religious schools. The program, which allowed donors to donate to six approved private school scholarships to claim a 75% income tax credit on their donations, capped at $75 million a year.

Bill to Allow Legislative Staff to Unionize Stalls 

Legislators will have to wait until Spring to advance a bill to allow legislative staff members to unionize. The legislation was championed by the staff of the Democratic Speaker and passed through that House in the first week of the veto session, The bill stalled out in the Senate. 

Efforts Continue on Chicago’s Elected School Board  

Lawmakers failed to reach a resolution over how members of the Chicago Board of Education should be elected next year. These efforts follow months of hearings and meetings about district maps that would be used in those elections.  Lawmakers continue to argue over how many Chicago School Board members should be appointed versus elected, Members of the Illinois House and Senate plan to continue their talks on the issue when they return in January.

2024 Spring Legislative Calendars

Senate Calendar
House Calendar

Deadline to book your room is November 16th!



The ACMHAI December membership meetings will also include a board training on topics such as the Opens Meeting Act, FOIA, board governance, etc. This training will take place as part of the Business meeting on December 8th. More information on this training will be sent out to members soon!

ACMHAI Committee Meetings

  • Children's Behavioral Health: November 23 28 at 10:00am
  • Legislative Committee: November 21at 9:00 am
  • Membership Committee: November 28 at 10:00 am
  • I/DD Committee: January 9 at 10:00 am


Jamie Haley, LCSW

Department of Health Social Work

UI Health


ACMHAI Professional Development Webinar

February 20 at 12PM

Psychiatric Advance Directives: Empowering Control Over Mental Healthcare

The presentation will provide information on specifics of various psychiatric advance directives/legal designations, with particular focus on the topic of increasing utilization of Psychiatric Advance Directives (Declarations for Mental Health Treatment). POA, PADS, and Guardianship will be discussed. Information will also be provided on the current systems for involuntary commitment/treatment, current PAD utilization and research, and current systems barriers to effective utilization.

Check out ACMHAI's YouTube page to view past archived webinars, here.

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