Catching up with Coffey

Keeping you caught up with issues impacting our state and our community.


Illinois House committees post hearings for next week. The 44 standing committees of the 103rd General Assembly will consider the bills to be brought forth in the 2023 spring session, as well as in the remainder of this General Assembly. This committee count includes 38 substantive committees to hear statutory bills, five appropriations committees to hear budget bills, and the House Rules Committee.

Under Illinois House rules, each committee is required to post a public notice of its meetings, including a list of the bills and other actions on the agenda. These postings are available on the “House Committees” page of the General Assembly website. The overall House Committees webpage includes hyperlinks to each committee for which a meeting has been posted and scheduled. Anyone who is following a particular bill, and learns that bill has been assigned to a committee, can look up that committee’s webpage to see whether it is on the agenda.


Budget Address/State of the State next week. Governor JB Pritzker will deliver his annual Budget Address/State of the State speech to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 15, where he will unveil his proposed State Budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

The Illinois Constitution directs the General Assembly to enact a budget in which “proposed expenditures shall not exceed funds estimated to be available for the fiscal year as shown in the budget.” House Republicans are again calling for the General Assembly to adopt and stick to a proper revenue estimate, as required by the Constitution. Leader Tony McCombie and her budget team are committed to a budget process that is open, transparent, and accountable to hardworking Illinois families.


New Illinois gun ban law faces stiffening headwinds in court. The Democrats’ gun ban law, passed during the January 2023 lame-duck session, bans certain so-called “assault weapons” as well as extended firearm magazines. The law requires that certain firearms already owned by law-abiding gun owners be registered with the Illinois State Police.

After the gun ban bill was passed by the Democrat supermajority and immediately signed into law by Gov. Pritzker, the measure began to face serious constitutional challenges. This week, a plaintiff’s group that includes Rep. Dan Caulkins won a third Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Illinois gun ban law. The Macon County court decision represented further evidence that multiple Illinois courts are finding that the balance of probable outcomes is shifting against the controversial law. Litigation will continue at the state and federal levels.


Illinois ranked high for regional workforce development. Illinois’ No. 1 status among states in the East North Central region of the U.S. was bestowed by Site Selection, a magazine and website oriented towards professional challenges related to workforce development. Illinois’ high score across a variety of career-readiness metrics was attributed to statewide economic development efforts oriented towards workplace-ready training. Illinois replaced Indiana, the previous No. 1 Midwestern state, in the multistate ranking.

Illinois’ orientation towards workforce development includes strong institutional ties between community colleges and local employers. House Republicans have championed the creation of employment advisory boards within the Illinois community college system. Illinois manufacturers and other employers have pioneered new ways to use the concept of registered apprenticeship programs as a tool for regional workforce development.