Lawmakers will be returning to the Capitol on Oct. 19 to begin the annual fall veto session. The two-week session is designed to allow the General Assembly to have time to deal with legislation vetoed by the Governor. Because Gov. Pritzker has vetoed very few bills, Majority party leaders may decide to take up any number of other issues instead.
Recent news reports and rumors have hinted at a push for lawmakers to advance legislation repealing the Parental Notification of Abortion Act (PNA). The Act was created to make sure that parents are aware of the health issues of their children. In cases of abuse or the health of the children, the PNA has provisions for a youth to petition a judge to receive an abortion without parental notification. Despite those provisions, pro-abortion groups have continually pushed to put an end to the Act.
Lawmakers may also consider making changes to the Healthcare Right of Conscience law. That Act was largely created to protect pro-life individuals from being forced to take part in abortions or related activities. It allows people the right to refuse to receive or take part in healthcare services that are contrary to their conscience. In recent weeks, numerous employees have cited the law as a protection to refuse COVID-19 vaccinations, with some cases being litigated in court. Because of this, Gov. Pritzker has been pushing lawmakers to change the law, potentially removing vaccinations from the law’s definition of healthcare services.
Senate Republicans have continued to push for the legislature to use the annual fall veto session as a time to hold hearings to discuss the ongoing spike in violent crime across the state, and to take action on legislation to help empower the criminal justice system to get violent criminals off of the streets, get illegal guns out of communities, and shore up mental health services.