Illinois Lawmakers Draft Blockchain Taskforce Legislation

House Joint Resolution 25 (HJR25) was officially placed on Calendar Order of Secretary's Desk Resolutions May 11, 2017, following a recently adopted amendment, and will explore the possible risk and benefits of blockchain technology.

With the legislation, Illinois lawmakers are poised to create a "Legislative Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Taskforce" aimed at researching how the state, county, and municipal governments may benefit from blockchain technology. The scope of applications will include recordkeeping and service delivery. Originally proposed in late February 2013, HJR25 has since been amended three times – twice in March and once May 3, 2017.

In its latest incarnation, the resolution hails the merits of blockchain technology, acknowledging that, "nations and municipalities across the world are studying and implementing government reforms that bolster trust and reduce bureaucracy through verifiable open source blockchain technology in a variety of use cases from medical records, land records, banking, and property auctions."

21st District Representative and primary resolution sponsor Michael Zalewski (D) told ETHNews that he would like to build a strategic plan to introduce blockchain technology to the state. Of the Ethereum Blockchain he said, "It has the potential to be a much better, much cleaner way of executing documents."

The task force will research both opportunities and risks associated with various types of blockchains and distributed ledger technology. HJR25 also specifies that the taskforce will study how current laws may be modified to "support secure paperless recordkeeping."

The recently adopted amendment to HJR25 now awaits a full chamber vote. If the resolution garners enough votes, it will return to the Illinois House so representatives may cast their votes for or against the amendment.

"The desire of myself and some of my colleagues," said Zalewski, "is to see if we can introduce the technology to the state."