GENERAL ASSEMBLY STILL HAS WORK TO DO
May 31 st, the scheduled legislative adjournment date, has come and gone, but the legislature has not yet completed its business. As was reported in the last Alliance Legislative Report , most of the key components of a final budget compromise package were filed this week, but lawmakers ran out of time before everything could be considered.
The House of Representatives worked into the evening Friday, but had already announced its intentions to be in session through the weekend. House members are in session today (Saturday). The Senate worked into the early hours Saturday in a bid to finish its agenda, and ultimately adjourned. Initially, the Senate announced it would return on October 28 or at the call of the President. Subsequently, however, the Senate has scheduled session for tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, June 1) at 3:00.
FISCAL YEAR 2020 STATE BUDGET
A FY 2020 budget was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor. SB 262 appropriates nearly $40 billion in General Revenue Funds for state spending. This includes an increase of $375 million for the evidence-based funding formula to fund K-12 schools. There is also an increase of $47.3 million for mandated categorical grants – including a $26.3 million increase for transportation reimbursements. Early childhood grants see a boost of $50 million.
The bill was approved in both chambers with bipartisan roll calls. The House approved the bill on a vote of 83-35; the Senate vote was 40-19.
The bill also listed a number of construction and maintenance projects for school districts that would be funded from appropriations and re-appropriations from the Build Illinois Bond Fund, Capital Development Board, and School Construction Law.
SB 689 identifies revenue sources to support the spending priorities for the operating budget. It raises revenues from several state tax sources, including managed care assessments, decoupling from some federal taxes, and allowing collection of retailers’ occupation tax from remote retailers. The bill still needs votes in both the House and Senate.
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION BILL
The Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP), HB 816 , was approved 51-6 by the Senate. The BIMP contains provisions necessary to put the FY 2020 spending plan in place. It also contains a pension provision to raise the current 3 percent end-of-career salary increase limit to 6 percent. It seems that the House is working on its own version of a BIMP (SB 1814), which would require another vote in the Senate.
CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The Governor and the legislature is working hard to put together a statewide capital construction plan. Finding the necessary revenue sources to fund such a program has proved challenging. The amount of revenue raised will determine if the infrastructure plan will cover just roads and bridges, or if there can be construction of buildings for schools, health and social services, and government. A number of bills are postured to address this issue. Provisions and bill numbers may change over the next few days as negotiations continue.
SB 690 raises revenues for capital projects for building construction (“vertical construction”). It raises taxes on cigarettes, real estate transfers, out-of-state retailers, and it ends some tax exemptions. The bill also expands gaming in the State by adding licenses for six new casinos (including one in Chicago), three “racinos”, and adds gaming positions allowed throughout current establishments. The bill still needs votes in both the House and Senate.
HB 3096 contains revenue sources for construction of roads and bridges (“horizontal construction”). The Senate has approved the legislation; it is pending in the House.
HB 62 contains bonding and appropriation provisions to generate revenue for spending on construction projects for roads, bridges, schools, and broadband. The Senate has approved the legislation; it is pending in the House.
HB 142 issues General Obligation Bonds for capital projects and to help pay the State’s backlong of bills. The Senate has approved the legislation; it is pending in the House.
PROPERTY AND INCOME TAXES
SB 39 would establish a property tax relief fund in the state treasury to be used to issue property tax rebates to taxpayers. It would not affect or expand the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). The bill has been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
SB 1932 would establish the Property Tax Relief Task Force that will make recommendations for short-term and long-term property tax relief for homeowners. The bill has been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
SB 687 contains the new income tax rates that will be imposed if the Constitutional Amendment to provide for graduated rates is approved by voters. The bill has been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the governor.
SB 25 establishes the Reproductive Health Act addressing abortion rights. The bill has been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
SB 75 requires the Department of Human Rights to adopt a model sexual harassment prevention training program and requires all employers to use the model or establish a training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the model. The bill has been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
SB 1966 would add more stringent requirements for eligibility to receive a Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card. The House approved the measure and sent the bill to the Senate, but no vote has been taken in that chamber. It is likely that negotiations will continue and that it will not be considered further this session.
HB 1438 legalizes the adult use of recreational marijuana. The bill has been approved by both chambers, however a parliamentary maneuver by a House member will stop the bill from being sent to the Governor unless the motion is removed.
OTHER BILLS THAT HAVE BEEN APPROVED
SB 1213 (Lightford, D-Maywood) requires each school district to implement an appeals process for "unsatisfactory" ratings that includes an assessment of the original rating by a panel of qualified evaluators agreed to by a joint committee that has the power to reevaluate and re-rate a teacher who appeals.
SB 1226 (Holmes, D-Aurora) abolishes the State Charter School Commission and transfers all responsibilities to ISBE.
SB 1371 (Rose, R-Mahomet) allows a school district to install a security locking device on a door of a school building to prevent unwanted entry through the door if certain requirements are met.
HB 2078 (Stuart, D-Collinsville) increase the minimum teacher salary to $40,000 per year.
HB 2719 (Stuart) requires “each high school student” to complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a prerequisite to receive a graduation diploma.