LAWMAKERS GO HOME FOR THE SUMMER
After missing the scheduled session adjournment date last Friday, the Illinois General Assembly continued working through the weekend and completed its business. The House of Representatives completed its work Saturday evening. The Senate arrived in the Capitol Sunday and worked through the day to finish its agenda. Both chambers have now adjourned until the Veto Session to be held October 28-30 and November 12-14.
It was an eventful end of session as Governor JB Pritzker was very successful in his first legislative session. A balanced Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 State budget was approved with bipartisan support. Likewise members of both parties supported a $44 billion capital infrastructure program – including a myriad of increased taxes and fees to support it. Other initiatives of the Governor were also approved this spring, such as: legalization of recreational cannabis, abortion rights, minimum wage increase, and an increase in the minimum teacher salary.
FISCAL YEAR 2020 STATE BUDGET
The 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.
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION BILL
The Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP), SB 1814, was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor. 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% end-of-career salary increase limit to 6%.
CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
SB 690 raises revenues for capital projects for building construction (“vertical construction”). It raises taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, real estate transfers, out-of-state retailers, streaming services, 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 was approved in both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support and will be sent to the Governor.
SB 1939 contains revenue sources for construction of roads and bridges (“horizontal construction”). It will increase the state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, as well as increase the registration and title fees for cars, motorcycles, electric vehicles, and all weights and classes of trucks and heavy equipment. The bill was approved in both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
HB 62 contains bonding and appropriation provisions to generate revenue for spending on construction projects for roads, bridges, schools, and broadband. The plan makes available $1.5 billion to school districts (with a school district match) for construction, $200 million for maintenance grants, and $100 million for early childhood education institutions. The bill was approved in both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
HB 142 issues General Obligation Bonds for capital projects and to help pay the State’s backlog of bills. The bill was approved in both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
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 was approved in both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
PROPERTY AND INCOME TAXES
Several bills were sent to the Governor regarding taxation policy. SB 39 would establish a property tax relief fund in the State treasury to be used to issue property tax rebates to taxpayers. 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. SB 687 contains the new income tax rates that will be imposed if the Constitutional Amendment (SJRCA 1) to provide for graduated rates is approved by voters.
HB 1438 legalizes the adult use of recreational marijuana. It is planned to have the program ready by January 1, 2020. A follow-up bill, SB 2023, makes the medicinal use of marijuana permanent, adds to the ailments that qualify for a medical marijuana certification card, and adds Advance Practical Registered Nurses and Physicians Assistants as “Certifying Health Care Professionals” who can qualify medical marijuana recipients. Both bills were approved by both chambers, however, a motion to reconsider the vote was filed on HB 1438 which means it cannot be sent to the Governor until the motion is withdrawn.
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. It also includes a provision regarding the filing of economic interest statements for public officials, including a requirement that county clerks notify by April 1 of each year and allows them to notify by electronic means.
The bill has been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.
OTHER BILLS THAT HAVE BEEN APPROVED
HB 2627 (Kifowit, D-Aurora) requires that, before detaining and questioning a student on school
grounds who is under 18 years of age and who is suspected of committing a criminal act, a law enforcement officer or other school security personnel must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the student's parent or guardian or school personnel is present during the questioning.
HB 3086 (Lilly, D-Oak Park) requires the Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotional Learning Task Force to discuss anger management in students as well as ways to provide funding for social and emotional learning.
HB 3586 (Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates) requires school districts to utilize response intervention or multi-tiered systems of support as part of an evaluation procedure to determine if a child is eligible for special education services. It provides that the parent or guardian of a student must be involved in the data sharing and decision-making processes of support and that the Illinois State Board of Education may provide guidance to a school district and identify available resources related to facilitating parental or guardian participation.