Sunday, July 2, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report (100-28)

HOUSE APPROVES REVENUE/APPROPRIATIONS BILLS

SUPPORTERS SHOULD BE COMMENDED

The Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill today that will provide an estimated $5 billion to the state via a permanent increase in the state’s income tax rates. SB 9, handled on the House floor by Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago), passed on a bipartisan vote of 72-45.

SB 9 would increase the individual income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and the corporate rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. Provisions in an earlier version of the bill to broaden the sales tax to cover certain services and increase rates on utilities such as cable, satellite, and digital streaming services, were eliminated from the bill by the adoption of House Amendment 3.

The new revenue stream will allow the state to fund all of state government – including social services and institutions of higher education – and fund a new evidence-based funding formula for schools if SB 1 is signed into law.

As SB 9 provides revenue for the state, SB 6 makes the appropriations necessary to set a spending plan. The House approved the bulk of the plan in an amendment on Friday. Tonight, Representative Greg Harris presented two other amendments which were intended to address items brought forth in recent negotiations. The bill, as amended, was approved on a bipartisan vote of 81-34 and will now be sent to the Senate.

As stated in Alliance Legislative Report 100-26, SB 6 appropriates $350 million for a new, evidence-based funding formula for K-12 education, includes $65 million for regular transportation reimbursements to school districts which will set the proration level to over 80 percent, and increases Early Childhood Education funding by $50 million and Bilingual Education funding by $29 million. The other mandated categorical grant line items would be funded at least at Fiscal Year 2017 levels.

Both the House and Senate will reconvene Monday. The House will likely take up bills on a property tax freeze, pension reform, Workers’ Compensation Act reform, and a budget implementation act. The Senate, of course, will also have to consider the budget bills, SB 6 and SB 9.

RECOGNITION OF LEGISLATORS


School superintendents, board members, business officials, and principals have been very active in urging legislators to approve a balanced state budget for Fiscal Year 2018. It is equally important now for Alliance members to thank those legislators who voted for SB 6 and SB 9 today. Here are the roll calls for SB 6 and SB 9.