Friday, March 2, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-58


The Illinois General Assembly convened this week to continue consideration of bills in committee. Though dozens of bills were approved and sent to their respective chamber’s floor, high profile bills concerning safety and gun control took center stage. Several different bills were moving in both chambers, including bills to ban bump stocks, raise the minimum age to purchase certain firearms, and to license firearm dealers. The licensure bill, SB 1657, was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the governor for action. Multiple votes are still pending for the other measures.

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) both presented their Fiscal Year 2019 revenue estimates to the House Revenue and Finance Committee. Both predicted revenue growth for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2018. GOMB is predicting state revenues of $31.8 billion while COGFA is predicting a slightly lower amount at $31.7 billion. The adoption of a revenue estimate by the General Assembly is usually the first step in the budget making process. Disagreement regarding revenues often occurs, further escalating contentious fiscal battles and making the appropriations (spending) process that much more difficult. 2018 being an election year provides additional challenges to finding compromise.

The House of Representatives will return to the Capitol next Tuesday-Thursday. The Senate will return on March 13. Both will then take a break during the weeks of the primary election (March 20) and Easter/Passover.