Friday, February 3, 2017

Alliance Legislative Report 100-03

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to return to work next week with the Senate slated to be in session Tuesday through Thursday and the House of Representatives set for session on Wednesday and Thursday. Committees have been scheduled to consider bills in both chambers, but all eyes will be on the Senate floor as leaders stated that they plan to vote on components of the budget compromise package.

The Senate budget package, contained in Senate Bills 1 through 13, was highlighted in Alliance Legislative Report 100-01. Testimony has already been taken on the bills in committees and now the bills are postured for votes on the Senate floor. Most are on “Third Reading,” the final passage stage on the chamber floor. A few, which still need revisions, are on “Second Reading,” the amendment stage.

The comprehensive and controversial bill package includes provisions to increase the state income tax rates, expand the sales tax base, impose a property tax freeze, reform pension plans, increase the minimum wage, expand gaming, reform the Workers’ Compensation Act, and more. Lawmakers will proceed slowly with this load of weighty issues and the proposed budget deal’s fate is not clear. Even with approval in the Senate, no one knows exactly what is in store in the House of Representatives.

SB 1 is generally considered to be the place holder for the school funding reform language. The bill currently contains no substantive language, but it can be amended with a new plan on the Senate floor. Now that the governor’s Illinois School Funding Reform Commission has issued its report, there could be legislation drafted this week for SB 1.

Click here to read the entire Alliance Legislative Report 100-03, including information on a number of education related bills assigned to committees.