General Assembly Adjourns as ScheduledThe Illinois General Assembly worked into the morning hours to pass the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and wrap up the legislative work for the spring session. The Senate concluded their business around 3:30 a.m., while the House remained in session until finally adjourning as the sun was breaking over the horizon just after 6 a.m. With the June 28 primary election less than three months away and major renovations beginning at the Capitol, the Illinois General Assembly is not expected to be in session until the fall.
The budget language was adopted onto House Bill 900 (Welch, D-Westchester) and as covered in a previous report Illinois will spend over $46 billion in FY 23. Included in that spending is $350 million in new funding for the Evidence-Based Funding model. Early childhood will also see an increase of nearly $50 million. The budget bill, along with the Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP) HB 4700 (Harris, G., D-Chicago), will also put into place a plan to send most taxpayers direct payments of $50 dollars per tax filer and an additional $100 dollars for each child, up to three children. The direct payments to income taxpayers are part of an overall $1.8 billion dollars in tax savings for Illinois residents. Most of these savings are scheduled to sunset after the November election which drew criticism from the minority in the legislature. Whether you give credit to good fiscal management, increased state revenues due to increased inflation, or financial assistance from the federal government, Illinois’ fiscal condition is better than it has been for several years.
Property Tax AdjustmentsSenate Bill 1975 (Martwick, D-Chicago) contains several changes to Illinois’s property tax laws including additional veterans’ homestead exemptions and exemptions for individuals with disabilities. In the general homestead exemption, SB 1975 makes permanent the $10,000 exemption for Cook County, a $8,000 exemption for the collar counties, and a $6,000 exemption for the rest of the state of Illinois. Along with these changes for all taxing bodies, SB 1975 contains a specific provision for school districts including disclosure of cash reserve balances and an extension of interfund transfers until June 30, 2026. Another IASB initiative, providing school districts under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) an incentive to abate property taxes without losing the ability to recapture the "lost" increment up to 3 years, was also finally adopted in SB 1975. School districts had been seeking a way to provide this taxpayer relief but had been reticent to do so when the PTELL requires districts to levy the maximum or lose access to that increment in the future.
Bills Passed Both Houses April 8HB 4688 (Yednock, D-Ottawa) extends debt limit for certain school districts.
HB 4813 (Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria) exempts from contract bidding requirements contracts for goods, services, or management in the operation of a school's food service, including a school that participates in any of the United States Department of Agriculture's child nutrition programs.
HB 5214 (Villa, D-West Chicago) requires school districts to provide interpreters for parents in IEP and 504 plan meetings.
HB 5488 (Harper, D-Chicago) provides that a middle or high school student shall be permitted by a school board at least one school day-long excused absence per school year to engage in a civic event.
SB 4028 (Simmons, D-Chicago) with respect to the Comprehensive Health Education Program, requires that the instruction on mental health and illness include how and where to find mental health resources in this state. `