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Alliance Legislative Report 99-26

Distributed via Email: June 5, 2015


The Illinois House of Representatives met in session Thursday as the stalemate between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrat leadership has sent the legislative session into overtime. The governor will not discuss a budget compromise with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton until his business and taxation reform proposals are adopted. Thus far, the Democrat leaders have shown no interest in approving the governor’s proposals on property tax relief and workers’ compensation reform. The original scheduled adjournment date for the session was May 31.

The House did approve a version of a workers’ compensation bill Thursday, HB 1287, but Republicans called the bill a sham and claimed that it did not address many of the cost drivers in the system. The bill was sent to the Senate but even if it is approved in the upper chamber, the governor will not sign it. At some point, the leaders and governor will have to meet at the table to work out these issues.

Both the House and Senate will return to the Capitol next week as they convene session on Tuesday. The Senate has scheduled a rare Committee of the Whole meeting for Tuesday to discuss the governor’s proposal to freeze property tax extensions. The hearing will begin at noon. The House has no scheduled committees for next week at this time.

The Fiscal Year 2016 budget that the legislature approved with only Democrat votes would spend over $3 billion more than expected revenues. Republicans will not support that imbalance and will not discuss potential new state revenues until the substantive items on the governor’s “Turnaround Agenda” are approved.

Convening an overtime legislative session in June does not create any real hurdles in the process. Though most bills will now need a 3/5 vote for passage, this has no detrimental effect as any true budget compromise bill will have both Democrat and Republican members voting for it and the voting threshold will be met. So other than rank and file members of the legislature getting testy for having to make repeated trips to Springfield with no progress to show for them, meeting in June is not a problem.

The first real pressure for the governor and legislature is the end of the first week of July when state payroll begins to process. Without a FY 2016 budget in place, or at least some approved spending plan, talks of a government shutdown start and the true strain begins.

This legislative report was written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Statewide School Management Alliance.

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