This Week in Springfield – 100-04

IN THIS ISSUE:

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET ADDRESS
SUGAR

 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET ADDRESS

Illinois has gone nearly two years without a state budget. The result has been several downgrades of the state’s bond rating, spending, as a result of court orders, that exceeds revenues, unpaid bills that grow at the rate of $11 million per day, some state vendors not getting paid, etc. Against this backdrop, on Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his third annual Budget Address.

As he did a few weeks ago during his State of the State speech, the Governor struck an optimistic tone about the future possibilities of Illinois noting the state’s many strengths if we make the reforms necessary to be competitive – a focal point of his speech. According to the Governor, if Illinois had been more competitive over the last six years, 540,000 fewer residents would have left the state. If our economy had grown at the national average since 2000, we would have had 650,000 more jobs and an $8.5 billion surplus.

Among the reforms the Governor wants to see in any budget deal, he called out workers’ compensation reform and a permanent property tax freeze as essential reforms as well as term limits and redistricting. The Governor also called for a hard cap on spending to try and force government to live within its means.

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This Week in Springfield – 100-03

IN THIS ISSUE:

STATE BUDGET & REFORMS
LEGISLATIVE INTRODUCTIONS
BUSINESS DAY

This Week in Springfield, the Senate ‘Grand Bargain’ hit a few speed bumps and lawmakers and advocates rushed to file legislation before the Friday filing deadline.

STATE BUDGET & REFORMS

As reported in TWIS in early January, Senate President John Cullerton (D- Chicago), Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R- Lemont) and some members of their respective leadership teams, have been attempting to craft a bi-partisan budgetary framework with the goal of trying to end the nearly two-year old budget impasse. Every day that passes, Illinois adds at least another $11 million in debt. If nothing is done by the end of 2018, the deficit would exceed $20 billion. IRMA and one other business group have been in constant communication with the leaders and their top staff. The engagement is designed to ensure that whatever is ultimately put forth truly solves the decades-old fiscal problems of the state and provides stability going forward while providing the reforms necessary to ensure employers of all sizes can prosper in Illinois. From the perspective of IRMA members, reforms must include restraint of local governments’ ability to continue to layer on seemingly endless and costly mandates in addition to never-ending tax and fee increases. Without this restraint, local governments can easily undo any positive action that may come out of Springfield.

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This Week in Springfield – 100-02

This Week in Springfield, the Governor delivered his annual State of the State address and the Senate held subject matter hearings on their compromise budget framework while discussions on potential changes continues.

SENATE BUDGET COMPROMISE

TWIS readers are aware that prior to the expiration of the 99th General Assembly, the Senate leaders had reported that they had reached a tentative bi-partisan agreement on a budget package framework. Although the package was filed in the last days of the 99th General Assembly, the 99th General Assembly adjourned Sine Die and the leaders promised that they would take the package up for consideration the first week of the 100th General Assembly. Immediately after convening the 100th General Assembly on Wednesday, January 11th, the framework package was introduced in 13 separately filed bills.

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This Week in Springfield – 100-01

This Week in Springfield a bipartisan framework for a budget compromise was proposed by the Senate leaders prior to the adjournment of the 99th General Assembly and reintroduced immediately after the 100th General Assembly officially began as starting point for discussions.  The convening of the 100th Assembly also witnessed new members taking their seats and the election of Senate and House leaders.

EASY ON CRIME TOUGH ON ILLINOIS BUSINESSES

This week, the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform (“Commission”) released a report recommending a series of proposals allegedly designed to decrease the population of state prisons by 25%. One of the Commission’s recommendations is raising the retail theft felony threshold from $300 to $2000—which would give Illinois the second highest felony threshold in the nation. Additionally, the recommendation provides that a retail thief could only be charged with a felony if they had a prior felony theft conviction. This means that an individual can repeatedly steal $1,999 worth of goods and only be charged with a misdemeanor.

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121 Report – CRMA – December 2016

In This Issue:

City Hall Leadership Changes
Cook County Committee Changes
Upcoming Legislation Effective Dates
Legislative Initiatives

CHICAGO CHANGES LEADERSHIP ROLES

 

After winning her election for State Comptroller, former Chicago City Clerk, Susana Mendoza, was sworn in to office on December 5, 2016. A week later, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed then Director of the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs (LCGA), Anna Valencia, to the post. Clerk Valencia will serve out the rest of the term pending City Council approval. Her first order of business will be gather information about whether the office should be combined with the city Comptroller’s office. In addition, she will be working on a municipal ID program to aid residents who traditionally have difficulty getting state-issued identification in securing certain social services and other government resources. Clerk Valencia will serve until the next city election which will be held in 2019.

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