General Assembly Update

Advocacy News,

As previously reported, both houses of the Illinois General Assembly adjourned late in the afternoon on May 31, the officially-scheduled adjournment date for the spring session. The legislature has, however, remained in what the legislative leaders are calling “continuous sessions” throughout the summer. Both chambers have reconvened weekly for Committee of the Whole (all legislators are on committee) hearings on topics ranging from workers compensation to a statewide property tax freeze to the effects of a Fiscal Year 2016 budget not being in place on July 1. Any votes that have been taken during these special sessions are divided along partisan lines.

This political stalemate has come to pass because in May the majority Democrat lawmakers passed a Fiscal Year 2016 state budget that they admitted was $3.3 billion higher in spending than available revenues. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed most of these appropriations bills sent to him, except for the one providing education funding. He has continued to insist that he will negotiate on the budget with the Democratic leaders, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, if they include substantive items from his “Turnaround Agenda,” such as workers compensation reform, term limits for legislators, a property tax freeze, tort reform, and a new method of redistricting. The Democrats claim that they have passed versions of these bills (workers comp in the House) or have brought some of these issues to a vote and that they have subsequently been defeated (property tax freeze). While the partisan political rhetoric is expected to escalate and continue during the next month or so, the question of state employees and service providers being paid remains unresolved. The Senate Democrats passed an emergency budget to fund essential services for one-month (Senate Bill 2040) on July 1. Similar legislation in the House failed by four votes (the legislation needs a three-fifths majority), but the House is expected to take up Senate Bill 2040 when it reconvenes on July 8. The Senate returns to Springfield on July 15. It is safe to predict, however that no meaningful action will occur in Springfield until some bipartisan deal on the budget is reached.

We have been monitoring the proceedings on behalf of CAA, but no substantive bills affecting landlords have been considered during these special legislative sessions.

Content proviced by CAA contract lobbyist Joan Parker, Joan A. Parker Government Affairs