by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations
Just a quick update of the happenings in Springfield regarding state government since my last update early on May 31.
HB 6213, our MCO quality bill, was unanimously concurred with in the House on May 31, and thus passed both houses of the legislature. That bill, along with HB 4554 (mandated PrEP Medicaid coverage) and SB 2397 (Quality of Life Lottery fund extention) passed both houses unanimously but have yet to be sent to the Governor. The Governor will have 60 days to sign them once he has received those bills.
The General Assembly adjourned May 31 without having passed a budget for FY17 or a full budget for FY16. Moving forward, any legislation, including appropriations bills, will require a 3/5 super majority in each house (71 votes in the House, 36 votes in the Senate) until January 1 in order to pass.
The House had passed legislation that funded state operations at the levels consistent with their budget passed last May (minus all items currently being covered by court orders and consent decrees). That legislation, SB 2048, came up for a vote in the Senate late on May 31 and failed to pass, receiving only 17 votes.
The governor released a short-term budget proposal, HB 6585, on the morning of May 31, designed get the state through the election with at least some form of a budget in place. It was put on a bill that would require, at minimum, 6 days for the legislature to act, and thus did come up for a vote in either house that day. That bill is now being used as the basis of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to find some sort of common ground before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
Speaker Madigan has scheduled the House to be in session every Wednesday through at least the end of June. Last Wednesday’s session day was cancelled, however. Speaker Madigan said this was to allow the working groups to continue their work on a compromise budget. Governor Rauner lambasted the Speaker and then claimed the he was “slow-walking” the process deliberately.
Late Friday afternoon, Governor Rauner vetoed SB 2046, an appropriation bill that creates an FY16 budget for Human Services and Higher Education services that have been without appropriation authority for the duration of the budget impasse. This bill appropriates $11 million for Supportive Housing, $23 million for the HIV Lump Sum, and $1.25 million from the General Revenue Fund for the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act. It is as of yet unclear when or if the General Assembly will attempt to override this veto, but we urge the General Assembly to do so quickly so that these two sectors can finally receive promised funding for the current fiscal year.
As of this writing, the Governor had also failed to act yet on SB 2038, an appropriations bill that used no General Revenue Funds and unanimously passed both houses with bipartisan support as a stopgap measure for the Human Services sector for FY16. It appropriated for the HIV Lump Sum $10,534,000, African American HIV/AIDS Response Act $572,500, and Supportive Housing $5,038,000 and $3,382,500. The Governor has previously made indications that he would veto this bill, but has yet to act upon that threat.
It is as yet unclear if the House will convene as stated this Wednesday. Bi-partisan working groups continue to meet to attempt a compromise on at least a short-term budget. I will be sure to update you all on any new as it becomes available.
About the blog
BudgetWatch is a weekly update from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's on-the-ground team in Springfield about the state's longstanding budget impasse. Follow along at aidschicago.org/budgetwatch.