BudgetWatch: The Senate's attempt at a Grand Bargain takes a hit

February 13, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations


A quick update on last week’s session days in Springfield.

The Budget Impasse

The Senate’s attempt at a Grand Bargain took a hit last week as one of the component pieces of legislation dealing with pension reform was voted down by the Senate. Senate President Cullerton began calling pieces of the deal for a vote that had been agreed to, though before the entire bargain was in place. Minority leader Christine Radogno then asked her members to vote present on the bills, saying the whole bargain needed to be in place before any of its component parts were voted upon. In order for the Grand Bargain to go forward, all pieces of that package must be passed and signed. Though the bill could be introduced at a later date, this was a setback.

While the suit filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan appealing the ruling that has been funding state employee pay in the absence on a budget awaits its hearing, Rep. Sue Scherer filed HB 1798 which would provide appropriation authority to pay for state workers through the end of this fiscal year, June 30. The bill passed out of committee on a 4-3-0 vote, and now moves to the full House. Governor Rauner has pledged to veto it should it reach his desk. This issue is seen as important because it is speculated that if state employees stop being paid, there could be pressure brought to force a negotiated settlement to the budget impasse. 

Substantive Legislation

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz introduced HB 40, which passed out of the House Human Services committee. This bill removes a trigger within Illinois state law that would criminalize abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the Supreme Court and allows Medicaid to cover abortions. The bill passed along party lines and now moves to the House for a vote before the entire chamber.

Rep. Mary Flowers also filed an AFC initiative, HB 2800, which requires an HIV test in the third trimester of pregnancy. Current law only mandates a first trimester test. That bill has yet to be assigned to a committee.

Rep. Greg Harris has filed HB 1785, the Vital Records Modernization Act, which allows transgender individuals to change their birth certificate designation prior to undergoing surgery. That bill has also yet to be assigned to a committee.

Rep. Thaddeus Jones has filed HR 60, which designates Feb. 7 as National African-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Illinois. That resolution has yet to be assigned to a committee.

Stay tuned for updates on these and other bills of importance as they develop.

Up Next

The House and Senate reconvene on Wednesday, Feb. 15 through Friday, Feb. 17.  The governor is scheduled to deliver his budget address and release his budget proposal for FY 18 on Wednesday, Feb. 15.


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

Categorized under BudgetWatch.

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