Good morning everyone, I just wanted to take a moment and update you all on the developments that transpired in Springfield last week as the 99th General Assembly (GA) came to a close and the 100th GA got started.
In the Lame Duck session, there were multiple efforts to address the budget situation in each house of the General Assembly. In the House, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) proposed a supplemental budget bill to address Higher Education and Human Services funding that, as of Jan. 1, 2017, has no budget in place. In the budget lines we are most concerned with, the bill, SB 2051, there was included a $10 million increase from the stopgap spending plan to the HIV lump sum, a nearly $500,000 increase in the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act (AAARA), and nearly $5 million increase in supportive housing services. The bill passed the House by a vote of 63-49-0, but was not called for a vote in the Senate before the GA expired.
In the Senate, Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Sen. Christine Radogno pursued a so-called “Grand Bargain” on spending, taxes and non-budgetary reforms (such as workers compensation reform and an increase in the minimum wage), but did so in a manner that left no possible way for the House to take up those bills. It is unclear if Speaker Michael Madigan or Gov. Bruce Rauner would have supported the plan that the Senate put forward, as neither of those parties participated in the deal’s negotiation. It is believed these pieces of legislation will be introduced again for the 100th GA.
The House did pass a property tax freeze (HB 6630) and reforms on the Workers Compensation system (SB 2901), both top priorities for Gov. Rauner. The Senate did not pass either of those pieces of legislation, however.
The 100th GA was inaugurated after the Lame Duck concluded. They begin working in earnest starting next Tuesday, Jan. 24, when both the House and Senate convene. On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Gov. Rauner will deliver his State of the State address to both houses of the General Assembly.
Categorized under BudgetWatch.