May 12, 2018 Update

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned for the week on Thursday. The House and Senate canceled Friday’s scheduled session. Both chambers will return to session on Tuesday, May 15th at noon. Friday, May 11th was the deadline to pass House Bills out of Senate Committees. Once again, deadline extensions are possible on House Bills pending in Senate Committees.  May 18th is the deadline to pass substantive Senate Bills out of House Committee. Three weeks remain in the Spring Legislative Session.

 

Work continues on the development of the Fiscal Year 19 budget. The Governor and the four legislative leaders met Tuesday to discuss the budget. Afterwards, Governor Rauner expressed his disappointment with the Democratic Leadership for not formally adopting or agreeing to an estimated amount of revenue available to spend in the next fiscal year. The Governor accused the Democrats of “slow walking” the budget process. Senate President Cullerton responded that he would like the Legislature and the Governor to not be locked into a specific dollar amount and rather have the budgetary flexibility to exceed the projected amount of available revenue through the use of funds sweeps and other budgetary maneuvers if necessary. Later in the week, Senate Democrats called on Rauner to introduce the cost-saving measures he proposed in his FY 19 budget. Legislation to implement the cost savings has not yet been filed.

 

Legislators and staff tasked with working on the FY 19 budget reached a deadlock on two key issues, the FY 18 supplemental appropriation and the FY 19 revenue estimate. The working group asked the Leaders and the Governor to find a resolution.
In other budget news, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability announced that revenue for this fiscal year, which ends June 30th, is expected to increase by $535 million more than previously expected. Federal money is projected to increase by an unexpected $360 million and income tax receipts are project to increase $200 million.
This week, Illinois received a Medicaid waiver to implement the Better Care Illinois Behavioral Health Initiative. The $2 billion behavioral health initiative is designed to deliver better outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders. Beginning July 1, 2018, Illinois will begin investing $2 billion of federal funds in 10 pilot projects in an effort to demonstrate better care alternatives and outcomes. The pilots will feature newly created delivery systems designed to improve care, increase the value of patient experiences, and produce better outcomes. The waiver’s goal is to get patients continual care rather than having them use more expensive emergency room or institutional treatment. The waiver runs up to five years and can be renewed or changed.
In other legislative news:
  • Legislation to create a state worker’s compensation fund, HB4595 (Fine), was postponed in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill has not yet received a deadline extension, however, an extension can be granted at any time.
  • A Senate committee approved legislation, HB4572(Guzzardi), which applies the Human Rights Act to businesses with one employee (currently 15 or more employees). The bill is now pending before the full Senate.
  • Legislation to create the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, HB4081 (Halpin), was assigned to the Senate Telecommunications committee this week. Under the bill, employers are required to notify the state if they intend to move a call center out of Illinois. A hearing is not yet scheduled for the bill. Once again, this bill has not yet received a deadline extension, however one could be granted at any time.
  • Legislation to create the Keep Internet Devices Safe Act, SB575 (Roul) received an extended deadline this week. The bill, which is currently a shell bill, is now pending before the full Senate. The amendment, which has not yet been adopted, prohibits any private entity from turning on or enabling a digital device’s microphone to listen for or collect information unless the user agrees to a written policy.
2018 Key Session Dates:

 

May 18: House Committee Deadline, Senate Bills
May 25: Third Reading Deadline for bills in second chamber, both chambers
May 31:   Adjournment