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May 17, 2019 Update | Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Inc.

May 17, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
Governor Pritzker and DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith committed this week to overhaul DCFS’ Intact Family Services Program following the recommendations of the Chapin Hall report.   Earlier this year, the Governor requested Chapin Hall perform an initial analysis of challenges facing the Intact Family Services program, which is designed to keep families together. The report reviewed the long-standing systemic issues that have plagued DCFS for decades and made nine recommendations for short-term and long-term changes.
Moody’s Investors Service rating for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is under review for downgrade. The Tollway has approximately $6.1 billion in outstanding bonds. According to Moody’s, the rating action is driven by the recent US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruling related to the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority bonds. The ruling questions the strength of credit separations between a general government and its enterprises and component units. The review will consider economic, governance, and financial interdependencies between the Tollway and the State of Illinois and the extent that any interdependencies pose risks to the Tollway that could have an impact on its credit quality.
Rob Jeffreys was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Jeffreys spent 21 of his 24 years in corrections management at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Attorney William Cadigan, former Senator Laura Kent Donahue, former Senator Bill Haine and attorney William McGuffage where appointed to the State Board of Elections.

101st General Assembly:
FY 20 Budget: House Republicans announced a revenue framework Thursday that details $2.6 billion more in revenue than House budget working groups had previously accounted for during their budgeting process. According the House Republican plan, previously discussed budget cuts and changes to the income tax system would not be necessary due to increased revenue for FY 20 and other revenue items that House Republicans are prepared to support. Their plan includes using an estimated $845 million in new revenue from increased estimates on FY 20 income and sales taxes combined with another $1.4 billion generated from new revenue proposals suggested by Governor Pritzker. Their plan includes:

  • $1 billion from tax on Medicaid MCOS
  • $212 million from legalizing sports betting
  • $375 million transferred to GRF from reserve fund used to pay tax refunds
  • $175 million from amnesty proposal designed to incentivize the payment of delinquent taxes

House Democrats countered by saying the state’s underlying budget deficit can’t adequately be addressed without new revenue streams.

 Graduated Income Tax: The House Revenue and Finance Committee is scheduled to debate Governor Pritzker’s proposed constitutional amendment (SJRCA1 /Harmon-Martwick ) to implement a graduated income tax in Illinois and the Senate’s bill (SB687/Hutchinson-Zalewski ) to implement the new income tax rates. The hearing is scheduled for May 20th at 4 pm in room 118 of the Capital.

Recreational Marijuana: The Senate Executive Committee held a lengthy subject matter hearing on Wednesday to discuss Governor Pritzker’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana (SB7 /Steans). The bill’s sponsor said she wants the final bill to ensure public safety, include social justice and generate revenue for the state. Revenue resulting from legalization is expected to reach $500 million annually when the program is fully matured. Revenue for FY 20 is estimated at $56 million. Pritzker’s initial budget estimated recreational marijuana would generate $170 million in FY 20. The current bill allocates revenue as follows:

  • 35 % to GRF;
  • 25 % to a “Restoring Our Communities Fund” to pay for community reinvestment projects in low-income and high-crime communities;
  • 20 % to a fund to support mental health and substance abuse services at local health departments;
  • 10 % to the Budget Stabilization Fund to pay the backlog of unpaid bills;
  • 8 % to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to establish a law enforcement grant program; and
  • 2 % to the Drug Treatment Fund to pay for public education and awareness.

Negotiations are ongoing and further changes are expected.Scott’s Law: Governor Pritzker and lawmakers announced two amendments to strengthen Scott’s law. SB1862 (Munoz/Evans)

  • Expands Scott’s Law protections to include a stationary authorized vehicle with oscillating lights, first responders, IDOT workers, law enforcement officers and any individual authorized to be on the highway within the scope of their employment or job duties;
  • Increases the minimum fine to $250 for a first violation of Scott’s Law and to $750 for a second or subsequent violation;
  • Adds a $250 assessment fee for any violation of Scott’s Law to be deposited into a new dedicated fund to produce driver education materials;
  • Increases criminal penalty to a Class A misdemeanor if violation results in damage to another vehicle or a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to one to three years in prison, if violation results in an injury or death of another person;
  • Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to include firefighter and emergency medical service personnel while acting within the scope of their official duties;
  • Adds aggravating factors to reckless homicide charges if Scott’s Law was violated;

SB2038 (McConchie/Batinick) increases awareness of Scott’s law by requiring at least one test question on the driver’s license exam about how to approach an emergency vehicle. Also creates the Move Over Task Force to study the issue of violations of the provisions of the Code prescribing how to safely enter a highway construction zone, approach a disabled vehicle, and approach an authorized emergency vehicle.

Human Trafficking: House Speaker Madigan introduced an amendment to SB1890 to address human trafficking. Increasespenalties on human traffickers and those who benefit from exploitation. Imposes new fines up to $100,000 on businesses that benefit from human trafficking, sex trade activities or involuntary servitude. Gives law enforcement more time to bring these criminals to justice, extending the criminal statute of limitations from three years to 25 years. Gives survivors more time to seek civil penalties against their abusers by extending the civil statute of limitations from ten years to 25 years. Ensures all law enforcement officers receive training in identifying and investigating human trafficking, which is currently offered to new recruits but not required for current officers. The amendment is scheduled for a hearing next week.

Capital Funding: HB3233 (Evans/Sandoval) was assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee but was not discussed. Sandoval indicated he is working on revisions to his bill. Lawmakers may be briefed on the Governor’s capital bill as soon as this afternoon. Illinois schools asked this week to be included in the final product.  Hospitals continue to lobby for inclusion in the final plan.

Other Legislation:

  • Senate approved legislation, HB252 (Guzzardi/Castro) to extend the Human Rights Act to private employers employing 1 or more employees. Heads back to the House for concurrence.
  • Senate approved legislation establishing a referendum process for voters to dissolve McHenry County’s 17 townships. The bill also would require the abolishment of road districts in McHenry and Lake counties that maintain fewer than 15 miles of road. Heads to the Governor’s desk.
  • Senate approved legislation 36-18, HB252(Guzzardi/Castro ) to extend the Human Rights Act to private employers employing 1 or more employees. Heads back to House for concurrence.

Coming Up:Both chambers reconvene on Monday afternoon – the Senate at 4pm, the House at 3pm.  Two weeks remain in the spring session. Adjournment is scheduled for May 31st.   
Key Session Dates
May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.May 31- ADJOURNMENT.