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News | Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Inc.

May 24, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
The four legislative leaders met with the Governor Thursday afternoon. Their next meeting is scheduled for Monday.Capital Bill: Governor Pritzker released his Capital Plan, Rebuild Illinois, late last Friday. Negotiations are ongoing. His proposal has not yet been filed in either chamber. RTA Chairman Dillard noted he appreciates the funding in the proposal but argues it is not enough to meet mass transit needs. Liquor, satellite and other industries are pushing back against the proposed taxes that fund the capital plan. The new bonding authority in the Governor’s plan will require 3/5ths votes in both chambers.


Graduated Income Tax: The House Revenue Committee advanced the constitutional amendment to bring a graduated state income tax to Illinois, SJRCA1 (Harmon/Martwick), and SB687 (Hutchinson/Zalewski), companion legislation to implement the graduated rates. Both bills are pending before the full House. Rep. Zalewski testified that the caucuses will form a working group to continue discussions on property tax relief. The House is expected to take up both of these measures in the coming days.
The Governor signed SB 1596 (Sims/Hoffman) which creates exceptions to the worker’s compensation system by allowing civil actions to be brought against employers in personal injury cases. The new law lifts the 25-year statute of limitation on claims for people diagnosed with latent diseases after exposure to toxic substances (such as asbestos, radiation, beryllium) in the workplace. Effective immediately.


The Illinois Housing Development Authority announced conditional awards totaling more than $28 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will fund 25 affordable housing developments in 16 counties throughout Illinois. Once sold to investors, the tax credits are projected to generate an estimated $257.7 million in private capital to finance the creation and/or preservation of 1,864 affordable units for low- to moderate-income families, seniors, veterans and persons with special needs.


Attorney General Highlights:
Attorney General Raoul joined a coalition of 23 states and local governments in a lawsuit against a Final Rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services which seeks to expand the ability of businesses and individuals’ refusal rights regarding the provision of health care services on the basis of businesses’ or employees’ religious beliefs or moral convictions.  The federal lawsuit seeks to enjoin the Final Rule and prevent it from going into effect. The lawsuit alleges that the Final Rule, which will take effect in July 2019, would undermine the delivery of health care by giving a wide range of health care institutions and individuals a right to refuse care based on the provider’s own personal views.


Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General William Barr for violating federal law by placing “illegal conditions” on funding for Illinois law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program. In his complaint, Raoul alleges that Barr has exceeded his authority under the Constitution and federal law by requiring Illinois law enforcement to actively participate in federal immigration matters in order to receive Byrne JAG program funding. The conditions imposed seek to require Illinois authorities to allow federal immigration agents access to undocumented immigrants in state custody and to provide notification when those immigrants are scheduled to be released. 101st General Assembly:Seven calendar days remain in the 2019 spring session. Big picture items remain fluid right now. Expect long session days next week.  


Child Welfare Reform: Reforms advanced by the DCFS Child Welfare Reform Caucus , SB193 (Morrison/Feigneholtz), unanimously passed the House. The bill is designed to increase accountability from DCFS by requiring higher-level reviews of cases involving non-school age children, and by ensuring that corrective action is taken in reviewed cases as necessary to protect children. The bill also neutralizes any incentives that encourage caseworkers to reunite families, leaving children at risk in situations where parents or family members are perpetrating child abuse and neglect, and require the sole focus to be on the child’s health, safety and best interests. In addition, legislators will receive detailed reports on a regular basis that describe the issues identified in child protection investigations. Returns to the Senate for concurrence.


Scott’s Law: Two bills to strengthen Scott’s law passed the House. SB1862 (Munoz/Evans) expands Scott’s laws protections and increases fines and penalties. 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. Both bills return to the Senate for Concurrence.
A group of legislators and community advocates held a press conference Tuesday to urge the House of Representatives to pass SB9 (Bennett/Ammons) , the Coal Ash Pollution Prevent Act, which addresses the clean-up of waste pits filled with coal ash, the byproduct of burning coal. There are over 80 coal ash ponds in Illinois. SB 9 is on 2nd Reading in the House.

  • SB86 (Stadelman/West) provides that a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to watch or stream video. Passed House, returns to Senate for concurrence. 
  • HB895 (Morgan) makes the medical cannabis program permanent and expands the diseases eligible for the program. The bill previously passed committee but was not called for a vote. This week, the bill was returned to 2nd Reading in the House and a new amendment was filed. The amendment was approved by committee and is pending before the full House.
  • HB2156 (Mah/Castro) provides that it is an unlawful practice to offer to consumers at retail a rebate made on a rebate card that charges dormancy fees or other post-issuance fees. Defines “rebate card”. Senate adopted an amendment that clarifies that the prohibition applies to fees charged to the consumer, not swipe fees. Passed Senate, returns to House for concurrence.
  • SB1226 (Holmes/Welch) Abolishes the Illinois State Charter School Commission, removing the ability of any state entity to overturn a local school board’s decision to deny a charter school application. Creates a charter school application process where only local school boards and communities can decide if a charter school will be allowed. Places existing charter schools under authority of the Illinois State Board of Education. Includes a route of appeal for existing charters. Negotiations between the Charter School Network and the IEA produced a Memorandum of Understanding. Passed the House 84-29 and heads back to Senate for concurrence.
  • SB1966 (Morriosn/Willis) was introduced to address the Aurora shooting. Requires new FOID card holders and those renewing their license to submit to fingerprint checks. Increases application fees from $10 to $50 and reduces licensing period to 5 years (currently 10 years). Passed House Judiciary along partisan lines. A second amendment was filed Friday morning that makes changes including lowering the FOID license and renewal fee to $20. That amendment is assigned to the Rules committee. SB 1966 is on 2nd Reading in the House.
  • HB834 (Moeller/Castro) prohibits employers from asking job applicants about salary history passed the Senate 41-14. Heads back to House for concurrence
  • SB1407 (Hastings) creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act. Provides that the Department of Labor shall develop by rule a curriculum of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. Also provides that an owner or operator, when contracting for the performance of construction work at the stationary source, shall require that its contractors and any subcontractors use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. SB 1407 passed the Senate 38-17. Heads to the House where it will require three Readings.
  • SB1536 (Link/Mayfield) legislation targeting the imposition of term limits in municipalities overwhelming passed the House 100-16-1. The bill requires prospective term limits and applies to term limits approved on or after Nov. 8, 2016. Heads to the Governor.
  • HB3606 (Martwick/Aquino) creates the Student Online Personal Protection Act. Passed the Senate and heads back to the House for concurrence.

Jawaharial “Omar” Williams, a laborer in the Chicago’s Department of Water Management, was selected to replace former State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin. Williams is the son of Ald. Walter Burnett.


Coming up:

The House returns to session Sunday, May 26th at 4 pm. The Senate will return to Session on Monday, May 27th at 4pm. Friday, May31st is the scheduled adjournment of the 2019 spring session.

 Key Session Dates

May 31- ADJOURNMENT.

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.

May 11, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:

Recreational Marijuana: 
Governor Pritzker and legislative negotiators unveiled a draft proposal (SB7 /Steans) to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois. Under the plan, Illinois residents could possess up to 30 grams of marijuana (15 grams for non-residents). Adults can grow up to five plants if certain conditions are met. Products will be taxed on a scale based upon the amount of THC. Cultivators will be taxed 7% on their gross receipts. Permits current large-scale commercial growers who serve the medical cannabis community as well as small “craft” growers. Establishes a $20 million low interest loan program through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for qualified applicants to help defray the start-up costs. Establishes licenses for “social equity applicants”. Places limitations on ownership to prevent the ownership consolidation. Misdemeanor and class 4 felony marijuana convictions would be expunged. The amendment is assigned to the Senate Executive Committee. A hearing on the proposal is not scheduled. The Governor’s office noted this is not the final product. Negotiations continue.


Pension Payment Deferral: 
Governor Pritzker announced he will be dropping his plan to defer $952 million in pension payments for FY 20 due to higher than expected April revenues. Revenue Director David Harris told legislators Tuesday that income tax receipts in April were $1.14 billion higher than April 2018, and $1.5 billion more than “conservative” earlier projections. That increase is likely to continue into the next fiscal year. Pritzker’s budget initially proposed extending the state’s current pension ramp from the current 2045 to 2052. Doing so would allow the state to put in $952 million less next year and spend the money elsewhere.


Graduated Income Tax: 
The Governor’s graduated income tax proposal, SJRCA1(Harmon/Martwick) is assigned to the House Revenue Committee. Two of the 74 Democratic representatives, Rep. Yingling and Rep. Carroll, publicly stated this week that they do not support the Governor’s tax proposal. Republicans remain united in their opposition. Passage requires 71 votes in the House.   A hearing has not yet been scheduled.


Governor JB Pritzker appointed state Rep. Jerry Costello II to serve as the Director of Law Enforcement at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Westlake Hospital in suburban Melrose Park will remain open for now. Last week the Health Facilities and Services Review Board ruled unanimously to allow the hospital to close. This week a Cook County Judge ruled that the hospital must keep stay open while the court reviews the Health Board’s decision. Rep. Welch, Rep. Willis and Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico have asked the Attorney General to intervene in the Westlake issue. On another note, Governor Pritzker withdrew the nominations of Julie Hamos and Michael Geldner to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board following their participation in the decision to close Westlake.


The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment is posting two Notification of Funding Opportunities for a total of $15 million to provide minority-owned businesses with resources to help create jobs, build capacity, increase revenues, and expand regionally. The program was authorized, but never funded. $10 million in funding is open to minority-owned businesses located in underserved populations. Eligible applicants include minority- owned businesses using the federal definition of minority owned firms (at least 51% of the firm is directly and unconditionally owned by one or more members of a minority group), start-ups or established businesses requiring public infrastructure improvements. $5 million in funding is available for incubators who serve or would like to serve minority-owned businesses.  The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will offer informational workshops across the state for businesses and incubators seeking additional details about the grants.


101st General Assembly:
Friday, May 10th was the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committee in the second chamber. Some deadline extensions are likely. The House canceled session for Friday, May 10th and Monday, May 13th.
Cigarette Tax: 
Senate President Cullerton is pushing a plan to raise Illinois’ cigarette tax by $1 per pack, three times what the governor called for in his FY 20 budget proposal. Supporters say increasing the current $1.98 per-pack tax would bring in $159 million in revenue for the state, with the added benefits of cutting smoking rates and health care costs. The proposal includes a $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes sold in Illinois, which would bring the statewide tax up to $2.98 per pack. The proposal also increases taxes on other tobacco products to 64% of the wholesale price. Governor Pritzker’s FY 20 budget proposes a 32 cents per pack increase on cigarettes and a 36 percent tax on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes. Cullerton and advocates announced the plan at a press conference. The proposal has not yet been filed.
Child Welfare Reform: 
Legislators formed the DCFS Child Welfare Reform Caucus and proposed an initial set of reforms through an amendment to SB193 (Morrison/Feigneholtz) . The bill is designed to increase accountability from DCFS by requiring higher-level reviews of cases involving non-school age children, and by ensuring that corrective action is taken in reviewed cases as necessary to protect children. The bill also neutralizes any incentives that encourage caseworkers to reunite families, leaving children at risk in situations where parents or family members are perpetrating child abuse and neglect, and require the sole focus to be on the child’s health, safety and best interests. In addition, legislators will receive detailed reports on a regular basis that describe the issues identified in child protection investigations. The amendment passed committee unanimously and is now pending before the full House.
Capital Funding: 
Two capital proposals surfaced this week. HB391 (Zalewski) and HB HB3233 (Evans/Sandoval) are both supported by Operating Engineers Local 150. The bill is estimated to generate $2.4 billion a year for horizontal projects – roads, bridges, and public transportation projects. Under this bill, the state’s gas tax would increase by 25 cents per gallon (going from 19 to 44 cents per gallon) and car license and registration fees would also increase. The gas tax would be indexed to inflation. Municipalities are authorized to impose their own 3 cents a gallon gas tax by referendum. Driver’s license fees would essentially double and title fees would increase from $95 to $155. Vehicle registration for electric vehicles would increase to $1,000. Funds generated under the bill would be used for “pay-as-you-go” projects rather than a bond issue. Discussions on a capital bill continue with the Governor’s office. This proposal does not include the “vertical” projects requested by hospitals and universities. The amendment to HB 391 passed the House Revenue committee and is now pending before the full House.
Sports Betting: 
Rep. Zalewski filed two new sports betting amendments this week to HB1260 . (Five previous amendments were filed to HB3308 .) At a committee hearing, stakeholders expressed concern over license fees and taxes especially in relation to those of neighboring states.  Amendment 1 authorizes sports betting for riverboat casinos horse racing tracks, off-track betting parlors, video gaming operators and the lottery. Amendment 2 allows for companies such as DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook to get their own licenses at a higher cost, with the possibility of a “bad-actor delay”. The amendment includes requests from sports leagues on integrity fees and data. The second amendment does not include the lottery. Both amendments include a 25% tax rate on operator gross sports wagering revenue. Negotiations are ongoing. Both amendments remain in the House Rules Committee.
The Senate approved HB2233 (Thapedi/Mulroe) which codifies modern practice and case law regarding special interrogatories and provides guidance about their use. This is an initiative of the Illinois Trial Lawyers and the Illinois State Bar Association.The bill now heads to the Governor.
Nathan Reitz, son of former Rep. Dan Reitz, was appointed to replace Rep. Jerry Costello II, who resigned to take a job at IDNR. A replacement for Rep. Conyears-Ervin who resigned last week following her election as Chicago City Clerk is expected to be named on May 18th.
Coming Up:
Both chambers return to session on Tuesday, May 14th at noon. Three weeks remain in the spring session. 

Key Session Dates
May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.

May 31- ADJOURNMENT.

May 6, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights:
Graduated Income Tax: Governor Pritzker’s graduated income tax plan cleared another hurdle last week passing the full Senate on a partisan roll call by a vote of 40-19. SJRCA1(Harmon) proposes to revise the state’s Constitution as follows: “The General Assembly shall provide by law for the rate or rates of any tax on or measured by income imposed by the state. In any such tax imposed upon corporations the highest rate shall not exceed the highest rate imposed on individuals by more than a ratio of 8 to 5.” The constitutional amendment now heads to the House for consideration. The approval process of the resolution requires a 3/5ths vote by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and voter approval in the November 2020 election by either 60% of the voters voting on the question or 50% of voters voting in the election.
Governor Pritzker appointed the following:

  • Thomas Chan was appointed the new acting director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Chan replaced Gustavo Giraldo, who was appointed to the position by Pritzker in March and then resigned two weeks later.
  • Barbara Flynn Currie will serve on the Illinois Pollution Control Board 
  • Anastasia Palivos will serve on the Illinois Pollution Control Board
  • David Arenas will serve on the Illinois Capital Development Board 
  • Martesha Brown will serve on the Illinois Capital Development Board 
  • Pamela McDonough will continue to serve on the Illinois Capital Development Board 
  • Glyn Ramage will continue to serve on the Illinois Capital Development Board
  • Eileen Rhodes will serve on the Illinois Capital Development Board
  • Vivian Robinson will serve as commissioner of the Illinois Civil Service Commission
  • Joseph Dively will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University 
  • Audrey Edwards will serve on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University 
  • Christopher Hicks will serve on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University 
  • Joyce Madigan will serve on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University 
  • Martin Ruhaak will serve on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University 
  • Phillip Thompson Jr. will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University
  • Pamela Davidson will serve as Chair of the Local Records Commission
  • Rita Athas will serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University 
  • Dennis Barsema will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University
  • John Butler will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University
  • Montel Gayles will serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University  
  • Veronica Herrero will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University 
  • Robert Pritchard will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University
  • Eric Wasowicz will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University

101st General Assembly:
In addition to passing the graduated income tax constitutional amendment, Illinois Senate Democrats advanced a package of proposals to implement a graduated income tax, freeze property taxes and repeal the estate tax. The package of bills must be approved together, along with the graduated income tax constitutional amendment, or the bills die. If approved, the bills take effect January 1, 2021. This package does not represent a negotiated agreement with the Governor and the House.
Graduated Income Tax Rates:SB687 (Hutchinson) Proposes new graduated income tax rates for individuals and corporations (see below). The bill represents changes to the rates Governor Pritzker proposed in March. According to the sponsor, this bill addresses criticism of the “marriage penalty” in the Pritzker plan by creating different rates for married and single filers. Under this plan, the top rate would be 7.99% (7.95% in Pritzker’s plan) and apply to the entire income of single filers earning more than $750,000 annually or joint filers earning more than $1 million. These rates are estimated to generate $3.3 billion.

Individual RateJoint FilersSingle Filers
4.75%$0-10,000$0-10,000
4.85%$10,001-100,000$10,001-100,000
4.95%$100,001-250,000$100,001-250,000
7.75%$250,001-500,000$250,001-350,000
7.85%$500,001-1,000,000$350,001-750,000
7.99%1,000,000+ (includes all income)750,000+ (includes all income)

 The Corporate Tax Rate would increase from 7% currently to 7.99% (7.95% in Pritzker’s plan) generating a projected $350 million. In addition, individuals would receive a $100 income tax credit per child up to $80,000 in earnings for single filers and $100,000 in earnings for joint filers. The proposal also includes $100 million increase in LGDF funding. Passed the Senate 36-22 and heads to the House.
Estate Tax: SB689 (John Cullerton) Repeals the estate tax. Repealing this tax would result in about $300 million loss in revenue. Passed the Senate 33-24 and heads to the House.
Property Tax Freeze: SB690 (Manar) Freezes school property taxes in years that the state fully funds the new school aid formula ($350 million additional) and categorical spending ($300 million additional). The state has not fully funded categorical programs in almost a decade. The freeze is an annual freeze, reevaluated each year. The bill would take effect beginning with the Fiscal Year 2022 budget cycle. The freeze only applies to school property taxes. Passed the Senate 36-18-0.
SB471 (Lightford) requires employers with more than one employee to provide paid sick time to full and part-time employees. The sponsor pledged to continue to work on the legislation in the House. Passed the Senate 34-15.
SB651 (Lightford) HEAT Act – Legislation backed by the Attorney General to create consumer protections regarding alternative retail electric and gas suppliers. Passed the Senate 43-24 and heads to the House.
A group of lawmakers and stakeholders announced “Build Up Illinois”, a coalition advocating for building projects, also known as “vertical construction”, as part of a comprehensive capital plan. The coalition is composed of groups and associations representing P-20 education – including k-12 school districts and both private and public colleges – the Illinois hospital system and the Illinois AFL-CIO and affiliated building trades. In addition to traditional capital projects, the group is supporting $500 million in capital funding for the Hospital Transformation Capital Program and $2 billion in capital funds for the next fiscal year for state colleges and universities.
Representative Conyears-Ervin resigned her legislative seat prior to be sworn in as Chicago’s City Treasurer. Thursday was her last session day. Her replacement has not been named.
Coming Up:
Both chambers return to session at noon tomorrow Tuesday, May 7th. May 10th is the deadline to pass substantive legislation out committee in the second chamber. Four weeks remain in the Spring session.
Key Session Dates
May 10- DEADLINE for Substantive Bills out of Committee in 2nd chamber.May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.May 31- ADJOURNMENT.

April 26, 2019 Update

Governor’s Highlights: Governor Pritzker signed HB2988 (Williams/Cunningham) which clarifies current law around zoning standards for wind energy development across the state. The bill allows only counties and municipalities to establish standards for wind farm development preventing townships from having any zoning authority over wind energy development. Governor Pritzker made the following appointments: 

  • Maria Bocanegra , Commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission.
  • Elizabeth Lopez, Commissioner of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
  • James Hibbert, Commissioner of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
  • Daniel Brink , Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
  • Oreal James, Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
  • Kaye Wilson, Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
  • Devon Bruce, Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System.
  • Maureen Mena, Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System

Jose Alvarez, the former COO of the Chicago Housing Authority, was selected by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority as its executive director. 

Attorney General Highlights

Attorney General Raoul urged Illinois lawmakers to strengthen oversight of alternative retail energy suppliers to protect consumers from what he calls “deceptive practices”. Raoul initiated SB651 (Lightofrd) which creates the Home Energy Affordability and Transparency Act. SB 651 has a deadline extension in the Senate and remains on 3rd Reading. 

101st General Assembly: 

The Senate Appropriations II Subcommittee on Capital will hold a hearing with the Senate Transportation Subcommittee on Capital to discuss capital infrastructure needs on April 29th at 1:00 PM in Room C600 of the Bilandic Building in Chicago. 

Coming Up:

The Illinois General Assembly will resume session on Tuesday, April 30th following a two-week spring break. Expect legislation to be filed in the coming days/weeks to implement Governor Pritzker’s revenue package for the FY 20 budget including cannabis legalization and sports betting. May 10th is the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committee in the opposite chamber. Five weeks remain in the Spring Legislative Session. 

Key Session Dates

May 10- DEADLINE for Substantive Bills out of Committee in 2nd chamber.May 24- DEADLINE for third reading of Substantive Bills in 2nd chamber.May 31- ADJOURNMENT.