Legislative Update


(House Amendment #1 to Senate Bill 6)

State budget negotiations has taken much deliberation and compromise, regardless what you may be hearing on the news.  Some of the concessions were extremely difficult to vote for because they help to limit the power of local government, hurt workers, limit one’s right to vote for the person or unit of government of their choice or protect injured workers.  But, in order to come to an agreement on a budget, we voted on these measures the other day.  The four (bad) bills below represent how far one side of the aisle has moved towards non-budgetary demands in order to pass an honest and balanced budget.

Property Tax Freeze – Senate Bill 484 (Failed 59-46)
•    At the request of Republicans, Democrats agreed to extend the freeze from two years to four years.
•    Democrats have met Republican requests to make the freeze apply to all home rule units, freeze the debt service extension and tightened regulation of school districts that could be exempt from the freeze.
•    The governor has moved the goal posts.  No previously filed version of a property tax freeze included language to extend the length of the freeze or actually decrease taxing districts’ extensions.

Workers’ Compensation – House Bill 200 (Passed the House 64-48)
•    Key provisions in House Bill 200 are identical to those filed by Republicans in House Bill 4068, including limits on certain leg, arm and neck injuries, increased fraud penalties, and a method of reducing prescription drug costs.
•    The Democratic bill takes steps to address further Republican requests by codifying a standard for traveling employees establishing a fee schedule for certain medical treatments and requiring consideration of AMA guidelines when determining an injured workers disability.
•    While nothing in this bill will help injured workers, this bill shows House Democrats want to find a compromise and are willing to move forward with reforms in order to get a balanced budget.

Pension Reform – House Bill 4045 (Passed the House 61-41)
•    House Democrats have agreed to a compromise on six of the seven Republican requests when it comes to pensions.
•    At the request of Republicans, House Democrats’ House Bill 4045 applies a consideration model for all system.
•    Our bill includes pension buyout plans for SERS, SURS, and TRS as requested by Republicans.  Democrats have also agreed to create optional defined contribution systems for Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Local Government Consolidation – House Bill 171 (Passed the House 61-45)
House Bill 171 incorporates government consolidation measures previously negotiated with Republicans, and compromises with new Republican demands to create a vote-initiated referendum that will allow for the consideration of units of local government.

All of the bills, with the exception of the Property Tax Freeze bill that failed, are off to the Senate.  It is my understanding that they will pass it.  The Property Tax Freeze bill is still in play if the House Republicans wish to reconsider it.  Freezing the levy – which is not the Executive Branches’ business – will insure that your taxes will increase, each and every one of your taxing bodies.

So, these are the concessions we have made.


The House Democrats’ (HDem) Proposal adopts key ideas from the Senate Democrats’ and
Republicans’ budget plans:

•    The HDem Proposal spends $36.5 billion in general funds-this is $2.5 billion less than the FY 17 spending of $39 billion and $800 million less than both the Governor’s introduced budget and the Senate Democrats’ proposal for FY 18;

•     The Governor’s ideas for pension savings are adopted, reducing   the FY 18 certified contribution by $801 million;

The Republicans’ idea to move transfers to local governments off of the general funds budget is adopted, and expanded to include transfers to the transit systems.

•         State employees’ group health expenses are fully appropriated, and assume only modest concessions would be achieved in negotiations.

•    Across the board reductions are made to government operations, consistent with the Senate
Democrats’ and Republicans’ proposals.

The HDem Proposal continues the House Democrats’ commitment to protect funding for programs that support the most vulnerable populations and middle-class families, as described in depth below.

•     SB 6 represents a $743 million GRF increase over FY 17 appropriations.   The majority of the increase is due to the implementation of the new Evidence Based Funding Model (EBM).
•    $350,000,000 (GRF) in increased funding for Year 1 of the EBM.
•    $50,000,000 (GRF) increase for Early Childhood Education.   In 2015, Illinois was awarded an $80 million Preschool Expansion Grant from the federal government that requires the state to contribute $50 million in additional funds to early childhood education in each fiscal year for 5 years.     SB  6 would keep the state on track   for federal   matching   grant requirements.
•    $57,100,900 (GRF) increase for Regular Transportation appropriations.  In FY 17, transportation was prorated at 71%. Under this proposal, transportation would be prorated at 84.6%.
•    $38,546,000 (GRF) increase to Bilingual Education   Funding.     SB  6 allocates bilingual education between new EBM funds and a separate appropriation to provide “full” bilingual education funding.  Bilingual Education had been prorated at 59% in FY 17.
•    $3,200,000 (GRF) increase for Agricultural Education.
•    Maintains $15,000,000 (GRF) in funding for After School Programs, first appropriated in FY 17.
•    $6,560,200 for District Intervention Funding to assist East St. Louis SO 189 and North
Chicago SO 187.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
•     $10,371,900 in its own appropriation, independent from the former Historic Preservation

•     Grants to soil and water conservation districts are increased by $8.5 million over the
Governor’s introduced level.
•    $10 million in additional funding for the U of I Cooperative Extension Services and County
Fairs and Agricultural Societies.

Attorney General
•     The IL Equal Justice Foundation is fully funded with a total of $2.8 million ($1.4 OSF and
$1.4 GRF).

Court of Claims
•     $8 million for Line of Duty awards.
•       $6 million for Crimes under the Crime Victim Compensation Act.
•     $23 million for Claims other than Crime Victims.

Commerce & Economic Opportunity
•     Job Training Grants funded at $18.4 million.
•     Community and Economic Development funded at $2.15 million.
– African-American Family Commission, Agudath of Israel, and Northeast DuPage Special
•    Recreation Association funded at FY 15 levels.
•    State and Federal LIHEAP fully funded.
•    Increase grant to Choose Chicago by $330,500 compared to Governor’s introduced level
Increase grants to Convention and Tourism Bureaus outside of Chicago by $1.5 million compared to
Governor’s introduced level.

•    Provides for the Help America Vote Act maintenance of effort.
•    Reimburses local governments for the Voter Registration Systems Database.

Environmental Protection Agency
•     Funded at FY 18 introduced levels and provides funding for Leaking Underground Storage
Tanks, Alternate Fuels Rebate Program, and Clean Water and Air Quality Programs.

•    Provides funding for payment of lottery prize at $1 billion.

Natural Resources
•     Provides funding for Parks and Conservation, Sparta World Shooting Complex, and Division of Fisheries.

•    $4,750,000 increase in hardship refunds of state tax overpayments.

Secretary of State
•    Agency operations fully funded for the best service and satisfaction at drivers’ license facilities.
Library grants includes:

Chicago Public Library;                                   Annual equalization grants;
Annual per capita grants for schools;           Library services for the blind and disabled;
Literacy programs; Technology grants;
Repairs and permanent improvements; and Federal library dollars

Protested tax refunds funded.  Have not been appropriated since FY 15.


•    Operational funds for public universities/community colleges at 95% of FY 15 level – including:

Base Operating/Equalization (Supplements community college districts teaching fiscally­
intense courses (e.g., medical) and with limited local taxing resources).
Prairie Research Institute (PRI) – University of Illinois: 0f’Jest Nile Virus research).
University of Illinois Hospital- Vital Medicaid services to vulnerable populations.
National Corn-to-Ethanol Research– Enhances Illinois’ energy production potential.
Provides general revenue funding (95%-100% of FY 15) for critical grants: Monetary Award Program (Critical tuition off-set (affordability) grants).
Adult Education (Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for federal funds for community college
technical and adult education).
Golden Apple (Increases instructional excellence among hard-to-serve populations).
Line of Duty Scholarships (Provides critical scholarships for children of those injured or killed in the line of duty as police and fire fighters).
Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (Studies vital crop bio-diversity).
Hispanic Center of Excellence (Increases minority medical field inclusion).
Diversifying Higher Education (Increases minority _faculty inclusion).
Grow Your Own (Increases quality instruction among hard-to-serve areas).
IMSA FUSION (Provides excellent scientific exposures to children).
Longitudinal Data System (Longitudinally cross-verifying HE outcomes).
MyCredits Transfer (Ensures seamless transfers across the HE system).
University Center of Lake County (Provides undergraduate/graduate HE opportunities in
the northern suburbs).
Alternative Schools Network (Provides educational pathways for victims of poverty and violent crime).
Bridge Programs (e.g., One Million Degrees- Provides vital educational rescues and pathways for 1st generation students of poverty).
East St. Louis Community College Center (Provides vital technical and adult education pathways).
Veterans’   Grants (Provides critical   community. college   cost-offsets   to absorb   high volumes of veteran tuition waivers).


•    Includes   $818,900,000 for the Community Care Program (CCP), which fully funds the program.    Does not include   any funding   for the proposed   Community   Reinvestment Program.
•    Includes $21,800,000 for Home Delivered Meals, an approximate $10 million increase from
FY 15.
•    Includes approximately $50 million for a rate increase for CCP providers, Children & Family Services
•     Fully funds Foster Homes and Specialized Foster Care – $195 million.
•     Fully funds Institution and Group Home Care and Prevention. -$134 million.
•    Fully funds Adoption and Guardianship and Advocacy Services- $108 million.

Healthcare & Family Services
•    Fully funds the state’s Medicaid program at the Governor’s FY 18 introduced budget level.
•     All OSF and federal funds are identical to the Governor’s FY 18 introduced budget level.
•     Includes a $4.3 million rate increase for Supportive Living Facilities.
•     Full funding for the University of Illinois Hospital Fund, $375 million. Governor’s FY  18 introduced reduced this to $200 million.
•    Drug Rebate Fund appropriated at FY 18 Governor’s introduced level, this is an increase of
$280 million over FY 15 levels to pay for MCO and FFS payments to pharmacies.
•     Poison control center is fully funded at $3 million OSF.

Human Services
•    Restores Child Care Assistance Program to 185% FPL and restores access to the CCAP for families enrolled full-time in non-TANF education and training programs by adding them to priority populations (HB 3213).
•    Fully funds domestic violence shelters- $18.6 million.
•    Full funding for Early Intervention -$96.6 million.
•    Includes   a $53.4   million   rate increase   for DSP workers   for services for people with developmental disabilities.
•    Includes a $12.6 million rate increase for providers of the Home Services Program.
•    Includes a $3.5 million rate increase for community mental health providers.

•    Funds the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings Program at FY 151evels-$13.5 million.
•    Funds the AIDS Drug Assistance Program at FY 15 levels – $25.4 million.
•    Local Health Protection Grants are fully funded at $18,098,500.
•    Contains the following programs that are eliminated in the Governor’s proposed budget:
–    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Program; University of Illinois Sickle Cell Clinic;
–    Prostate Cancer Awareness; and
–    Violence Prevention Task Force.

•    Includes $4.1 million for costs associated with the new Chicago Veterans’ Home.
•    Includes full funding for the 4 Illinois Veterans’ Home and the Homeless Veterans’ Program at Manteno.


Appellate Prosecutor
•       $2,000,000-grant to 1st Appellate District in Cook County.
•      $52,202,200 – 2 mental health treatment centers.
•      $31,903,500- 2 life skills reentry centers.
•        $1,000,000 – Full appropriation for the Sex Offender Management Board
•    $775,000 – Full appropriation for the Sentencing Policy Advisory Board

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Agency
•     $10,174,700-Full appropriation for Adult Redeploy ($8,174,700 GRF/$2,000,000 OSF).
•     $1,200,0000-Full appropriation for the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council.
•    $1,200,000-Full appropriation for Safe from the Start.
•    $4,594,300 -Full appropriation for Cease Fire.
•    $443,000-Full appropriation for Bully Prevention.
•    $5,000,000-For community-based violence prevention grants (Governor’s request).
•    Over   $100,000,000 – For services   such as victims   of domestic violence, local law enforcement agencies, and transitional housing support services (Agency requested OSF and Fed).

Military Affairs
•    $11,365,200-Full appropriation for Lincoln’s ChalleNGe ($2,765,200 GRF/$8,600,000 Fed).
•    $1,000,000 – Youth Programs.
•    $5,000, 000- Illinois Military Family Relief.

State Police
•    $6,460, 000-for a State Police Cadet Class.

State Police Merit Board
•    $5,500, 000-For a State Police Cadet Class.

•     $733,100 -Full appropriation for the Latino Family Commission.
•    $17,570, 000-Full appropriation for the RTA free and reduce fare reimbursement.
•    $8,394, 800-Full appropriation for PACE Paratransit ($4,569,800 GRF/$3,825,000 OSF).

The state budget is spread over three bills, the Budget Implementation bill (BIMP), the spending bill and the revenue bill.  We just passed Amendment #1 to SB6 which is the spending bill.  We passed the amendment with 90 votes.  Amendment #1 sets the framework to fund the programs that I already described above.     More importantly, however is the revenue bill which will be an amendment to SB9.

So, additional work needs to be done.  Members and legislative leaders will be working through Saturday to hammer out details and to keep negotiations moving forward.  I am committed to working on both sides of the aisle as we move through the critical phase of the budget process.   Again, trust is based on action.   There is nothing more for us to give up without hurting the very people that we endeavor to serve.

Thank you for your interest in good government.

State Representative Al Riley