Last week in Springfield, there was very little legislative activity during the first week of veto session. Such limited action took place that the House canceled Thursday session, and it is rumored that the Legislature will only meet on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week as well.
It is expected that the current two-week veto session will likely serve to lay the groundwork for special session in January. Special session will offer legislators another chance to vote on major issues, despite the fact that they have already been voted out of office, prior to being replaced by newly elected members on Jan. 9, 2013.
There are many key issues that will likely be brought up during special session – such as pension reform, a minimum wage increase, making the income tax increase permanent, and an expansion of gaming. However, there are still several bills positioned to move during veto session that the Illinois Policy Institute will continue to actively monitor, and we will file our positions with the General Assembly.
Here is an update on the status of some of the bills that we saw move during the first week of veto session:
- HB 6240 – Authorizing the state of Illinois to borrow an additional $4 billion to pay down the state’s unpaid bills. This bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Executive Committee at 1 p.m. tomorrow; the Institute is scheduled to testify against this bill in committee tomorrow afternoon.
- SB 3180 – A vehicle for a state-funded health insurance exchange. While SB 3180 does not currently contain language regarding health insurance exchanges, it is rumored that it will be amended in this week. The Institute will continue to monitor any developments on this bill.
- SB 0282 – Requiring corporations to disclose their Illinois income tax payments. This bill passed the Senate 30-27 last week and is currently in the House Rules Committee. The Institute will continue to oppose this burdensome regulation.
- HB 6253 – Implementing ObamaCare’s voluntary expansion of Medicaid. The Institute is strongly opposed to this bill as it will hurt the state’s taxpayers and most vulnerable residents. This bill has also been referred to the House Rules Committee.
- HB 5440 – Creating the Satellite Tax. This bill creates the Direct Broadcast Satellite Service Providers Fee Act and imposes a fee on direct broadcast satellite service at the rate of 5 percent of the provider’s gross revenue; the Institute is opposed to this tax increase. This bill is scheduled to be heard on the House floor tomorrow.
If these bills are not voted on this week, they could be brought up again in January, once the special session commences and before the newly elected lawmakers are inaugurated.
The Institute’s Government Affairs team and policy experts will be down in Springfield again this week, meeting with legislators and their staffs, and monitoring any movement on this legislation. We will continue to keep you updated.