Breaking Down Senate Bill 1’s Amendatory Veto
On May 31st the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 1 with the bare minimum number of votes necessary, 60. A parliamentary hold was placed on the bill so that it did not have to be sent to the Governor. When the budget was passed it included a provision that requires the state to implement an evidence based funding formula or schools cannot recieve any state money. To be clear, the issue with Senate Bill 1 has never been the use of an evidence based model, which is widely accepted as the right shift for the state school funding formula. The issue has always been an unfair allocation of additional funds to CPS. Under SB1 there is an additional $778 million invested in K–12 education, of which CPS receives $495 million. This means that CPS will receive 64% of all new money despite having only 19% of the students in Illinois. The breakdown of CPS dollars is as follows: $221M for pensions, $202M Block Grant, and $72M for New Tier Funding. SB 1 essentially buries CPS pension reform in the school code, not in the state pension code where it belongs.
After two months, the procedural hold place on Senate Bill 1 by the Democrats was lifted and the bill was finally sent to the Governor last week. Shortly thereafter he issued his anticipated amendatory veto.
There are three options now:
1) Pass the amendatory veto with a three-fifths (71 votes in the House) vote in both chambers
2) Override the governor’s veto with a three-fifths vote in both chambers
3) Allow the bill to die and pass new legislation for school funding
The first set of school payments are scheduled for Aug. 10, so the legislature must take action as soon as possible. However, I have yet to see movement in either the Senate or the House to call members down to Springfield to take urgent action.
The governor’s amendatory veto makes the following changes to ensure an adequate and equitable school funding formula:
- Maintains a per-district hold harmless until the 2020-2021 school year, and then moves to a per-pupil hold harmless based on a three-year rolling average of enrollment.
- Removes the minimum funding requirement. While the governor is committed to ensuring that the legislature satisfies its duty to fund schools, the proposed trigger of one percent of the overall adequacy target plus $93 million artificially inflates the minimum funding number and jeopardizes Tier II funding.
- Removes the Chicago block grant from the funding formula.
- Removes both Chicago Public Schools pension considerations from the formula: the normal cost pick-up and the unfunded liability deduction.
- Reintegrates the normal cost pick-up for Chicago Public Schools into the Pension Code where it belongs, and finally begins to treat Chicago like all other districts with regards to the State’s relationship with its teachers’ pensions.
- Eliminates the PTELL and TIF equalized assessed value subsidies that allow districts to continue under-reporting property wealth.
- Removes the escalators throughout the bill that automatically increase costs.
- Retains the floor for the regionalization factor, for the purposes of equity, and adds a cap, for the purposes of adequacy.
New Tax Increase’s Impact on State Coffers
The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) has released its report on July 2017 revenues. It reported an additional $137 million in gross personal income tax receipts as a consequence of the 32% tax increase enacted in early July. Increases in corporate income tax receipts and in sales tax receipts led to an overall increase of $233 million in total general funds revenues from state and federal sources in July 2017 as opposed to July 2016. At the same time however, the Office of the Comptroller reported more than $14 billion in unpaid bills.
Governor Rauner Moves to Cut Time and Red Tape in Administrative Hearing Process
The Governor signed an executive order last week to improve and streamline state administrative hearings. Administrative hearings govern hundreds of important interactions between the state, its citizens, and businesses. They are quasi-judicial proceedings, and some look identical to trials. More than 150,000 administrative hearing matters are opened each year across state agencies. These hearings cover wage disputes, child support claims, professional licensing decisions, permits, and the range of State services and benefits available to Illinoisans.
This new Executive Order is a follow up to one signed last year creating a pilot program at the Department of Central Management Services charged with streamlining regulations, testing the efficiencies of case sharing, and implementing best practices for administrative hearings. The newly established Bureau of Administrative Hearings represents the first comprehensive effort to analyze the efficiency and quality of the state’s administrative hearings process. It has since instituted many important reforms including developing a set of Model Rules for Administrative Hearings. These rules, when implemented, will dramatically reduce the regulatory burden by increasing speed and clarity in the administrative hearing process. Rather than looking to hundreds of rules spread across agencies, the Model Rules simplify and standardize hearings.
Financial and Professional Regulation Changes
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation monitors and sets policy for licenses and regulations for professions ranging from cosmetologists to dentists to bankers. The department is making changes to become faster and more efficient by moving the license renewal process online for all professions. Laws are changing every year, for instance this year ALL cosmetologists are required to complete their continuing education training in order to receive their license renewal. Don’t risk your career by not knowing the rules, for more information visit www.idfpr.com.
Urgent Blood Drive
The Chicagoland area is experiencing record blood shortages this summer. I am hosting my 3rd annual blood drive this Wednesday August 9th from 3:30-7:30pm. It will be at my district office, 11032 W Lincoln Hwy in Frankfort. One donation can save up to three lives! Call my office at (815) 277-2079 to set up an appointment or visit www.heartlandbc.org.
Women’s Self Defense Seminar
Tomorrow at 6pm at the Frankfort Public Library, I’ll be hosting my second women’s self defense seminar of the summer. If you have signed up, don’t forget to wear comfortable clothes!