The McDermed Dispatch for August 14th

Notable Bill Signings
It’s that time of the year again. A flurry of activity surrounds the governor’s office as he issues his signatures on new laws or vetoes the bulk of the bills that have been sent to his office.

Donor Registry Bill
If you can drive, you can choose to be a donor. That’s the concept behind a new law, the Drive for Life Act. 16 and 17 year olds can now join the donor registry with the Secretary of State’s office. Parents and guardians still have the right to give or revoke consent until the donor turns 18.

IT Security 
Cyber security threats and hacks are popping up in the news more and more often. States are increasingly the targets of these attacks, and security threats pose a daily risk to the state’s ability to serve taxpayers and protect critical and confidential information. In response, House Bill 2371, requires all state employees to undergo annual cyber security training. This training will help employees understand the risks and learn the best practices to defend against these kinds of attacks. The training itself will be implemented by the Department of Innovation and Technology, a new agency created by Governor Rauner in 2015 to consolidate the state’s IT functions and update the state’s cyber security. Illinois is now the 15th state to adopt mandatory this kind of awareness training for employees.

Procurement Reform
Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 8, a bipartisan bill that makes the state procurement process more efficient and transparent, thus saving money for Illinois taxpayers. Specifically, it eliminates unnecessary administrative delays for state universities. The bill also permits Illinois to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other units of government, allowing state and local government entities to save money because of their increased purchasing power.
Barack Obama Day
Former President Obama’s birthday, August 4th, is now officially a commemorative state holiday now that the governor has signed SB 55. A previous version of the bill, making it a legal state holiday on which state offices and schools close, failed over the concerns about the costs to the state of paid time off for state employees and loss of productivity. “Barack Obama Day” joins other commemorative holidays like Adlai Stevenson Day, Ronald Reagan Day and Jane Addams Day.
SB 1 Override Saga Continues
August 10th has come and gone, meaning Illinois schools have not received their first school funding payments from the state. The first school aid payment was supposed to be issued Thursday, but it wasn’t because money in the state budget for general state aid can’t be distributed until a new school funding formula is enacted. Schools did see some money as the comptroller finally released $429 million in long overdue “categorical payments” to schools. These payments are awarded to school districts to cover specific costs such as transportation and special education expenses. This money is separate from general state aid, which provides the bulk of state assistance to school districts.

Governor Rauner issued his amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 on August 1st. The originating body then has 15 days to address whether to accept or override the veto. The Senate convened yesterday, August 13th, and voted to 38-19 to override the governor’s veto. One Republican sided with the Democrats on the override effort.

On Saturday, the Illinois State Board of Education released their analysis of the governor’s amendatory veto and found that 97.5 percent of the 852 school districts in Illinois receive more state funding under the governor’s plan compared with the original bill. This includes an additional $1.75 million for Lincoln Way School District, $146, 628 for New Lenox SD, $35,037 for Mokena SD, and $92,990 for Summit Hill SD under the governor’s amendatory veto. For a district by district breakdown, click here.

The House is scheduled to convene this Wednesday. Not by accident, that is Governor’s Day at the State fair.