May Legislative Update
By IL FOP Labor Council, Staff - Friday, May 4, 2018
From: Leinenweber, Baroni and Daffada
Last week was the deadline for substantive bills to move out of their chamber of origin. This means that all Senate Bills must be out of the Senate and all House Bills must be out of the House. This deadline is less set-in-stone than other similar deadlines, and already the Senate has placed nearly 100 bills on the extension list. The Senate is returning this week, where the House is out this week, which means that the Senate has an extra week to handle this deadline. After this week, there are 4 weeks left of session. So far, there are about 200 House bills in the Senate that have passed over this year, and just shy of 300 Senate bills passed to the House this year. Many of these are duplicates of each other or are “vehicle” bills that do not actually change any laws but are being used for some future amendment if the need arises. The two tasks left for the General Assembly in the next four weeks will be the final passage of these few hundred bills and the start and passage of a budget.
The legislators responsible for budget negotiations have been meeting with representatives from the Governor’s office, but at this point nothing has been said publicly. Despite the myriad of reasons to pass a budget, it seems unlikely that a budget will be passed. Animosity between the Governor and the Democratic Leaders has not improved, and the General Assembly has learned that the State can survive not having a budget. It would be important to the Governor to sign a budget this year, to combat the campaign allegations that he has not accomplished anything. It would also be useful for the Democratic Majority Leaders to pass a budget so there are less problems if Pritzker wins.
HB 5231 passed the House unanimously. This legislation prohibits an employer from requiring a FOID card as a condition of employment. The City of Chicago opposed the legislation but did not pull off any votes. The legislation continues to the Senate where we will fight for passage.
HB 4701 which fixes a pension oversight narrowly passed the House. The legislation clarifies that any police officer who started prior to January 1, 2011 is a Tier 1 member, regardless if they switch pension funds after their start date from IMRF to a downstate police pension fund. The legislation continues to the Senate where it will have a tough fight for passage.
Two items of legislation affecting school resource officers were ultimately amended to remove our opposition. HB 4208 tried to remove school district finances for school resource officers and divert the money to social work programs. The bill was amended to not divert any funding, but merely provide additional grants for school social workers. SB 2925 essentially eliminated school resource officers through burdensome requirements but was amended to require additional training of new school resource officers, consistent with what ILETSB is doing. Both bills passed.
SB 3509 removes an exception for Chicago on the use of quotas. This will make the entire state quota free. The legislation passed the Senate unanimously and will continue in the House.