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December 7, 2012
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Springfield Snapshot, Veto Session December 4-6, 2012

Wednesday marked the end of the fall veto session for the Illinois General Assembly. Legislative activity was limited and concentrated on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, abandoned properties, and general resolutions. Several issues still remain unresolved, such as gaming and pension reform. The Illinois House will return to Springfield for the one-week "lame duck" session on January 2, 2013, and the Illinois Senate will return on January 3. Newly elected legislators will be sworn in on January 9. House and Senate calendars for the 98th General Assembly are available at www.ilga.gov.

Some capitol observers anticipate that pension reform will be addressed during the "lame duck" session. In anticipation of that session, a bipartisan group of House members presented an alternative, HB6258, to address comprehensive pension reform on the last day of veto session in hopes of reviving negotiations between all parties during the remainder of the year. Unlike the proposed SB512, which would provide public employees a choice between health insurance and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), HB6258 would change COLAs, the retirement age, and contributions for Tier 1 and Tier 2 public employees would be placed in a cash balance plan.

Below is a recap of this week's bills, including several updates since our November 30 post that written prior to the start of the veto session.

SB 16
This legislation would require mortgage institutions to pay foreclosure filing fees to raise approximately $41 million in revenues for two new Illinois Housing Development Agency programs: the Foreclosure Prevention Program, which would provide in-person housing counseling throughout the state by non-profits, and a grant program for municipalities coping with abandoned residential properties. Approximately $13 million of the raised revenues would be deposited into the Foreclosure Prevention Fund, to be distributed throughout the state for housing counseling. The bill defines "abandoned property" and provides for expedited foreclosure proceedings. Status: Passed both chambers.

SB 282
This legislation would require certain publicly traded corporations that do business in the state to disclose their income tax liability. It would also require this information to be made publicly available through the Secretary of State in an on-line, searchable format. Status: Referred to House Rules Committee, deadline extended to January 8, 2013.

SB 547
This legislation would allow Chicago Public Schools to have a four-month extension to decide which schools to close. Status: Signed into law.

SB 957
This legislation would allow the Secretary of State to issue visitor driver's licenses to applicants who have resided in the state for a more than a year, are ineligible to obtain a social security number, and are unable to present documentation issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.Status: Assigned to House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee; deadline extended to January 8, 2013.

SB 1566
This legislation would increase the current $99 license plate renewal fee by $2. The increased revenue would be used to fund the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) state parks, particularly capital construction at the parks. IDNR estimates that increased annual revenues to the department will be approximately $32 million. Status: Sent to Governor.

SB 3338-HA1
This legislation would change the last day for filing a candidate petition to December 26 from December 24. It would require municipal offices to be open on Christmas Eve. In addition, the bill contains language that would allow the Governor to issue an order for the special election to replace Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (House District 2) to coincide with the consolidated local elections in April 2013. Status: Signed into law.


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