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April 12, 2013

Springfield Snapshot, April 8-12, 2013

This week, the Illinois General Assembly reconvened after a two-week spring break. CMAP has been tracking over 350 bills this session, but only a fraction met last month's committee hearing deadline. In coming weeks, bills will have to meet third-reading deadlines in the respective chambers of origin starting in the Illinois House of Representatives (April 19) and later in the Illinois Senate (April 25). Bills that do not meet those deadlines would have to seek extensions from leadership to advance through the legislative process. The following Policy Update discusses action from the first week back in session.

State Budget
On April 8, the Senate Revenue Committee held a hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to SB 1159 to suspend or close corporate tax loopholes. The committee heard analysis from proponents and opponents but did not take any action on the amendment. The budgeting process will continue through the rest of spring with further discussions regarding pension reform and spending. Over the next several weeks, both chambers will hold appropriations hearings to discuss proposed Fiscal Year 2014 allocations.

Bills Directly Affecting CMAP
Two bills with direct impacts on CMAP continue to advance through the legislative process. The first (SB 1594) would merge the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and CMAP , calling for the formation of a transition committee to develop detailed plans to integrate staff and operations. Status: SB 1594 is sitting on third reading in the Senate.

The second bill (HB 3199) requires the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability to hold a hearing within 30 days after the Governor's Budget Address to the General Assembly to consider CMAP's annual report and its impact on the State budget. Status: HB3199 passed unanimously out of the House and awaits committee assignment in the Senate.

Other Bills Acted on This Week

RTA Board Benefits Elimination (HB 140) eliminates compensation and pension benefits for RTA board members. Status: Sitting on third reading in the House.

Local Government Distributive Fund (HB 961) provides that, from each income tax payment that the Illinois Department of Revenue receives, the Department must deposit certain amounts directly into the Local Government Distributive Fund. Status: Arrived in the Senate and awaits assignment.

Stormwater Management (HB 1522) allows DuPage and Peoria counties to impose user fees for stormwater management. Status: Moved to the Senate floor for second reading. CMAP supports this legislation.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Expansion (SB 1691) expands the corporate limits of the MWRD. Status: Arrived in the House.

Water Infrastructure (SB 1869) updates language in the State's Municipal Code to allow cities and villages to construct and maintain storm sewers, detention basins, and retention basins (currently drains, ditches, levees, dykes, pumping works, and machinery). The bill was amended in committee and now also allows construction of "green infrastructure" including green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, tree boxes, porous pavement, porous pipe systems, native plantings, constructed wetlands, and cisterns. Cities and villages may also acquire land to manage runoff by infiltration, evapotranspiration, or collection. Status: Arrived in the House.