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Springfield Snapshot, Lame Duck Session January 2-6, 2013

The 97th General Assembly adjourned sine die on Tuesday, leaving a number of issues unresolved -- most notably, pension reform. Legislation to address pension reform saw a glimmer of hope with SB 1673-HA#10, which cleared the House Pension and Investments Committee. With the clock ticking and no sign that HA#10 would get a vote on the floor, Governor Quinn proposed an 11th hour option in the form of HA#15, which would create a Pension Review Commission. The Commission, made up of eight members appointed by the legislative leadership, would report recommended changes to the pension system in the form of a bill no later than April 30, 2013. The bill would automatically become law without a vote of the General Assembly or the Governor's signature unless both chambers were to pass a resolution rejecting the report. Despite passing out of committee, HA#15 was never called for a vote on the House floor.

The House passed a measure that allows undocumented persons in Illinois to obtain a three-year temporary driver's license. The undocumented immigrants will need to pass tests, obtain automobile insurance, and provide proof of residence. SB 957 is awaiting Governor Quinn's signature.

On the last day of session, Senate President John Cullerton removed the administrative hold on SB 744, the gaming bill passed by the General Assembly in the 2011 spring session. At that time, Governor Quinn had threatened to veto the bill due to its lack of oversight for the casinos in Chicagoland area. To protect the bill from veto, President Cullerton used a parliamentary move that prevented it from being sent to the Governor for approval. Any veto action now taken by the Governor will kill the bill.

Finally, the 98th General Assembly was sworn in on Wednesday, with 16 new members in the House and 11 new members in the Senate representing the CMAP region. Our agency welcomes these new representatives in Springfield and looks forward to working with them this spring. Both the House and Senate return later this month for session days.