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Springfield Snapshot, Veto Session November 26-28, 2012

The Illinois General Assembly convened in Springfield this week for the first part of a six-day veto session. A number of issues were expected to be back on the table, such as gaming, pension reform, state debt payments, medical marijuana, and civil unions. However, legislators determined that many of these issues may need to be put off until the "lame duck" session scheduled January 2-8, 2013. Some less-politicized issues did advance, and below are a few highlights from this week. Legislators will return to Springfield from December 4-6, 2012.

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: Passed Senate.

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

SB 597
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: Passed Senate Executive Committee.

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: Passed both chambers.

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: Sent to Governor.

SR 821
This resolution expresses concern that recent action by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on a ComEd rate case fails to reflect the statutory directives and intent of the smart grid law, Public Acts 97-616 and 97-646. Status: Adopted by the Senate.