IVCA Provides Updates for State and Federal Legislative Issues - 12.07.16

IVCA Provides Updates for State and Federal Legislative Issues

December 7, 2016

UPDATE provided by Stricklin & Associates on December 7th:

The Illinois General Assembly met November 29, 30 and December 1 to finish the regularly scheduled Veto Session for 2016.
 
Of particular interest to IVCA members, legislation was introduced (HB 6628) and amended (SB 1751 HFA#3) by Chicago Rep. Will Guzzardi to essentially prohibit pension funds from investing in and the state from doing business with “companies that contract to build a border wall”, to send a message of opposition to such a wall.  IVCA remains vigilant in reminding legislators to avoid placing additional restrictions on pension plans which might create an adverse investment climate.  The bill did not receive the required 60 votes to pass the House.  We will continue to monitor this and similar bills related to Illinois finances and pension investment policy.
 
The state continues to operate with a stopgap budget which expires at the end of this calendar year 2016 for most agencies, except K-12 and for those programs such as Medicaid and similar programs for vulnerable populations which are covered by consent decrees and court orders.
 
The four legislative leaders and the governor met during Veto Session in Springfield, and have continued meeting in Chicago.  Governor Rauner remains committed to elements of his “Turnaround Agenda” which include pension, property tax and worker’s comp reforms along with measures to institute term limits and to make changes to the redistricting process.  Democratic legislative leaders have and continue to argue those items should be taken up separately, and that the first order of business is to agree on a budget for the state.
 
During the Veto Session the legislature and Governor did agree to legislation (SB 2814) to keep open two nuclear generating plants operated by Exelon and to encourage additional investment and development in renewable energy production in Illinois.  Manufacturers, coal producers and some consumer groups warned of rate hikes which might hurt the state’s economy.  The governor signed the legislation today.
 
The General Assembly is in recess until January 9 and 10 of 2017 when a “lame duck” session is scheduled.  Whether any activity of note takes place then is unclear.  Those sessions have been used previously to move controversial measures, but no consensus appears to be developing on a budget or other topic which would require significant action during the lame duck.  The 100th General Assembly will be sworn in January 11, 2017.  The governor gives his State of the State address January 25 and budget address February 15.