Weaver Weekly Wrap-up: November 30 – December 4
PEORIA, IL – Governor Bruce Rauner met with the four legislative leaders this week in Springfield to discuss the ongoing budget impasse. The Illinois House approved a series of bills which await a Senate vote on Dec. 7, according to State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria). The Governor endorsed funding for multiple needs of those around the state. More on that below.
The House also passed a bipartisan initiative to reform the state’s unemployment system, something Senate Republicans agreed will help Illinois’ job market.
Budget meeting a first step but impasse continues.
The Governor’s meeting opened with a live video stream of the four legislative leaders and the Governor offering their own views on the budget impasse. That was followed by a private meeting between participants.
Democrat leaders continue to embrace the status quo, saying the budget and new revenue need to be addressed before considering any reforms.
Republicans continued their call for the state to enact a balanced budget and pass critical reforms, which are needed to boost Illinois’ economy, create more jobs, and move Illinois forward, such as property tax relief, workers’ compensation reform, and redistricting reform. There have been discussion for a follow up meeting.
Bi-partisan legislation that funds local governments, 911 centers heads to Senate
With a goal of meeting the needs of those across the state, Governor Rauner endorsed Senate Bill 2039 which appropriates $3.1 billion in funding to local governments, 911 call centers, lottery winners, Special Olympics, HIV/Aids Prevention, the state portion of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, police and fire training, veterans’ homes, and other programs. The bill passed the House.
The majority of the bill appropriates funding that is not part of the General Revenue Fund (GRF), including motor fuel tax distributions that go to local governments for purposes including snow plowing and road repair.
Most of the funding included in the bill comes from either federal sources or special state funds that are designed to fund specific programs. However, there are two line items that utilize GRF money, including $10 million to the Secretary of State to pay for electrical bills and maintenance at state buildings and $18 million to fund shelters for victims of domestic violence.
The Senate is expected to take up the measure when they return to Springfield on Dec. 7.
Pro-growth, pro-jobs measure heads to Governor
Legislation aimed at reforming the state’s unemployment insurance system is on its way to the Governor’s desk.
House Bill 1285 strengthens the standards for employee misconduct, stops Social Security age- and disability-based benefits from reducing unemployment benefits, and eliminates issues that could have increased taxes on employers by $470 million in 2016. It included common-sense guidelines that protect the worker yet deal with fraud, gross negligence, repeated tardiness, failure to renew professional licensing and other items.
Senator Weaver believes the compromise is a "win-win" for employers and employees. The bill is the result of six months of negotiations with legislators, labor leaders, employers and other stakeholders, led by the Governor’s office. It is a small step in making Illinois more competitive, so the state can attract more jobs and investment.