* A loud anti-fracking protester was physically escorted out of the House gallery after this vote yesterday…
The Illinois House passed legislation Thursday evening that would regulate horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the state in a 108 to 9 vote.
The legislation now moves to the Senate, the final hurdle for the bill before it reaches Gov. Pat Quinn, who urged the Senate to send the bill to his desk “as soon as possible.”
* A huge economic development bill passed out of the House…
The Illinois House approved a plan Thursday to give as much as $35 million in state and local tax breaks to help a Delaware-based company build a fertilizer plant in central Illinois.
The incentives are part of a massive 11th-hour package of economic development plans that include an expansion of the McCormick Place exhibition hall in Chicago to include a hotel and a new basketball arena for DePaul University. It also includes incentives aimed at developing a new third Chicago-area airport in Peotone.
The measure was sent to the Senate on a vote of 81-35.
The legislation approved Thursday — SB20 — allows the Illinois Department of Transportation to enter into a public-private partnership to develop the South Suburban Airport in Peotone. […]
The measure also authorizes financing for a new 10,000-seat basketball arena for DePaul University near Chicago’s McCormick Place. The facility also would be used as a hall for conventions and trade shows.
* Much of the budget is done, but some bills are awaiting action…
The House still needs to vote on budgets for K-12 and higher education. Better-than-expected tax revenues are allowing the legislature to avoid cuts proposed in the governor’s March budget next year for general state aid, transportation, bilingual and early childhood education. The legislature’s higher education budget also avoids a 5 percent cut the governor called for, as well.
The K-12 funding is included in Senate Bill 2555. The higher education funding is included in Senate Bill 2556.
The Senate plans to take up two budget bills tomorrow as well:
* House Bill 214 is general services spending, the General Assembly’s budget and the constitutional officers’ budgets.
* HB 215 is public safety and transportation spending, Illinois Department of Corrections budget, capital construction spending for the next fiscal year and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources budget. Both have been approved by the House.
The higher ed budget just passed. Check the live session post for constant updates.
* But then there’s this…
Quinn and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are backing a spending bill to cover the back wages, but as of [yesterday], the bill is sitting in the House, still on second reading. It could not pass in its current from before tomorrow’s adjournment deadline. However, the measure could be drafted into a different bill and still make it through by the end of the day [today]. “There is strong bipartisan support in the General Assembly for HB 212, the supplemental appropriation to pay wages owed to caregivers, correctional officers and other state employees dating back nearly two years,” said Anders Lindall, a spokesman for AFSCME Council 31. “Public servants shouldn’t have to wait a day longer for the wages they earned, and Illinois taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay another penny of interest or legal costs incurred by the state’s continued failure to fulfill its responsibility to its employees.” The raises were not paid to workers in 2011 because Quinn said that lawmakers did not approve the funding for them.
* Gaming hasn’t popped yet. Negotiators met until very late last night without resolution…
A plan to expand gambling in Illinois is still being negotiated and it’s unclear if lawmakers will take it up, with just hours left in the session to deal with other major issues.
* Fracking bill has a clear path to becoming law
* Illinois House approves new drilling rules
* Illinois Fracking Bill Passes House, Sponsor Says Bill Could Create 70,000 Jobs
* Quinn to sign bill lowering required school enrollment age
* Lieutenant Governor Election Process Unchanged