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Early afternoon veto session roundup (updated)

Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

* Finke

Gov. J.B. Pritzker secured his top veto session priority Thursday when the Illinois Senate gave final approval to a bill consolidating downstate police and fire pension systems.

The Senate voted 42-12 on Senate Bill 1300, which has been touted by supporters as a way to improve investment returns for hundreds of systems which would in turn help take pressure off of local property taxes that help pay for them.

In a victory lap after the vote, Pritzker, backed by supporters of the bill and talking to reporters in his office, noted the bill was passed on a bipartisan basis and helped deal with a decades-old problem.

“We have put hundreds of cities in Illinois on a path toward alleviating their massive property tax burden,” he said. He also said it indicates that Illinois “can tackle its most intractable problems.”

* He said this tongue-in-cheek, but still…

Make sure to watch the video. He suggested taking a look at who funds “news organizations” in order to combat “fake news”

* Finke

A bill capping out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 a month is up for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.

The Senate voted 43-1 to give final approval to the bill. The chamber had to approve a couple of minor changes made to the legislation in the House.

The House added a provision to have the cap increase as inflation increases. It also called for the Department of Insurance to conduct an investigation into why insulin prices here are so much higher than in other countries. The original bill called for the Attorney General’s office to conduct the review.

The bill was initiated by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, after a constituent came to him and said her family couldn’t afford insulin for their diabetic daughters and make her house payments. Insulin prices have soared in recent years and diabetics have seen out-of-packet expenses also soar to hundreds of dollars a month.

Gov. Pritzker’s react…

“Skyrocketing prescription drug prices are an enormous burden for too many Illinois families, and this legislation will significantly lower out-of-pocket costs for the 1.3 million Illinoisans that rely on insulin,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “It’s fitting that on World Diabetes Day, Illinois has taken bold action to protect our residents’ health, rather than force them to use lower quality medication or even ration their supply. We are proud that Illinois continues to be a national leader in ensuring health care is a right and not a privilege. This important step forward for lowering health care costs is the result of the tireless advocacy of Sen. Andy Manar, Rep. Will Guzzardi and so many other champions. I look forward to signing this legislation and continuing my commitment to ensuring Illinois residents have access to comprehensive, high-quality and affordable health care coverage.”

* Always read the fine print

Illinois lawmakers are one step closer to approving permanent daylight saving time, but the change would require federal approval, something that’s only been granted twice. […]

Only Arizona and Hawaii residents are free from the biannual clock tinkering that comes with daylight saving time.

Manar said that the state measure alone would not make the change.

“The only two ways that it can change in Illinois, ultimately, even with this bill becoming law, is either Congress gives us an exemption as a state or Congress implements a uniform standard presumably different than what we have nationwide,” he said.

* Rebecca Anzel

Bills aimed at curbing where Illinoisans can use electronic smoking devices and with what flavorings appear halted until the spring session of the General Assembly.

One bill would loop electronic cigarettes into the Smoke Free Illinois Act. The other would ban flavored cartridges and pods used in such devices.

Thursday is the last scheduled day of the fall veto session, which lawmakers are using this year to clean up new laws and pass new bills before they return to Springfield in January.

* Yes, there’s a bill, but I’m not exactly sure this has 60 votes yet. Still a crapshoot…

…Adding… Cannabis legalization cleanup bill just passed the House with 90 votes. On to the Senate.

…Adding… This turned out to be true…

House Majority Leader Greg Harris just said they removed the language because the issue needs more study.

…Adding… After some stinging remarks, Rep. Wehrli says he will vote for the bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bad Politician - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    When will we address the unfunded pension liabilities? The consolidation is a good start, but it’s a drop in the bucket.

    We still have no clear plan on addressing the unfunded liabilities without soaking all taxpayers.

  2. - Romeo - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    I am all for consolidation, especially of pensions and duplicative taxing bodies.

    However, this is akin to jumping for joy when a Township could be dissolved. The main culprit of sky-high property taxes are the levies of the local school district. My property taxes for firefighters through my village is $130, while the property taxes for the school district is $4,800.

    While well intended, people like myself are suffering under crushing property taxes precisely due to the school district. Alleviating my $130 property taxes is a drop in the bucket when I am getting soaked in $4,800 to my local school district.

  3. - Rabid - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    Governor junk funded fake news, then used it to save the brand

  4. - Demoralized - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    ==We still have no clear plan on addressing the unfunded liabilities without soaking all taxpayers.==

    Other than paying it what do you suggest?

  5. - No way - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    Other than paying it? Well, math says that isn’t possible in the long run. Next question.

  6. - Bad Politician - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    ^ There are lots of options. Pick one or multiple:

    - Reamortize the debt to reduce the steep ramp

    - Implement the consideration model

    - Pass a constitutional amendment to reduce benefits

    - Have a Constitutional Convention to get rid of the pension clause

    - Default on a bond payment and take the state bankrupt

    - Pass a graduated income tax and use the proceeds to pay off the pension debt

    - Do a pension bond

    There are many options. I think the graduated income tax would work. Put JB’s plan doesn’t out the extra $3 billion towards the pensions.

  7. - Fixer - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    So kick the can (option 1), kick the employees (option 2, 3 and 4), something that cannot be done, and two options that have been brought up and are valid options?

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    === - Pass a constitutional amendment to reduce benefits===

    Direct change the current debt.

    === - Have a Constitutional Convention to get rid of the pension clause===

    Referendum failed last time it was on the ballot,

    === - Default on a bond payment and take the state bankrupt===

    Impossible since debt must be paid first, constitutionally. Can’t.

    === - Pass a graduated income tax and use the proceeds to pay off the pension debt===

    November 2020. I’ll count you as a “Yes”

    Options are fewer than you think, but the graduated tax is one.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    === - Pass a constitutional amendment to reduce benefits===

    Can’t change the current debt.

  10. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    Bad Politician
    IF you listen to interviews of lawmakers longer than 10 seconds, you’d know changing the Illinois Constitution doesn’t change federal contract law. Next.

  11. - Robby - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    Consolidation won’t change the trajectory, just delay the inevitable. We aren’t the fed and can’t print illinois dollars. There is no way to change the trajectory without an adjustment on the other side of the ledger. They can’t tax their way out of this. The sooner they realize this reality the better off we will be, but this being illinois, people who matter wont start noticing until checks start bouncing.

  12. - Bertrum Cates - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    What’s the matter, Greg? Does that make you nervous? How come? 0:-)

  13. - Bad Politician - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    Exactly, taxes can’t increase enough to hit the actuarial payments.

    The graudauted income tax money has already been spent by JB. And only $200 million will be used to pay down the pension debt.

    So how are we supposed to pay for the ramp?

  14. - Fixer - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    Okay Robby, so what’s the legal and realistic solution here?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    === So how are we supposed to pay for the ramp?===

    Casino, Cannibis taxes figured in?

    === taxes can’t increase enough to hit the actuarial payments.===


    === So how are we supposed to pay for the ramp?===

    Reconcile this. Thanks.

  16. - RankandFile - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Hope this publication and other media will report on the transition costs of forced consolidation of downstate police and fire pension funds. It is a real issue that was ignored by the Gov, the media and the IML. Hope we also get reporting on administrative costs of new superfunds and investment returns.

  17. - Bad Politician - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===Casino, Cannibis taxes figured in?===

    All of that revenue has been spent.

    The casino revenue is being bonded against as we speak to pay for the capital bill.

    The marijuana money was divided into 7 sections, including mental health, 10% for the bill backlog, improverished communities, etc.

    Those revenues have been spent. Next.

  18. - Rockford’s Finest - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    Anyone have the bill number on that cannabis clean up legislation?

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===It is a real issue that was ignored by the Gov, the media===

    Wasn’t ignored here. Try to keep up.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    - Bad Politician -

    I’d start here…

    Crain’s Forum: Defusing Illinois’ Pension Bomb - Crain’s Chicago Business

    Did I miss where the payment is t being made?

    I know Pritzker wanted to “skip” it, but he made it, and is t the ramp hound to increase *before* we see that leveling off abd decline?

    Ok, your turn.

  21. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Listened to the floor debate on the pension consolidation bill and heard Sen. Oberweis say his firm manages pensions in the billions of dollars. Some right wingers love themselves some public trough. But we never see and hear anger from the anti-pension folks at the people truly getting rich off of public employee pensions.

  22. - DarkDante - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==The casino revenue is being bonded against as we speak to pay for the capital bill.

    The marijuana money was divided into 7 sections, including mental health, 10% for the bill backlog, improverished communities, etc.

    Those revenues have been spent. Next.==

    I believe 35-45% of MJ $$$ go to the GRF. As it scales up, that could push up towards or beyound $100M. Also, with the casino dollars, I believe that they will be selling 30 year bonds for the infrastructure plan; any dollars after 30 years will flow to the GRF; this revenue stream could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. This revenues are relatively small and out in the future, but could offer some serious pressure relief to the state in the long run, and, believe me, the State has a long view of its finances.

  23. - City Zen - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 4:49 pm:

    ==Some right wingers love themselves some public trough.==

    No one is forcing the pension boards to invest funds in Oberweis Asset Management. The better question is why the public trough loves themselves some right wing investors.

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* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* Roundup and open thread
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