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Question of the day

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

* Dan Petrella goes over some of what didn’t get done during the special session

∗ A bipartisan commission had a March 31 deadline to propose changes to the state’s government ethics and lobbying laws in response to an ongoing public corruption probe that has stretched from City Hall to the Illinois Capitol. Once the pandemic hit, that was put on hold, and the issue was not addressed in the special session.

∗ Another bipartisan task force was supposed to come up with proposals to ease the state’s enormous property tax burden. Its work devolved into partisan squabbling, and a final report was never issued. In response to the pandemic, lawmakers approved a measure that would allow counties to suspend interest and penalties on late property tax payments for 120 days or until there is no longer a statewide public health emergency due to COVID-19. But nothing was done to deal with the long-term problem.

∗ The special session began with lawmakers on a bipartisan panel blocking Pritzker’s emergency rule that would have made businesses that violate his stay-at-home order subject to a Class A misdemeanor. Lawmakers promised a legislative fix but adjourned until November without approving one.

∗ Two versions of an agreement to make some changes to the state’s recreational marijuana law were in the Senate but never called for House votes.

* Senate President Harmon was asked about the ethics bill after session ended

* Why didn’t the legislature take up an ethics reform bill? Why did a casino expansion bill and a toll bridge for Will County pass, but not ethics reform?…

    As you know, the bipartisan, bicameral Ethics Commission is doing its work. Its report has been delayed. We’re eager to get that report and to act on it. But in this special three plus one day session, we did not think we could responsibly take that up. That deserves more careful and thoughtful legislative…

* Would you consider calling a special session for ethics reform?…

    Well if we’d passed the virtual session, perhaps. But I don’t think anyone is eager for us to call everyone back here. I hope everyone goes home, does another test and that we find no one has tested positive as a result of being here in session. But until then, I’m not going to predict any return to Springfield.

* The Question: What issue(s) important to you did not get addressed during the special session? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Quibbler - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    Rent/mortgage relief (SB3066). It’s incredible that after all this time, the legislature has still not provided any kind of economic relief for working people who are trying to cope with this crisis.


  2. - Southern Skeptic - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    A fix for the solar cliff. The industry is dying and needs the state to fix some of the deficiencies of FEJA.


  3. - Huh? - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    Legislative support for the Governor’s EOs.


  4. - billyboy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    expulsion of Bailey


  5. - Just Another Anon - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    The Ethics bill, Fair Maps, the Property Tax flexibility plan, a fix for an obscure FOIA issue which may crop up in the future in other public bodies, several criminal code cleanups, and a meaningful and useful remote participation revision to the OMA. The last item was addressed, but in a manner which basically makes it unusable.


  6. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    Who would’ve won the softball game this year?


  7. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    Marijuana delivery. How can they prioritize other things over this? But seriously, it would be nice, especially for medical patients.


  8. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:09 pm:

    I agree about the solar cliff.


  9. - Responsa - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    The lack of any real or measurable result toward property tax relief/reform. Not surprised, but very disappointed that this continues to fall trough the cracks when it is such an issue of concern in nearly every legislative district. .


  10. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    Overall I give the special session a D+. Bare minimum was done, no movement on property taxes or corruption, and the budget is dependent on the fed bailing out the states.


  11. - fs - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    == Rent/mortgage relief (SB3066). It’s incredible that after all this time, the legislature has still not provided any kind of economic relief for working people who are trying to cope with this crisis.==

    It’s more incredible that the sponsors of that bill actually believed their bill, as crafted, had any chance of passing. After that (predictably) failed, hundreds of millions of dollars for relief were put in the budget. So it’s false to say they didn’t address it.


  12. - RNUG - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    Local property taxes …

    == allow counties to suspend interest and penalties on late property tax payments for 120 days or until there is no longer a statewide public health emergency ==

    That was barely a band-aid on property taxes.

    Until the state gets serious about doing a dedicated income tax percentage for schools in exchanged for a mandated dollar for increased dollar received from the State reduction in the local school tax levy, nothing will be done on property taxes.


  13. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    @RNUG- The issue with property tax “relief” is that a dollar for dollar exchange will not support schools. Especially rural and collar county schools. The $40 k minimum salary is increasing costs and the $15 minimum wage is too. Add to the continuously rising cost of health insurance And these drivers of local costs are far outpacing CPI which many look at and say we should be keeping pace with.

    A long time ago the CTBA proposed 25% relief. I think 25% to 35% is the right range along with dropping PTELL would allow districts the ability to substantially lower property tax and some revenue growth. Dropping PTELL would allow high wealth suburban districts to lower their levies without risk of permanently cutting off revenue if needed.


  14. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    RNUG. you nailed it.


  15. - revvedup - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    This was not going to be a session to fix any number of long-term issues such as property taxes, but maybe they should have addressed the emergency powers of the Governor question once and for all. Then again, the Federal courts are supporting JB so far in District and 7th Circuit Ct of Appeals decisions and orders, so maybe nobody though it even needed to be done now.


  16. - Quibbler - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:20 pm:

    == hundreds of millions of dollars for relief were put in the budget ==

    Can you point to where specifically in the budget millions of dollars were appropriated for rent and mortgage relief? I’ve seen no details as to where, when, and how renters are going to be able to access any such funds, and the first of the month is approaching.


  17. - Annonin - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    Very disappointed the GOPies did not blow the Trump(et)s on how the President had beaten the virus and how the President and JB had adopted the same borrow and spend plan for running the government. Hope the President does not spank them.


  18. - Florida Bound - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    Pension reform amendment , would have made the tax amendment easier to pass


  19. - Dan - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:49 pm:

    No final action to codify EO on telehealth.
    SB1864 gutted and SB 671 an almost


  20. - RNUG - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:59 pm:

    == Pension reform amendment , would have made the tax amendment easier to pass ==

    Given the restrictions by IL SC in the Kanerva and SB-1 ruling, please define your version of constitutional pension reform that also does not violate US Contract Law.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:09 pm:

    ===would have made the tax amendment easier to pass===

    lol

    Go on…


  22. - Florida Bound - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:28 pm:

    76 years as a Chicago resident , grew up in Austin . My point was , at the very least show that there was an attempt to fix the pension issue , 3% COLA is nuts . The tax increase is no sure thing .


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