The General Assembly returns to Springfield November 15 to start the annual fall “veto session,” and Governor Bruce Rauner has called for a meeting November 14 of the state’s legislative leaders to jump-start the collaborative process and address the serious issues facing Illinois.
Of the nearly 450 bills passed during the spring legislative session, Governor Rauner issued 40 vetoes. Lawmakers will consider vetoed legislation, as well as other measures. Legislation that could be considered during the veto session includes:
SB 250: Allows for automatic voter registration when Illinois residents get a driver’s license, update their driver’s license information or conduct a transaction with the Department of Human Services, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Employment Security, or Department on Aging. The Governor vetoed the legislation, recommending changes that would: ensure voter integrity is maintained, guarantee the state agency information is reliable and accurate, assure the state has the time and resources to implement the proposed law and ensure the state maintains compliance with federal law.
SB 730: Expands eligibility requirements for the Child Care Assistance Program. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the associated expansion costs, which would exceed $200 million in fiscal year 2017 and $500 million each year thereafter.
SB 1059: Allows retired state university employees who return to work after receiving a lump-sum retirement distribution to receive additional health benefits without making additional contributions to the retirement system. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing unequal benefit distribution and potential unforeseen costs to the state pension system.
SB 2204: Lessens residency requirements for student members of the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing proposed changes that could result in a non-Illinois resident serving on the board.
SB 2439: Imposes an additional pension liability for local governments’ police and firefighters, despite a local referendum rejecting an expansion. The Governor vetoed the legislation calling it an “end-run around local referendum results.”
SB 2531: Requires an economic development council that receives public money to include members of a labor council and persons from minority groups on its corporate board. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the additional mandates this would impose on job creators.
SB 2536: Makes costly changes relating to the Child Care Assistance Program. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the significant associated costs.
SB 2600: Imposes a mandate on municipalities that establish commissions to advise on tax increment financing (TIF). The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the associated mandate, which inhibits local municipalities’ ability to make decisions for their communities.
SB 2819: Permits Cook County to use funds from additional sources to cover the Cook County Pension Fund’s administrative and annuity expenses. The Governor vetoed the legislation saying this bill unnecessarily restricts how Cook County spends additional resources and fails to address the underfunding of that pension fund.
SB 2931: Increases wages through an automatic 15 percent pay increase for certain in-home care providers. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the lack of a funding source for the approximately $87 million in associated costs.
SB 2982: Prevents commercial property owners from performing major projects on their own roof without a license. The Governor vetoed this legislation saying it curtails the existing right of business owners to do roofing work on their own property.
SB 440: Makes changes to Chicago Police and Firefighter Pension system. By amendatory veto, the Governor recommends additional changes.
SB 2465: Eliminates the Illinois Department of Corrections’ little-used ability to sue an inmate to recoup the costs of their imprisonment. The Governor’s amendatory veto instead recommends establishing specific guidelines to limit when the authority can be used.
SB 2964: Changes the government body responsible for determining prevailing wage rates to be used on certain government infrastructure projects. The Governor’s amendatory veto recommends changes to the legislation to primarily restore current practice.
Three-fifths of the members in each chamber must vote to override a veto in order for the legislation to become law. If vetoed bills are not acted on, they will eventually be considered “dead.”
Often, action on bills vetoed by the Governor represents a very small portion of the issues considered during the fall legislative session. However, it’s widely anticipated that any action on the state budget or more controversial issues will be held until a January “lame duck” session that would be held after the first of the year and prior to the 100th General Assembly being sworn into office. During that time, the number of votes required to pass legislation with an immediate effective date would be a simple majority. And often, it’s during a “lame duck” session when difficult or politically unpopular measure are approved by relying on support from outgoing legislators who are no longer accountable to voters.