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The Senate wrapped up its activities this week with a loud “THUD”. After passing several parts of the “Grand Bargain” on Tuesday (state funding of Chicago School pensions, gaming expansion,  funding of FY 17 items not covered by court order and procurement reforms), the wheels of the deal got wobbly
The Senate wrapped up its activities this week with a loud “THUD”. After passing several parts of the “Grand Bargain” on Tuesday (state funding of Chicago School pensions, gaming expansion,  funding of FY 17 items not covered by court order and procurement reforms), the wheels of the deal got wobbly. It started with the defeat of the state pension reform measure orchestrated by intense lobbying from organized labor. Senate President Cullerton used a parliamentary maneuver to allow another vote on the legislation. The tougher issues such education funding, property tax freeze, workers' compensation and taxes could not muster the votes necessary to pass. The Governor's weighing in on the issues with Senate GOP members was the new element that pulled votes away from the package. The Governor was concerned that the tax issues needed parity, meaning if an income tax increase is to be permanent then the property tax freeze needed to be permanent. Currently, the tax increases are permanent but not the property tax freeze. The other issue was enhancement of the workers' compensation changes. While progress is being made, SB 12 requires some additional changes to allow the system to work better for employers and injured workers.

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