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Legislative Update from Shattuck & Associates

The Senate this week spent time on sending additional Senate bills to the House even though this was the deadline week for House bills to be approved by Senate committee. We expect many House bills to have today's deadline extended to the end of the month. Meanwhile the House cancelled today and held a few committee hearings advancing mostly non-controversial Senate bills out of House committees. Next Friday is the deadline for Senate bills to be approved by a House committee. 
The Senate this week spent time on sending additional Senate bills to the House even though this was the deadline week for House bills to be approved by Senate committee. We expect many House bills to have today's deadline extended to the end of the month. Meanwhile the House cancelled today and held a few committee hearings advancing mostly non-controversial Senate bills out of House committees. Next Friday is the deadline for Senate bills to be approved by a House committee. 
 
There are a total of 15 scheduled legislative days remaining in the Spring Session. Everything after May 31st with an immediate effective date requires a three fifths majority.   With the difficulty in rounding up even simple majorities in both chambers for a balanced budget, there has been some scrambling to attempt to pull a balanced budget together by May 31st.
 
Grand Bargain II Fizzles
 
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) made another attempt to resuscitate their “Grand Bargain” but too many Senate Republicans are balking at voting for a weak workers' compensation proposal given the magnitude of tax increases that are on the table. Movement on Workers Compensation: Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) filed amendment 4 to SB 12sponsored by Sen. Radogno. He indicated to us that he had given up as much as he can from the Senate democrat caucus. Sen. Radogno did not call SB 12. For an overview of what the workers' compensation proposal looks like with amendment 4, we have prepared an outline. Contact us and we will email it to you.
 
To demonstrate movement from the House Democrats, Speaker Madigan has called for working groups to be reconstituted to address Gov. Rauner's “non-budget” issues…most notably workers' compensation and property tax freeze. Though Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R)-Western Springs) is skeptical of the Speaker's motives, he did name members of his caucus to the working groups.
 
There is a slim chance a budget could be agreed to by the end of May. However, at this time the betting money is being placed on the same approach that occurred last year: a FY 18 budget for elementary and secondary schools to guarantee their opening for the new school year and a meager stop gap budget to fund certain human services and higher education.

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