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Senate Week in Review: November 10 - 14, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

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Veto Session 2014 Preview

While the General Assembly may only have 11 vetoes to consider when they return to Springfield on November 19 for the fall veto session, lawmakers could use the opportunity to consider other significant issues of interest, as often happens.

Tax Increase Extension

Though an extension of the tax increase was all but assured during the fall veto or a lame-duck session if Pat Quinn had won re-election, conventional wisdom dictates Democrat leaders in the House and Senate will not be quick to act on an extension of the increase given Quinn’s recent defeat. Their 2011 tax hike is scheduled to begin phase-out on January 1; however, Democrat legislative majorities will likely force the new Governor to lay out his own plan to balance the budget without the additional tax revenues. Opponents of the tax increase extension note the measure faces Republican opposition, and emphasized passing major initiatives with support from “lame duck” legislators is poor public policy.

Minimum Wage

The most prominent and controversial policy issue percolating in the Capitol is a possible increase of the minimum wage.

Heading into the fall session, the future of the initiative is unclear. Proponents of a minimum wage increase point to the results of an advisory referendum on minimum wage that was placed on the November 4 ballot, and which garnered significant support from Illinois voters. However, minimum wage opponents contend that increasing the minimum wage will hurt Illinois employers, resulting in lay-offs and increased prices on goods and services. Read more

Senate Bill 16 Subject Matter Hearing Nov. 18

Following months of public debate and discussion surrounding Senate Bill 16, a rewrite of Illinois’ school-aid formula, a subject matter hearing has been scheduled for November 18 at 3:00 p.m. before a joint meeting of the House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

Recently, State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), Senate Bill 16 Chief House Sponsor and chairperson of the House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, indicated she does not intend the call the bill to a vote in its current form. However, this hearing suggests that Senate Bill 16, or some version of the legislation, could be called during a January lame-duck session.

Vetoed Legislation

This year, Gov. Quinn vetoed just 11 of the 243 Senate Bills and 268 House Bills sent to the Governor’s desk for consideration. Notably, the Governor vetoed bills that would have established regulations for ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar and brought uniformity to speed limits on Interstates and toll highways. Read more