The report also notes that the traditional August 31 deadline (known as the “lapse period”) for the state to pay all its Fiscal Year 2010 bills has been pushed back until December 31. According to Comptroller Hynes, Illinois would not be able pay its obligations by the end of August. But getting all those bills paid by December will also be a challenge.
The report notes that, “even with the extension of the state’s lapse period…it will be extremely challenging to close out fiscal year 2010 and maintain key functions of state government.” And because a large portion of the Fiscal Year 2011 revenue must be used to pay the previous year’s bills, Comptroller Hynes warns that payment delays next year are likely to be even longer than what Illinois saw in 2010.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALES TAX HOLIDAY WILL BE AUGUST 6-15
A measure intended to provide some financial relief to Illinois’ working families was signed into law on July 7.
Senate Bill 3658 (P.A. 96-1012) creates an annual sales tax holiday on back-to-school gear. This year, the tax holiday begins on August 6 and extends through August 15.
Qualifying items include clothing that costs less than $100 per item, outerwear, uniforms, shoes, and school supplies, like book bags, notebooks, lunch boxes, etc. Notable non-qualifying items include certain sports equipment and recreational footwear, computers and computer supplies, certain specialized art supplies, and electronics, such as cameras, video cameras, and cell phones.
Though 5 percent of the state sales tax will be eliminated for back-to-school goods, local sales taxes will still apply.
TESTING DNA EVIDENCE
Also signed into law was legislation (SB 3269/ P.A. 96-1011) that requires all DNA evidence gathered from a reported sex crime to be submitted to the State Police for forensic testing in a timely manner.
The legislation was pursued after a media investigation revealed that often rape kits were not tested. As a result, many sexual assault crimes went largely uninvestigated and unsolved. The new law is also expected to absolve some people who may have been wrongly convicted of a crime, and help some victims find closure.
For sexual assault evidence collected from 30 days before the September 1, 2010, effective date of the bill, the evidence must be submitted to a State Police forensic testing lab within 10 business days of its collection. The lab has six months to analyze the evidence, if the lab has “sufficient resources” to do so.
For evidence collected more than 30 days before the effective date of the bill, police departments must make arrangements within 180 days of the September 1, 2010, effective date to have the evidence submitted to a State Police forensic lab.