GOVERNOR’S WRITTEN REPORT DUE FEBRUARY 24
House Bill 2240 requires the Governor to present a written report to the General Assembly prior to February 24.
Legislators will be allowed to submit written budget recommendations to the Governor between February 24 and March 10, which would then be posted on the Governor’s Web site.
Despite objections, House Bill 2240 was passed by the Senate on February 10. It was approved by the House of Representatives and signed into law by the Governor on February 11.
QUINN IGNORING DEADLINES FOR OTHER REPORTS
Although House Bill 2240 was portrayed as encouraging a more open budget process, critics noted that the Quinn Administration has consistently ignored laws already on the books that were designed to give the public and lawmakers an opportunity to review the state’s finances.
The Governor’s Office has failed to produce three reports required by new laws passed last spring. Senate Bill 54 requires the Governor to post quarterly financial reports on the Internet, which would include an assessment of the state’s financial position and projections of revenue and the Illinois economy. At this point, the Governor has not complied with the new law—the most recent report posted was a review of Fiscal Year 2009, more than six months ago.
Additionally, the Governor has not provided mandated quarterly reports on the status of all capital projects. House Bill 255 requires this report to be given to party leaders on the first day of each quarter, so the first report should have been presented October 1, 2009, and a second report handed out January 1, 2010.
House Bill 255 also requires the Governor to post online summaries of financial information given to rating agencies and potential investors. These must be posted on the Internet and given to legislative leaders within 10 business days after the information was given to rating agencies and investors. However, this has not been done.
Critics questioned the effectiveness of passing additional laws when the Governor isn’t following those already on the books. This financial information would be extremely helpful when lawmakers prepare to begin working on the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, yet the Quinn Administration has yet to comply with the laws.
SENATE BILLS APPROVED BY COMMITTEES
This week, Illinois Senate committees also approved the following legislation, which now returns to the Senate for further consideration:
Board of Trustees (SB 2581): Eliminates the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Bank Examiners’ Education Foundation and transfers those duties to the State Banking Board, while also reducing the size of the Board from 17 to 12 members.
Bonds (SB 2603): Allows Conservation Districts and Downstate Forest Preservation Districts to issue 25-year bonds, instead of the 20-year bonds they are currently permitted to issue.
Census (SR 561): Urges citizens to complete the federal Census survey by April 1, 2010.
County Government (SB 2527): Allows counties to utilize unused Rental Housing Support Program funds.
Level of Privilege (SB 2504): Codifies the current Department of Human Services practice requiring a court to order specifying the level of privilege for a criminal defendant committed to DHS non-secure custody for being found unfit to stand trial or be sentenced due to a mental condition. Level of privilege is the eligibility of the defendant for an on-grounds pass, supervised off-grounds pass, unsupervised off-grounds pass and placement setting.
Metro-East Sanitation (SB 2520): Allows the Metro-East Sanitary District to annex property into the district by ordinance. The annexed property is subject to district taxes and regulations.
Repeal Date Extension (SB 2802): Extends the repeal date of the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act from June 30, 2010, to June 30, 2012.
TANF Training (SB 2545): Exempts certain individuals from participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) education, training and employment program.
Task Force (SB 2533): Decreases the three-year pilot program of the Child Death Investigation Task Force in Southern Illinois to an 18-month pilot program.