The legislature adjourned Veto Session last
Friday, October 30th, and I wanted to update
you on some of the more important things that
Please let me know if you have any questions
on these or other legislative issues. And as
always, if you need anything at all please
don't hesitate to contact me or my staff.
Very Truly Yours,
|Campaign Finance Reform
On Friday, after months of meetings, debates
and negotiations, a campaign finance reform
Bill 1466) was presented to the House.
After great deliberation I voted for this
measure. I decided that even though the
reforms did not go as far as I would have
liked, time was running out, the leaders
weren't budging on their positions regarding
transfers (monies to candidates from special
leadership campaign accounts) and that in the
end, perfect should not be the enemy of good.
Although there is still a lot of work to be
done, SB1466 brings many needed reforms to
Illinois. Beyond capping campaign
contributions, the bill allows for random
campaign finance auditing, requires stricter
and more frequent contribution reporting,
creates a task force to study public
financing and more.
To learn more about this legislation, you can
visit the Illinois
Campaign for Political Reform's website.
|Cook County Veto Override Threshold
During the first week of veto session, my
colleagues and I passed House
Bill 4625 (I am a co-sponsor),
which would reduce the veto override
threshold in Cook County to 3/5 from 4/5.
As you may know, there has been a lot media
attention lately about the 1% Cook County
sales tax increase imposed last summer which
gave Chicago the highest collective sales tax
in the nation (10.25% which includes city,
county and state sales taxes).
In July of this year, Cook County
Commissioners voted to partially rollback the
sales tax increase, but President Stroger
vetoed their efforts and an attempt to
override it, requiring a 4/5 supermajority
(80% or 14 out of 17 commissioners), fell 1
This 4/5 veto override threshold is unusually
high and, in effect, allows for a major
concentration of power in the Cook County
President's office. As such, on October 6,
the County Board approved a resolution asking
the Illinois Legislature to change state law
and reduce the override requirement from a
4/5 majority (14 of 17) to a 3/5 majority (11
of 17). This change, found in House Bill
4625, would bring Cook County government in
line with state government, where 3/5
majorities in the House and Senate are needed
to override a gubernatorial veto.
House Bill 4625 passed the Senate and now
awaits the Governor's signature.
|Speeding Up Payments to Health Care Providers
One of the major issues we are dealing with
in Illinois is the speed with which the State
is reimbursing medical, human and social
services providers in our communities.
Thursday, the Senate passed House
Bill 542 which captures more federal
matching dollars and speeds up payments to
providers. This legislation is a technical
bill that accelerates quarterly hospital
payments, and in doing so, takes advantage of
Federal Recovery Money by increasing the
federal match on our payments from 50% to
62%. This will in turn free up monies for
reimbursement to other providers - many of
which have been on the brink of bankruptcy.