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The spring session of the General Assembly came to an end on Friday May 31st, for the House at 7:30 pm, and for the Senate at 9:40 pm. Several major pieces of legislation where passed at the last minute, and several major items were not addressed. A special thanks to Liz Brown who has proved to be an excellent legislative asset to our organization. I am extremely grateful for her efforts and assistance. Additionally, he PBPA was also assisted by retired CPO Tim Sickmeyer who did an excellent job representing the interests of both active and retired Conservation Police Officers this session. Tim was always willing to "take the stand" when an issue involving the CPOs came forward in committee.

Here is a brief summary of major issues:

Concealed Carry - HB 183 was amended in the Senate with agreed language. The main change from the House version was that of preemption. This final version only preempted local conceal and carry laws. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 45-12-1 and the House by 89-28. The bill will be sent to the Governor for his signature. Per the federal court ruling, the bill must be enacted by June 9th.

SB 20 was promoted as an economic growth initiative. Several funding components were in the bill. Some of the more high profile items were funding for the new DePaul stadium at McCormick place, funding for the Rosemont convention center and several items to try and move the South Suburban Airport forward.

Gaming - There was a late amendment filed to SB 1739. However, the bill was not called for a vote. It is believed that the gaming bill was not going to be moved unless a pension bill was passed.

Marriage Equality - It is rumored that the bill does not have enough votes to pass. The bill did not get called for a vote.

Medicaid - Medicaid reform passed both chambers (SB 26) and is being sent to the Governor for his signature. In addition to Medicaid expansion, it provides several changes to nursing home payments, changes in services to the mentally ill, changes to the SMART act and several additional changes.

HB 212 back pay for state employees required for new health insurance program to go into effect and settle AFSCME lawsuit did not get moved out of the house this week.

Pension reform - The General Assembly did not do any comprehensive pension reform. As you know there were 2 basic competing versions: the Speaker's version and the Senate President's version. The Senate President believed that the House version was unconstitutional and that his bill (SB 2404), although it has less savings, will be constitutional. The House version (SB 1) was called in the Senate and only received 16 votes. The House adjourned without calling the Senate version. The PBPA and We Are One coalition supported Senate President Cullerton's SB 2404 and strongly opposed Speaker Madigan's SB 1.

A pension cost shift proposal was called, but failed in the Senate. It provided that universities and community colleges begin paying a portion of the costs for their employees retirement benefits under the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). Employers will be responsible for picking up employer normal cost at a rate of .5% of payroll beginning fiscal year 2015. Each fiscal year thereafter, employers will pick up an additional .5% per year until the full employer normal cost has been shifted. The bill passed the House but only received 21 votes in the Senate.

We were able to pass some of our legislative priorities and we were able to kill several bills that would have been detrimental to our members and our organization - including major attacks on PSEBA benefits, collective bargaining, union dues collection, and interest arbitration.

The veto session calendar has been released the dates are:October 22, 23 & 24 and November 5, 6 & 7 however, the Governor could call a Special Session before these scheduled dates.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Stay Safe -

Sean M. Smoot
Director & Chief Legal Counsel
PB&PA of Illinois
Treasurer - NAPO
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