The Illinois General Assembly convened a special session this week to consider two major pieces of legislation and legislation the governor vetoed, well ahead of the planned October “Veto Session.”
The energy and environmental bill that has eluded passage since the spring and has largely been negotiated between labor unions and environmental activists got punted by the Senate. They passed a version that is now in the House to be acted upon.
The discouraging part is that business sector demands (except for the large utilities) have largely been ignored. NFIB along with allied business groups have outlined our wishes to legislative leaders and the governor’s office asking to keep rate-hikes in check and reasonable options on environmental standards.
As it stands, bill negotiators estimated the cost of the bill at approximately a $3.55 increase to the average residential customer, a $34 increase to commercial user bills, and a $31,136 increase to the average industrial bill.
The other contentious issue is the drawing of the state legislative district maps that happens after every 10-year national census. As expected, Democrats pushed new legislative maps through the General Assembly on Tuesday with staunch Republican opposition. Voting right advocates and Republicans denounced the process as highly flawed and politicized. A court hearing on the constitutionality of the remap process was set for Wednesday. For a deeper analysis read this.
NFIB advocates for a change in the Illinois map-making process by creating a fairer method and getting rid of the gerrymandering of districts so that legislators cannot choose their voters rather than voters making the decision. New Illinois Congressional maps have not yet been drawn, but the same process is expected.
Favorable Tax Law
Senate Bill 2531, sponsored by Sen. Win Stoller (R-Peoria), was signed into law by Gov. Pritzker. It allows the workaround of the federal $10,000 state and local tax, or SALT deductions. Small businesses in Illinois can take advantage of a change the IRS approved allowing them to file as an entity, rather than on the individual level. The new law could help lower the federal tax burden for more than 400,000 Illinois pass-through businesses starting in 2022.