The Never Ending Illinois Legislative Session

July 28, 2015
The Illinois General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner still have not reached an agreement on fiscal 2016 State budget appropriations.  The 2016 fiscal year began on July 1, and with the exception of K-12 school appropriations, Governor Rauner vetoed all other spending legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly.  At this point, there is no authorized 2016 spending for school library, public library, library system or library equalization grants administered by the Illinois Secretary of State.  As a result of several court decisions, state employees and legislators will continue to be paid, and some human service and healthcare programs will continue to be funded.  
Governor Rauner has insisted on legislative democrats approving some or all of his "Turnaround Agenda" prior to negotiating budget issues.  The Turnaround Agenda includes workers compensation cost reductions, limits on personal injury litigation, a local government property tax freeze, state and local restrictions on union employees and union contracts, and constitutional amendments providing for term limits on state elected officials and changes to the process for drawing legislative districts. The democrats have insisted that Governor Rauner either support additional tax increases or take responsibility for massive spending cuts.  
In addition to securing library grant funding for fiscal year 2016, ILA is most focused on the possibility of a local property tax freeze.  There is a strong likelihood that Governor Rauner and Illinois General Assembly will eventually agree to a two year freeze on local property tax levies.  All library supporters should make it clear to their local elected officials how devastating a property tax freeze would be for our patrons and residents.  Click here to get additional information on this issue and read the testimony provided by ILA Past President Jeannie Dilger to the Illinois Senate.
ILA will provide further updates as the overtime session continues, and alert you when we need your help to support library issues.
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