Key findings were that while the changes to four out of the five Illinois state-funded pension systems will eliminate their unfunded liability over the next 25 years, Illinois’ deficit will increase to $13 billion by 2025. IGPA researchers had projected a $14 billion deficit – a $1 billion difference – if the state had not implemented pension reform.
The study made its projections by estimating savings from the pension reform plan and assuming that the state’s temporary income tax increase will not be extended, rolling back from the current 5 percent to 3.75 percent as scheduled in January, 2015. The report further stated that even if the temporary income tax increase is extended, the budget gap would only be cut to $6 billion by 2025.
New legislation introduced this week of interest to higher education includes:
- HB 4257 (Chapa LaVia) amends the College and Career Success for All Students Act. It provides that a student who takes a College Board Advanced Placement examination and receives a score of 3 or higher on the examination is entitled to receive post-secondary level course credit at a public institution of higher education. It requires each public institution of higher education to comply with the same standard of awarding course credit to any student receiving a score of 3 or higher on a College Board Advanced Placement examination and applying the credit to meet a corresponding course requirement for degree completion at that institution of higher education. Effective immediately.
- HB 4284 (Jakobsson) amends the University of Illinois Trustees Act. With respect to the requirement that a student trustee be a resident of this state, it prohibits the university from using residency for tuition purposes as a factor in making the determination that a student is or is not a resident of this state. Effective June 1, 2014.
- SB 2642 (Righter) amends the Budget Stabilization Act. It increases the amount transferred from the General Revenue Fund to the Pension Stabilization Fund to 90 percent (currently 10 percent) of the specified sums. It provides that the transferred amount is intended to represent nine-tenths (currently one-tenth) of the annual savings to the state resulting from the enactment of Public Act 98-599. Effective immediately.
- SB 2652 (Forby) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. It deletes the provision prohibiting a licensee from knowingly carrying a firearm into a building or real property that has been issued a special event retailers’ license during the time designated for the sale of alcohol by the special event retailers’ license, or a special use permit license designated for the sale of alcohol by the special use permit license. Effective immediately. The same language is included in HB 4234 (Costello).
- SB 2653 (Forby) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. It deletes the provision prohibiting the known carrying of a firearm into a public gathering or special event conducted on property open to the public that requires the issuance of a permit from the unit of local government. Effective immediately.
- SB 2654 (Forby) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. It deletes the provision that prohibits a licensee from knowingly carrying a firearm into a building, real property and parking areas under the control of a public or private hospital or hospital affiliate, mental health facility or nursing home. Effective immediately.
- SB 2669 (Harmon) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. It provides that a person shall not carry a concealed firearm onto private real property of any type without prior permission from the property owner. It further provides that a real property owner shall indicate permission to carry concealed firearms onto the property by clearly and conspicuously posting a sign at the entrance of a building, premises or real property under his/her control; this posting is not required if the property is a private resident. It provides that the sign must be at least 4-inches-by-6-inches in size. Effective immediately.
- SB 2683 (Bivins) amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. It provides that, for purposes of determining the partisanship of any person who is appointed by the governor to an office that either requires specific partisanship or limits the number of appointees from a single political party that might be appointed, the vote of that person in the three general primary elections immediately preceding the effective date of the appointment shall determine their partisanship for that person’s term of office. It provides that a person who did not vote, or who voted but did not request a partisan ballot, in the three general primary elections immediately preceding the effective date of the appointment or who voted but requested partisan ballots for two or more different political parties in the three general primary elections immediately preceding the effective date of the appointment shall be deemed an independent for purposes of determining partisanship for that person’s term of office.