ILOTA Communique December 2017 Communique | Page 9

October / November / December • Issue 4 • 2017 Maureen Mulhall, ILOTA Lobbyist Professional Regulation accounted for millions of dollars in sweeps, including: • $612,700 from the General Professions Dedicated Fund • $5,000,000 from the Medical Disciplinary Fund • $1,500,000 from the CPA Administrative and Disciplinary Fund • $1,409,500 from the Professions Indirect Cost Fund The 2017 legislative year has come to an end and the 2018 legislative year looms ahead. The legislative year begins in January with a great flurry of bill introductions and concludes in the fall with the annual veto session. The driving force in 2018 is obviously the General Election. All 118 members of the Illinois House and 39 of the 59 Senators are up for election. More than two dozen incumbent legislators chose not to run for reelection in their existing position, and several more legislators have primary opponents. Clearly, the face of the General Assembly is about to change. Additionally, all of the constitutional officers are up for reelection, most significantly the Governor. It’s anyone’s guess at this stage in the process as to who the next Governor of Illinois will be. If you’re not already tired of campaign commercials you will be by November 6, 2018. The most significant issue of the spring 2017 legislative session was quite obviously the budget. It took until July 6, but the General Assembly was able to cobble tog ether a budget for the first time in two years. Is it a perfect solution? Far from it. Unfortunately, by some estimates the budget is nearly $2 billion unbalanced. In light of that the Governor has cut the budget by $156 million, including $89 million dollars in human services funding. And the backlog of state health insurance claims is over $5 billion. We aren’t out of the woods yet with respect to the state budget. We can only hope that the increase in the state income tax will go towards paying overdue bills and not new program spending. The FY18 state budget provided for $1.2 billion in interfund borrowing. This borrowing must be repaid within 24 months from the date borrowed. While this borrowing will help in the short term to help pay down the mountains of debt the state currently maintains, at the end of the day it must be repaid. The expectation is that the increase in tax revenues will help pay off this debt. Additionally, the FY18 budget also allowed for $293 million in fund sweeps. As usual, funds managed by the Department of Financial and • $5,000,000 from the Nursing Dedicated and Professional Fund • $1,500,000 from the Dental Disciplinary Fund Illinois is faced with three challenges that dramatically affect the state budget. First, Illinois lags behind the nation and surrounding states in terms of economic recovery. This is in part due to challenge number two – Illinois is suffering from a very slow rate of job growth. While Illinois may see some jobs benefit to Foxconn moving just over the border in Wisconsin, what we really need is to land Amazon 2HQ, or the Mazda or Toyota plants to help address our higher than average unemployment. Finally, Illinois has suffered an outflow of population. We have lost four seats in Congress since 1992 due to this outflow. There are fewer people available for the workforce, and because of this, we have lost some our voice at the federal level. The Spring 2018 legislative calendar will be somewhat abbreviated due to the focus on the March 20 primary during the first three months of the year. Nonetheless, expect to see approximately 4,000 bills introduced, budget battles to continue, and the general acrimony in the Capitol to persist. Page