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The Majority Report 10/20/17 - Senate Democrats set to take up veto overrides


Capitol GroundsSenate Democrats return for veto session next week

Economic fairness and government accountability are among the issues Senate Democrats could tackle when they return to Springfield for the fall veto session next week.

Lawmakers’ attention will be focused primarily on overriding executive vetoes of legislation that passed earlier this year. The governor rejected nearly 40 bills that were sent to his desk — many of which that had overwhelming and bipartisan support in the General Assembly.

Some of the measures the governor vetoed that lawmakers could vote to override:

Debt Transparency Act – This legislation, sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), would require state agencies to report monthly to the comptroller the bills they are holding and estimate the interest that will be paid on those bills. There currently is no such requirement, meaning the comptroller can be surprised at any time with millions of dollars in unknown invoices being presented for payment. Earlier this year, the state’s bill backlog amount jumped by $1 billion after the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget reported additional bills for medical, corrections, state group health insurance, human services and other state agencies. The legislation is House Bill 3649.

Gender wage gap – A measure designed to narrow the wage gap in Illinois would bar employers from asking job applicants about their salary histories, a practice that perpetuates gender discrimination and wage inequality. The legislation, House Bill 2462, sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), passed with bipartisan support.

Student loan bill of rights – Also sponsored by Biss, this legislation would establish a student loan bill of rights in Illinois and help to protect students from predatory college lenders. The measure would help to ensure students and their families receive clear information about the money they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced. Senate Bill 1351 is an initiative of the Illinois attorney general.

Collective bargaining freedom – Legislation sponsored by Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) would prohibit local governments from enacting right-to-work ordinances and give the General Assembly the exclusive authority to legislate on collective bargaining matters affecting Illinois workers. Senate Bill 1905, which had Republican support in both chambers, would create the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act.

Cursive writing instruction – To help ensure students continue learning this important and practical skill in school, Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) sponsored legislation, House Bill 2977, requiring public elementary schools to offer at least one unit of cursive writing instruction to students before they complete the fifth grade. “The governor’s veto threatens the ability of students to learn a fundamental skill that they will need going through life,” Lightford said, citing such practical benefits as check writing and interpreting historical documents.


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