Illinois Government Affairs Report: St. Louis Regional Chamber
During the Special Session on July 8, both the House and Senate succeeded in gathering the three-fifths vote necessary to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of HB 183. This action means that Illinois now has a concealed carry law in advance of a deadline issued by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to either approve a constitutional regulatory framework for concealed carry or leave the state without any concealed carry prohibitions whatsoever. With the override, Illinois becomes the 50th and final state to adopt a concealed carry law. The new law is PA 98-0063.
In a second vote, the Senate approved a trailer bill to address three of the changes that were included within the governor’s amendatory veto. The House, however, failed to gather the necessary three-fifths vote to send the changes to Quinn. The bill, HB 1453 (Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, & Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley), would have made the following changes to the concealed carry law:
- Require a licensee to immediately disclose his possession of a concealed firearm to a law enforcement officer when asked to do so, present the license to the officer if asked to do so and identify the location of the concealed firearm.
- Alter notification requirements with respect to individuals determined to be a danger to themselves or others by specifying that law enforcement officials and school administrators would notify the Illinois State Police instead of the Dept. of Human Services of the perceived threat.
- Eliminate the signage requirements that identify prohibited locations where an individual cannot carry a firearm. The requirement to post signage would only apply to properties that serve alcohol and private property, other than a private residence, if the owner desires to prohibit the carrying of firearms.
Additionally, Quinn used his veto powers to zero-out the $13.8 million budget for legislative salaries and leadership stipends, effectively eliminating the state’s ability to send lawmakers their Aug. 1 paychecks. The governor said that until now taxpayers, not lawmakers, have had to pay for the legislature’s failure to resolve an unfunded pension liability that has grown to more than $100 billion through higher borrowing costs, lower credit ratings and money squeezed from social services. State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said she was asking for a legal review of Quinn’s action before Aug. 1, when her office would next send paychecks to state lawmakers. They received their last paychecks June 29.
Quinn signed SB 26 (Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, & Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago), which will officially expand the state’s Medicaid program to serve all adults at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The legislation will align the state’s Medicaid program with the original vision of the Affordable Care Act and the state will receive a100 percent federal match on the expansion population until 2016, after which it will phase down to a 90 percent match in 2020 and beyond. Individuals currently eligible for Medicaid will remain at the 50 percent federal match rate. SB 26 also provides for other changes, including some mental health services and nursing home rate reforms.