Rauner Vetoes

Below are the bills that Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed today:

Veto Message for HB 1052

Today I return House Bill 1052, which would allow the transfer of authority and control over certain private roads in Warren Township to the highway commissioner of the Warren Township Road District. Since its passage, the township and legislators have identified concerns with the bill’s potential cost to taxpayers and how these private roads would comply with safety regulations. I am returning the bill to provide concerned parties with an additional opportunity to address these issues.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 1052 entitled “AN ACT transportation”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Veto Message for HB 4351

VetoToday I veto House Bill 4351 from the 99th General Assembly, which would amend the Illinois Act on Aging to restrict the State’s flexibility in how we assess and serve Illinois’s elderly and physically disabled residents.

This bill is very similar to House Bill 2482, passed by the General Assembly last year, and which I returned with an amendatory veto for many of the same concerns I raise today. Although well intentioned, this bill would lead to serious unintended consequences.

First, this bill would lock into statute that an individual with a particular threshold score on the Determination of Need (DON) assessment tool would be eligible for both institutional and home and community-based long term care services. Instead, an individual with the threshold score should be entitled to institutional or home and community-based care. Many members of the General Assembly have long worked to transition the state from a reliance on institutional-based care to a focus on community care options that improve patient quality and cost efficiency. However, House Bill 4351 inhibits this transformation in the way the State delivers services for the elderly and disabled.

Second, to the extent that a motivating factor behind this legislation is to preclude a raise in the minimum DON score used to determine eligibility—as originally contemplated under the SMART Act (Public Act 97-0689)—I have no intention of raising the DON score. In light of this commitment, there can be no good reason to unnecessarily restrict the State’s ability to move from institutional-based care to community-based care through this legislation.

Finally, this bill would inhibit the Illinois Department on Aging from creating a new program, the Community Reinvestment Program (CRP). This program is designed to provide a multitude of flexible services for non-Medicaid individuals currently being served under the Community Care Program (CCP), and it furthers the State’s commitment to serving individuals in their own home and community rather than in nursing homes. CRP is also projected to produce savings of nearly $200 million during the next fiscal year. By precluding the launch of CRP, this bill would prevent the State from managing ever-rising costs and jeopardize our ability to ensure that essential community services remain available for the approximately 44,000 non-Medicaid persons now served by CCP.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 4351, entitled “AN ACT concerning public aid”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Veto Message for SB 1059

Today I return Senate Bill 1059. This bill would allow retired state university employees who return to work after receiving a lump-sum retirement distribution to receive additional health benefits without making additional contributions to the retirement system.

Under current law, state university employees have the option to receive a one-time, lump-sum payout from the State University Retirement System upon retirement. A retired employee who elects to accept the lump-sum payout is not eligible to participate in the State’s health care program. If a retired employee later returns to work for the State after accepting a lump-sum payout, he or she no longer contributes to the State Retirement Systems and, therefore, is ineligible to receive additional future retirement benefits.

Senate Bill 1059 would allow a retired employee who accepts a lump-sum payout and then returns to work to participate in the State’s employee health care program, even though he or she would not be required to contribute to the State’s retirement systems going forward. The bill would establish an unequal benefit distribution and expose the State to unforeseen, unfunded costs to the historically underfunded State Employee Group Insurance Program. Rather than increasing retirement-related costs to the State, I urge the General Assembly to work with me on comprehensive pension reform.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 1059 entitled “AN ACT concerning government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Veto Message for SB 2439

Today I veto Senate Bill 2439, which amends the Illinois Pension Code to impose additional pension liability for police and firefighters on local governments, despite a local referendum rejecting such an expansion. It is identical to Senate Bill 763, which I vetoed last year. 

Public safety workers deserve the right to earn good pension benefits. However, current law already provides a mechanism by which a municipality can provide pension benefits to police officers and firefighters. Benefits are mandatory in municipalities with the population of at least 5,000 people and can be created by referendum in those with fewer than 5,000 residents. Thus, in smaller municipalities, the decision rests directly with the people who will have to pay for additional benefits through higher property and other taxes.

This veto is necessary because Senate Bill 2439 would allow municipalities an end-run around local referendum results. If this legislation becomes law, a municipality could impose new pension obligations by a resolution of its governing body even if residents overwhelmingly reject the same by referendum. At a time when local governments in Illinois are struggling to make ends meet, we should not stifle direct democracy by permitting local governing bodies to ignore taxpayer’s wishes. 

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2439 entitled “AN ACT concerning public employee benefits”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Veto Message for SB 2531

Today I veto Senate Bill 2531 from the 99th General Assembly to prevent yet another hindrance to economic development in Illinois.

The bill requires an economic development council that receives public money to include members of a labor council and persons from minority groups on its corporate board. Diverse representation, particularly minority representation, on corporate boards is an admirable goal and one every corporation should seek to attain. However, corporate boards should also be representative of the constituencies they serve and need flexibility to ensure that representation. Mandating certain representation on every economic development corporation that receives public monies is a one size fits all approach that ignores that many of these local and regional councils may be best served with different representation that reflects their specific mission.

Further, the vague drafting of this legislation is likely to have unintended consequences. For example, “economic development corporation” is defined as “an organization that receives public money that promotes the development, establishment or expansion of industries.” This broad definition will likely lead to the inclusion of corporations whose works bears no relationship to traditional economic development. In addition, many corporations that would fall within this definition are dedicated to representing the interests of the management side of business. Forcing the inclusion of the labor representatives on such a board is in direct conflict with such a corporation’s interest.

This bill is one of three pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly this year that impose arbitrary mandates on groups trying to further economic development in Illinois. Last year Illinois lost thousands of jobs, and I continue to hear that businesses are leaving our State. Rather than imposing inflexible requirements on entities trying to bring jobs to the Illinois, I encourage the General Assembly to focus on passing legislation designed to further economic development.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2531, entitled “AN ACT concerning business”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.


Rauner Vetoes — 4 Comments

  1. Regarding Warren Township (Lake County) and House Bill 1052 (HB 1052) in the 99th Illinois General Assembly (ILGA), which is for the years of 2015 & 2016.

    On May 5, 2016 the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) certified the IUOE Local 150 Public Sector Division labor union for a then current bargaining unit of 22 employees in the positions of Road Maintenance, Highway Foreman, and Highway GIS Analyst.

    IUOE = International Union of Operating Engineers.

  2. @Mark
    Should come as no surprise that the bill reads:

    “Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Illinois Highway Code.

    Provides that a residential neighborhood within the unincorporated boundaries of a township road district whose private roadways are maintained by a neighborhood organization may draft and vote on a resolution to turn authority and control over its roadways to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

    Provides that authority and control over the roadways shall be transferred to the Department 21 days after the approved resolution is filed with the highway commissioner and the county clerk. Provides that roads to be turned over to the Department in this manner must meet the following criteria:

    (1) be located within the boundaries of a county whose population is no less than 500,000 people;

    (2) lie within a neighborhood where the majority of the neighborhood was platted before 1970;

    (3) the neighborhood organization must consist of more than 20 residential units;

    (4) the roadways cannot be part of a gated community, have a guard post, or have any physical obstructions that prevent ongoing and regular access by the general public;

    (5) the neighborhood must abut an inland body of water with at least 100 acres of surface area, but no more than 250 acres of surface area; and

    (6) the neighborhood must be located within 6 miles of a tollway.’

    Filed in February by none other than Mike Madigan. Specific enough that it would not surprise me that Mike is doing a solid for one of his buddies.

    Hard to believe I know.

  3. It’s disgraceful the Illinois General Assembly passes unfunded mandates when the state has an $8 Billion dollar shortfall to pay it’s bills, over $100 Billion in unfunded pension liabilities, and over $50 Billion in unfunded retiree healthcare liabilities, plus bond debt, and most local taxing districts have similar problems of one sort or the other.

    The Illinois General Assembly as a whole does not act as public servants.

    Rather as a whole they create debt and obligations for taxpayers without disclosing the true costs of legislation.

    We are a nation drowning in legislation.

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