SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Jan. 8, 2021) – The Illinois General Assembly returns to the Statehouse today to tackle a slate of issues during session including a nearly $4 billion budget hole, criminal justice reform, police reform and more.

Among the lawmakers in the House of Representatives, six are considered “lame ducks” who won’t be returning for the next session.

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Illinois Policy Institute experts are available to comment on the implications of the various legislative issues that will be handled during session.

Criminal justice reform

  • The Legislative Black Caucus introduced a package of criminal justice reform and police reform bills that include strengthening precautions around the execution of search warrants and removing the ability of police unions to demand discipline policies in contracts. ­­
  • Illinois Policy Institute researchers found some proposed police reform proposals could be ineffective, though, as Section 15 of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act allows collective bargaining agreements to overpower state statutes. The IPLRA should be amended to ensure police reforms are not voided by collective bargaining agreements.

Budget

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker faces a $3.9 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2021 and that deficit is projected to rise to $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2022 absent changes in budget policy. Currently, the administration faces options including borrowing, budget cuts, a tax hike or a federal bailout, on which they could choose to act during lame duck session.
  • Illinois Policy Institute researchers found constitutional pension reform that protects earned benefits while allowing for changes to unearned benefits could save the budget $2.4 billion in the first year, and up to $8.9 billion over five years.

For bookings or interviews, contact media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977

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