Session to continue at least one more day as negotiations continue
I want to give you a quick update on where things stand as of Friday afternoon. This morning, by a wide bipartisan vote, an amendment was adopted to Senate Bill 6 which sets out a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. This is not the final budget agreement, but it is a major step in that direction. The legislative leaders were meeting throughout the day and the word from both sides was that they are very close to an agreement, though not quite there yet.

Special session gets off to slow start
The Governor has called the House and Senate into special session for each of the last 10 days of June, or until a balanced budget with reforms is passed. The first of these session days was Wednesday, June 21, but the House did not act on a budget on day one. In fact, the Speaker convened the House for the special session, adopted a pair of procedural resolutions and then adjourned in less than 10 minutes. It was not an encouraging start.

Special sessions called for late June
Governor Rauner has called the House and Senate into special session beginning Wednesday June 21 and continuing through the end of June. As you know, the House adjourned May 31 leaving much work unfinished. With half the month of June having now gone by without any further movement, the Governor has summoned legislators back to Springfield to finish our work before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. This week, House and Senate Republican leaders introduced a new compromise package of legislation that will hopefully help break the stalemate that has crippled state government for more than two years.

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is reminding all qualified cities, towns and villages that the deadline to apply for Limited Pyrotechnic Distributor licenses is June 15, 2017. Pyrotechnic Distributor Licensees are required to employ licensed pyrotechnic operators for Fourth of July firework celebrations.

Currently licensed Pyrotechnic Distributors and Operators are listed here.

Any additional questions may be directed to the OSFM Pyrotechnic Licensing division at (217) 558-0328.

For the full statement from the State Fire Marshal, click here.
Another debt downgrade for Illinois
Before adjourning the spring session without a budget agreement in place, state officials were warned by the major credit rating agencies that the state would face another downgrade if no action was taken. Just hours after adjournment, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s moved Illinois to the brink of junk bond status.  The ratings (Moody’s went to “Baa3” and S&P to “BBB-“) came with a “negative outlook,” which amounts to a formal warning by both firms that yet another demotion of Illinois’ status to non-investment-grade is dangerously close.

Adjournment deadline passes, no agreement on budget
The House adjournment deadline came and went Wednesday night without an agreement on a budget for either the current fiscal year or the next fiscal year. Both the House and Senate will now be in “continuous session” over the summer. With the passing of the May 31 adjournment deadline, it will now take a three-fifths majority, or 71 votes to pass a bill in the House and 36 votes in the Senate.