15 bills that didn't have a chance in 2016

On January 1, 2017, 191 new laws were enacted in Illinois. Many of these new laws were covered extensively in the press. What you may not have heard about were some very good bills that did not become law because there were not permitted to be considered by the legislature.

More than 6,000 bills were introduced in the last legislative session and for a myriad of reasons many did not make it out of committee or failed on the House floor. But there were several pieces of legislation that were denied a public hearing by the House Rules Committee controlled by Illinois House Speaker Madigan and we think you should know about them:

Red light ticket right to due process
House Bill 4041
This legislation allows for due process of a red light camera ticket by allowing a vehicle owner to contest the ticket and also includes a provision that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the violation occurred.

Legislators pay reduction for not paying bills
House Bill 491 / House Bill 4620
These bills reduce the salaries for members of the Illinois General Assembly by 10% if the backlog of unpaid state bills is not reduced 10%.

Constitutional Amendment - legislative leader term-limits
This is a Constitutional Amendment to create term limits for leaders of the Illinois General Assembly: Limits the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Minority Leader of the House, or Minority Leader of the Senate to a total of 8 years in any one office and 12 years combined in 2 or more offices. 

Constitutional Amendment - term-limits for all state elected officials
These proposed Constitutional Amendments create term-limits for all legislators and statewide elected officials. A person may not be elected to the office of State Senator or State Representative, or a combination of those offices, for more than 10 years. A person may not be elected to any statewide office (such as Comptroller or Attorney General), or any combination of these offices, for more than 8 years.

Constitutional Amendment - politician free redistricting
These proposed Constitutional Amendments prevent politicians from picking their own voters by creating the Independent Redistricting Commission. This commission, which will not have legislators on it, will create the districts from which voters elect their State Senators and State Representatives.

Keeping seniors in their homes
House Bill 6198
Through this bill, when applying for a property tax exemption, social security benefits do not impact income status. The bill helps prevent senior citizens from being taxed out of their homes.

Savings for higher education purchases
House Bill 4639
This legislation amends the procurement code to make it easier for institutions of higher education to save money by banding together to make bulk purchases. Since Illinois has been a member of one buying pact in particular (MHEC), universities, colleges, school districts, park districts, libraries, cities and counties have saved over $190 million on their purchases.

Illinois College Procurement Reform Act
House Bill 4215
This bill creates the Illinois College Procurement Reform Act to allow public universities, if they choose, to acquire the resources they need without facing certain restrictions normally placed on state agencies.

Prevent automatic pay increases for legislators
House Bill 6611
This legislation prevents members of the General Assembly from receiving an annual automatic increase in compensation.

Protecting domestic violence victims from cyber stalking
House Bill 5794
This bill creates the offense of illegal electronic monitoring to protect victims of domestic violence from being stalked by their abusers by placing electronic tracking software or spyware on their electronic communication device.

General Assembly must pass a balanced budget
House Bill 5744
If the General Assembly fails to pass a balanced budget by the end of the regular session each year, members are required to stay in continuous session every day until a balanced budget is passed and General Assembly members will not receive any per diem allowance during the continuous session.

House Bill 4399
This legislation requires that within 30 days of the enactment of the State budget, the Auditor General must certify that the budget will be balanced with expenses not exceeding expected revenue. If the Auditor General declares that the budget is not balanced then the Comptroller will:
  • Stop payment of the salary for General Assembly members and Constitutional Officers; and 
  • Within 10 days of the Auditor General’s certification that the budget is not balanced, the General Assembly must convene to enact a new State budget.