Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DCEO Privatization Bill Passes w/o IHPA language

As the budget stalemate percolates in Springfield the Illinois House of Representatives today amended and passed a bill (HB 574) that would privatize some of the economic development functions of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The first amendment passed today (Amendment 2) replaced an earlier amendment that would have moved management of the state's historic sites from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency over to DCEO as part of a new division that would have included tourism, the Illinois Film Office and whatever would be left of IHPA after splitting off the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library into a separate agency.

The bill now moves to the Senate where it has to be approved before being submitted to Gov. Bruce Rauner. What will happen then is not known, but I wouldn't bet on it getting Rauner's signature.

Today's move on the DCEO bill was believed to be part of a trade that would involve giving Chicago Public Schools a temporarily reprieve on a massive pension plan payment that they can't afford. However, that bill failed to pass. With House Republicans generally voting present on the DCEO bill which normally they would support, it would seem that the governor has not signaled his support.

Meanwhile the ultimate fate of IHPA and the state's fiscally malnourished and neglected historic sites remains unknown. At the end of the spring session the General Assembly did pass a bill to make the presidential library and museum a stand-alone agency and move the Illinois State Museum's five sites over to IHPA from their current home in the Department of Natural Resources.

See my earlier post for details.

In other words, the standoff continues.

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