Illinois Venture Capital Association Illinois Legislative Report
David Stricklin / Stricklin & Associates
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
LEGISLATURE GRINDS TOWARD DEADLINES
With hundreds of introduced bills waiting to be heard before an impending deadline to get them out of the committees where they first started, Illinois legislators are spending most of this week online in committee hearings. The bill deadlines are a way of weeding out ideas and proposals which don’t have the momentum to make it over a routine hurdle. In the House that “committee deadline” is this week, in the Senate it is next Friday.
IVCA BILLS MAKE PROGRESS
IVCA has focused on two legislative priorities this session which continue to advance:
SB 3777 / HB 4364 – legislation to make further improvements to the Technology Development Account in alignment with Tresurer Frerichs. SB 3777 passed the Senate unanimously and is now in the House. HB 4364 is on the House consent calendar for non-controversial bills and should pass the House this week. Between the two bills, it appears likely one of them will be passed by both chambers and sent to Governor Pritzker.
Yesterday, the House Rules Committee referred SB 2430 to the House Revenue Committee. SB 2430 is the IVCA sponsored bill to clarify how investment partnerships are defined, which in turn removes an unfavorable tax consequence for investors in Illinois firms.
The Illinois General Assembly has set April 8 as its target adjournment date.
GOVERNOR ASKS PENSION FUNDS TO ACT ON RUSSIA
NewsFebruary 28, 2022
With the continued invasion by Russia of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, the State of Illinois stands with the people of Ukraine and nations around the world supporting peace in the country. As such, I am writing to request that your respective boards take all steps within your existing authority to explore the potential of divesting state pension assets from Russian-based companies and Russian assets and the feasibility of doing so.
Across our five statewide pension systems, the state holds nearly $100 billion in pension fund assets. My administration will continue to work closely with you to ensure minimal disruption to the strong progress we have made in recent years in shoring up the financial stability of the funds. I look forward to being briefed on what you determine at the soonest possible date, and I look forward to sharing those findings with the General Assembly.
Thank you for your continued service and please contact Deputy Governor Andy Manar should you have questions regarding my request.
As of this writing, there were no bills introduced in the legislature to amplify or further this request, though we likely will see them.
MOODY’S EVALUATES STATE ECONOMICS
The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability asked Moody’s for an analysis of the state’s finances and economic strength, or lack thereof.
The report commends the state for some recent measures to achieve greater fiscal stability, it also says a full economic recovery for Illinois will come more slowly than in other states.
IDPH DIRECTOR TO LEAVE OFFICE MID-MONTH
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who has been the medical face, voice, and expertise of the state’s response to COVID 19, will depart state service on March 14. The director of IDPH is not ordinarily one of the highest profile members of the governor’s cabinet. Dr. Ezike stepped into a highlighted role and worked around the clock at the governor’s side to explain and enforce COVID mitigations, and her work was nearly unanimously praised, with Governor Pritzker crediting Dr. Ngozie with savings thousands of lives.
Dr. Ezike / Gov. Pritzker comments
COMPTROLLER CALLS TO END LATE PAYMENT PENALTIES
Illinois enforces a 12% penalty on itself on bills it owes state vendors. The idea is to keep the state from simply being lax and negligent – during times of economic strife, when billions of dollars of bills were overdue, it meant the state was paying millions in costs, on top of still being late paying vendors. This created a cottage industry of financial firms buying the receivables, paying the vendor nearly the entire amount, and then picking up the interest payment when it could be made. During the budget impasses of a few years ago some legislators described the practice as lighting piles of money on fire.
Now that, for the time being, the state is paying on close to a 30-day cycle, Comptroller Susana Mendoza argues the penalty is no longer needed. Her Republican opponent in the November general election, Shannon Teresi, critized the move, as did Crain’s:
CRAIN’S OPPOSES ENDING % PENALTY
DUNCAN WON’T RUN FOR MAYOR
Not specifically Illinois yet clearly significant for the state, former CPS and federal education chief Arne Duncan announced he would not run for Mayor against Mayor Lightfoot.