Legislation 101st General Assembly (2019-2020)

Senate

SB 1300
- Downstate and Suburban Police/Fire Investment Consolidation
Sponsor(s): Senator Cristina Castro and Representative Jay Hoffman

SB 1300 consolidates the investments of downstate and suburban police and firefighter’s pension funds into the Police Officers’ Public Investment Fund and the Firefighters’ Public Investment Fund, respectively.  

As it relates to SURS, SB 1300 makes three changes: it allows Tier II police officers and firefighters to retire at age 60; it requires the governor to designate the SURS chairperson; and it makes a technical change related to the accelerated pension benefit payment option for Tier I and Tier II vested, inactive members.

Retirement Age for Tier II Police Officers and Firefighters 

SB 1300 allows a Tier 2 member with at least 20 years of service as a police officer or firefighter to retire at age 60 with an unreduced retirement annuity under the special formula for police officers and firefighters.  Currently, a Tier 2 member can retire under the special formula for police officers and firefighters at age 67 with an unreduced retirement annuity or at age 62 with a reduced retirement annuity (whereby his or her retirement annuity is reduced by 0.5% for each full month that his or her age is less than 67).   This change provides parity between the retirement ages of Tier 2 members under the alternative retirement formula under the State Employees’ Retirement System and Tier 2 members under the special formula for police officers and firefighters under SURS.

SURS Chairperson Designated by Governor

SB 1300 requires the Governor to designate the SURS Chairperson from among the trustees.  Currently, the Chairperson of the Illinois Board of Higher Education automatically serves as the Chairperson of the SURS Board of Trustees.

Technical Change for Accelerated Pension Benefit Payment Option for Vested Inactive Members

SB 1300 establishes that, upon acceptance of an accelerated pension benefit payment under the accelerated pension benefit payment option for Tier 1 and Tier 2 vested, inactive members, all beneficiary designations previously filed with SURS will be canceled.  This change ensures that a member who receives an accelerated pension benefit payment as a vested, inactive member will be treated as a new employee upon any subsequent re-participation in SURS.

Effective Date

SB 1300 also makes other changes.

SB1300 takes effect on January 1, 2020.

Governor Pritzker signed SB 1300 into law on December 18, 2019, as Public Act 101-0610.

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SB 1784
- Post-Janus Employee Labor Union Protections
Sponsor(s): Senator Don Harmon and Representative Jay Hoffman

SB 1784 amends the Illinois Pension Code to generally prohibit the disclosure of the following information for members and participants of pension funds and retirement systems:

(1) The individual’s home address (including ZIP code and county);
(2) The individual’s date of birth;
(3) The individual’s home and personal phone number;
(4) The individual’s personal email address;
(5) Personally identifying member or participant deduction information; and
(6) Any membership status in a labor organization or other voluntary association affiliated with a labor organization or labor federation (including whether participants are members of such organization, the identity of such organization, whether or not participants pay or authorize the payment of any dues or moneys to such organization, and the amounts of such dues or moneys).

However, this prohibition does not apply to disclosures (1) required under the Freedom of Information Act, (2) for purposes of conducting public operations or business, or (3) to a labor organization or other voluntary association affiliated with a labor organization or labor federation.

SB 1784 further amends the Freedom of Information Act to exempt the information prohibited from disclosure under the Illinois Pension Code from inspection and copying under the Freedom of Information Act.

SB 1784 also makes other changes.

SB 1784 takes effect immediately upon becoming law.

Governor Pritzker signed SB 1784 into law on December 20, 2019, as Public Act 101-0620.

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SB 1814
- Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Implementation Bill
Sponsor(s): Senator Heather A. Steans and Representative Gregory Harris

SB 1814 creates the FY 2020 Budget Implementation Act to make changes in state programs that are necessary to implement the state budget for fiscal year 2020.  It authorizes the use of moneys in the State Pensions Fund as part of the FY 2020 state contribution to SURS and makes two additional changes: (1) repeals the 3% Rule and reenacts the 6% Rule; and (2) it extends the existing accelerated pension benefit payment options for three years (from June 30, 2021 to June 30, 2024).

Repeal 3% Rule and Re-Enact 6% Rule

SB 1814  amends the State Universities Retirement System and Teachers’ Retirement System’s articles of the Illinois Pension Code to repeal the requirement that employers pay the present value of the resulting increase in benefits attributable to the portion of any salary increases in excess of 3 percent during the participant’s final rate of earnings period.  Instead, SB 1814 requires employers to pay the present value of the resulting increase in benefits attributable to the portion of any salary increases in excess of 6 percent during the participant’s final rate of earnings period.  (The 3% Rule became effective for academic years on or after July 1, 2018, with the exception of salary increases under contracts and collective bargaining agreements entered into, amended, or renewed before June 4, 2018.)

For members who first became members of SURS (or a reciprocal retirement system) before January 1, 2011 (Tier I members), the final rate of earnings is the four consecutive academic years of employment in which earnings are the highest (or the final 48 months of employment for certain employees).  For members who first become members of SURS on or after January 1, 2011 (Tier II members), the final rate of earnings is the eight consecutive academic years of employment out of the last 10 academic years of employment in which earnings are the highest (or the 96 consecutive months of employment out of the last 120 months of employment in which earnings are the highest for certain employees).

Extension of Accelerated Pension Benefit Payment Options

The accelerated pension benefit payment options created by Public Act 100-587 are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021.   These voluntary options allow Tier I and Tier II vested, inactive members to receive an accelerated pension benefit payment in lieu of any pension benefit from SURS and Tier I members to receive an accelerated pension benefit payment in exchange for reduced and delayed automatic annual increases in retirement and survivor benefits.  SB 1814 extends these accelerated pension benefit payment options until June 30, 2024, and makes similar changes to accelerated pension benefit payment options under the State Employees’ Retirement System and Teachers’ Retirement System.

SB 1814 also makes other changes.

Effective Date

SB 1814 takes effect immediately upon becoming law.

Governor Pritzker signed SB 1814 into law on June 5, 2019 as Public Act 101-0010.

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SB 2135
- Government Emergency Administration Act
Sponsor(s): Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. and Representative Kelly M. Burke

SB 2135 creates the Government Emergency Administration Act.

SB 2135 amends the Open Meetings Act to allow an open or closed meeting subject to the Act to be conducted by audio or video conference during a disaster declaration related to public health concerns, without the physical presence of a quorum of the members, as long as certain conditions are met.

SB 2135 amends the Electronic Commerce Security Act to give statutory approval to the remote notary and witness guidelines provided in Executive Order 2020-14. Specifically, effective March 26, 2020, and ending 30 days after expiration of the governor’s emergency declaration regarding COVID-19, a notarial act or an act of witnessing may be performed through two-way audio-video communication technology, provided that certain requirements are met.

Finally, SB 2135 amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act to suspend the deadlines for filing statements of economic interests on or after March 17, 2020, until August 1, 2020.

SB 2135 takes effect immediately upon becoming law.

Governor Pritzker signed SB 2135 into law on June 12, 2020, as Public Act 101-0640.

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SJR 0001
- Graduated Income Tax Constitutional Amendment Information
Sponsor(s): Senator Don Harmon and Representative Michael J. Madigan

SJR 1 describes how the graduated income tax constitutional amendment will be presented to voters for consideration at the November 2020 general election. Specifically, the resolution provides for an explanation of the proposed amendment, arguments in favor of the amendment, arguments against the amendment, and the form of ballot. Under arguments in favor of the proposed amendment, SJR 1 states the following: “This amendment does not tax retirement income.” Under arguments against the amendment, SJR 1 states the following: “In addition, this proposed change will pave the way for a tax on retirement income.” Under the form of the ballot, the amendment is explained, and the question is posted to voters as follows: “For the proposed amendment of Section 3 of Article IX of the Illinois Constitution.” Votes will be recorded as “yes” or “no.”

SJR 1 is identical to HJR 124 of the 101st General Assembly.

SJR 1 was adopted in the Senate on May 21, 2020 and in the House on May 22, 2020.

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SR 1201
- Changes to Senate Rules
Sponsor(s): Senator Don Harmon

SR 1201 resolves that the Rules of the Senate of the 101st General Assembly are amended as follows:

(1) The President of the Senate, in consultation with the Minority Leader of the Senate, may establish a process by which senators and members of the public may participate remotely in hearings for standing committees, special committees, subcommittees or special subcommittees, and service committees.

(2) The Senate Government Accountability and Pensions Committee is split into two separate committees: the Senate Government Accountability and Ethics Committee; and the Senate Pensions Committee.

(3) In times of pestilence or public danger, the senate may adopt a motion to allow a member to remotely participate and vote in the regular and special sessions of the senate, provided that at all times a quorum of members is physically present at the location of session.

SR 1201 was adopted in the Senate on May 24, 2020.

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