The state legislature ended the two-week fall veto session Thursday afternoon without taking floor action on a few tax incentive packages for Illinois-based companies and a bill for stricter gun sentencing.
A fix to the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis was also left unresolved before the House and Senate adjourned. Lawmakers may come back to Springfield in December, however, to tackle pension reform.
A bill pushed by State Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Chicago) to toughen penalties for felons and those known to be in gangs when they are convicted of unlawful use of a weapon stalled in the House due to a procedural move called by State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago).
Zalewski won approval from the National Rifle Association after he
tweaked the anti-gun bill so that first-time offenders would only have
to serve 50 percent of a one-year minimum sentence, instead of serving 85
percent of the sentence, which was originally proposed. Nonetheless, Dunkin said he wanted more details from the governor's
administration regarding how much the bill would cost as well as its impact on prisons. African-American House lawmakers raised concerns that the measure mainly looked to jail young males.
The House ended their session when those details Dunkin was seeking were not immediately available.
The Senate adjourned a little while after that. The upper chamber did not take floor action on a $30 million tax break package for Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. or $53 million in tax credits for the company that recently came out of the OfficeMax Inc. and Office Depot Inc. merger. The companies were seeking a tax subsidy to keep offices and jobs in the state.
The corporate tax break and gun penalty bills could be taken up in December when the legislature goes back in session to address pension reform.