About 100 people turned out at the Levy Center in Evanston Monday night to hear two state representatives paint a mostly gloomy picture of the state of affairs in Springfield.
State Representatives Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Laura Fine (D-Glenview) said lawmakers tried to reach compromises with the governor on a variety of issues.
Fine said the legislature passed two proposals designed to meet Gov. Rauner’s demand for workers compensation reform. One would let the state regulate rates insurers charge for workers comp coverage, the other would set up a not-for-profit agency to offer the insurance — a concept already used, Fine said, in more than 20 other states.
Fine said its still unclear whether the governor will accept those proposals.
Gabel said that the legislature also adopted measures that would make it easier to consolidate local units of government — something already done in Evanston when voters opted to have the city take over the role of the former township government.
Fine said another measure the governor wanted that the legislature acted on was procurement reform — streamlining the state purchasing process, with an expected savings of $500 million a year.
Residents at the Levy Center meeting.
But a compromise on adopting a state budget once again was not reached, again leaving the state’s fiscal future very much in doubt — with one bond rating agency threatening to lower the state’s rating into junk bond territory.
The lawmakers did point to some signs of bipartisan agreement — including unanimous passage of an automatic voter registration bill, which Gabel said she’s hopeful the governor will sign.
Under that bill eligible residents who visited a Secretary of State’s office to renew their drivers license, or any of several other state agencies, would automatically be registered to vote.