The Latest: House OKs unclaimed insurance-benefits bill
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on action in the Illinois General Assembly (all times local):
The House has approved a measure aimed at making it easier to claim life insurance benefits when a policyholder dies.
The House voted 71-40 Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto.
The proposal requires life insurance companies to compare electronic records of its policies in force since 2000 with the Social Security Administration’s list of deaths to determine whether a policy should be paid.
It’s an initiative of Democratic state Treasurer Michael Frerichs (FRAYR’-iks) and sponsored by Chicago Democratic Rep. Robert Martwick. Auditors hired by the treasurer found that life insurance companies held more than $550 million between 2011 and 2015 that should have been paid to a decedent’s family members.
The legislation moves to the Senate for override consideration.
The bill is HB302 .
Lawmakers in the Illinois House overwhelmingly sided with the state’s Democratic comptroller in what had devolved into a political spat with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The House voted 112-0 Wednesday to override Rauner’s veto of a plan to require state agencies to report incoming bills monthly to the check-writing comptroller.
Years of battling between Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature left the state without an annual budget for two years. Spending continued, leaving today a pile of $16.6 billion in past due bills.
But Comptroller Susana Mendoza estimates nearly half of that total is still at the agencies. She can’t plan for what’s coming, what to pay and out of what fund without knowing who’s owed.
Rauner called it an attempt by his rival to “micromanage” the executive’s control of the budget.
The bill is HB3649 .
The Illinois Senate has voted to override a veto by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. It’s a plan pushed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan to protect collegians seeking student loans.
The Senate voted 37-19 Wednesday and sent the measure to the House. It becomes law with a three-fifths vote there.
Democrat Madigan has filed multiple lawsuits against student loan processors in scams including charging up to $700 for document-preparation services already available for free. Her latest lawsuit is part of a national crackdown.
The bill of rights for student loans would create paperwork requirements and disclosures and an ombudsman in the attorney general’s office.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has won a small victory as the House failed to override his veto of legislation banning local governments from setting up “right-to-work” zones.
Des Plaines Democratic Rep. Martin Moylan’s legislation stated that only the state government has the authority to set rules regarding union membership.
The override vote Wednesday was 70-42 — one vote short.
A worker in a “right-to-work” jurisdiction may hold a union job with labor-union protections but not have to join the bargaining unit or pay dues.
Making Illinois a statewide zone was part of Republican Rauner’s agenda when he took office in 2015. It failed. The Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire established a local one at Rauner’s urging. A federal court invalidated it in January. The judge said only a state can establish such a zone.
The bill is SB1905 .
The Illinois House failed to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a measure that would have created an independent insurance company to write workers’ compensation coverage.
The House vote Wednesday was 65-50 in favor. But it needed 71 votes to stay alive.
The plan by Democratic Rep. Laura Fine of Glenview would have created a nonprofit insurance company to compete in the open market for companies seeking coverage for workers injuries. It would have had government oversight.
Republican Rauner has railed repeatedly against the high cost of workers’ compensation in Illinois. Democrats say they tightened costs in 2011 but insurance companies kept their rates high. The GOP rejected the idea rates would come down with a government-affiliated underwriter.
The bill is HB2622 .
The Illinois House has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner on a measure that would prohibit employers from asking applicants about their salary history.
Elgin Democratic Rep. Anna Moeller’s (MOH’-lurz) legislation is seen as a gender-equity bill. Women are often paid less than men for the same work and are at a disadvantage if forced to report a previous, unfairly low wage.
The legislation would prevent employers from demanding past salary history, screening job applicants based on wage history, or requiring that past salary meet a certain criteria.
The House voted 80-33 to override. The bill now goes to the Senate.
The bill is HB2462 .
A resolution headed to the Illinois House floor would require an audit of the procurement of a $94 million online insurance portal and the performance of the only company that responded to the contract request.
Olympia Fields Democratic Rep. Al Riley is chairman of the State Government Administration Committee. It OK’d the idea Tuesday.
The Associated Press reported in June that the Department of Central Management Services conducted a search for proposals for only three weeks on a system it expected to cost $300 million.
Atlanta-based Morneau Shepell (mohr-NOH’ shih-pehl) was the only company to respond and was allowed to forgo legal requirements to ensure minority participation. State workers have complained of malfunctions and errors in their accounts.
A Morneau Shepell spokesman did not immediately respond.
The resolution is HR522 .