May 30, 2023

Illinois General Assembly Adjourns with Passage of State Operating Budget

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned the 2023 Spring Session early Saturday morning with the passage of the FY 2024 State Operating Budget and appropriate legislation to authorize expenditure of the appropriated funds. The FY 2024 budget is $50.6B, slightly down from the existing state operating budget. The approved budget builds upon the state’s fiscal health, making the statutorily required public pension payment of $14.4B and increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates--the first rate increase in three decades.  Also included in the budget was $550M for Medicaid type services to undocumented immigrants and new authorization for the governor to make adjustments in the program to scale back costs.
ICPAS Legislative Initiatives--The Illinois CPA Society was successful with the passage of three bills that were central to our legislative agenda. Those bills include:
• HB 2395 Accounting Act Sunset Extension
• HB 1197 Charity Audit Threshold Increase
• SB 1963 Pass-Through Entity Tax-Treatment of Retired Partner Income

Business Community Impact--With over 6,700 bills filed since January, many created new mandates or enhanced compliance overwatch on businesses and employers. The business community collectively worked together to mitigate any impact on businesses and employers in today’s economic environment.  We were successful on a number of fronts in this regard.

End of Session Hot Sheet Report--The Spring Session Hotsheet Report lists priority bills that were considered during the closing days of the spring legislative session. In reviewing the hot sheet, you will notice that the legislature utilized the concept of omnibus bills wherein multiple bills were consolidated. With that in mind, take note of my annotations in the “Notes” portion of the report for the actual subject of the bill versus the subject heading next to the bill number. Aside from the hot sheet, I have also embedded the Government Relations standing CPA Legislative Tracking Report and the Tax Legislation Tracking Report for your reference.

Federal Advocacy Initiatives 
ICPAS Leaders Visit Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation-- 
Simultaneous to the end of the legislative session in Springfield, members of the AICPA Council from Illinois visited with Congressional staff of the Illinois Congressional Delegation during the AICPA Spring Council Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The “Hill Visits” were an opportunity to discuss federal issues of importance to CPAs and CPA Firms.  Specific issues presented and discussed were: 
• Federal Tax Filing Extension “Safe Harbor”-The Simplify Filing Extensions (SAFE) Act would allow taxpayers the ability to calculate and rely on a safe harbor of 125% of the prior year to tax to be paid in the original due date to avoid penalties.
• Expanding 529 Plan Usage-The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (H.R. 1477/ S. 722) to cover the costs of certain workforce training, credentialing programs, certification exams and maintenance of certification credentials. 
• Recognizing accounting as a STEM profession-The Accounting STEM Pursuit Act in the House and the STEM Education in Accounting Act in the Senate would help bolster the argument that accounting is a STEM field by allowing STEM K-12 grant funding to be used for accounting awareness and education.
• Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution-The Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution would establish an annual joint hearing of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Budget Committees to receive testimony from the U.S. Comptroller General on the federal government’s consolidated financial statements.  
Federal Legislative Fact Sheets 
Conclusion--ICPAS had a successful spring legislative session. Our advocacy efforts were successful in the passage of our legislative priorities and mitigation efforts on businesses and employers.  We will continue to update the End of Session Hotsheet Report along with our standing reports as information becomes available.