insight magazine

Capitol Report

We've Got a Full Plate

Here's an appetizer portion of some of the menu items.
Marty Green, Esq. ICPAS VP of Government Relations

There’s a Grand Bargain on the table. Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno have negotiated a 12-bill interlocking package known as the “Grand Bargain” to prospectively resolve the State’s two-year budget deadlock. This comprehensive legislative package targets critical budget issues, like pension reform, workers’ compensation reform, local government consolidation, FY17 state operating funding, and an omnibus tax bill that includes individual and corporate tax rate increases, elimination of certain tax deductions, and new taxes on certain consumer services. If Senate Democrats and Republicans can come together and pass this massive legislative package, it would serve as a framework to finally move Illinois forward.

Your ICPAS Government Relations staff is closely monitoring the tax proposals laid out in the Grand Bargain and, along with other professions, is positioned to respond to any proposals to tax professional services.

Aside from the budget gridlock, over 4,000 bills have been introduced in the House and 3,000 in the Senate. This is a particularly high volume of bills, which means many will die simply because the legislative process isn’t able to move them through within established time frames.

HB 657 is one bill we’re hopeful to see move forward. The Illinois CPA Society, working with Rep. Robert Rita (D-28, Blue Island),introduced this legislation in the House to amend the Illinois Public Accounting Act. The proposal would extend individual CPA mobility to CPA firms, provide for CPE reciprocity that exempts CPAs who hold multiple state licenses as long as they have met their home state CPE requirements, clarify peer review language, and create a full-time CPA coordinator within the IDFPR to oversee the licensing and enforcement of the Accounting Act. The CPA coordinator would have to be a licensed or registered CPA. The IDFPR also introduced a narrower companion bill, Senate Bill 899, which provides for Firm Mobility and CPE Reciprocity. The ICPAS Government Relations staff is working closely with legislators to get both bills passed.

As part of our broader CPA profession advocacy efforts, we’re launching a new grassroots advocacy tool that will enable you to easily contact your legislator via phone, email or Twitter in support or opposition of legislation impacting the accounting profession. In this political climate, we’re seeing grassroots initiatives playing an impactful role in the legislative process, and we’re appreciative of your efforts to engage in and advance our legislative mission.

Some other noteworthy items of interest: We’re working closely with a number of regulatory agencies on regulatory filing requirements and state government automation; we’ve also been working with the IDFPR on an online licensure application that will make CPA licensing more efficient; IDES is replacing TaxNet with MyTaxIllinois—IDOR’s secure website for Illinois employers to file reports,taxes and fees; and Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerich’s office is reaching out to nonprofits, businesses, utilities, life insurance corporations,and banking and financial institutions regarding the annual requirement to file an unclaimed property report.

As always, we welcome your feedback on the information we provide through this column, our website, Capitol Dispatch and our legislative alerts.

Keep the lines of communications open!