The two proposals that IMRF advanced in its 2018 Legislative Agenda have passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly:
SB 2884: This bill would allow electronic election options to be offered in the Employee and Annuitant Trustee elections. The goal is to make voting simple, fast, and easy. The option to vote electronically would be offered as an additional option only; members and annuitants would still have the ability to vote via paper ballot if they prefer.
SB 3119: This bill would tighten limitations on police participation, prohibiting participation by former police chiefs who return to the same municipality as a police advisor or in another, similar position. This change would be applicable only to new members.
They now await the governor's signature.
Status of other IMRF-related legislation
The legislature passed one other IMRF-related bill:
HB 4412, which requires all pension systems, including IMRF, to make efforts to ensure that the racial and ethnic makeup of its senior administrative staff reflects that of its membership.
How a bill moves through the General Assembly
Just because legislation has been proposed to the General Assembly does not mean that it will automatically become law. Getting a bill passed can be a long process that depends on the passage of many individual steps:
A person or organization has an idea for legislation.
The bill is introduced by a legislator.
The bill goes to committees in the House and Senate (pension committees for bills that affect IMRF).
The bill goes to the floor of each chamber.
The governor signs the bill.
The bill becomes law.
It's important to know that all of these steps must occur before a bill becomes law, but none of them are mandatory once the process begins. The process could end at any stage, at which point the bill is considered effectively dead.
In fact, this is what happens to most bills. Of the eight- to ten- thousand bills that are introduced during each General Assembly, only about 10% make it through all of the stages and become law.
How does the Illinois legislature work? The General Assembly, or the legislature, is made up of two chambers: the House of Representatives, commonly known as the House, and the Senate.The term "General Assembly" is also used to refer to the session in which the legislature is operating. Each session spans two years, starting in odd years. Each General Assembly is numbered sequentially, beginning when the legislature first met after Illinois became a state in 1818. Bills introduced at any point during a General Assembly are technically active during the entire General Assembly, although only very rarely are bills introduced in the first year but passed during the second year. Bills cannot, however, move between General Assemblies.
If a bill does not pass out of the legislature during one General Assembly, it must be re-introduced (and is assigned a new bill number) in order to start the process again in the new General Assembly. This is not generally an issue and bills are often introduced in numerous General Assemblies until they are finally passed.