A Bad Start to 2023
Expansion of Abortion
An 18% Pay Raise for Legislators
In my last weekly update, I warned you that the Lame Duck Session was the most dangerous time for Illinoisans. It is the time when retiring legislators who will most likely never face voters again, feel free to vote for legislation that they otherwise might not vote for.
The last few days in Springfield have not been good for Illinois.
Here is What has Already Happened
The bills mentioned below are “gut and replace” legislation where a bill already passed by one chamber is then amended to completely change the bill. This is often done to move legislation outside of normal committee hearings and have legislators vote on the new bill after seeing it for the first time on the floor. It gives the public no time to submit witness slips or call their legislators.
1. HB 4664 – EXPANDED ABORTION RIGHTS. The bill lets physician assistants perform surgical abortions. Doctors who have been disciplined for performing illegal abortions in their home states will be welcomed to practice in Illinois. The bill also disallows insurance companies from charging a co-pay or deductible for children who want to have gender affirming care.
The bill is currently in the Senate for a concurrence motion.
2. HB5188 – MANDATED COMPREHENSIVE SEX ED. Over 70% of school districts have decided to not teach the National Sex Education Standards curricula to minor children.
Click Here to Read the Standards yourself.
So, what was the response in Springfield by the radical Democrats? MAKE IT MANDATORY. It is an affront to parents, local control, and common decency. School districts, in conjunction with parents, should make this decision. Fortunately, the Illinois Association of School Boards also opposes the bill. It violates local control and is another unfunded mandate from Springfield.
3. SB 2226 – GUN BAN, MAG LIMIT, GUN REGISTRY, RED FLAG EXPANSION. After passing the expanded abortion bill, the House started debating the Gun ban bill. This bill was sent to the Senate, but was not considered. Instead, a watered down version of SB2226 is likely to be debated in the Senate.
4. AN 18% Pay Raise. This is the FIFTH PAY RAISE in a row the Democrats have given part-time legislators who will now make $85,000 a year. Legislators in their third term are also eligible to hold committee chair or minority spokesman positions that add another $10,000 to their pay even though on average most committees meet less than 10 times per year. Legislators also receive generous pension and healthcare benefits and raised their per diem amount, and doubled their district office allotments a couple of years ago. For the record, I refused a taxpayer-funded pension.
WHAT MORE TO EXPECT
The House is back in session until Tuesday, January 10th, for the last day of Lame Duck session.
Still to be discussed are the following:
1. HB4412 Senate Amendment 1, a pro-wind energy bill that would disallow local county level regulations on set backs for wind and solar farms. It violates home rule and common sense. This bill would allow for solar farms to be placed just 50 feet from another person’s property line, destroying property values across Illinois. My colleagues and I warned about this two years ago and brought you an on-site report from a man forced to live next to another property owner’s 1600 acre solar field. Here is the video in case you missed it. (20+) Facebook
2. More EV tax credits
3. The Governor’s Billion Dollar slush fund.
Making Up His Own Rules
Despite a court ruling to the contrary, Governor J.B. Pritzker claims that cashless bail is constitutional. On December 28th, Kankakee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cunnington ruled that the provisions of the SAFE-T Act eliminating cash bail and other changes to the pretrial process violated the separation of powers clause in the state constitution by interfering with the judiciary’s ability to set bail, among other issues. The Illinois Supreme Court will hear the case this spring. Pritzker has vowed that he will ‘come back at it’ if Judge Cunnington’s ruling is upheld.
Shocker: Illinois Still Overspending Taxpayer Money
A recent analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Illinois is one of only two states, along with New Jersey, with total tax revenue shortfalls exceeding 5% of total expenses and annual deficits in each of the past 15 years.
This serious structural deficit will only continue to worsen without any policy changes.
They Did It To Themselves
The Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution is largely happening in Right-To-Work states, of which Illinois is NOT one. Crain’s recently reported that Illinois is 0-18 in trying to attract EV battery factories. Other factors hurting the state’s chances are the Democrat policies of high taxes, a dysfunctional workers’ compensation system, precarious state finances and the overly-cumbersome process of getting new factory permits.
Lake Michigan Wind Mill Farm?
Democrats in Springfield have proposed legislation to create a 10- to 12-turbine wind farm in Lake Michigan several miles off Chicago’s Southeast Side shoreline. Key details are not yet available, such as the total cost of the project and potential environmental impact. Other concerns include whether state ratepayers would end up footing the bill and if the development would violate the “public use” doctrine that generally limits Lake Michigan uses for public purposes. Then there is the stubborn fact that Lake Michigan regularly freezes and thaws, and the project may not even be feasible.
These questions all need to be adequately addressed.
Radically Simplify Your Life Right Now
Not every tip in this article is for everyone, but it offers 13 great suggestions on how to get started simplifying your year ahead TODAY!
We Are Here To Serve You!
As a State Representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency. Whether you need help with unemployment claims, getting a FOID card, renewing your drivers license or resolving a tax problem, we are here to serve you.
Oftentimes, some of the best legislation comes from people who see where the law is unworkable or simply unfair.
If you have ideas on how the state of Illinois could improve, let’s sit down and discuss if a legislative fix is needed.
Please call our office at 217.876.1968 to get help or schedule an appointment to see me. The office is located at 715 W Imboden Dr, Decatur. *** Did someone forward you this email?*** Sign up here to receive updates.