What is Happening Around Illinois

Many of you have asked about the lawsuits in State Court regarding the “assault weapons” ban. Here is an independent story about what’s happening from the Government Relations Group:

Assault Weapon Ban Lawsuits: 

In addition to the federal cases, there are four state court cases challenging the Act under the Illinois Constitution. Tom DeVore, the 2022 Republican nominee for Attorney General, filed three of the cases: (1) in Effingham County, where he charged approximately 800 individuals $200 each to be plaintiffs; (2) White County (Carmi) on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey; and (3) in Effingham County with other plaintiffs. The fourth case, filed in Macon County (Decatur) by lead plaintiff State Rep. Dan Caulkins, has nearly the same allegations as DeVore’s three cases, but a different attorney. DeVore tried to intervene in that lawsuit, but was not allowed because the filing failed to follow local procedures. 

In the Effingham case, DeVore won a temporary restraining order, which was appealed to the Fifth District Appellate Court. The appellate court reversed in part and affirmed in part, siding with the state defendants on the procedural claims and siding with the plaintiffs on their equal protection claim. After the Fifth District’s ruling, DeVore issued discovery in the White County case to Gov. Pritzker, Speaker Welch, and President Harmon, and subpoenas were delivered to legislative sponsors. It is worth noting: (1) in civil actions, legislators cannot be compelled to testify or produce documents related to the passage of legislation; (2) the discovery process can be lengthy, and all parties have an opportunity to demand relevant information; and (3) these cases present question of law and there aren’t any fact in dispute, so discovery likely isn’t necessary.

Meanwhile, the parties in the Macon County case reached an agreement to expedite the schedule for summary judgment in light of the Fifth District’s opinion. Macon County sits in the Fifth District (it was moved from the Fourth to the Fifth in the 2022 remap of the courts), so the Fifth District’s decision in the Effingham County case is binding on the court. After learning of this agreement, DeVore filed a motion in the Supreme Court seeking to transfer and consolidate all four cases into his first case filed in Effingham County. He then filed an emergency motion to stay proceedings in all cases to prohibit the Macon County case from moving forward. This week, the Supreme Court entered orders granting DeVore’s request to transfer and consolidate his three cases, but denied his requests related to the Macon County case. As a result, the Macon County case will move forward and the hearing on summary judgment is scheduled for March 3. It is likely the judge will follow the Fifth District opinion and grant judgment to the state defendants on the procedural counts and to the plaintiffs on their equal protection count. That would give an automatic right of appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. As a result, it is possible that Rep. Caulkins’ case could be heard by the Supreme Court as early as May.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

Illinois Democrats Introduce Terrible Legislation that Failed in Past Years

1. Graduated Income Tax – SB 2105 presented by Senator Robert Martwick, D- Chicago. Martwick knows with their majorities in the House and Senate, he can easily pass a graduated income tax rate bill. The problem is he still needs a constitutional amendment to allow this to happen.

Crains’ reported on the bill saying this:

 “As he did in previewing his legislation several weeks ago, Martwick in a phone interview said he’s hoping to spark a conversation about proper state tax policy.

So far, Martwick’s new bill is stuck in the Senate Committee on Assignments, and it’s not clear whether Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, will allow the measure to be referred to another committee in which it could receive a hearing. Nor is there any sign Pritzker is willing to expend more political capital on the issue.”

2. Lowers Penalties for Possession of Dangerous Drugs, including Fentanyl – SB1830.  The sponsor of the bill is Senator Elgie Sims, D- Chicago. A similar bill passed the House last session, but did not succeed in the Senate.  Well, it’s BACK and we need to stop it.  This bill and others like Chicago Rep. La Shawn Ford’s bill that allows for safe illegal drug injection sites are an outrage to parents who have lost people to drug addiction. 

3. The multi-gender bathroom bill is back. House Bill 1286, sponsored by Rep. Katie Stuart, D- Collinsville, wants hotels and other public places (including schools) to designate “all-gender multiple-occupancy” restrooms. Her bill passed out of a House committee last Wednesday, sending it to the full House for consideration.

The Devastating Toll Was All For Naught

Citywide mandates in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. did nothing to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Researchers found “no evidence that the announcement or implementation of indoor vaccine mandates in the cities listed had any significant effect on vaccine uptake, COVID-19 cases, or COVID-19 deaths. This is largely consistent for all US cities that implemented the mandate”.

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If Only They Still Made Shows Like This

“Schoolhouse Rock” just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The popular children’s television show made learning fun, and many of us still have the songs stuck in our heads! It premiered on Jan. 6, 1973 and ran every Saturday morning until the mid-1980s and featured animated shorts teaching kids topics like math, grammar, civics, science and more.

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As your State Representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency.

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.