The House resumed session this week after a two-week hiatus.
We actually met in person this week. What amazes me is how the Democrat majority continues to operate as if nothing is wrong in Illinois. We continue to advance bills that deal with some of the most insignificant priorities imaginable. It is like talking about the color scheme in the dining area of the Titanic while the ship is sinking. It is insane.
Illinois is broke. We have $144 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. There were 5,000 Illinois businesses that closed due to JB Pritzker’s lockdown of our economy and we have billions in backlogged bills.
Instead of addressing these concerns, we are having votes on bills to essentially close pet stores. I would imagine that on the list of priorities for Illinois residents – closing pet stores does not even register. But there we were voting on it this week. The Democrat leadership loves to talk about walking and chewing gum at the same time. Yes, we are capable of dealing with multiple issues at the same time, but the point is we aren’t! Nothing is being done on the important issues facing our state. This needs to change and needs to change soon.
This week’s newsletter highlights another 150-day extension for expired FOID cards, a measure term limiting legislative leaders and a bill to expand the definition of infertility in Illinois.
As always if you have any questions, feel free to email me or call my office at 217-774-1306.
FOID card extended
Firearm owners with expired FOID cards have been given another 150-day extension due to the backlog of renewals.
The Illinois State Police has 30 days by law to respond to renewal applications but due to a backlog, the process often takes months to complete. In March alone, the State Police received 14,847 renewal applications, and approved 67,847 of the requests. The extension means that a FOID card is valid for 150 days past the expiration date. The Illinois State Police believe they are moving in the right direction in terms of ending the delays that have frustrated so many FOID card holders in Illinois. Hopefully, this situation is resolved. My office hears every day from individuals frustrated with the process.
To learn more, log onto https://capitolnewsillinois.com/NEWS/foid-concealed-carry-permits-extended-again.
Bill term limiting legislative leaders advances
If there is anything the experience of former House Speaker Mike Madigan’s 36-year run as Speaker of the House has taught us, it is the importance of term limiting leadership positions in the Legislature.
House Bill 642 would implement term limits on leadership roles in the Illinois General Assembly. The measure would limit leadership terms to 10 consecutive years in a leadership position in the General Assembly, including speaker of the House, president of the Senate and minority leader positions in each chamber.
This is an idea that never would have gone anywhere when Speaker Madigan was in charge. Now, the Bill has passed the House Executive Committee and it passed without any objections. Obviously, we need to be doing more to root out the culture of corruption in Springfield, but House Bill 642 has strong bipartisan support and is a good start.
For more information, log onto https://capitolnewsillinois.com/NEWS/bill-placing-term-limits-on-general-assembly-leadership-passes-committee.
House approves legislation expanding insurance coverage mandates for infertility
The Illinois House this week approved a measure expanding the legal definition of infertility.
Under current law, infertility is defined as “the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse, the inability to conceive after one year of attempts to produce conception, the inability to conceive after an individual is diagnosed with a condition affecting fertility, or the inability to sustain a successful pregnancy.”
House Bill 3709 changes the legal definition to include single women and LGBTQ couples. The bill also reduces the waiting period from 12 months to six months for women over 35 and anyone who cannot medically carry the pregnancy. Healthy women under 35 would still have to wait 12 months.
Insurance companies would not be required to pay surrogate fees but would be required to pay for in vitro fertilization and other infertility treatments.
I voted against this measure. If nontraditional couples want to reproduce, they are welcome to use medical means at their disposal to conceive but they should do so at their own expense. Adding insurance coverage mandates is going to increase everyone’s insurance coverage costs. I also voted against the bill because it will lead to even more radical ideas and proposals. Surrogate costs may not be mandated in this particular bill, but I have no doubt this is what is coming in the not-so-distant future. House Bill 3709 is just the beginning of more radical ideas being advanced in Illinois.