We are just weeks away from the last month of the legislative session. The House is passing bill after bill and we are only a fraction of the way through the list of bills that could be acted upon before adjournment.
So far there has no been movement on getting a revenue estimate for the budgeting process. There has been no serious discussion on pension reform. Nothing is happening on lowering property taxes or implementing any kind of spending reforms to facilitate tax reductions. And there has been zero effort made to push back on the Governor’s refusal to fully reopen the state.
Instead, the House is focused on legislation to require universities and colleges to provide feminine hygiene products in restrooms on their campuses. On the list of priorities for Illinois residents, feminine hygiene products in public restrooms at universities probably does not even make the list
The Democrat majority insists they can walk and chew at the same time. While they claim they can focus on the structural problems of state government and also pass low priority bills such as the feminine hygiene products bill, the truth is they are not even talking about the real challenges facing our state let alone trying to solve them.
If we continue to ignore issues like tax reform, spending reform and pension reform, our state will go bankrupt, and it won’t matter whether or not we require universities and colleges to provide hygiene products in bathrooms because there won’t be any money to pay for the products. Period.
This week’s newsletter highlights an upcoming Facebook Live event with the Illinois State Rifle Association; term limits for legislative leaders; and the ongoing efforts to enact rent control in Illinois.
As always if you have any questions, feel free to email me or call my office at 217-774-1306.
FOID card discussion on Facebook
One of the issues my office hears a great deal about is the ongoing difficulties of getting FOID cards renewed.
On Tuesday April 27th, Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson will join me for a Facebook live event to discuss the backlog situation and what is happening to address these concerns.
I encourage anyone interested in this issue to tune into at 6 pm on Tuesday April 27th to watch this important discussion. You can reach my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/bradhalbrook102.
House approves term limits for legislative leaders
Last week, I wrote about a measure that would term limit legislative leaders which had passed out of committee.
This week, the House voted on the legislation and approved it on 115-0. 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. It now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
This is good news. We certainly don’t want another politician being able to control the process for decades the way former House Speaker Michael Madigan did. We obviously need much more in the way of reform, but House Bill 642 is a start.
Rent Control Measure Advances
Illinois could be one step closer to having rent control in some communities.
House Bill 116, as amended, would give municipalities the ability to vote on rent control measures through referendum. This is a departure from the original bill which would have done away with the state’s ban on local rent control altogether.
While the new version of the bill is not as egregious as the original bill, it is a backdoor way of moving Illinois in the direction of rent control. Rest assured, if House Bill 116 becomes law, the original rent control will be back next spring. The market not bureaucrats should determine the rental market. This is a bad bill that would set a dangerous precedent.