The big news this week is the federal indictment of long-time Mike Madigan chief of staff Tim Mapes.
The feds have accused Mapes of lying to a grand jury. It is clear, the feds are closing in on former House Speaker Michael Madigan.
This investigation is far from over, but one thing is abundantly clear – there is a culture of corruption in Springfield. The investigation into former Speaker Madigan is a good first step, but we need to enact meaningful reforms if we are going to change the culture. Unfortunately, there has not been any significant reform legislation to move through the legislative process this spring. We need reform and we need it now.
This week’s newsletter highlights the lack of budget details so far this spring; the National Sex Education Standards that could soon be taught in our classrooms; and an update on the FOID card renewal delays.
As always if you have any questions, feel free to email me or call my office at 217-774-1306.
Still no budget
Perhaps the most important job of being a legislator is voting on the state budget and yet there are just a few days left in the legislative session and there is no hint of what the budget will look like.
The Democrats contend there is a budget hole of around $1.3 billion, but the state has about $16 billion in unexpected cash. If you take the estimate for the FY 2021 base revenue, there will be an additional $7.2 billion, and for the FY 2022 base revenue, there will be an additional $792 million and adding the $8.1 billion coming from the federal government brings the total unexpected revenue to $16 billion.
We absolutely do not need to raise taxes this year. Our taxes are already too high. We need to look at long-term budget solutions and get our spending under control. It is not clear what the budget will look like, but you can rest assured that I will oppose any tax increase if one is introduced.
National Sex Education Standards advancing
The House is poised to vote on a bill (SB 818) that would force Illinois schools to adopt the National Sex Education Standards.
These standards are not at all age appropriate. Kids at as young as 10-years-old would be required to read books with explicit explanations of sex and accompanying photos that are not in any way age appropriate.
These standards go above and beyond science and biology. I am adamantly opposed to this legislation and will be a “NO” vote when it comes up.
No end in sight for FOID card delays
The issue of FOID card renewals and FOID card applications continues to be a major concern.
With only days left in the legislative session, we are running out of time to address this critical issue. I am hopeful that there will be legislation to fix this problem. I know that there are ongoing negotiations with the Illinois State Police to get a bill, and it is possible we will have a resolution before the May 31st deadline. Look for an update on this issue after session adjourns.