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Radical Votes in Springfield.
An 18% Pay Raise for Legislators!
Expansion of Abortion!
A Bad Start to 2023
In my last weekly update, I told you that 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, legislators who reside in gerrymandered completely safe districts, and even newly re-elected legislators who won’t face voters for two more years feel freer to vote for legislation that they otherwise might not vote for.
This last week 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 react to the legislation and create any type of pushback.
- SB 1534 - EXPANDED ABORTION RIGHTS. This bill will protect doctors in other states that are disciplined for performing illegal abortions in their home states from facing any licensure issues if they come 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 also lets physician assistants perform surgical abortions. The bill is currently in the Senate for a concurrence motion.
- HB 5188 – MANDATED COMPREHENSIVE SEX ED. Over 70% of school districts have made public their intent to not serve up comprehensive sex education curricula to minor children after the legislator passed a requirement that those schools that do teach comprehensive sex ed must align their standards with the pornographic National Sex Education Standards. 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. The bill passed a Senate committee and will be on the Senate floor Sunday. Contact your state senator to tell them to vote against the bill. 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.
- 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 heads to the Senate, but most likely does not pass. Instead, a watered down version of the bill is likely to be debated in the Senate.
- AN 18% Pay Raise. After further taking Illinois down the path of extreme legislation, the Democrats then teed up a budget bill that included a legislative pay increase giving part-time legislators a pay equal to $85,000. This represents an 18% increase in pay. 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 as some committees never meet and on average most committees meet less than 10 times per year. Legislators also receive generous pension and healthcare benefits. For the record, I refused a taxpayer-funded pension.
WHAT MORE TO EXPECT. The House is not back in session until Tuesday. The Senate comes back tomorrow, on Sunday.
Still to be discussed are the following:
- 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, HB4412 Senate Amendment 1, would allow for solar farms to be placed just 50 feet from another person’s property line! This bill will destroy property values across Illinois except in the leafy suburbs and cities of the Marxists Green New Deal Advocates that will not be faced with a solar array next door. 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.
- More EV tax credits and the Governor’s Billion Dollar slush fund.
Other Important News
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. Those provisions also interfere with the judiciary’s ability to set bail, among other issues. The case is now headed to the Illinois Supreme Court, and Pritzker has vowed that he will ‘come back at it’ if Judge Cunnington’s ruling is upheld.
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.
Shocker: Illinois Still Overspending Taxpayer Money
A recent analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Illinois 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 absent any policy changes.
Lake Michigan Wind Mill Farm?
Democrats in Springfield have proposed legislation to create a 10 to 12 turbine wind farm in Lake Michiganseveral miles off Chicago’s Southeast Side shoreline. However, key details are not yet available, such as the total cost of the project and potential environmental implications. 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; 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!