A lot has changed since the November election. Below are highlights (or lowlights) of what has happened and what most likely will happen. Bonus: Also, as you read below you will discover what is the official snake of Illinois.
At the local level:
- Scott Bennett, State Senator for the 52nd District passed away unexpectedly. District 52 represents a portion of Champaign County and Vermillion County. After his funeral the knives came out quickly. Better angels prevailed and City of Champaign Township Assessor Paul Faraci was appointed to take his place.
- Tom Bennett, Scott’s uncle, was appointed as the new State Senator for District 53, to take Jason Barickman’s (R-Bloomington) place. Tom, 66 years old, has served as a representative in the 106th district since 2015. He is an advocate for 2nd Amendment Rights, low taxes, and being pro-life.
- Family law attorneys filed some 85 requests to have newly elected Judge Beckett taken off their cases. (The county is missing Judge Sam Limentato.)
At the State level:
Lame-duck session: new, terrible legislation has either passed or is on the road to pass. Such as:
- 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. It also designates Illinois as a “sanctuary state,” welcoming out-of-state abortionists who lost their licenses after committing illegal abortions. If an abortion is legally committed, medical professionals and organizations cannot be challenged in wrongful death lawsuits after botched abortions.
- 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. As of Jan 7, Bill before Illinois Senate would make sex ed mandatory in public schools, but allow students to opt out
For details see: SEX ED 101 | Awake Illinois
- SB 2226 – GUN BAN, MAG LIMIT, GUN REGISTRY, RED FLAG EXPANSION. An overreaching, unconstitutional gun ban that prevents law-abiding citizens from accessing dozens of commonly used firearms and requires registration by those who already legally obtained a “banned” gun.
Democrats exchanged hugs and high fives after passing the bill, making Illinois the ninth state to outlaw the weapons that have become synonymous with mass shootings. There are a number of restrictions, such as, The Senate bill did modify the bill the House first passed on what high-capacity magazines would be banned. For long guns, it would be for those with more than 10 rounds. For handguns, it would be those with more than 15 rounds. Those who currently own any of the items being banned, who will be grandfathered in, will have to report the model, caliber and serial numbers of the weapons they own by Oct. 1.
The Iroquois County Board said "no way." The Iroquois County board took a similar stance weeks before Pritzker signed the bill into law, issuing a resolution that stated: “The County Board of Iroquois County, Illinois, so hereby oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the Right of the People to keep and bear arms and consider such laws to be unconstitutional and beyond lawful Legislative Authority. Sheriff Clint Perzee said he considers the bill signed into law Tuesday “a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” and concurs with the county board’s December resolution opposing the Protect Illinois Communities Act.
At the time of this posting several more Illinois county sheriffs are refusing to enforce the newly-passed assault weapons ban because they contend it violates the Second Amendment.
Additionally, Tom Devore is planning on bringing a lawsuit in the Illinois state court. The state court action will address the unlawful manner of which the general assembly continues to pass laws by playing with procedure. Turning an insurance law into a gun grab at the last second is unacceptable.
4. 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.
5. 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 Marxist's Green New Deal Advocates that will not be faced with a solar array next door.
As a side note, more than 200 bills take effect January 1, 2023 (Happy New Year). Here is an example on one you might have missed.
HB 4821 (P.A. 102-1098) Designates the eastern milksnake as the official snake of the State of Illinois. It lives in fields, rocky hills, woodlands and river bottoms across Illinois. The non-poisonous snake’s name came from the belief that these snakes sucked cow udders for milk, which is a myth. Effective January 1, 2023.
At the Federal Level:
- Kevin McCarthy was finally selected as the new speaker after an historic 15 attempts. There have been 127 elections for speaker, and before this week’s vote, 14 speaker elections went beyond just one round of votes. On top of that, 13 of those elections were before the Civil War. As a result of this process positive changes were made the rules by which the House conducts its business such as:
o Motion to Vacate the Chair
o Controlling Spending and Taxing
o Major Investigations
o Tackling the Swamp
o Reviewing Bills for 72 Hours
o Committee Appointments
o Votes on Conservative Priorities
After providing the above laundry list of some uncomfortable news, my encouragement is to “keep on keeping on.”
Light shines brightest in a darkened place. What Illinois needs are men and women, who stand in the gap with the beacon of truth, not being dismayed by the battle, but rather fully engaged in the battle. The battle for Truth, Freedom, Liberty, and our fundamental values that form the bedrock and foundation of who we are and what we stand for.
Wishing all a wonderful, prosperous, and happy 2023.
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