While Many Were Focused on the Speaker Fight In DC, Illinois Democrats Voted Themselves an 18% Pay
On Friday night at 8:00 pm, when many people were taking down the Christmas lights and getting ready for the weekend or watching the DC drama, the Democrats in Springfield were hard at work giving themselves an 18% pay raise. The Chicago Tribune headline has it right, taking a comment from Rep. Batinick that it was Christmas in January.
This is the FIFTH PAY RAISE in a row the Democrats have given part-time legislators who will now make $85,000 a year. 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 and raised their per diem amount, and doubled their district office allotments a couple of years ago.
They don’t deserve it. Despite the increase in tax money coming in over the last couple of years due to federal COVID relief money and inflationary increases in corporate and individual income tax collections, which has also created bumper sales taxes, the state remains one of the worst fiscally managed states in the union and the accumulated debt per taxpayer is $49,500. Read here from Truth in Accounting.
But, instead of making Illinois more taxpayer and business-friendly, the Democrats were busy taking away parental rights and gun rights while expanding abortion rights.
I think I have that about right.
If you had opened my email on Friday, you would have read about the other legislation passed through one chamber or a committee. Here is the recap. As a reminder, 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 has 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 pushback.
1. HB 1534 - EXPANDED ABORTION RIGHTS. This bill will protect doctors in other states 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 gender-affirming care. The bill also lets physician assistants perform surgical abortions. The bill is currently in the Senate for a concurrence motion.
2. HB5188 – 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 legislature passed a requirement that those schools that do teach comprehensive sex ed must align their standards with the pornographic National Sex Education Standards. Link Here to Read the Standards yourself.
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.
3. 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 will likely be debated in the Senate.
In the discussion of the bill, Republicans made important points. Seth Lewis asked if the goal was to ban weapons like the AR15 used in the Highland Park shooting, then why did the Democrats also ask for a gun registry? He also correctly pointed out that the gang members are not going to fill out an affidavit with the Illinois State Police enumerating the number of guns they own. Rep. Adam Niemerg spoke up about the real problem is kids being raised in terrible situations. Others mentioned that Highland Park had all the laws in place already, like an “assault weapons” ban and red flag laws, and it wasn’t enough. The bill is very likely unconstitutional. Listen to my podcast with former NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde linked in the video section of this newsletter.
The Illinois House is back in Session on Tuesday. The Illinois Senate is back in today, Sunday, January 8. Contact your State Senator to tell them to oppose the above bills.
Another terrible bill in the works is a pro-wind and solar energy bill that would disallow local county-level regulations on setbacks for wind and solar farms. It violates the home rule and common sense. This bill, HB4412 Senate Amendment 1, would allow 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. I visited the Ashmore solar field. It begins just 67 feet from the homeowner's house. The solar field is massive and ugly. No one would want to live next to it, and the greedy landowners who leased their land should be forced to live next to it too. Listen to the interview from 2021 HERE - Breakthrough Ideas | Facebook
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