Session Update

Here is my Session Update for the week:

I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday and a great start to the new year.

At the beginning of January, new laws took effect. I’ll give you an update on what you should know. Also, there is news on the Illinois Gun Ban legislation. And, of course Governor Pritzker is sending more money to Chicago to pay for expenses associated with the illegal migrants coming to Chicago thanks to Biden’s border crisis.

Tuesday marked our first day back to Springfield after the break for the legislative session. During the break though, I headed to Springfield to recognize and thank our staff. I cooked lunch for the staff Christmas party and we shared some Ski.

Pritzker Sends $160 Million to Chicago for Undocumented Immigrants and Asks Legislature to Pay for It

A couple of weeks ago Governor Pritzker announced $160 million of taxpayer dollars would be sent to Chicago for the undocumented immigrants who are moving to Chicago due to it’s “sanctuary city” status. As I stated during the announcement, I disagree with Governor Pritzker’s decision to send an additional $160 million in state funds to provide shelter and job assistance to thousands of migrants in Chicago.

Now we have learned that Governor Pritzker is calling on the legislature to pass special legislation “backfilling” his spending promise to Chicago. So, he made another promise without the funding to back it up and he wants us in the legislature to bail him out. That is unacceptable.

The Governor is rolling out the welcome mat for migrants in Chicago with our tax dollars from southern Illinois. While programs for kids under state care are shortchanged and undocumented immigrants continue to receive free healthcare, the Governor pulls a rabbit out of his hat to provide another bailout for Chicago at our expense.

According to a release from Governor Pritzker’s office, “This announcement builds on $478 million in state funding that has been provided or committed to the asylum seeker response over FY 2023 and 2024. This includes direct funding to the City of Chicago and other municipalities assisting asylum seekers as well as substantial State funding for shelter, food, medical care, rental assistance, and wraparound casework and services.”

While taxpayers are figuring out how to combat inflation, their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent to benefit non-citizens in Chicago. Our state is in this mess partly because we are a sanctuary state for non-citizens. The legislature must repeal the TRUST Act to help stop the massive influx of undocumented immigrants moving to our state.

Illinois Gun Ban Legislation Now Before the U.S. Supreme Court, Implementation Still Uncertain

As I have written to you about before, I am closely tracking the progress of the court challenges to the gun ban legislation passed by Democrats last General Assembly. The Supreme Court recently declined to review the case on an expedited basis. However, the court challenge is still ongoing. There is also uncertainty on how this law would even be enforced because the rules are unclear for law abiding citizens to even follow. And as we know, it will only be the law-abiding citizens who will try to follow the law, criminals who use guns illegally already will not attempt to follow these new regulations.

So, the case is challenging that the law that was passed is unconstitutional and a violation of the 2nd Amendment and is awaiting a trial at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Before the case will come down, however, there are still unclear rules about the implementation rules. In the last JCAR meeting, we learned that the rules are not ready. Here’s more from a story from Capitol News Illinois:

“Firearm owners in Illinois will have to wait at least another month before knowing exactly what items they must register with the Illinois State Police under the state’s assault weapons ban, even as the deadline for submitting those registrations is less than three weeks away.

The General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, or JCAR – a bipartisan group that has oversight authority of state agency rulemaking – declined again Tuesday to take action on a proposed set of final rules, saying instead it will consider the matter again at its next meeting Jan. 16 in Springfield.

JCAR will meet this week to discuss the rules implementing the gun ban. I’ll keep you updated.

Chicago Corruption Trials Continue and My New Role in the Legislature

Another week, another convicted Chicago politician –  the newest corruption conviction came out of the Federal Courthouse over the holiday break. Powerful former Chicago alderman Ed Burke was found guilty on federal corruption charges after nearly 50 years in Chicago politics. As the chairman of the Finance Committee, Burke was found guilty of using his government office to benefit his personal business along with other corruption charges.The jury found him guilty of racketeering, attempted extortion, and other public corruption charges on Thursday, December 21. 

It is clear that much more must be done to enact strong anti-corruption laws in this state. That’s why I have introduced bills to hold politicians accountable, make our elections more secure, and make the political process more transparent.

New Laws Go Into Effect

On January 1st, sixty-four new laws took effect. These new laws range from making video conferencing illegal while driving, to a new Italian-American heritage month, helping victims of human trafficking, and easier access for at-home saliva cancer screening tests.

You can read more about these laws here.

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