The sprint to the end of the 2019 Spring legislative Session begins in earnest today. For weeks and months now, I have used this space to warn you about the major tax hike plans that may be headed your way. In all, if Governor Pritzker’s entire proposed budget were signed into law, Illinoisans would be on the hook for 8 to 10 new or expanded sales taxes and a rewrite of the Illinois Constitution to allow for a graduated income tax.
Last week, some GOOD financial news broke in Illinois. Despite the fact that our credit rating continues to languish near the bottom of all states, Illinois took in an unexpected $1.5 billion more in revenue this year. Shortly after that news hit the wires, Governor Pritzker announced his plan to skip a mandated $900 million pension payment had been canceled. Making the full pension payment is the first fiscally conservative policy move that Governor Pritzker has supported so far since beginning his term as Governor.
Much remains to be determined in the final 11 scheduled days of the legislative Session. The big-ticket items left are going to rule the news coverage for the next couple of weeks at least. The legislature is required to pass a balanced budget by May 31 to avoid an overtime session. The Governor is also keen on passing a capital infrastructure bill (tax hikes on gas and vehicle and license fees(, legalizing (and taxing) recreational marijuana use, legalizing (and taxing) online sports betting, and expanding the number of gaming positions across the state by creating several new casinos in Illinois. The debate on these bills and more will be hot and heavy during the final stretch of Session.
GUN LEGISLATION SB 1966 –Omnibus Gun Control Legislation Emerges in the House
Radical gun control lobbyists and legislators have their dream gun-grab bill locked and loaded, and aimed directly at Illinoisans’ Constitutional rights. This week, the Chicago Democrats will take their latest shot across the 2nd Amendment’s bow with Amendment 1 to SB 1966. The legislation will be called for Committee hearing in the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Radical-leftist progressive-Democrat and anti-gun advocate State Rep. Kathleen Willis is carrying the bill in the House. Rep. Willis was the chief architect of the law known as the Gun Dealer Licensing bill that Gov. Pritzker signed into law during his first week on the job. That legislation creates an additional state license and additional fees on top of federal requirements and fees for small gun dealing shops.
The correspondence I have received from the people of the 115th district and from all across the State of Illinois shows overwhelming opposition to new impositions on law abiding gun owners. SB 1966 Amendment 1 is known as an “omnibus” legislative vehicle. One of Webster’s dictionary definitions for omnibus is ‘containing or including many items’. That description fits SB 1966 Amendment 1 perfectly.
Here’s a quick look at the bill’s details:
1.) Expanded Fingerprinting and Background Checks
- Requires mandatory fingerprinting for all FOID and CCL applications and renewals (unless the person has previously provided fingerprints).
- Universal background checks on all firearm transfers
- Closes the person-to-person background check loophole
- Require background checks through federally licensed dealers for all transfers to begin 90 days after effective date.
- Family member transfers still require the person being transferred the weapon to call ISP and have a background check.
(2) Changes to the FOID Act
- Shortens the FOID card length to 5 years (currently 10 years).
- Raises the FOID fee to $50 (from $10)
- New Applications = $6 DNR, $1 State Police Services Fund, $23 State Police Firearm Services, $15 Revocation Enforcement Fund, $5 Mental Health Fund
- Renewal Applications = $30 State Police Firearm Services, $15 Revocation Enforcement Fund, $5 School Based Mental Health Services Fund
- The bill’s language says “and applicable processing fees” which was a request from the Treasurer’s Office due to people being charged processing fees for using credit cards.
- ISP can charge an additional fee for background checks (State and & FBI background check through Live Scan vendor are $28.25)
- Language does not indicate it is a 1 time fee.
- Increase the time period for approving or denying a FOID application from 30 days to 30 business days.
- Allow for FOID Cancellations
- Update FOID Revocations language regarding “Clear and Present Danger”
- Clarifies that the any person who takes any action to cause harm to others may have his or her FOID card revoked as a “clear and present danger.”
3) Increase Law Enforcement Bureaucracy
- Creates the Law Enforcement Prohibited Persons Portal – 90 days for ISP to implement
- Database for law enforcement only
- Exempt from FOIA
4) Increases in Revocation Enforcement
- New ISP led Revocation Enforcement task force / Mandated ISP enforcement
- Require ISP to send out revocation notices within 7 business days
- No time requirement for ISP currently, merely states, “shall provide notice”
- Require Firearm Disposition Records from transferees
(5) Expanded Court Ordered Enforcement
- Clean up convictions section to enumerate when revocations are required
- Update both bail and conviction sections to account for new Firearm Disposition Records requirement
- Court ordered revocations for felony indictments pending convictions
- Include language to cover those who are under 21 and convicted of certain misdemeanors.
Summer Reading Program 2019 – I Heart Reading Club
As your State Representative, I want to invite your 1st through 5th grader to participate in the 2019 I Heart Reading Summer Reading Club. Those students that read 8 books this summer will be to receive an official Illinois House of Representatives Certificate of Recognition for their accomplishment.
I want to encourage students in the 115th district to bring out the best in themselves and make summer even more exciting by including reading as part of their everyday fun.
Senior Citizen Health Fair 2019
Please join me and State Rep. Patrick Windhorst and State Senators Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler for our annual Carbondale Senior Citizens Health and Wellness Fair at the Carbondale Civic Center from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m on Wednesday July 24th. More details below!
With just 10 scheduled days left in the Session, the news will be coming quickly. Please stay tuned to www.repbryant.com for all the action from Springfield and beyond. My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tues-Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and my Murphysboro office is open from Monday through Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please continue to reach out to me by email, web message, or phone to let me know your opinions on the issues that matter most to you!