Illinois General Assembly concludes Fall Veto Session
Week two of the Fall Veto Session was characterized more by what the Democratic Supermajority failed to deliver instead of what they did deliver.
Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch refused to call the Invest in Kids renewal legislation for a vote, essentially killing the popular program that helps underprivileged students throughout Illinois. This failure leaves thousands of Illinois families in the lurch, wondering what they will do next year without scholarship funding to return their children to the schools they know and love.
The Invest in Kids Scholarship program was Illinois’ only school choice program, and Democrats chose to eliminate it. Our families, regardless of income, need more education choice for their children, not less…and certainly not none at all.
The Illinois House, under Welch’s leadership, also failed to take a stand affirming the State of Illinois stands with Israel and, tragically, remained silent on the terrorism perpetrated by Hamas.
And finally, not a peep was made by the politicians controlling the legislature in Springfield about corruption. In the middle of the Burke Trial and in a week that saw a top Pritzker-appointee plead guilty to charges related to mismanaging taxpayer dollars, Supermajority Democrats didn’t feel the need to even pretend they care about ethics reform anymore.
Some bipartisan agreement
Despite the Democrats’ failure to address critically important issues such as Invest in Kids, there were several matters passed by bipartisan action. A nuclear energy deal was passed to allow for future permitting and construction of small modular reactors (SMRs), helping to pre-plan for the energy crisis looming because Democrats have killed baseload energy production in Illinois.
Since the 1980s, the startup construction of new nuclear power plants has been banned in Illinois. With growing support for both nuclear power and other forms of so-called ‘green” energy, structures that generate electricity without releasing carbon dioxide, this ban has come to be seen by some as obsolescent.
Small modular reactor (SMR) plants can be designed so they do not get hot enough to create a major nuclear meltdown. In addition, a modular nuclear power plant is said to generate less radioactive waste. New legislation, HB 2473, authorizes the construction of new modular reactors in Illinois, with power outputs up to 300 MW, starting in calendar year 2026.
For months now, House Republicans have been demanding changes to the way professional licenses are issued to help address crushing workforce shortages. Temporary assistance was given to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to accommodate a portion of professional licenses terribly delayed. While not a permanent fix, any forward progress gets more Illinoisans to work more quickly.
A critical fix was also delivered for farm mutual insurance policyholders. Rural farm mutual policyholders (those insuring large agricultural equipment like tractors and combines) were successful in advocating for one of the few bipartisan fixes delivered during the Fall Veto Session.
State Police drafting gun ban and registration rules
Under the new state gun ban/registration law, the Illinois State Police has the responsibility to move administrative rules forward to implement this new statute. Even though the law has faced a series of court challenges, the State Police has drafted and published a series of temporary “emergency” rules, and proposed permanent rules, as guides to implementation. Second Amendment advocates have pointed out many flaws in these new and proposed rules. These flaws have created an atmosphere of confusion as to what firearms and other objects are banned under the new law.
A bipartisan General Assembly panel, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, met on Tuesday, November 7, and won a commitment from the State Police that they would listen to and respond to concerns submitted by concerned Illinoisans. This pledge included informal language in which the State Police promised to listen to concerns submitted after the legal comment deadline of November 13. However, in addition to submitting comments and focusing on these rules, many supporters of firearm rights are continuing their legal fight to strike the Illinois law down altogether. This legal fight may include an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Illinois Veterans History Project
I hope everyone took a moment this past weekend to remember the sacrifices made by those who answered the call to protect the freedom of our nation. Thank you to all veterans in the United States armed forces who have served America with honor!
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office is asking Illinois military veterans and their families to share their stories, photos and mementos for future generations as part of the Illinois Veterans History Project.
The Illinois Veterans History Project is a statewide initiative that collects, preserves and makes accessible first-hand recollections of veterans and civilians who served the five military branches.
To submit an entry, visit www.ilsos.gov/veteranshistoryproject and complete and fill out an Illinois Patriot Information Form to the Illinois State Library. Completed forms can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62701−1796.
Around the District
What a wonderful ceremony to celebrate the inauguration of John Wood Community College’s seventh President, Bryan Renfro, PhD. He is truly dedicated to improving our children’s future and the future of our community.
Congratulations, Dr. Renfro, we are so fortunate to have you!