Spring Session Starts, Gun Registration Compliance, Miss Illinois Fair Queen and More

2024 Spring Session starts today

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvenes this afternoon for the start of the 2024 spring session. Primary business of the House this week will be to hear newly introduced bills on “first reading” for assignment to House committees. 

House members are pushing to get their bills drafted and introduced for consideration this spring. The House bill introduction deadline is Friday, February 9. Bills introduced by the deadline date can be assigned to standing committees. 

After the bills are introduced, Governor Pritzker will present his FY25 budget and deliver a State of the State address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 21.

Gun registration compliance in the single digits

Compliance with the new firearms registration requirements contained in the Democrats’ ban law, AKA the Protecting Illinois Communities Act (PICA), remained in the single digits as the December 31 registration deadline came and went.

The new gun ban and registration requirements remain under legal appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court as an unconstitutional violation of Illinoisans’ Second Amendment rights.  It is not known how many PICA-defined firearms are in Illinois hands, but the categories of firearms described in the law cover many types of firearms that are popular throughout the U.S. Based on gun club and social activities among firearm owners, there may be hundreds of thousands of these firearms in Illinois. However, only about 29,000 Illinois residents had submitted PICA registration forms to the Illinois State Police by the December 31. 2023 deadline.

The State Police has continued its efforts to generate rules to implement the Protect Illinois Communities Act. The rules are on the agenda of a General Assembly committee, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) today.

Worsening migrant crisis spreads out in Northern Illinois

As of midweek last week news stories and police reports indicate that in addition to Chicago, at least 12 other municipalities in northeastern Illinois have received busloads of migrants.  

Chicago, a self-proclaimed sanctuary city, has now tried to stem the flow of migrants by adopting a home-rule ordinance against buses that make one-way passenger trips into the city, but the buses have found a loophole. In a typical migrant dropoff, a large number of passengers are unloaded at a Metra commuter train station that offers passenger service into Chicago. Other municipalities, such as University Park in South Cook County, are adopting ordinances that seek to control or prevent one-way passenger bus entries and dead-end drop-offs. Since December 1, an estimated 150 passenger buses have unloaded migrants at locations throughout northeastern Illinois.

Budget, credit woes mark Illinois down to 36th of 50 on U.S. News “Best States” list 

The U.S. News website compiles a rank-ordered list of all 50 U.S. states. The states are ranked by quality of life, with particular attention to crime, the economy, education, fiscal stability, health care, infrastructure, natural environment, and opportunity. In the 2023 year-end list, Illinois dropped six spots to 36th. The Prairie State had been ranked 30th among the 50 states in 2021. 

The four areas where Illinois was given its poorest grades were in its opportunity (35th), its natural environment (38th), its economy (39th), and its fiscal stability (50th).

We have a lot of work to do this spring!

Around the District

Jacksonville native Natalie Evans was selected over the weekend to be the new Miss Illinois Fair Queen! Natalie will reign over state fairs across the state this year and will be the official hostess at the state fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin. Natalie is a great representative for Morgan County and our state. Congratulations!

The image above is from the Jacksonville Journal Courier article. Read it here:

Miss Morgan County Fair Evans takes top honors during state pageant (myjournalcourier.com)