* Four Senate Republicans voted in favor…
Illinois lawmakers have resurrected and are moving ahead with legislation that would make creating local right-to-work zones at the municipal level a criminal offense.
While reporters in the Capitol building were peppering Gov. J.B. Pritzker with questions about his newly-unveiled progressive tax rates, state Senators voted to send a measure to the House that would make it illegal for local governments to create right-to-work zones in their jurisdictions. Such zones allow employees to refuse union membership and still be employed.
Sponsor Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, said the bill will support economic development, protect the quality of essential services and confirm a commitment to a highly-trained workforce. […]
The bill, which is similar to one Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed in 2017, says any local official who supports a [private employer] right-to-work zone will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. That carries a sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
The roll call is here.
* Interesting roll call here…
…Adding… As you might imagine, the Illinois Family Institute isn’t happy…
This afternoon, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 60-42 to pass HB 246, which would mandate that all students in K-12 public schools be taught about the “roles and contributions” of homosexuals and opposite-sex impersonators and that textbooks purchased include discussions of the roles and contributions of homosexuals and opposite-sex impersonators.
* Fracking is back in the news…
Republican state lawmakers from southern Illinois pushed back Tuesday against a bill that would require more public disclosure from oil and gas drilling companies whenever they use hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in their operations in the state. […]
Rep. Chris Miller, a Republican from Oakland, in eastern Illinois, argued that the bill, like its earlier predecessor, was intended only to turn public opinion against the oil and gas industry.
“It was bad then. This is bad now,” Miller said. “I personally have signed an oil lease and I know a lot of the things you said were just fear-mongering, trying to create fear and animosity.”
Rau and Gabel, however, said the bill would not impose new requirements on oil and gas producers. They said producers would continue providing state regulators with the same information they provide now. The only difference would be that the information would be made publicly available.
* Other stuff…
* Memo to self: Next time, pick up the phone: While scrolling through my Twitter feed, I saw the column had indeed been read outside the NewsTribune circulation area: “Meanwhile, a columnist who apparently can’t pick up a phone and doesn’t come to Springfield says he somehow has a ‘sense’ for why the legalization bill hasn’t yet been introduced…” Uh-oh.
* Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?: State Sen. Laura Fine, a Democrat from Glenview, is sponsoring the legislation. She said more than a third of emerging adults in Cook County Jail were charged with misdemeanors. “Many of them get stuck in the jail because they’re either homeless or don’t have a job and they can’t pay their bail,” Fine said. “They’re at an age where, if they did have those proper services, they could be put on another direction in their lives.”
* Deadly suburban kennel fire prompts legislators to call for new safety regulations, but some kennel owners are wary: Following a devastating suburban kennel fire earlier this year that claimed the lives of 31 dogs, two state legislators have introduced bills aimed at making such facilities safer. One bill would require kennel operators to install fire alarms that automatically notify emergency responders; the other would require kennels to install sprinklers or some other fire suppression system.
* LGBTQ advocates ‘deeply disturbed’ by bill that would punish doctors for certain procedures: Asked whether it was necessary to make the medical procedures illegal, rather than promoting outreach efforts and ensuring accurate information available, [Rep. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine] said, “I need to give that more thought.”
* Unpacking Pritzker’s Tax Proposals: Bag Tax