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Mid-afternoon session updates (updated)

Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

* Mayor Lightfoot on the gaming bill

Earlier Thursday, Lightfoot held out hope she could land an eleventh-hour deal on the casino.

“We continue to work hard, particularly in the House, because the bill’s going to originate in the House,” she said during an unrelated event at a Logan Square school. “It’s my expectation that something will have been dropped, maybe even while we’ve been here, and will move forward. But we’ve been working hard, really, literally all night to make sure that we can get something to the floor of the House today and then move it over to the Senate.”

But she also sought to lower expectations by pointing out how hard it is to accomplish things in the veto session.

“But you know this as well as I do, in a veto session it’s a narrow window of time, and realistically we’ve had a day-and-a-half of work this week. It’s like going through the eye of a needle,” Lightfoot said. “We’re trying to do that as best we can, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the day.”

* The House passed the Democrats’ ethics reform bill this afternoon by a vote of 110-5. Members of the Eastern Bloc were the “No” votes plus Rep. Skillicorn…

* Rep. Wehrli had objections, but he voted for it…

Republican Rep. Steve Reick said he was voting for the bill because he doesn’t want to get hit by a mailer next year saying he opposes ethics reform.

* But this is from the Senate Republicans…

Today, the Senate Republicans Caucus is united in support of real ethics reform, which is why we stand in opposition to HJR 93. Despite assurances from Democrat leaders that this would be a balanced, bipartisan task force, what was filed is a nothing but a Democrat-controlled commission that will not bring about the changes this state needs to restore the people’s trust in their state legislature.

With the cloud of scandal hanging over the dome we need to be taking up serious ethics reforms not punting to another partisan task force.

So, there’s that.

* From IRMA’s PR person Monique Garcia…

Lawmakers sent a measure to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk today that will require online remote and marketplace sellers to remit the full sales tax (state + any locally imposed tax) on purchases made by Illinois residents. This change is conservatively estimated to bring in an additional $380 million a year – $295 million to the state and $85 million to local governments, schools, law enforcement and public safety agencies and the Regional Transportation Authority – without raising or imposing new taxes on Illinois residents. This estimate does not include any locally-imposed sales tax. This measure levels the playing field between Illinois retailers and remote and marketplace sellers. Indeed, this modernization represents the most significant shift in Illinois sales tax policy since a rewrite in the early 1990s.

While initially passed during the spring legislative session, the original bill language contained substantial errors that have been fixed in the legislation that won approval today. This effort was led by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair.

* Next stop, governor’s desk…

…Adding… Press release on cannabis bill…

“As Illinois prepares to launch legal adult-use cannabis, this legislation will strengthen the most equity- cannabis law in the nation, especially with stronger provisions to prevent conflicts of interest among elected officials and provide more information to people whose records will be expunged,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront than any other state in the nation, and we’re ensuring that communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs have the opportunity to participate.”

* As we’ve already discussed, the ethylene oxide phase-out bill was killed by the Senate Executive Committee yesterday. House GOP Leader Jim Durkin had his own veto session bill, HB3885, that would’ve allowed home-rule units of government to ban EtO use, but that was killed in a House committee after Durkin wouldn’t commit to putting votes on Rep. Rita Mayfield’s bill. Durkin gave a statement to Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line

Efforts to curb the chemical’s use in Lake County and other places in Illinois have sprung up in the year since the issue first drew significant media attention. [Rep. Rita Mayfield] faces a [Democratic] primary opponent in March who is hyper-focused on ethylene oxide.

Durkin, who voted present on Mayfield’s bill during the first week of Veto Session, said Wednesday that he could have predicted HB 3888’s failure “from day one.”

“House Bill 3885 was the strongest piece of legislation and would have essentially shut down polluters that are poisoning our communities,” Durkin said. “Instead of allowing my bill to move forward, we saw the Democrats kill my legislation in committee two weeks ago in favor of legislation that they knew wouldn’t become law. Fortunately, we have the Haller Act that places the strongest restrictions on the use of ethylene oxide across the country.”

Community group Stop EtO in Lake County said Wednesday it was “disappointed and afraid” for families.

“But we’re heartened that the Senators took the issue seriously and made it clear that they expect to be voting on this again in the spring,” according to a statement from the group. “Stop EtO will not stop fighting until our children are safe.”

The Haller Act was Durkin’s bill that passed last spring.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Annonin' - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    “Shots” Reick was voted funniest speech. Only thing he left out was the need for someone to staple PAWS ethics paperwork to all the GOPies filing

  2. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    “we’ve had a day-and-a-half of work this week. It’s like going through the eye of a needle.”

    “There’s a lot of work that we could have done sooner, but we didn’t start to do really until the strike.”

    Going forward, perhaps Team Lightfoot would consider not waiting until the last minute to address their most foreseeable problems.

    – MrJM

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    === Rep. Wehrli had objections, but he voted for it…===

    Grant Wehrli’s legislative career in a nutshell?

    Lots of yelling, tweeting, hyperventilating, but when it comes down to votes, caves to the reality… can’t be Red on this.

    The twitter rant on this will be epic, lol

  4. - Lake County zombie - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    See you in the spring…

  5. - Central IL - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    Ahhh no flavored vape ban. As an adult former smoker I’m free to vape over the holidays.

  6. - A Well-Regulated Commenter - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 4:20 pm:

    ===Rep. Wehrli had objections===

    Did somebody sit on a Whoopee cushion? I thought I heard something. /s

  7. - Thomas larguo - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 5:12 pm:

    Any estimates on how long until Pritzker signs these bills

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