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It’s just a bill

Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* McLean County radio station Cities 92.9 organized a bus trip to the January 6 insurrection

The Cities 92.9 legion is joining with thousands of others expected to descend on the nation’s capitol, and support President Trump’s claims that the election was rigged.

The station now claims it has a source within the Illinois State Police

A bill sits and stares gun owners and dealers in the face as fall veto session and lame duck session approaches.

“I have one of these guns sitting on my counter for just under $9,000, so anybody that owns these…is the government going to give you your money back? They pick this one caliber and they get it passed. Is it going to be the .308 next? Where does it end?”asked Matt Garvin, a concerned guns dealer at Guns & Glory in LeRoy, Illinois.

A source within Illinois State Police tipped off Cities and said there is an “assault weapons ban” to be implemented the coming weeks.

* Woodstock Institute press release…

Despite groundbreaking legislation passed into law last year capping consumer loan interest rates at 36%, a Sangamon County court issued an injunction allowing pawnbrokers to ignore the statewide interest rate cap. Legislation is pending in Springfield that would fix the problem and require Illinois pawn brokers to charge no more than 36% APR for their loans.

“Pawnbrokers are not shy about exploiting a loophole that allows them to make predatory loans to our veterans as well as all other Illinoisans,” State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) said. “I’m asking my colleagues in the legislature to close this loophole by voting for my bill.” The legislation is Senate Bill 4241.

State Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the same bill in the House (House Bill 5840). A wide swath of organizations and individuals support the legislation, including the Catholic Conference of Illinois, the United Way of Illinois, the NAACP, and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (See fact sheet)

Collins and Harper were joined at a press conference today by a woman named Jazmine T., who took out two $800 pawn loans to help her with moving expenses. With a triple digit interest rate, she ended up paying more than $8,000 in loan fees and lost property.

“Enough is enough. Illinoisans are fed up with loans that charge triple digit interest rates and prey on vulnerable families,” State Representative Sonya Harper said. “Fortunately, all we need to do is pass legislation that will fix this problem.”

Earlier this month, Woodstock Institute released the results of an investigation showing that Illinois pawnbrokers are overcharging active-duty servicemembers, who have long been protected (or meant to be protected) by a federal law that caps the interest rate on loans to active-duty servicemembers at 36%. In the course of the investigation, pawn shops charged 240% APR or higher in 19 out of 20 transactions.

“Our investigation shows that this problem is not an isolated incident,” said Horacio Mendez, president and CEO of Woodstock Institute. “The best way to solve it is by requiring Illinois pawnshops to comply with the state 36% interest rate cap. That way, pawnbrokers are relieved from having to determine customers’ military status and all customers, including veterans, are protected from predatory interest rates.”

The state’s 36% interest rate cap was part of the Legislative Black Caucus’s “Economic Access Pillar” created in the wake of the events of 2020 that shined a light on racial inequities across the country. There is considerable evidence that predatory lending disproportionately impacts Black, Brown, and underserved communities. See, e.g., High-interest loans in Chicago target Black neighborhoods (Nov. 26, 2021). In 2020, the average income of a payday loan borrower was only $37,582 according to data published by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

“If the intention of a statewide consumer loan rate cap is to help prevent wealth stripping and and predatory practices, then we need to make sure the state law closes the loophole that allows pawn shops to continue preying on our most vulnerable and historically under-resourced communities,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said.

A recent poll regarding the impacts of the state interest rate cap shows that by a margin of more than 2 to 1, Illinoisans oppose “exceptions for pawnbrokers.” Eighty-six percent of Illinoisans support the PLPA rate cap.

The Lake Research Partners poll is here.

* Illinois Policy Institute

State lawmakers are debating a bill to push back the New Year’s Day gas tax hike.

Instead of the scheduled gas tax hikes on Jan. 1 and July 1, 2023, House Bill 5829 pushes back the next inflation adjustment to July 1, 2023. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s election-year budget put off the July 2022 gas tax hike until after the election on Jan. 1.

The House bill is still on First Reading and was assigned to Rules, so they haven’t debated it.

* More…

    * Batinick introduces Property Tax Relief Legislation for last week of veto session: Rep. Batinick’s property tax plan would result in an eventual 50% reduction in property taxes in some of the hardest-hit areas of the state. According to the Tax Foundation, Illinois was ranked the second highest state in the nation in terms of property tax rates at 2.05% in 2020. A September 2022 report by The Civic Federation identified that in tax year 2020, property tax extensions for all Illinois taxing districts were $33.8 billion, of which 61.5% was for school districts.

    * IL. Rep. Denyse Stoneback Wants To Criminalize Free Speech During Elections: When a politician names something the “Truth In Politics Act” you can bet its actual meaning is the opposite of its title. Illinois State Representative Denyse Wang Stoneback has introduced HB5850 which would criminalize certain speech directed at political campaigns. The bill prescribes criminal and civil penalties for certain election speech and adds speech requirements for political campaigns.

       

43 Comments
  1. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 10:42 am:

    C’mon, Rich. You should know that any legislation going through First Reading can easily be attached to a shell bill. It happens a thousand times a year. Criticizing a bill because it is just on First Reading isn’t fair.

    If you want to complain that a bill is just a stunt that’s fair, but find a real reason to complain.


  2. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    Legal counsel should inform Representative Stoneback about NY Times v. Sullivan.


  3. - Just a Citizen - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    We live in Illinois on the border with Iowa. Recently during a trip to Iowa City for a doctor’s appointment, we filled up our tank for $2.99 a gallon. It is $3.85 a gallon where we live in Illinois….. about 25 miles from the Iowa gas station. Definitely, the gas tax hike needs to be pushed back.


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    ===It happens a thousand times a year.===

    lol

    To a bill like this? With those sponsors?

    Day-drinking is not advised.


  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:02 am:

    Regarding the ‘property tax relief’ bill.

    It is meaningless and will do nothing.

    The school district he is located in, found a way around the requirement to hold a referendum to build a new school. The board used loopholes and accounting tricks to spend millions of dollars to build a new school without a vote from the public. This took place in the face of an almost 20% decline in enrollment.

    We already have a method to address local property taxes. Local school boards ARE the way to control local property taxes.

    –Rep. Batinick’s property tax plan would result in an eventual 50% reduction in property taxes in some of the hardest-hit areas of the state.–

    Basic math shows this to be an obvious fabrication and not based in reality. For all the talk I’ve seen about this, not a single example district has ever been provided - just vague assurances.

    Despite being indicted for misuse of school funds years ago, the superintendent of Lincoln-Way(with approval from the school board) is still collecting a state pension and his trial has been put on the shelf indefinitely.

    As long as we continue to ignore local control is causing local problems, and brush off any consequences for bad behavior this issue will never be addressed correctly. It will simply move the mechanisms where local money is taken from. For example, a likely unintended consequence of this bill is that is will encourage local school boards to agree to 100% reductions when a municipality forms a TIF district, or agreements similar to TIF in function but not identified as such - much as D202 did with the Diageo warehouse where the school district agreed to a 10 year 100% abatement on property taxes after new development. It is a TIF in function, without going through the legal mechanisms of creating a TIF. Such an act reduces the taxes collected by the district, but also brings up the amount they can ‘legally collect’, which allows a district to fit within the goalposts of how this bill calculates state grants.

    It doesn’t solve the problem at all, it simply obfuscates it. In fact, it almost seems designed to encourage such behavior.


  6. - thisjustinagain - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    A local mayor put out a flyer showing his opponent behind bars, even though it never happened. That’s certainly defamation of character, but whether it can be criminalized constitutionally is another matter. But this is Illinois, where they pass defective laws regularly, then the taxpayers get stuck with the legal bills.


  7. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    ===Recently during a trip to Iowa City for a doctor’s appointment, we filled up our tank for $2.99 a gallon. It is $3.85 a gallon where we live in Illinois===

    The difference in IA and IL gas taxes is about 15c a gallon, which doesn’t quite explain the 86c a gallon price differential you describe. Rolling back IL’s gas tax a few cents a gallon wouldn’t really help much, I’d suggest we look elsewhere to figure out why the difference is so much.


  8. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:15 am:

    “we filled up our tank for $2.99 a gallon. ”

    It’s $2.95 at the Hucks on Humbert Road in Alton right now in the great state of Illinois


  9. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    ===Guns & Glory in LeRoy, Illinois.

    Not just a gun store, but a Gun Shop and Christian Bookstore

    https://guns-glory.com/


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:19 am:

    –where they pass defective laws regularly–

    Reminder that we still have a law on the books in Illinois that it is illegal to burn an american flag. (720 ILCS 5/49-1)

    Why? because no politician would ever introduce a bill to repeal it because of the optics involved, despite the US Supreme Court explicitly making such an act legally protected speech.


  11. - former southerner - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:22 am:

    ArchPundit,

    That sounds like Mecca for Christian Nationalists.

    I often pass LeRoy but have never stopped. Now I realize I have been making the right decision for the 33 years I have lived in central IL.


  12. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:27 am:

    the words from the gun shop and the radio station are right out of the same blah blah blah playbook we’ve hear for years about people they claim don’t understand about guns, what will they come for next, yada yada. their theocratic approach to life says it all and it’s not good.


  13. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    The source? I was selling firearms at a K’s Merchandise when the Brady Bill was being implemented back in the 90s. We had a couple calls a week asking about when the government was coming to get the callers’ guns. It was funny until it just got annoying. My guess the source is the same as the folks calling in to ask about imminent confiscation of firearms in the 90s.


  14. - fs - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    ==The bill prescribes criminal and civil penalties for certain election speech and adds speech requirements for political campaigns.==

    Such extreme political strategy and ads have been used since the literal days the Founding Fathers were in office, since at least Hamilton and Burr. They’re probably both rolling over in their graves. Burr likely more than Hamilton.


  15. - supplied_demand - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    =House Bill 5829 pushes back the next inflation adjustment to July 1, 2023. ==

    Maybe it wasn’t just an election-year gimmick.


  16. - Facts Matter - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    The IPI never lets the facts get in the way of their preferred story. HB 5829 was a stunt. It was filed on October 26 sponsored by someone in a close election fight - who lost. A story saying the bill is being “debated” is nothing but clickbait.


  17. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    So the source may be suspect – but the Bill(HB5522) is very expansive and is a threat to law-abiding citizens interested in 2A, personal defense, target practice, and the like. Do not be caught up in the scary 50 caliber ban – a cartridge used in weapons that are super expensive, difficult to shoot, and extremely heavy. Rather look at the language about so-called “assault rifles” that would ban the most popular sporting rifles such as AR-15 style, and the language banning so-called extended mags - that would ban the most popular modular pistols such as Glock 9mm and the like.


  18. - Siualum - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    Sometimes ya gotta wonder if these occasional but ongoing complaints of the government taking away guns don’t create increased sales. Just sayin’….


  19. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    @Just…

    Want to follow Iowa’s lead on income taxes?

    ==Any income over $78,435 would be taxed at the highest rate of 8.53%.==


  20. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 11:47 am:

    Just a citizen,
    The minimum wage in Iowa is 7.25/hr. In IL it is at least $14 (when does it go to $15?) Maybe it’s a market will bear issue. Seems to me higher wages are worth more expensive fuel especially when some folks are able to get by with low fuel bills (biking, motorcyling, bus/trains etc.)


  21. - H-W - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    The IPI post should have read, “State lawmakers are debating a bill to push back the New Year’s Day.”

    That would sound just as credible as most of the things IPI puts out.


  22. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===I often pass LeRoy but have never stopped.

    LeRoy is fine. Not exciting, but fine.


  23. - Ryan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:27 pm:

    I used to live in LeRoy. It’s….interesting. Some really nice people, but….interesting…. :)


  24. - JB13 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    That political speech bill, though.

    Hoo boy.

    On one hand, I hope it never moves out of committee. On the other, I’d get to eat a giant tub of popcorn on the day this law gets torn to shreads by the U.S. Supreme Court. Or the Seventh Circuit, instead, I suppose.


  25. - vern - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    === “I have one of these guns sitting on my counter for just under $9,000, so anybody that owns these…is the government going to give you your money back?===

    Assault weapons ban supporters should lean into this. Don’t be afraid of the gun pedants. The weapons we want to ban are rich kid toys with no commercial, hunting, or personal defense application. They’re only used for two things by civilians: wealthy knuckleheads cosplaying as blue collar, and mass murder.


  26. - Curious citizen - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    ==would ban the most popular sporting rifles such as AR-15 style==

    I’ve heard the AR-15 called many things, but I think this is the first time I’ve heard it called a “sporting rifle.” Wonder how folks in Uvalde, Buffalo, and other locations feel about that “sport”.


  27. - Pius - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    Minimum wage in Illinois is 12 per hour. $13 in January 2023.


  28. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    ” … ban the most popular sporting rifles such as AR-15 style … .”

    Until disarming in 2005, a prominent “proscribed organization” used, as their weapon of choice, AR-15 style weapons. Hardly seems a “sporting rifle” … .


  29. - Friendly Bob Adams - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    The people spreading gun rumors never give up. My favorite was when Obama first took office and the gun people swore he was coming for their guns any day now.

    When that didn’t happen, the rumor was that ammunition would be outlawed, so stock up now. This created a huge demand which resulted in low supply, which naturally confirmed the rumor.


  30. - The Truth - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    Holy cow, that radio station is full of kooky people.


  31. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    =It is a TIF in function, without going through the legal mechanisms of creating a TIF. Such an act reduces the taxes collected by the district, but also brings up the amount they can ‘legally collect’, which allows a district to fit within the goalposts of how this bill calculates state grants.=

    Not sure how you figured this so I am interested to know.

    The way a TIF diminishes tax revenue is by freezing EAV. What you described does not do that. EAV is what triggers what the state believes you have as local resources. A deal to abate local tax revenue would also not increase state resources.

    =It is meaningless and will do nothing.=

    With this I totally agree. There is already a law on the books that is similar but amounts may be smaller. It might have been Batnick’s before but it is for show. The state is never going to reliably replace 50% of schools property tax revenue.

    And you are also correct about local control creating local problems. local voters need to hold local government accountable.


  32. - Homebody - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    == I think this is the first time I’ve heard it called a “sporting rifle.” ==

    I’ve definitely heard that term before, and if you use “sporting rifle” to mean “any rifle used for any purpose other than hunting/defense” it is probably correct. However that popularity is more because of how much the military aesthetics are fetishized, not because it is inherently better at putting holes in paper targets.


  33. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    –Not sure how you figured this so I am interested to know.–

    In the example I gave, the situation involved the creation of IGA agreements that were functionally identical to TIF in funneling the money to the municipality, but without the legal structure of a TIF officially. Each agency, including the school district, signed an agreement with the municipality to abate the collection of property taxes on the development and to instead give that money to the municipality. It is functionally the same as a TIF, without the legal framework and protections(limited as they are) of one. The district can then tax to its aggregate limits, but the money not included in the aggregate limits defined in his bill is being sent to a municipality instead of counted as tax revenue for the district in the adjusted maximum aggregate property tax extension calculation. To make up for that, the remaining residential tax payers are going to make up the difference through funds not included in the aggregate extension calculations.

    Remember, not everything in a school districts extension for a year is able to be counted in that aggregate extension calculation. This bill will simply force a shuffling of finances to get that local money using other methods, which are perfectly legal if not extremely obscure. This bill seems to explicitly not count the monies outside of the allowed aggregate extensions, and still allows increased taxation on the extensions outside of what are legally defined in the aggregate extension. It is just as likely if not more so that an individuals property taxes would continue to go up significantly AND still qualify for grants under the proposed bill.

    Frankly, it seems almost perfectly designed for the types of bookkeeping tricks already used in the district he lives in.


  34. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    - JS Mill -

    One more thing to add - I might have added confusion without realizing it in using the word ‘abate’. That does have a specific legal meaning and the condition I’m describing doesn’t meet that definition technically, even if it does superficially. It was the first word that came to mind, and I should have chosen a better word.

    Such is the danger when financing structures are created to purposely function like a TIF, but to not legally be a TIF.

    I’ll keep that in mind and try to choose my words more carefully when trying to describe ridiculously crafted local agreements such as this.


  35. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 1:37 pm:

    =It is functionally the same as a TIF, without the legal framework and protections(limited as they are) of one. The district can then tax to its aggregate limits, but the money not included in the aggregate limits defined in his bill is being sent to a municipality instead of counted as tax revenue for the district in the adjusted maximum aggregate property tax extension calculation. =

    The school funding formula is predicated on locally available resources, even if the district is not taking advantage. Because it is not an actual TIF, the districts EAV would reflect the actual EAV unlike with a TIF where property values are frozen to the value at the time of the TIF’s inception. So everyone’s revenue (except the municipality) is frozen too. This is my 11th year of creating a school district levy. 202 is a PTELL district. They only get what is allowed based on CPI in terms of an annual increase. They are also guaranteed to get what the received the previous year plus cpi or 5% whichever is less. I am just not seeing the scheme here.

    202 is levying for their max, then abating part of that back to plainfield. The property tax grant could fill what they abate, but it isn’t going to increase their revenue.


  36. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 1:56 pm:

    –The property tax grant could fill what they abate, but it isn’t going to increase their revenue.–

    Again, look closer at what is counted in the aggregate extensions. Not every part of the levy is included in that limitation proposed in the bill.

    202 has a TON of bonds from when they went through their building spree. Much of their existing debt service today is a result of the bonds issued to refund against those first bonds - and are not included in the aggregate extension calculation.

    I’m 100% positive if this bill passed, 202 would immediately work to restructure their funding into buckets that would not be counted in the aggregate extension. The amount used in the calculation would then simply become a target for qualifying for additional state grants, and could be specifically selected expenses where the legal limit would be trivial to always be significantly below the limits in this bill.

    The board just did something similar when they built a new school building without a public vote. The board already knew the public would never support that in the face of the large decline in enrollment, but the board wanted a new school in a specific location to benefit a specific subdivision where many of their friends live. To get around a public vote needed for issuing the construction bonds, they instead created an extremely convoluted lease-back agreement for the building.

    I’m being vague more than I should be, but that’s because I haven’t designed a specific scheme to take advantage of this bill. But rest assured there are many ways to do so, and in your position I think you know that is the case.

    A state law will never prevent a local taxing body who is acting with their own motivations. And a school board will never change their ways when local election turnouts are at best 15% and at worst single digit percentages.


  37. - H-W - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    @ Curious citizen

    If you read the article, the ban being suggested is about 50 caliber rifles, not AR-15 rifles.

    When I was in the Army, I had the opportunity to shoot a 50 caliber weapon. They are used to stop tanks and armor personnel carriers. I can only imaging what such a weapon would do to a duck, or a squirrel or a wild hog or a deer.

    Perhaps a good weapon for hunting grisly bear or moose, but not exactly good for hunting in general.


  38. - Curious citizen - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    @H-W,

    I was reacting to the post by Donnie Elgin, who called the AR-15 a “sporting rifle.”


  39. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    “If you read the article…not AR-15 rifles.”

    The article is about HB5522-if you bother to read the bill - it bans assault rifles and large capacity mags …

    a) Definitions. In this Section:
    11 (1) “Assault weapon” means:
    12 (A) any rifle that has a belt fed ammunition
    13 system or which has a detachable magazine capable of
    14 holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition;
    15 (B) a semi-automatic rifle that has the ability to
    16 accept a detachable magazine and has any of the

    https://www.change.org/p/pass-hb5522-assault-weapon-ban-in-illinois


  40. - H-W - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 4:20 pm:

    @ Donnie Elgin

    I stand corrected. I only looked at the direct link posted above about an Illinois State Police informant. That link discussed 50 caliber weapons, which I oppose.

    I might note that I am also opposed to detachable magazines that can hold more that 7 rounds. If you cannot take a deer with 7 rounds, you are an unlucky hunter. So I would support such a bill if asked.


  41. - The Duke of DuPage - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 4:26 pm:

    I’m sorry but that EcW headline is just so snarky, it’s so wrong. “Stoneback wants to criminalize free speech…”, oh give me a break !!


  42. - PF Flyer - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 8:04 pm:

    Average gas prices in Iowa City: https://gasprices.aaa.com/?state=IA


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 30, 22 @ 8:08 pm:

    - PF Flyer -

    As stated above…

    “Any income over $78,435 would be taxed at the highest rate of 8.53%”

    “But gas prices”?


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