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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Press release…

Today, Illinois State Senators Mike Simmons, Robert Peters, as well as State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr. introduced new legislation – SB 1444 – that would create an Illinois Child Tax Credit claimable in the 2024 tax season. If passed by Illinois legislators, eligible low-and middle-income Illinois families would receive a $700 tax credit for each child under the age of 17. The policy proposed would benefit joint filers earning less than $75,000 and single filers earning less than $50,000 – nearly half of Illinois households with children.

With Washington having failed to reinstate the expanded federal Child Tax Credit in last year’s budget process, leaders in Illinois are stepping in, advocating for new direct cash programs within their jurisdictions to help working families.

“I am extraordinarily proud to join my colleagues in the Illinois state legislature in introducing a new bill to ease the burden that our communities face in affording everyday expenses,” said State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr. “In creating an Illinois Child Tax Credit, we join a growing number of statehouses working to ensure parents have a bit more money to keep their homes heated and their children fed.”

Support for the bill is already mounting, as Leader Evans, Senators Simmons and Peters were joined in by their colleagues Senators Ventura, Cervantes, and Preston to support SB 1444. Also in attendance were state advocates and parents who would directly benefit from the proposed credit.


State Representative Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, introduced legislation that would expand access to food assistance for foster families.

“Foster families already face so many obstacles, this legislation will help relieve some of the stress placed on these homes,” said Scherer. “Foster parents carry a great load by caring for our children who are in unfortunate circumstances. We must look for ways to utilize resources to unburden and support them.”

Scherer’s House Bill 1632 would make all foster families eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) benefits.

Currently, foster children are ineligible for SNAP benefits.

* Media advisory…

– Women Employed, which has been creating fundamental, systemic change for working women for 50 years, will convene its statewide Illinois Time to Care Coalition and legislative sponsors of the Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act to urge the Illinois General Assembly to pass legislation that will provide workers with paid, job-protected leave to manage longer-term care needs for themselves and their families.

* Rep. Hernandez’s bill that would ban cat declawing is picking up support from animal rights groups. Shaw Local

If passed, Illinois would become the third state to approve such a ban, according to the nonprofit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. New York banned cat declawing in 2019 and Maryland did so last year. In addition, several cities across the country ban cat declawing, including Madison, Wisconsin, according to PETA.

Catie Cryar, a spokesperson for PETA, supports the bill.

“Imagine that your fingers were cut off at the first knuckle – that’s declawing, an unnecessary and painful mutilation that involves amputating not just cats’ nails but also their joints, resulting in decreased mobility, chronic pain and mental anguish,” Cryar said in a statement. “Declawing is recognized as cruel and unnecessary in Europe, and it’s been banned in numerous U.S. cities and states – and PETA supports legislation outlawing this cruelty.”

The Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association discourages cat declawing. It supports non-surgical alternatives to the procedure.

“The AVMA respects the veterinarian’s right to use professional judgment when deciding how to best protect their individual patients’ health and welfare,” it says in a statement on its website. “Therefore, it is incumbent upon the veterinarian to counsel the owner about the natural scratching behavior of cats, the alternatives to surgery, as well as the details of the procedure itself and subsequent potential complications. Onychectomy is a surgical amputation and if performed, multi-modal perioperative pain management must be utilized.”

* Patrick Keck

Legislation from state Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, would amend the Smoke-Free Illinois Act — legislation that went into effect in 2008 that banned smoking in most public places in the state. […]

House Bill 1540 would add electronic smoking devices to the act’s definition of smoking, which means the use of e-cigarettes or vape pens would not be permitted inside public spaces like a bar, places of employment or enclosed sports arena. It also would not be allowed in student dormitories. […]

Pritzker recently signed appropriation legislation — House Bill 969 — which included $500,000 for a new Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. statue to be built by the Office of the Architect of the Capitol.

Legislation from state Sen. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, would add other statutes to the building. Under Senate Bill 348, OAC would “provide for the acquisition and placement” of statues depicting former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

* The Center Square

State Sen. John Curran, R-Lemont, wants to codify the decision of Illinois voters when it comes to a progressive income tax.

“The people have spoken, and they could not have been more clear that they do not want a progressive income tax,” Curran said after introducing a resolution that calls on lawmakers to reject any progressive income tax proposal placed before the chamber.

“It is time to move in a new direction,” Curran said. “We are standing behind the people of this state who resoundingly said no, and standing up for families who cannot afford to be overtaxed.”

Curran’s bill comes after voters roundly rejected a so-called a progressive income tax amendment in 2020. It fell more than 360,000 votes short of a simple majority and more than 760,000 votes short of the three-fifths majority needed for passage from those voting on the question.

* Sen. Laura Murphy

Amends the Conversion and Formation of School Districts Article of the School Code. Within 3 years after the effective date of the amendatory Act, requires elementary school districts to form new school districts but only with other elementary school districts and high school districts to form new school districts but only with other high school districts, notwithstanding any referendum requirements or any other laws to the contrary. Provides that the State Board of Education shall facilitate the creation of the new school districts by providing recommendations on which districts must consolidate. Sets forth the factors that the State Board must take into consideration. Effective immediately.

…Adding… HB2187, introduced by Deputy House Majority Leader Mary Flowers

Amends the School Code. Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, allows public schools to include in their curriculum, for students in grades 3 through 12, a course in the history and literature of the Old Testament era and a course in the history and literature of the New Testament era. Provides that the purpose of such courses shall be to teach and study the Old and New Testaments and to familiarize students with the contents of the Old and New Testaments, the history recorded by the Old and New Testaments, the literary style and structure of the Old and New Testaments, the customs and cultures of the peoples and societies recorded in the Old and New Testaments, and the influence of the Old and New Testaments upon law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture. Requires the State Board of Education to adopt a curriculum for each course. Sets forth provisions concerning course requirements, personnel, and monitoring. Effective immediately.


  1. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    What is the purpose of SB0097?

  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 1:53 pm:

    “$700 tax credit for each child”

    I used the Google, but could not find the full text of the bill. Would this be a refundable or non-refundable credit?

  3. - Norseman - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    Center Square is only good for the round container next to your desk. What a really unintelligent article. But consider the source.

    Curran is proposing a legally meaningless resolution, not a bill. It “codifies” nothing, nada, bupkis.

  4. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    “What is the purpose of SB0097?

    It would require “elementary school districts to form new school districts but only with other elementary school districts,” and would require “high school districts to form new school districts but only with other high school districts”

    The bill and summary won’t win any awards for reader-friendliness.

    – MrJM

  5. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    “Currently, foster children are ineligible for SNAP benefits.”


    – MrJM

  6. - Jerry - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    The kids who use cat litter boxes in the schools, are they being declawed too?

  7. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    Q: “Would [SB 1444] be a refundable or non-refundable credit?”

    A: “If the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer’s income tax liability under this Act for the applicable tax year, then the excess credit shall be refunded to the taxpayer.”

    – MrJM

  8. - Lagertha's Shield - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    SB 0097 seems to be trying to force elementary and high school districts into unit districts, but it was so poorly written that its implementation could have strange results.

  9. - H-W - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    Re: Adding HB2187

    Is Rep. Flowers for real? She wants the State Board of Education to create a curriculum for courses on the history and literature of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

    I am a Christian. But the idea that my kids would be required to take a course on the myths and fictitious places and peoples and morality plays alluded to in a singular religious text is preposterous.

    I say required, because here in middle earth (West Central Illinois), our parochial school systems do not offer our students any electives. We do not have a functional library (it is a trailer out back). We have one teacher for all of the sciences, not two teachers. We have one for math, and have teachers occasionally teaching subjects they are not trained to teach. We gave up foreign languages several years ago, and have not occupational course (save agriculture 1 & 2 which are required).

    This additional requirement would not be an elective here, and would require all students to be indoctrinated into the Judeo-Christian-Islamic faith tradition.


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:06 pm:

    Saved the best for last I see.

    –The purpose of such courses shall be to teach and study the Old and New Testaments and to familiarize students with the contents of the Old and New Testaments, the history recorded by the Old and New

    The bible is not a history book. We have actual history books to study history.

    More text from the bill;

    The courses provided for in this Section shall:
    (1) be taught in an objective and non-devotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students **as to either the truth or falsity of the biblical materials**

    How can anything be taught as history or historically accurate, if it can’t be verified to be factual.

    This is a terrible bill, with terrible motivations. Unless it is being used to troll - which would still be a terrible motivation, but would at least be amusing.

  11. - Retired School Board Member - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:10 pm:

    So, the Deputy Majority Leader has introduced a bill to require children to read the Bible.

    Jesus take the wheel please…

  12. - Huh? - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    “curriculum for courses on the history and literature of the Old Testament and the New Testament.”

    What part about the 1st amendment and the separation of church and State is difficult to understand?

    This is a lawsuit waiting to happen that debore could win.

  13. - Shibboleth - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    Echoing H-W. Thank you.

  14. - CentralILCentrist - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    “.. allows public schools to include…”
    There is no “requirement” in allowing something to happen. But, it does “require” the ISBE to adopt a curriculum, so that is is a universal subject provision, not a community indoctrination…

  15. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    =Is Rep. Flowers for real?=

    Before the eastern bloc rose to whatever they are, I always said Mary Flowers was the craziest member of the ILGA. She now holds a leadership position in the democratic caucus because she has been there a long time.

    But now it appear she is trying to reclaim her title belt.


    Q: What is the hardest animal to kill?

    A: A school mascot.

    Good luck with that bill. People like to blame superintendents for the lack of consolidation and trying to hold on to their jobs. That has long been a canard. School Boards and communities are the biggest (by far, like as in the distance between the Earth and Pluto) barrier to consolidation. Those that do not believe me should go to a district consolidation meeting. Pro tip, bring body armor.

    Good luck Sen. Murphy./s

  16. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    Just the names old and new testaments have a certain meaning that could be seen to disadvantage children who hew to one and not the other.

    I do understand a need for students to have some graps of religious literature so they can understand western lit but there are usually footnotes and no one insists we understand the Koran before we enjoy 1001 Nights

  17. - huh - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 4:50 pm:

    How will Jewish students be made to feel when they learn there is something called the “New” Testament and there’s is the “Old” one.

    Lol, give me a break Mary.

  18. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 5:00 pm:

    When the jack booted thugs come to your house to inspect your cat’s paws, don’t say you weren’t warned.

  19. - We've never had one before - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 5:11 pm:

    Re: HB2187
    Sure, include the Koran and the haftorah.

    Declawing cats: declawing the cat is absolute cruelty. Learn how to trim the claws, I use apeople-style fingernail clipper. Do it whenever needed. The cat gets used to it.

    Get or make a nice tall scratch post for Tiger.

  20. - Huh? - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 5:15 pm:

    Doppelganger at 4:50 get your own handle. This one has been mine since blago was governor.

  21. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 5:16 pm:

    MisterJayEm -

    SB 0097 seems to prohibit elementary school districts from merging with high school districts. Lincoln Illinois has several separate elementary school districts that feed into a high school district. SB 0097, seemingly, would prevent that.

    Again, what is the purpose of SB 0097?

  22. - Deputy Sheriff - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 11:10 pm:

    Does someone pay Mary Flowers to introduce outlandish legislation?

  23. - Leslie K - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 11:50 pm:

    ===Before the eastern bloc rose to whatever they are, I always said Mary Flowers was the craziest member of the ILGA. She now holds a leadership position in the democratic caucus because she has been there a long time.

    But now it appear she is trying to reclaim her title belt.===

    Well said. But thankfully this does fall under “It’s just a bill.” And will hopefully stay there.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

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