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Question of the day

Thursday, Mar 23, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

The Illinois Freedom Caucus today held a press conference to discuss some of the majority party’s misguided legislative priorities as the legislative session moves closer to adjournment.

Some of the measures not considered before the Committee deadline include:

    • House Resolution 51 – Mandates a forensic audit of state spending, hiring, procurement and contracting
    • House Bill 2178 – Repeals the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) directly contributing to higher energy prices
    • House Bill 1575 – Lowers the gas tax to 19 cents per gallon
    • House 2979 – Increases the standard income tax deduction to $150,000
    • House Bill 2599 – Reduces the individual income tax rate from 4.95% to 3.75% and the corporate tax rate from 7% to 6%
    • HB3625 – Bans Tik Tok on State Devices
    • House Bill 2986 – Prevents the rate of growth of general fund spending from exceeding the rate of growth of the Illinois median household income.
    • House Bill 1640 – Creates the Efficient School District Commission to make recommendations on where reorganization and realignment of school districts into unit districts would be beneficial.
    • House Bill 2136 – Ends the legislative pension system for new members
    • House Bill 3825 – Allows for resident tuition at local non-Chicago school districts within ¼ Mile of district line
    • House Bill 1600 – Protects Firearm ownership for tenants
    • House Bill 2610 – Allows children at daycare facilities to be exempt from vaccine mandates on the basis of religious exemptions

“We recognize we are in the minority and the likelihood of our bills getting passed is slim to none, but the ideas we are presenting are substantive and should at least merit a discussion,” said State Representative Chris Miller (R-Oakland). “Illinois is in the bottom five in unemployment, and we lost more than 100,000 residents last year. We have former legislators facing federal indictments and a culture of corruption that is legendary. We need to focus on the real problems facing our state, which is what our legislative agenda seeks to do.”

* The Question: Do you support any of these bills? Explain.


  1. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:53 pm:

    Other than Tik Tok, no.

  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    Yes. I would support the TicToc ban, though I think that is already a rule. $150,000 standard deduction? Huh? I thought that had to be a typo. Nope.

  3. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    Waste of time and paper…and political capitol.

    Deeper and deeper…the hole.

  4. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    Tiktok ban. Might support the “forensic audit” (propaganda term, but I’ll sub “independent audit) and the school district border crossing/tuition bill - would need to know more.

  5. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:58 pm:

    Not one of them

  6. - Amalia - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    maybe Tik Tok but jeez the rest of the list….

  7. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    political capital…Oops.

  8. - Politix - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    I don’t see any of these as truly pressing. The audit looks like a fishing expedition. No one wants their school boundaries changed. Repealing the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act - hard no. Gun ownership protections aren’t really a priority, so that one hardly comes as a surprise. The tax initiatives - meh.

  9. - Manchester - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:00 pm:

    Nope, not a single one.

  10. - We've never had one before - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    >>>>>House Bill 1600 – Protects Firearm ownership for tenants

    Sure, why would anyone be against this bill?
    What would anyone want to deny basic rights to tenants?

  11. - Buford - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    TikTok is already not allowed on State devices I thought?

  12. - Crash - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    Maybe the one on school districts but even if one was created, and I wouldn’t expect much progress.

    People like the idea of cutting units of government right up until the moment that they feel a slight loss of local control.

  13. - Langhorne - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:07 pm:

    I am pretty sure they do not understand what the term forensic audit means within the accounting profession. It requires a great deal of detail, expense, and documentation.

  14. - Aaron B - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:19 pm:

    HB 1640 doesn’t sound like a terrible idea to me if combining school districts mean less administrative costs and therefore less property taxes. Illinois could definitely stand to have fewer units of government floating around.

    The fact that the GOP lists this as one of their legislative priorities makes me think that there is a ulterior motive to this bill though.

  15. - Glengarry - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    Let’s build a wall around the Eastern Bloc.

  16. - DuPage - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    TikTok ban on all state and local governments as well. Counties, townships, school districts, libraries, community colleges, state universities, anything run with public money.

  17. - Benjamin - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    HR51: I feel like this looks reasonable on the surface but is hiding some kind of wacko agenda. If it is what it claims to be, though, I’m for.

    HB3625: sure, ban TikTok. It’s a waste of time anyhow.

    HB1640: I’m all for fewer, larger units of government (easier for agencies and voters to conduct oversight on), so that’s a tentative “for.” Again, though, I’m open to the idea that this is a bad idea clothed in good-government language.

  18. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:27 pm:

    Maybe the one about consolidating schools and making unit districts. None of the rest. And if I owned rental property you want my tenants to have guns? What about my property rights seems like you are taking them away. Plus I take it you want trial lawyers to make more money when a tenant shoots someone and it is my fault because I didn’t screen him or make sure he had a gun safe or had proper training. Thanks loads

  19. - JS Mill - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    TikTok and no others.

    =Sure, why would anyone be against this bill?=

    I would have thought you were aware of the Second Amendment. No?

  20. - Appears - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:30 pm:

    How does the Freedom Caucus plan to pay for bridge and road work with the lower gas tax?
    How do they plan to pay for IL government with the reduced tax rate (that Gov. Rauer was happy to spend).
    In a nutshell, the Freedom Caucus doesn’t know how to govern nor have a plan. They just want press releases in order to look important.

  21. - Cook Street - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:33 pm:

    No pension for new GA members doesn’t sound so terrible.

  22. - Juice - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:33 pm:

    Really, all they can come to an agreement on for Unit school districts is to create a task force?

  23. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:36 pm:

    what is 3825 about? Seems oddly specific and solving no problem that I’m aware of. 2610 is how you get measles outbreaks. Hard no on that one.

    2986 makes no sense. What if the upper half of the distribution starts earning a lot more money? The state would be swimming in cash but unable to spend it? Even to solve problems like say the fact that the bottom half of the distribution is not growing.

  24. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    These are not serious people.

  25. - Perrid - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    “House Bill 1640 – Creates the Efficient School District Commission to make recommendations on where reorganization and realignment of school districts into unit districts would be beneficial.”
    I’m always open to discussing whether we have too many units of local government. I’d need more information before goin along with closing anything though.

    “House Bill 3825 – Allows for resident tuition at local non-Chicago school districts within ¼ Mile of district line”
    Now this is tentative because I don’t know what the effects are, but it SOUNDS good? I’d need to know where kids would be going to and from, what would the impact be, would some schools lose too many students to effectively teach the students that remain, or whatever. But I don’t have arguments lined up against it, like I do most of these proposals.

  26. - 48th Ward Heel - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    We Demand To Be Taken Seriously Dot Gif

  27. - MidwesternWorker - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:14 pm:

    The state has said multiple times that Tik Tok is already banned on state devices, so that bill isn’t being picked up not because of some pro-China conspiracy but because it’s redundant.

  28. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    The school consolidation one is interesting because the low population districts that would, presumably, be consolidated are rural. In my experience (as a rural, down state resident), the locals object to consolidation because when a small town loses its school, the people with kids tend to leave as well and the town dies. I’m surprised these guys are promoting something their constituents would oppose. (As I read the bill, the commission could not force consolidation, but it could force votes on consolidation.)

  29. - Socially DIstant watcher - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:17 pm:

    @We’ve never had one before:

    HB1600 says that as a property owner I can’t decide what happens on my property. That’s why the legislature shouldn’t take action on this: because property owners have rights, too.

  30. - Nuke The Whales - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:21 pm:

    “We need to focus on the real problems in this State. Therefore, I propose we ban TikTok on state devices, something that was done prior to the introduction of the bill. Then, we’ll storm the capitol again for fun.” - Chris Miller

  31. - Homebody - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:25 pm:

    @cermak_rd: The “problem” that 3825 is solving is all the cops and firefighters in neighborhoods right at the edge of the city limits want to keep their city jobs but not have to actually interact with anyone else in the city, including sending their kids to CPS schools.

  32. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    File these along with the one that demands landlords have to accept tenants who play the drums.

  33. - KSDinCU - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:31 pm:

    So would a $150,000 standard deduction produce sort of a graduated income tax?

  34. - Sue - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 4:36 pm:

    People need to act seriously if they want to be afforded a serious response. If you raise the standard deduction to 150 thousand wouldn’t that mean no taxes on any income below that amount. Such a policy would likely eliminate half or more of the State’s revenues. I certainly prefer R’s over D’s but these folks are just downright fools

  35. - 40,000 ft - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 5:12 pm:

    They are all reasonable to a significant portion of Illinoisans.

    Nice presser, good effort, but sadly not enough to keep the high income people here that I know are leaving the state.

  36. - Leslie K - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 6:19 pm:

    ===These are not serious people.===

    So true. But I like the added drama of so many of them being “Effective Immediately.” Very urgent stuff there. /s

    That said, putting the Tik Toc ban into law (is it an EO or just an admin rule at this point?) wouldn’t hurt anything.

  37. - Blake - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 6:40 pm:

    $150,000 is high, but increasing the standard income tax deduction could be a way to reduce the regressiveness of Illinois taxes.

  38. - Narc - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 6:46 pm:

    I assume the gas tax reduction and income tax reduction bills also came with a list of spending they’d cut? No? So I can only assume they intend to increase deficit spending.

    The TikTok ban is dumb. If they’re concerned with American data being shared with foreign governments, then pass a data privacy bill. But they won’t do that because this is, at it’s core, about xenophobia and riling up anti-Chinese sentiment. Tell me why TikTok getting data is bad, but Twitter’s second largest shareholder being the Saudi government is ok.

  39. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 7:06 pm:

    If you watched the presser, these guys don’t even appear to take themselves seriously. Used car salesman selling cars they know don’t run.

  40. - We've never had one before - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 8:51 pm:

    That’s me at 8:50pm CDT, sorry.

  41. - Lurker - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 9:42 pm:

    This is where saying you are a Republican or Conservative gets hard. Even if you do agree with any of these, the ones that are so fiscally inane make the list obsolete. But since I love Rich and he asked nicely, these are where I think we can at least continue the discussion:
    - HB 1575: the gas tax is unfairly effecting the poor and lower middle class
    - HB 3625: not only TikTok but all social media including Twitter and Facebook
    - HB 1640: I do not know the details on this but consolidation is needed in Illinois at the School District level and several other levels.

    Besides 2986, all of the others make the Illinois GOP irrelevant to serious discussion, which I personally believe is Mr Tracy’s goal.

  42. - Jibba - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 9:55 pm:

    Not one. Maybe the TikTok thing, but even a blind dog finds a bone once in a while.

    And they’re complaining these turkeys don’t come up for a vote?

  43. - Leslie K - Thursday, Mar 23, 23 @ 11:20 pm:

    ===HB3625 – Bans Tik Tok on State Devices===

    I support banning Tik Tok and other apps that are not relevant to State work on state devices, even though this for tik toc also seems to already be a rule. I don’t think I would spend much good will to support it, but I wouldn’t oppose it.

    That said, is HB 3625 the correct number? That HB actually seems to be targeting shell bills/shelling bills.

  44. - Space Cowboy - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 1:22 am:

    Closing GARS to new members ain’t new…something like this gets filed by dems and repubs each year.

    Other than that…nah.

  45. - Odysseus - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 5:12 am:

    House Bill 1575 – I’m against lowering fossil fuel taxes - the right thing to do is raise the tax, by a dollar or two per gallon. Not gonna happen, as we saw with the wave of retirements after even doing the pitiful thing of indexing it to inflation.

    House 2979 – I am generally in favor of raising the personal deduction, but $150K is just nuts. Set it closer to the current federal numbers. Also, as I recall this has run into court resistance in the past as it undermines the “flat tax” aspects of the Illinois Constitution.

    House Bill 1640 – Yes, there should be a large amount of school consolidation.

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