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It’s just a bill, late Friday deadline day edition

Friday, Mar 24, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Gettin’ ahead of the game…

* AG Raoul…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced the Illinois House of Representatives passed his legislation to protect vulnerable residents from gas or electric utility service disconnection for nonpayment of bills when temperatures are 90 F or above, or when the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat watch, heat advisory, or excessive heat warning.

Raoul initiated House Bill 1541, which was sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter and Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, to amend the Public Utilities Act (PUA), which currently prohibits disconnection when the temperature is 95 F or hotter. However, the PUA does not account for extreme heat events when the heat index may rise to a dangerous level when temperatures are below 95 F.

“Summertime heat in Illinois is not the time to put lives at risk. Too often do Illinois residents die in heat waves that can easily be prevented by lowering the threshold for utility shutoffs,” Raoul said. “This updated legislation will protect the health and safety of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens during extreme heat events through prohibiting electric and gas utilities from disconnecting service for nonpayment.”

Through education, advocacy, and research, Raoul’s Public Utilities Bureau identified the statutory protections found in the PUA are insufficient to protect the most vulnerable Illinois citizens such as older adults, very young children, people with chronic conditions like high blood pressure, and people who are overweight.

* Sen. Gillespie…

Youth in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services often have several adults speaking on their behalf regarding what is in their best interest. To ensure youth have a say in their future and guaranteed legal representation, State Senator Ann Gillespie passed legislation out of the Senate on Friday.

“Youth in care are the experts when it comes to what they need; they should have a say in the decisions being made about their lives,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “This legislation gives youth in care an attorney who will elevate their voice and advocate for their wishes.”

Illinois is one of seven states that does not guarantee legal counsel to at least some youth in care, and one of 14 states that does not guarantee legal representation for all children in child welfare proceedings. Without legal representation, children are left to navigate complex proceedings on their own, putting them at risk of receiving unfair treatment or having vital decisions about their future made without their input.

Senate Bill 1478 amends the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights Act to inform youth of their right to an attorney in child welfare proceedings. The legislation also creates the Due Process for Youth Oversight Commission to oversee implementation, which will be comprised of lawmakers, legal and judicial experts in juvenile law, social workers and DCFS administrators.

* Fox 2 Now

The Illinois General Assembly passed HB 1049 on Thursday, preventing dog breed discrimination by insurance companies.

Spearheaded by Best Friends Animal Society and rep. Rita Mayfield. […]

Prior to the legislation, a majority of Illinois insurance companies could dictate what breed or mix of dog owners can keep regardless of behavior.

* SB2014 passed the Senate and now will head to the House

To make our roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of public transit, State Senator Mike Simmons passed a measure today requiring the Illinois Department of Transportation to make bike and pedestrian safety improvements to non-highway roadways under its jurisdiction whenever routine maintenance is being done on those roads.

“Biking along a path or road can be stressful enough when worrying about oncoming cards, especially for parents biking with their children,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This initiative will help ensure bike and pedestrian safety improvements are completed in tandem with routine work such as pothole or street lighting repairs.” […]

Senate Bill 2014 requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop a policy which ensures the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on roadways in Illinois. The policy will require that improvements — such as high-visibility signage, crosswalk upgrades, curb bump outs, barrier-protected bike lanes and bus shelters — are made during routine maintenance and within 1,000 feet of the maintenance work to any state roads located within a municipality.

* Hope you brought enough to share…

* Sen. Linda Holmes…

Longtime animal welfare backer State Senator Linda Holmes passed a law in 2017 to prohibit the use of an elephant in a traveling animal act. On Friday, she moved legislation to further address public safety concerns with “roadside zoos” by creating a Class B misdemeanor for allowing a member of the public to come into contact with a bear or nonhuman primate.

“The public handling and show of these animals continues a cycle of endless breeding where they are born into captivity to be used as props and business commodities,” said Holmes (D-Aurora). “They also may result in harm to the person or animal in such a situation — a risk that could create a terrible tragedy.”

The prohibition is limited to allowing public contact. The misdemeanor charge would be for any person who allows such an encounter. Any law enforcement or peace officer may enforce the provision, and the Attorney General or State’s Attorney may bring an action to enforce the provision or for an injunction to restrain any actual or threatened violation.

Senate Bill 1883 was approved Friday by the Senate on a vote of 43-9. It will now head to the House for their consideration.

* HB2831 passed the House…

With pandemic-era executive orders expiring, state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is teaming up with the Supportive Housing Providers Association (SHPA) to pass legislation that will enshrine the state’s Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and Community Advisory Council on Homelessness, as well as create an Office to Prevent and End Homelessness.

LaPointe will join SHPA’s 2023 Legislative Reception on Tuesday, March 28 in Springfield to highlight the measure and encourage further action. LaPointe and leaders from SHPA will be available to the media to discuss the proposal, as well as the current state of homelessness in Illinois. […]

“House Bill 2831 will build upon Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order creating the Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and reflecting the legislature’s commitment to addressing the big picture issues of homelessness, institutionalization and housing instability in Illinois,” SHPA Executive Director David Esposito said. “It is a great honor to support Governor Pritzker’s vision and to partner with Representative LaPointe as we transform Illinois’ response to homelessness.”

LaPointe’s House Bill 2831 builds on an executive order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker in Sept. 2021 that created – within the Department of Human Services (DHS) – the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness, as well as the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness. The “State Homelessness Chief” oversees these commissions.

* Rep. Rosenthal…

This week, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation filed by State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) to improve opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses. The legislation, House Bill 2288, updates the Illinois Procurement Code, so veteran-owned small businesses are more able to compete for state contracts.

“The Veterans Business Program exists to give our veteran-owned small businesses the chance to compete for state contracts,” said Rosenthal. “When the program was established it set limits for gross sales that are so low today that very few of our veteran businesses are now able to qualify for the program. This legislation doubles the limit to expand access for our veteran businesses.”

As Rosenthal referenced, the number of veteran-owned small businesses who qualify for the Veterans Business Program had fallen to only 15% of previously eligible businesses by FY21. To improve eligibility for the program, HB 2288 increases the limit for a business’s annual gross sales to less than $150 million, rather than less than $75 million as established back in 2011. This change reflects the increase in construction prices of 50-70% that has taken place since 2011.

* No relation…

Today, the House voted to defend parental rights and pass H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act.

Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL) voted in favor of this legislation which includes two provisions Rep. Miller drafted to protect children’s privacy from Big Tech and affirm a parent’s right to opt their children out of taking surveys regarding sexual orientation, transgender ideology, and woke politics.

Rep. Miller released the following statement on the final passage of the Parents Bill of Rights Act:

“Today, I proudly voted with the House to pass the Parents Bill of Rights,” Miller said. “I am grateful that several of my bills are included in this legislation to protect children from radical gender ideology and to ensure parents give permission when information is being collected about their kids through surveys or documents. Parents have the right to know what is being taught to their child and the right to opt their child out of any discussion about sexual orientation and gender ideology. Parental rights are non-negotiable and I am proud House Republicans are keeping our commitment to fight for parental rights.”

* SB2034 passed out of the Senate…

Senate Bill 2034 provides extended bereavement leave to employees who have lost a child to suicide or homicide: up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for larger businesses with at least 250 workers and six weeks unpaid leave for smaller businesses with fewer than 250. It also provides penalties against employers who violate the act and provides that employees who take leave will not be entitled to any more benefits than they would have had they not taken such leave.

“Loss and grief have no right answer or solution, however my hope is this bill will provide individuals with some relief knowing they do not have to worry about losing their jobs when focusing on their families,” Villa said. “This bill addresses loss to homicide or suicide. If you or someone you know might be suffering from suicidal thoughts, you can call the suicide and crisis lifeline by dialing 988.”

* This last one is from Rich: Rep. Steven Reick spoke on the floor this afternoon of his concerns about Rep. Marcus Evans’ HB2132, which would put in place a process to build a Lake Michigan wind project on the South Side

I’m glad the previous speaker mentioned New Jersey. There was a story in National Review a week or so ago about the fact that there are a greater number of whales washing up on the beach in New Jersey now, and the speculation has that the sound waves that are being put off by offshore wind things are screwing up the whales’ sonar to the point where they are beaching themselves.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy later rose and with tongue planted firmly in cheek said

Cassidy: One of the previous speakers raised some reports that haven’t necessarily been fully fleshed out in terms of the impact on marine life. I am aware that Lake Michigan is a fresh water body so are there freshwater whales? Are you aware of that?

Evans: I think the blue whale in Lake Michigan is extinct at this point.

Cassidy: Yeah. So, but honestly, it made me think about maybe there might be some side benefit here. Do you know if there’s ever been any exploration into whether this theory that the vibrations might impact marine life could be a tool we could use against the zebra mussel or Asian Carp?

The Redneck Fishing Tournament people might be interested in that.

The bill went on to pass 85-21. Rep. Reick then walked over and laughed with Cassidy

Hey, you gotta do something to lighten up deadline day.

By the way, the blog will stay open as long as the House remains in session today/tonight. - Rich


  1. - Loyal Virus - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 4:48 pm:

    Thank you for your service, Rich.

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 4:49 pm:

    Thank Isabel, she’s at the capitol lol

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 5:08 pm:

    ===By the way, the blog will stay open as long as the House remains in session today/tonight. - Rich===

    Isabel, Rich, et al,



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