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It’s almost a law

Thursday, May 25, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Answers Project

Legislators have sent a spate of pro-LGBTQ and specifically trans-inclusive legislation to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk this month, sharpening Illinois’ contrast against its neighbors as surrounding state legislatures move to add restrictions on healthcare, bathroom access and school sports for transgender and nonbinary residents.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb last month signed a law that bans minors from receiving hormone therapy or other forms of gender-affirming care. Missouri’s Republican attorney general imposed an order clapping tight restrictions on gender-affirming care for youth and adults before the rules were blocked by a local judge earlier this month. And Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed laws earlier this year banning hormone therapies for trans minors and requiring transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to their sex assigned at birth.

“With this slate of bills passing … in other states, it is incumbent on us not just to say that Illinois has great laws on the books now that protect equality, diversity and dignity of LGBTQ-plus folks,” said Michael Ziri, director of public policy for the advocacy group Equality Illinois.

“We’ve got to keep moving forward as a state … so we can continue to be a beacon in the Midwest and across the country,” Ziri said.

* Tribune

Illinois’ property tax sale system is slated for reform now that a Senate bill amendment backed by the Cook County treasurer’s office and the Chicago Community Trust has cleared the legislature and is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. […]

The amendment to Senate Bill 1675 — originally Amendment 1 but now House Amendment 2 due to minor changes in the bill’s language — would reform the state’s system for selling delinquent property taxes. Under the current system, property owners who don’t pay their bills can see their taxes put up for auction. When sold, a lien is put against the home or business until the owner can pay the taxes back to the buyer, plus interest. Delinquent sales allow taxing bodies to collect revenues they’re owed while giving property owners extra time to pay their bills without losing their homes. Investors also can make a profit at a low risk. Most homeowners do eventually pay back their taxes with interest.

But a study from the treasurer’s office published last fall found a small number of private investors were exploiting the system using a “sale in error” loophole to undo the transaction and recoup their investment, plus interest.

* Telegraph

Legislation proposed by state Rep. Amy Elik, R-Alton, aimed at retaining hundreds of Metro East manufacturing jobs is now awaiting action by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“My proposal is another tool for Illinois to help incentivize large employers from leaving our state due to other states’ tax breaks,” she said. “This update to the Reimagining Electric Vehicles (REV) Act could help retain jobs at large employers throughout Illinois.”

Language in Elik’s original House Bill 4064 has been included in the revenue omnibus bill (Senate Bill 1963) approved by the legislature. The proposal offers tax incentives to businesses currently operating in the state if the business plans to convert or expand as an electric vehicle manufacturer, an electric vehicle component parts manufacturer, or a renewable energy manufacturer.

* Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton…

To build safer communities and reduce recidivism, it’s critical that we make state ID’s more accessible to justice-impacted people upon release. I commend the Illinois General Assembly for its passage of House Bill 3345 which amends the Illinois Identification Card Act and ensures those leaving the Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice can better access needed services and resources by obtaining a state-issued identification card from the Secretary of State.

This legislation will help eliminate a critical barrier to housing, healthcare, employment, transportation and more—all of which require a state ID to gain access. I’m proud that it stemmed from the State ID Pilot program, a collaborative effort with my office’s Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, the office of First Lady MK Pritzker, the Secretary of State, and the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice. The pilot program launched in April 2021 and to date more than 1500 people have been released from IDOC with a state ID.

As a state, we must continue to remove barriers to reentry for those exiting incarceration and ensure that those returning to their communities can successfully reintegrate and lead productive lives. Congratulations to Rep. Cyril Nichols, Sen.Willie Preston, Speaker Welch, Senate President Harmon, and all who worked on behalf of this bill. Our only way forward is together, and Illinois is providing the means for all to take the next step to thrive.

…Adding… Press release…

The Illinois Healthcare Cultural Competency Coalition applauds passage by the Illinois General Assembly of legislation that will ensure cultural competency is part of continuing medical education for a range of healthcare providers in Illinois.

“We are a coalition of civil rights, community healthcare, and labor organizations. Thanks to the leadership of State Senator Ram Villivalam and State Representative Dagmara Avelar, HB 2450 will ensure that healthcare providers are equipped with critical information and tools to deliver culturally competent care for the diverse communities they serve. We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Villivalam and Rep. Avelar and thank the Illinois General Assembly for passing this important legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support. We urge Governor JB Pritzker to approve the bill when it reaches his desk.”

The required healthcare cultural competency will support healthcare providers, such as physicians, nurses, and dentists, with the tools and information they need to effectively and affirmingly serve communities of color, people with disabilities, people of diverse faiths, undocumented individuals, LGBTQ+ people, people living with HIV, intersex people, and other communities that have been marginalized in the healthcare system. HB 2450 also provides healthcare professionals with the flexibility they need to fulfill their continuing medical education requirements. The bill does not eliminate or repeal any currently mandated topic.

HB 2450 passed the Illinois House on Thursday with a bipartisan 103-01 vote and the Illinois Senate on May 19 with a bipartisan 52-04 vote. The legislation would take effect on January 1, 2025.

* Press release…

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Racism Free Schools Act (SB 90) sponsored in the House by State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford). The legislation requires school districts to create a policy on discrimination and harassment based on race, color, or national origin, as well as track incidents of discrimination within their districts.

“Here in Illinois, we will not tolerate racism or discrimination within schools – period.” said Chief Sponsor Rep. Maurice West. “But as we continue to see a rise in incidents of hateful conduct across our country, it is clear that our actions need to match our words. That’s why the Racism-Free Schools Act is so important, because it will not only require districts to create and implement a policy on discrimination and harassment, but also help the state track incidents of racism so we can better address concerning conduct across our state. I want to thank Sen. Murphy for her partnership as well as the advocates who made their voices heard.”

“With hate and race-based crimes on the rise in schools, the Racism-Free Schools Act addresses a pressing need to keep students and teachers safe by making it easier for victims, student victims especially, to come forward and stop harassment,” said Bill Curtin, Teach Plus Illinois Policy Manager. “I’m grateful to Senator Murphy and Representative West for listening to teachers in our state who know schools are not yet doing enough to address acts of hate and calling for action to change that.”

“When it comes to racial harassment, words are not enough. A concrete and meaningful policy response is needed to change behavior in our schools,” said Madeline Wood, Teach Plus Illinois Senior Policy Fellow who teaches music at United Junior High and United High School in Monmouth.

“As a student, I faced racial harassment every year. I became a mute - I stopped speaking because I didn’t think my voice mattered. Now, as a teacher, I’ve found my voice again to speak up for my students, who are still experiencing the same racial incidents that I did,” said Breana Calloway, Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and 3rd Grade math and science teacher at Deneen School of Excellence in Chicago.

The legislation requires each school district, charter school, or nonpublic, nonsectarian elementary or secondary school to create and implement a policy on discrimination and harassment based on race, color, or national origin. The legislation also requires the Illinois State Board of Education to create a data collection system to report on allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against students.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Laura Murphy in the State Senate, passed the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 87 to 18 and the Illinois Senate by a vote of 53 to 0. The legislation now goes to Gov. JB Pritzker for his signature before being enacted into law.

* Press release…

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) applauded the Illinois House and Senate which approved a bill (SB 89) that includes language extending cocktails to-go and delivery until August 1, 2028. The measure now goes to Governor J.B. Pritzker for his signature.

“A five-year extension of cocktails to-go gives local businesses and their customers the ability to continue to enjoy what has become an integral part of take-out dining,” said Andy Deloney, senior vice president & head of state public policy at DISCUS. “Cocktails to-go provide much-needed revenue to hospitality businesses facing supply chain issues, staffing shortages and inflation. They also give adult consumers the added convenience they have come to expect when ordering from their favorite restaurants. We urge Governor Pritzker to sign this bill and continue cocktails to-go in support of Illinois businesses and consumers.”

Illinois’s current cocktails to-go law is set to expire June 1, 2024.

* Press release…

The Park District of Tinley Park today lauded the passage of House Bill 3743 by the Illinois General Assembly that would turn over the site of the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center and Howe Development Center to the Park District to begin redevelopment of the long-vacant land.

House lawmakers voted today in favor of the legislation after the measure was passed by Senators last week. The bill, which would sell the land to the Park District for $1, now goes to the Gov. Pritzker for his consideration. Importantly, the legislation prohibits any form of gaming at the site, supporting feedback of local residents, and saves Tinley Park taxpayers the estimated $4.5 million price tag to purchase the site.

“We are very grateful to members of the General Assembly for supporting our vision for the Mental Health Center to create new recreational opportunities and green space to benefit the entire Southland region,” said Park District Board President Marie Ryan. “The Park Board of Commissioners is hopeful Gov. Pritzker will sign the legislation into law, and we can partner with the state to begin needed environmental cleanup at the site.”

Last November, the Park District formally bid on the property located at 7400-7600 W. 183rd St. and laid out its vision to meet the needs of the Tinley Park residents and expand opportunities for neighboring communities. The plan includes a hub of athletic fields, track and field facilities, a domed sports complex and open recreational space. Since the plan was released to the public, it has gained widespread community support and private developer interest.

Phase 1 of property development includes a playground and sports facilities fully accessible for people living with special needs, multipurpose athletic fields, a domed sports complex with a full-size soccer field, a stadium with a track, a splash pad, concession stands, spectator stands, lighting, ample parking, as well as a pond, picnic areas and open green space.

       

6 Comments
  1. - Jerry - Thursday, May 25, 23 @ 1:58 pm:

    The so-called “conservatives” in Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana who like to lecture us all on “get the gubbamint out of my life!” sure are hypocritical.

    And they thought TrumpCare fka ObamaCare was an overreach.


  2. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, May 25, 23 @ 3:18 pm:

    Protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Addressing racism in schools.
    By gum, I love this state.


  3. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, May 25, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    I am supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, but just have a hard time understanding why not waiting until 18 to make a decision on your gender. You can’t purchase cigarettes until you are 21. Individuals evolve overtime, emotionally and physically. And as you are older you are more educated.

    When I was little I’d wear my mom’s dress shoes around the house because it was fun with my brother. How is this act perceived now?

    This is my opinion, some won’t agree. And if you are asking I’m pro-choice and support females not having to notify an adult for the procedure. Sexuality and feelings about one’s body are not a straight line. Everyone’s path is different, why it think waiting until 18 makes sense.


  4. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, May 25, 23 @ 4:48 pm:

    @Almost
    I respect your opinion and I appreciate you speaking about it in what I feel is a respectful manner.
    As the parent of a transgender person, I can attest that pre-18 medical intervention undoubtedly saved my son’s life. 6 years post-intervention we have zero regrets. It was a long, arduous journey with years of therapy and it wasn’t taken lightly. As a parent, his coming out was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I did nothing but fear for his future.
    The medical profession has well-researched guidelines for treating transgender youth. It is my opinion that medical professionals and parents are the most important decision makers of a child’s health, not a politician trying to score points with their base.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 25, 23 @ 4:53 pm:

    - Proud Papa Bear -

    Thanks for sharing, much love and respect to you and your family.


  6. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, May 25, 23 @ 5:59 pm:

    IL might have to rework that proposed property tax bill with the SCOTUS ruling holding gov’t cannot seize the full value of a property for back taxes, but only the arrerage: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/25/us/supreme-court-condo-taxes.html


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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