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It’s almost a law

Monday, Jun 5, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Chicago Tribune

With some Republican support, Illinois lawmakers approved a measure to expand and indefinitely extend a probation program for first-time offenders charged with illegally possessing a gun.

A pilot program the Democratic-controlled General Assembly passed six years ago was limited to defendants under 21 with no prior convictions for violent crimes and was set to end in January. Under the new legislation, the age limit would be dropped, the probationary period would be shortened and the program would continue indefinitely. […]

While the legislation is the latest example of the Democratic supermajority’s progressive stance on criminal justice, it attracted Republican support in part because of fears that the state’s strict gun laws, including a ban on many high-powered weapons, which is now tied up in court, could ensnare otherwise law-abiding citizens.

There was no debate over the bill on the House floor when it was called during the early morning hours of May 27, moments after lawmakers voted to pass a $50.6 billion budget. The bill breezed through the House 98-6, with a number of Republicans voting yes. It was a tougher sell in the Senate two days earlier, passing 37-16 with just three Republicans siding with Democrats. […]

Under the legislation, which has to be signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker before taking effect, the probationary program would last anywhere from six months to two years, instead of the current 18 months to two years.

* Crain’s Katherine Davis talks about new regulations put in place around the health insurance industry


With a rash of carjackings plaguing the state, the Illinois General Assembly has passed a bill requiring car manufacturers to establish a 24-hour hotline to allow police to track stolen cars.

House Bill 2245 was created in conjunction with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. […]

With certain Kia and Hyundai models the most at risk, Illinois has seen a 767% increase in vehicle thefts over the last year.

“Virtually every car from 2015 on has tracking capacity,” Dart said. The hotline would give deputies the ability to get tracking data on stolen cars in real-time, enabling officers to find a stolen car within 15 minutes.

* Daily Herald

In the waning days of the legislative session, state lawmakers approved a resolution that lets the Illinois Department of Transportation pursue a public-private partnership to create express toll lanes from I-355 near Bolingbrook to the Dan Ryan Expressway.

It originates from an IDOT study during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s tenure that concluded toll lanes with dynamic pricing were the best alternative to fix traffic jams on the corridor. […]

Community and environmental activists warn it would drastically increase emissions from vehicles in neighborhoods near I-55, such as Little Village, which already has high air pollution and asthma levels. […]

The ultimate decision, however, is up to IDOT and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Neither gave a definitive thumbs-up.

“The governor looks forward to reviewing the proposal,” Pritzker spokesman Alex Gough said.

IDOT “is not pursuing these plans at this time and will be reviewing and evaluating next steps,” spokeswoman Maria Castaneda noted.

* Sun-Times

Cook County’s property tax system is confusing enough when people pay on time, but when they don’t, there’s a whole new level of bewilderment.

Properties with back taxes go into a knot of tax sales in which investors pay what’s due and then try — or maybe not — to collect the back taxes with interest from the owner. It’s a system for collecting tax revenue owed to local governments, but research has shown it doesn’t do a good job. Nor does it help with what should be a secondary goal of getting problem homes into responsible hands so they are no longer a blight. […]

A bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly in May would help community renewal by allowing local governments and agencies they work with, such as the land bank, to file tax liens earlier in the redemption process, Robinson said.

The measure, headed to the governor for final action, would allow counties to act on abandoned or vacant properties after just one failed tax sale. Currently, the land bank has to wait until properties have years’ worth of back taxes and wind up in what’s called the scavenger sale, held every two years.

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who chairs the land bank, said homes typically sit vacant for seven to 10 years before her agency can get control. She hopes the legislation, if it becomes law, can cut that time in half.


A bill on Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s desk seeks to stop price gouging on generic drugs.

It would allow the attorney general’s office to take legal action if a manufacturer bumps prices by more than 30% in a year. The same goes for 50% spikes over a three-year period and 75% increases over five years.

It would take effect January 1 if signed. The measure does exempt companies if production costs force price increases. […]

“We’re still not completely addressing one of the biggest aspects of the influence of the increase of drug prices, and that’s the claims and pricing setting that pharmacy benefit managers have in this space,” said Garth Reynolds of the Illinois Pharmacists Association.


1 Comment
  1. - unafraid - Monday, Jun 5, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    As to first time offenders for gun violations- changes are a good move.

    No tolerance for second time offenders.

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