The Illinois House of Representatives, facing a Friday deadline to advance bills to the next chamber, deliberated in floor debate for more than five hours on Wednesday.
On its 52-page agenda were 205 bills listed in third reading – the last hurdle a bill has to clear to make it to the Senate for debate. A total of 101 passed with 41 bills passing on Tuesday.
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Here is a look at a few of those highlights.
A bill with the backing of Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias passed along party lines. House Bill 2789 from state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove, prohibits public libraries from banning books and requires the libraries to create written policies against the practice in order to qualify for state grants.
Stava-Murray said during the debate that her bill should not have to be a policy, but, was necessary because of discrimination against LGBTQ+ and Black and brown authors.
“You have the right to live your life according to your own beliefs,” she said. “But, in this country and in this state, you have no right to force your beliefs down other’s throats by dictating what ideas they may or may not be exposed to.”
Republicans said the bill was an overstep over the local control of library boards. Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Heights, contended that it was Illinois Democrats that had politicized the issue.
“I think it’s a very blatant attempt to strong-arm our local committees and how they want to direct their libraries to operate and function,” he said during the debate. “I don’t understand why we have local elections anymore if a bill like this passes.”
Gen Z legislation
Two of the youngest members in state legislature history had their first bills pass in the Illinois House this week.
Reps. Brad Fritts and Nabeela Syd, both 23 years old, had bills move to the Senate. House Bill 2963 from Fritts, R-Dixon, passed unanimously on Tuesday and pertains to his hometown’s park district authority to install and operate solar panels at its facilities.
Syed, D-Palatine, received bipartisan support for House Bill 3643 on Wednesday. The bill establishes that students 17 years or older will have their individualized education program plans tailored to promote voter registration. IEP plans are for students ages 3 to 21 who have been diagnosed with disabilities or developmental delays, according to the state board of education.
Some House Republicans expressed concern about involving educators in voter registration. The majority, including Coffey, did support the bill.
“This bill says you value the voice of your young constituents with disabilities,” Syed said.
First state nut
In its near 205-year history, Illinois has never had a state nut. Following a near unanimous vote in the House on Thursday, the black walnut became one step closer to holding the high honor.
State Rep. Mike Coffey, R-Springfield, was one of three voting ‘no’ on House Bill 2840. Legislators jokingly booed the contrarians.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the black walnut can be found statewide and its tree can grow up to 150 feet high.
Gas stove warnings
In a victory for House Republicans, a bill that would have required warning labels on all gas stoves manufactured and sold in the state did not receive enough votes to move to the Senate. A simple majority, or 60 votes in the 118-member chamber, was needed to pass House Bill 3572 but only 56 votes were in favor.
Stava-Murray was the bill’s sponsor and clarified her legislation was not about banning gas stoves but only to warn users of the potential burn hazard. It would have gone into effect starting in January 2024, meaning gas stoves sold before then would not require the label.
“This bill is about helping Illinoisans make the best choices for themselves and their families by ensuring that we all have the facts,” she said, her bill making Illinois the first state to issue such a bill.
Republicans were all opposed to the bill, citing increased costs for manufacturers and a potentially slippery slope when it comes to issuing warnings for other products.
The House is scheduled to return to the floor on Thursday at 11 a.m.
Contact Patrick Keck: 312-549-9340, email@example.com, twitter.com/@pkeckreporter.
via “Illinois Politics” – Google News https://ift.tt/Oq4kZK3
March 23, 2023 at 05:45AM