The House of Representatives kicked into high gear this week with dozens of committee hearings and meetings. The House will be very busy with committee work next week, I have seven bills assigned to a committee and will keep you updated on their outcomes. In the meantime, enclosed is an update on recent news from the Capitol and around Illinois.
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
On Thursday I recognized Channy Lyons during House session. I acknowledged her commitment to promoting the work of women artists from throughout Illinois. You may view my speech in the House here.
TRIBUTE TO REP. BOB WALTERS
On Wednesday, I paid tribute to my friend, mentor, and coach – former State Rep. Bob Walters by House Resolution 67.
Bob Walters proudly served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1953 until 1954. Following his service, Rep. Walters worked for his family’s business before being elected in 1970 to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he would proudly serve his constituents for two terms.
Rep. Walters worked for 22 years as the Executive Director of the Southwestern Illinois Employers Association before being appointed in 2005 to the Illinois State Board of Elections, where he worked until his retirement in 2012.
Illinois House pays tribute to fallen Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso. Slain in the line of duty, Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso was a five-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. Responding to a report that a woman was being chased down the street by a man with a gun on Chicago’s southwest side, Officer Vasquez-Lasso exchanged fire with the suspect at close range. Officer Vasquez-Lasso was shot multiple times and later died at Mt. Sinai Hospital. The 18-year-old suspect was shot in his head and is in critical condition. Officer Vasquez-Lasso’s family and fellow officers honored his heroism and mourned his death. End of Watch: March 1, 2023.
On Thursday, March 2, the Illinois House of Representatives heard tributes to the fallen officer and paused for a moment of silence to pay tribute to Vasquez-Lasso. In these tributes, House members honored the service performed by Officer Vasquez-Lasso and by his fellow police officers throughout Illinois. The fallen officer’s name will be memorialized as part of the Illinois Police Memorial, which stands on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol.
Possible nationwide recession could hamper State spending plans. In testimony presented to the House Revenue and Finance Committee, Revenue Director David Harris and Alexis Sturm, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), presented testimony on the possible impact of a Year 2023 recession on the Illinois economic outlook and State revenues available for spending.
Speaking at the Revenue Committee hearing, House Republicans pointed out that Illinois’ overall record of economic underperformance relative to other U.S. states means that any possible recession could hit Illinois much harder than other regions of the country. Gov. Pritzker’s Office of Management and Budget has not yet plugged Illinois’ underperformance into its economic numbers and forecasts. The Illinois economic testimony was presented to the House Revenue Committee on Thursday, March 2.
House Republicans push themes heard in court as case against “no cash bail” law moves toward state Supreme Court. Current state law continues to allow the circuit court to impose cash bail requirements on individuals awaiting trial, but statutory language in the controversial SAFE-T Act passed by Illinois Democrats could soon end this longtime practice. Ending cash bail would require the courts and the prosecution teams to collaborate to let most criminal suspects go free while awaiting trial.
In a public order issued in relation to a lawsuit that consolidates cases brought by 64 Illinois county state’s attorneys, the state Supreme Court has put a hold on the cash-bail repeal law. The state’s attorneys, speaking for themselves and their teams of prosecution law enforcers, are setting forth grounds for the controversial law’s unconstitutionality. Their arguments continue the themes first set forth by House Republicans when the cash-bail language appeared in a late-night lame-duck session of the Illinois General Assembly. The Illinois Supreme Court is reading these arguments. The high court is also reading a counter-brief, in support of the law, filed by the state Attorney General, a Democrat. Legal observers expect a decision on the “no cash bail” case later this year.
“Site Selection” magazine grants high ranking to Illinois as a site for corporate facility projects. The ranking reflects the continuing competition between the 50 states for decisions by corporate executives to choose a state as a preferred site for investment. Based on 2022 selection activity decisions by U.S. corporate headquarters, Illinois rose from No. 3 to No. 2, shouldering past former No. 2 Ohio. The Land of Lincoln was chosen for 487 private-sector production, expansion, and operational projects, more than every other state in the Union except Texas. With 1,028 new 2022 projects logged, Texas continued to lead the nation in private-sector job creation.
Four states with greater total populations than Illinois scored below the Prairie State in the Year 2022 “Site Selection” project count. California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania all have more people than Illinois by U.S. census count, but won lower numbers of Year 2022 project announcements. When project announcements are statistically weighted by population size to generate project announcements per capita, Illinois continued to score well (#4 among the 50 states). Illinois scored more “Site Selection” projects per capita than Indiana or Iowa but scored below aggressive Kentucky.
HOUSE BACK IN SESSION
The Illinois House of Representatives is back in session on Tuesday, March 7. You may listen or watch live at Noon here.
NEED ASSISTANCE WITH STATE GOVERNMENT?
If you have an issue or need help navigating state government. My office is here to help you. If my office may be of assistance please contact my district office in Alton at 618-433-8046.