McHenry, IL…This column is the second installment of a three-part report looking back on some of the high-profile issues addressed by the Illinois General Assembly during the spring legislative session, plus notes on the Identity Theft Seminar in Marengo.
About two dozen people were in attendance on June 19 for the Identity Theft Seminar at the Marengo City Hall (photo right). Identity Theft is among the top three consumer frauds nationally. In Illinois, about 16,000 people were victims of ID Theft last year alone, so it’s good to be informed. Arming yourself with knowledge to help you be aware is your first line of defense against these criminals. It was a good event, and I appreciate the extra questions and the discussion about the just-concluded spring session.
Here are two more high-profile issues from the spring legislative session in this Special End of Session report:
Casinos and Sports Betting
A major expansion of gaming in Illinois cleared the Illinois General Assembly in the final hours of the spring legislative session. If signed by the Governor, the measure will allow for six new casinos, an increase in the number of video gaming machines and – for the first time – legal sports wagering in Illinois.
Senate Bill 690 authorizes casinos for Rockford, Chicago, Walkers Bluff, Danville, Waukegan, and the south Chicago suburbs. The bill allows for a sixth terminal at video gaming establishments, other than truck stops where ten terminals will be allowed. The measure would also allow sports wagering at casinos, racetracks, Lottery and online. Fantasy sports sites, like FanDuel and DraftKings, will be able to partner with a casino, racetrack, or other sports venue that offers a sports book, and those wishing to engage in sports betting would then physically enter a casino to participate.
Tax revenue from the expansion will help fund Illinois’ largest-ever public infrastructure program, which I covered in my last column. To repeat, the capital plan will provide nearly $45 billion in direct investment in Illinois’ aging transportation infrastructure, as well as money for construction projects for schools, public universities, sewer and water systems and state facilities.
Unrestricted Abortion Bill Becomes Law
A controversial measure to expand legal abortion, which also passed during the final hours of the spring session, is now law in Illinois. Senate Bill 25, which critics say goes much further than simply keeping abortion legal in Illinois was signed by the Governor June 12.
During the sometimes emotional debate on the final day of the legislative session, proponents of the measure framed the measure as necessary to protect legal abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade were to be overturned at the federal level. However, Senate Bill 25 did not need to become law in Illinois to protect abortion rights. The legislature had previously passed House Bill 40, which was signed into law in 2017. Under that measure, abortions would remain legal in Illinois even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
The fact is, this new measure went far beyond this simple mission, massively expanding what would be allowed in Illinois. The legislation establishes abortion as a “fundamental right” in Illinois. A fundamental right, which in this case would be created by statute instead of being part of the state’s constitution, could supersede any statute on the books and could overturn any restrictions currently in place for abortions including parental notification for a minor girl seeking an abortion, late-term abortions, and sex-selective abortions.
As I have previously written, The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Life is listed before liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life is given preeminence in the Declaration. If you’re not entitled to life itself, then our remaining unalienable – or fundamental – Rights have no meaning.”
This argument is never addressed by abortion proponents.
Up Next in Part 3
*** Don’t miss the next report, the final installment of a three-part series on the spring legislative session. I’ll cover additional high-profile issues that came before the Senate and House this spring. In Part 3 you’ll read about sexual harassment and ethics issues addressed by the General Assembly and why a controversial bill to restrict Second Amendment rights is a clarion call for law-abiding gun owners in Illinois to remain vigilant.
Keep In Touch/Stay Informed
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