The General Assembly returns to action next week, as the spring legislative Session gets underway. Although the legislature is not currently in Session, Governor Pritzker made headlines on a wide range of issues this week. Let’s take a closer look!
Gun licensing bill reaction – For those of you that missed it, last week I issued a press release expressing my disappointment with the signing of legislation that will create new regulations on small gun dealers in Illinois. This week, Governor Pritzker’s allies in the General Assembly have been busy working on more measures to erode your 2nd Amendment protections. As the State leans further to the left on gun policy, I will be standing up for law-abiding citizens. I have already filed legislation that would repeal the need for the Firearm Owners Identification Card. I will fight hard to make sure that HB 913 gets a full and fair hearing.
Assault weapons bill – Recently introduced SB 107 includes a broad ban on most semi-automatic rifles, certain types of pistols, and shotguns that can accept a magazine or hold more than five rounds. The problem with these types of bills is that the Democrats do not consult with people that own guns and use them legally before they introduce the next gun grab.
These bills end up being divisive and overtly political, because they are often based on emotion rather than research or evidence. Gun control is an emotional issue for people on both sides. But, it is NOT a Constitutional question.
The Second Amendment provides Americans with the Right to Bear Arms and that Right shall not be infringed according to the letter of the Constitution. Federal law already prohibits machine guns and automatic-fire weapons. Although this is a political stunt, law-abiding gun owners should know that this time it could be different, as Chicago Democrats control the Governor’s office, five of our six Constitutional offices, and hold veto-proof Super Majorities in the House and Senate. I would encourage my conservative friends on the other side of the political aisle to have serious conversation with the more radical factions of their party and illustrate that Southern Illinois is home to a culture of people that teach new generations to respect and conserve our land, responsibly thin animal herds, and shoot for sport.
Abortion Executive Order- HB 340
Earlier this week, Governor Pritzker signed an Executive Order instructing units of state government to fully comply with the provisions of House Bill 40. I am 100% pro-life, and I find HB 40 and this new Executive Order very offensive. But, I have taken action to protect the unborn.
This week I filed HB 340, which would repeal all provisions of HB 40. The bill has been assigned to the House Rules committee. When we return to Springfield, I will be forceful in my demand that this legislation receive a full and fair hearing.
Independent maps petition – Conservatives in Illinois are under siege and in the minority. With a Governor and legislature that do not respect our values or policy ideas, the next two years will be tough to enact meaningful reforms – with one exception. The need for non-partisan and independently drawn legislative maps after the 2020 census is critical to restoring democracy in Illinois by making sure Mike Madigan and his machine do not, AGAIN, draw the maps to lock in his power.
The silver lining in this upcoming battle is that Governor JB Pritzker said during the campaign that he would veto any map “that is in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies.” It is up to us to hold him to that promise. If he follows through with his promise, Illinois will once again have competitive general elections all across the state, including Chicago-land.
The entire House Republican caucus filed a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment this week to establish an independent commission tasked with drawing the new maps.
118th District State Representative
Around the 118th district:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration – Metropolis First Missionary Baptist Church
I truly enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Metropolis First Missionary Baptist Church this past Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event featured a fantastic speaker, Dr. Anton Reece (pictured below), and a terrific music and dance program put on by the Massac Community Choir and First Missionary Baptist Church Praise Dancers!
I was the keynote speaker for the Harrisburg Kiwanis Club Meeting on Wednesday. I was pleased to share my experiences as a new Representative and to offer a look ahead at what is to come in the spring legislative Session. Thank you to the Harrisburg Kiwanis for the invitation!
Area Lawmakers and SIU Carbondale Officials Meeting
I enjoyed a great meeting Wednesday morning between SIU-C area House members and SIU-C Administration. I want to thank SIU System Interim President Kevin Dorsey for putting the meeting together!