The Illinois House finished the business of the final week of the 2022 Veto Session this past Thursday evening. House and Senate lawmakers tackled several key issues including unemployment insurance debt and the latest Democrat led attempt to clean up the flawed SAFE-T Act. After the House and Senate left town, news broke that House Democrats have filed a comprehensive and troubling gun-control bill. I’ve got details on these issues and more in this Veto Session Wrap Up edition of the Windhorst Weekly!
WJPF Morning Newswatch Interview – Veto Session, HB 5855, SAFE-T Act Wrap Up
Windhorst Says Latest Gun-Control Legislation Goes Too Far, Unconstitutionally Restricts Law Abiding Gun Owners’ Rights
HB 5855 represents Illinois Democrats’ latest attempt to pass sweeping gun control legislation. The bill is troubling in many respects, as I believe it violates core tenets of our 2nd Amendment Rights in many ways. Here are some of the provisions of the bill I find most troubling.
- Prohibits the manufacture, sale, purchase or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices of 10 or more rounds. In other words, a 10 round magazine would become illegal if HB 5855 becomes law.
- Manufacture, possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of semi-automatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns, and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, .50 caliber firearms, and switches that are designed to increase a gun’s rate of fire would also be illegal.
- Only weapons personally owned before the effective date of the law would be exempt from these restrictions, and would be required to be registered with the Illinois State Police with a $25 dollar fee per weapon registered to be paid to the State.
- Anyone under the age of 21 would be prohibited from obtaining a FOID card, meaning anyone under 21 that is not a member of the military or law enforcement would effectively be banned from legally owning a firearm.
- Anyone under the age of 21 would also be prohibited from hunting unless they were accompanied by someone 21 or older that holds a valid FOID card.
I am troubled at what seems to me to be a flagrant attempt to restrict our shared 2nd Amendment rights. The 2nd Amendment exists so that law-abiding citizens can protect themselves, their property, and their families. The 2nd Amendment allows law-abiding citizens to use firearms to hunt for food and to protect their property and livestock from predatory animals. The 2nd Amendment was thought to be important enough to the framers of our country that they put the 2nd Amendment right after the first. The ability to legally own firearms is vital to the security of our citizens. I will strongly oppose this legislation and will continue to keep you up to date on any legislative action involving HB 5855.
In the meantime to review the legislation yourself, you can visit the following link: https://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=5855&GAID=16&GA=102&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=141830&SessionID=110
Rep. Windhorst Leads Opposition to Latest Democrat SAFE-T Act Bill
SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) was a leading voice on the Illinois House floor opposing the latest measure aimed at cleaning up problems with the so-called SAFE-T Act during the final day of the last week of Veto Session in Springfield. Rep. Windhorst pointed out several flaws that remain with the legislation despite House and Senate Democrats pushing a 4th ‘trailer’ bill that amends the original law. Rep. Windhorst voted no on HB 1095 as amended and released the following statement after the bill passed the Illinois House.
“I have been a leading voice in opposing the end of cash bail, as I believe it will lead to an increase in crime in our state. I have also been a staunch opponent of the SAFE-T Act’s provision that potentially forces victims of violent crime to appear at pre-trial detention hearings within 48 hours of the crime that was committed against them, putting them back in the same room with their perpetrator. I believe allowing anonymous complaints against police officers and using those anonymous complaints as a way to fire police officers denies our law enforcement officials due process. The SAFE-T Act still contains unworkable and unsafe flaws despite all of the follow up bills that have come through the House and Senate since 2021. I have sponsored legislation that would repeal the original SAFE-T Act, and believe that because of the many problematic parts of the law that will remain in place, repeal is the best way to ensure the safety of our communities going forward.”
Windhorst Votes to Pay Off Remaining Unemployment Insurance Debt
In the spring of 2022, supermajority Democrats passed and Governor Pritzker signed the FY 2023 budget that left a $1.8 billion deficit in the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.
House Republicans strongly opposed the Democrats’ choice to leave a $1.8 billion hole in the UI Trust Fund, rightly arguing that we had the necessary revenue on hand to pay back our unemployment debt in full. The delay in paying back our unemployment debt to the Federal government cost Illinois taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in back interest and penalties. Instead of paying down the debt we owed to Washington D.C., Illinois Democrats spent a billion dollars on pork projects in Democrat districts.
A significant victory has now been won thanks to pressure applied by House Republican members of the Unemployment Insurance Task Force. An agreement has been reached between the business and labor community that will pay off the balance of the debt owed by the State of Illinois to the Federal government for money that was borrowed to replenish the state’s UI Trust Fund.
House Republicans helped bring labor groups and business interests to the negotiating table to work out a solution, and this week, a deal was reached that will reduce taxes on job creators by $913 million over the next 5 years. Not paying off this debt would have left Illinois businesses on the hook for that $913 million in unemployment insurance tax increases over the next 5 years.
After months of House Republicans demanding the Governor and supermajority Democrats in the House and Senate take responsible financial action and pay back in full the loan from the Federal government, Illinois job creators will benefit from a reduction in possible tax increases because of the agreement that has been reached to pay off our remaining debt.
In addition to paying down our remaining debt to the federal government, the State of Illinois will also increase the rolling balance in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which will help stave off future increases in taxes on jobs and job creators throughout the state. A higher rolling balance in the UI Trust Fund will also mean the State of Illinois will be better prepared in the event of a mass layoff event similar to what took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Bill 1698 contains the agreed language to pay off the UI Trust Fund debt and shore up the rolling balance in the Fund. SB 1698 passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 95-8-2, with the Senate concurring on a vote of 45-8-0.
My office in Harrisburg can be reached at 618-294-8703 or you can reach me by email at Windhorst@ILHouseGOP.org. Check out RepWindhorst.com for more information or send me a message at RepWindhorst.com/contact.