A press release from Dan Duffy:
General Assembly Adjourns Without Pension Reform
The General Assembly adjourned on May 31 without addressing what all parties agree is the single most important issue facing the state — PENSION REFORM!
Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) expressed frustration with the Democrat leadership in Springfield and sympathized with the public in wondering why, with clear super majorities in both the House and Senate as well as control of the governor’s mansion, a compromise couldn’t be reached to address the pension crisis.
While lawmakers were able to make progress on a number of important issues, the failure of the General Assembly to address pension reform is likely to overshadow those accomplishments.
With just hours to go until adjournment it all came down to two competing plans introduced by Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan. Though Governor Quinn has spent months talking about pension reform, he was notably absent from these discussions.
While a compromise on pension reform failed to be reached, one measure to shift almost $800 million in pension costs to Illinois’ state universities and community colleges was successfully defeated. That cost shift would almost certainly have resulted in significant property tax increases and tuition hikes.
Right-to-Carry Passes General Assembly
Following months of negotiation the Illinois General Assembly advanced HB 183, a measure affirming Illinois citizens’ right to carry a concealed firearm. If signed into law by Governor Quinn this will allow Illinois to join the rest of the nation in allowing some form of Right-to-Carry. Illinois was under a June federal court deadline to adopt a Right-to-Carry law.
The bill contains common sense safeguards that ensure adequate training and background checks for those applying for a concealed carry permit. It also preempts all local ordinances affecting concealed firearms and ammunition, including registration, licensing, possession and transportation, for those with a concealed carry license.
Applicants will not have to demonstrate a need in order to carry, but they will have to undergo 16 hours of training, more than any other state in the nation, and pay a $150 application fee. The concealed carry license will be good for five years.
The legislation also lists specific locations where a firearm cannot be carried.
These locations include
- any school or
- child care facility
- government buildings
- sporting events
- several others
The bill also prohibits carrying a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Strict penalties are laid out for those found to violate this provision. Additionally, applicants cannot have been convicted of a misdemeanor and the bill outlines strong mental health standards and reporting procedures.
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