Dear Friends & Neighbors,
The spring session for the 101st General Assembly finally ended after a couple of days into overtime this year. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me by phone, e-mail, or social media to provide ideas on possible legislation and feedback on the more than 6,000 bills that have been filed for consideration this legislative session!
Your renewed interest and involvement in the legislative process through filing ‘witness slips’ in favor of or opposition to certain bills have helped to send the message that you do care about our southern Illinois values and care about how your tax dollars are being spent.
Your encouragement is very much appreciated as I fight the many bad proposals to raise the gas tax, income taxes, and fees on things like driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.
Unfortunately, the governor and his Chicago allies pushed through the most extreme abortion expansion in the country, approved public funding of sex-change operations, continued the attack on our Second Amendment rights, expanded gambling and legalized recreational marijuana!
After just over five months in the General Assembly, I can tell you that the system is broken and we need to keep fighting for reforms to our public pension system, workers compensation, and lowering the state income tax and corporate income tax rates to spur economic growth in Illinois. At the same time, we also need to pass term limits on legislators and legislative leaders to reform “the system.”
Please do not hesitate to contact me at the district office, the Springfield Capitol office or whenever my staff and I are in your area for the Traveling Office Hours. I work for you, the taxpayers, and I promise to always remember that it is your money that is being spent when the budget proposals come before me for a vote.
REP. BAILEY OPPOSED ALL TAX INCREASES & FEES
In addition to voting no on all of the end of session budget proposals that I felt were out of balance and did nothing to reform the structural deficit in Illinois, I also fought against all of the proposals to raise taxes on gasoline, tobacco, e-cigarettes, and increase fees on driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.
Against complete opposition by our Republican Caucus, the governor and his Democrat allies in the legislature passed a Constitutional Amendment Resolution to eliminate the flat tax in Illinois and move to a graduate or progressive tax structure that could be raised or lowered more easily by the whims of the legislature. I opposed Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (SJRCA) 1 that would increase taxes by $3.4 billion a year on families, farmers and businesses, but now it will be up to the voters of Illinois to decide next year.
Local Author Zachary Inyart Recognized as an Inspiration & Role Model on Autism Awareness Day
Mr. Zachary Inyart of Claremont in Richland County wrote and illustrated his own book, “A Little Nosy,” to bring attention to autism and encourage others to pursue their dreams no matter what their challenges are in life.
On April 2, 2019, Rep. Bailey highlighted Zachary and his book in recognition of Autism Awareness Day by the Illinois General Assembly with House Resolution 245 which states in part: “we congratulate Zachary Aaron Inyart on the publication of his first book, A Little Nosey, wish him further success, and commend his perseverance in the face of obstacles…”
Bill to Lower Medication Costs & Help Rural, Independent Drug Stores Stay Competitive
I am a chief co-sponsor of House Bill 465 that passed unanimously in the House and passed the Senate. This proposal awaits action by the governor. The legislation would establish guidelines on a little-known industry, pharmacy benefit managers (PMBs), who negotiate drug prices and benefits on behalf of insurance plans.
The mom and pop pharmacies in our rural part of the state need this to help them stay competitive with the mega pharmacies. Without the smaller local pharmacies, the residents of my district would have to drive long distances to get their prescriptions filled. That isn’t realistic for many seniors and families.
Many have blamed that industry not only for manipulating drug prices, but also for pushing independent community pharmacies out of business. This new law would stop insurers and PBMs from disadvantaging local pharmacies and local pharmacists, and to make drugs more affordable to families and consumers across the state of Illinois.
America works best with competition in the market place and I feel this legislation will help level the field for all pharmacies without favoring one over the other.
SCHOOLS & PLACES OF WORSHIP TO GET ENHANCED PROTECTION
The House and Senate unanimously passed House Bill 38 to make it a Class 1 felony to cause great bodily harm to people praying or engaged in religious activities in places of worship. The legislation also makes it a Class 2 felony to bring weapons into schools and churches with the intent to harm people of faith.
I am happy to be a co-sponsor and support this legislation along with Concerned Christian Americans, the sheriffs, and the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance. We need to make it clear with these enhanced penalties that we do not tolerate harming or killing anyone and especially those people who are exercising their faith in a house of worship.
This bipartisan bill will increase the penalties as an aggravating factor in sentencing for first degree murder that the murdered individual was a member of a congregation engaged in prayer or other religious activities at a church, synagogue, mosque, or other building, structure, or place used for religious worship. This bill awaits action by the governor in order to become law.
Visiting Your State Capitol!
Thank you to the students, concerned citizens and business and agriculture leaders who traveled to the Illinois State Capitol to learn about state government and participate in the legislative process this session! If you would like to apply for the “Page-for-A-Day” program or be considered to provide the opening prayer in the Illinois House, please contact me at my office or repbailey.com.
Bailey Bill Becomes Law: Higher Fines on People Who Drive Around School Buses Picking Up Children
My first bill to pass both chambers of the General Assembly has been signed into law by the governor. This bill doubles the fines for people who drive around a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off school children. First offense fines increased from $150 to $300 and second offense fines increased from $500 to $1,000.
This is a public safety bill suggested by a constituent to help save lives and protect our children and grandchildren from people who ignore the stop signs and safety gates opened on school buses. These fines have not been increased for many years and just as all fines in our laws, they are intended to help stop people from putting children in danger.
Current law requires a driver to stop before meeting or overtaking (from either direction) a school bus stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading students. The law applies to any and all locations including, but not limited to, highways, roadways, private roadways, parking lots, and school property.
A full stop is required if the school bus is displaying the visual signals specified in the code (i.e. flashing lights, stop signal arm extended, etc.) and the driver should not proceed until the visuals signals cease, the school bus resumes motion, or the school bus driver signals the vehicle to proceed. The law does not require a driver to stop on a four-lane highway when traveling on the opposite two lanes from the school bus.
Passing a school bus while loading or unloading can lead to a driver’s license suspension. Currently, the Illinois Secretary of State will automatically suspend the driver’s license of anyone convicted of violating this law for a period of three months. In addition, the court will
impose a new minimum $300 fine for a first offense plus mandatory court costs. A second or subsequent conviction for this offense within five years of the first conviction will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension and a new minimum mandatory $1,000 fine.
DEFENDING OUR 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!
This session, the Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) at the Capitol in Springfield drew thousands of freedom loving Illinoisans from around our district and the state!
Thank you to everyone who traveled from my district and across our state to remind the legislature that our 2nd Amendment rights are not to be trampled on! Currently, Senate Bill 1966 is being held in committee for lack of enough senators to vote to increase fees and require finger printing of all FOID card applicants.
HUNDREDS MARCH ON CAPITOL: The Fight for Life Continues!
Rep. Darren Bailey speaks to the crowd gathered in the Rotunda of the State Capitol on Sanctity of Life Day. Rep. Bailey asked “of the 39,832 abortions in Illinois in 2017 (the latest statistics available), how many were medically necessary?” No one could or would answer that!
Rep. Darren Bailey considers Senate Bill 25 the most extreme abortion legislation in the country. This is the number one issue for me as a public servant…protecting innocent life. If you are not alive, nothing else matters.
Rep. Bailey, upon the Governor’s signing into law one of the most extreme expansions of abortions in America, reaffirmed his commitment that he will continue to fight on behalf of the unborn babies who are targeted for abortion in Illinois. Public Act 101-013 (SB 25) now requires private insurance companies to cover abortions and repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, the Abortion Performance Refusal Act and the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act. This extreme expansion of abortion is out of step with what most Illinoisans support. It will deregulate the abortion industry, eliminate the rights of all unborn babies, and eliminate restrictions on late term abortions.
The law now prohibits state interference with this newly created fundamental right to have abortions which will likely result in the nullification of the parental notification act. The language explicitly states that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of our State. It removes criminal penalties against a doctor who performs an abortion when there is a reasonable possibility of the survival of the fetus outside the womb.
Because there is now an overly broad and expansive definition of “fetal viability” and intentionally vague definitions, we will see a significant expansion of post viability abortions in Illinois. We will not be able to enforce our parental notification law that requires parents of minor children to be notified if their daughter seeks and obtains an abortion.
This bill gives abortion providers expansive interpretation power with new broad definitions of when late term abortions are allowed. It repeals certain safety standards, repeals the prohibition on sex-selective abortions, mandates Illinois insurance plans must cover abortions, and takes away the requirement that Coroners investigate maternal deaths due to an abortion, and takes away the requirement that only doctors perform abortions. These extreme, expansive changes to Illinois’ abortion laws put mothers and viable unborn babies at risk.
Here to Serve
If you have questions or concerns about state issues or public policy, please contact me at either of my offices or at one of the many ‘Traveling Office Hours’ around the district. You may find an electronic version of this newsletter and sign up for my Two Cents updates at my online office at repbailey.com. My office in Louisville is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.