As state lawmakers continue budget discussions in the Capitol, Senate Republicans are calling for Democrats to work with them on developing a revenue estimate for the upcoming fiscal year and pass legislation putting a cap on state spending.
The initiatives are critical pieces that will help with crafting a balanced budget and making sure taxpayer dollars are appropriated responsibly.
Meanwhile, the Senate took action on hundreds of bills during the week, including measures allowing for the use of electronic FOID cards and promoting student apprenticeship programs.
Also during the week, hundreds of people thronged the streets of Springfield and inside the Capitol on April 25 to support the Second Amendment.
Republicans ask for revenue estimate
Republican leaders in the General Assembly introduced resolutions in the Senate and House of Representatives this week, calling on a revenue estimate to be certified for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 budget, which begins July 1.
Announced by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, the resolutions are an important step forward as a revenue estimate will help the budgeteers to work toward a balanced budget. The Commission of Government Forecasting and Accountability and the Bureau of the Budget provide the Legislature with revenue estimates every year.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are pushing legislation that would put a cap on state spending while also linking the growth of state spending to the growth in the state’s economy. The plan is a good way to ensure state government doesn’t overspend, and is also a critical reform that can set Illinois on a long-term, sound fiscal path.
Law-abiding citizens who hold a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card would be able to display an electronic version of his or her FOID card on their phones or other electronic devices, under legislation passed unanimously be the Senate April 25. Senate Bill 2677 is intended to prevent law-abiding citizens from being charged with a crime if they simply forgot their FOID card.
Student apprenticeship programs
High school students could soon be developing career skills designed by potential future employers under legislation passed by the Senate April 24. Senate Bill 3226 directs the Illinois State Board of Education to set up guidelines that would allow high school students older than age 16 to take part in registered vocational apprenticeship programs focused on industry-based occupational training. The programs would be reviewed and approved by the United States Department of Labor.
Hundreds rally in support of Second Amendment
The streets of Springfield and inside the Capitol saw hundreds of supporters of the Second Amendment April 25. Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day, also known as IGOLD, is an annual event where gun owners, Second Amendment advocates, and lawmakers rally in support of the Constitution and protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
The group began their day in downtown Springfield, hosting a rally at the convention center. They then marched a half mile to the Capitol, heard from various speakers, and met with their local lawmakers to discuss legislative issues related to the Second Amendment. Illinois became the last state in the country in 2013 allowing for the carrying of concealed weapons. This, after a federal appeals court ruled in 2012 that the state must give law-abiding citizens that right.