John Cullerton

2015 Cook County Budget Holds Line On Taxes, Fines, And Fees- For Now

Cook County residents dodged a bullet this time around.

John Byrne and Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website Friday:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Friday won easy approval for her $4 billion 2015 budget proposal that includes no new taxes, fines or fees

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

For now. Byrne and Dardick added:

Preckwinkle earlier this year warned that the 2016 budget will be far more difficult to balance because debt payments will grow and the county will need to pay $144 million more into the county workers’ retirement system if she secures the pension fund changes she seeks from the General Assembly…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I suspect those “new taxes, fines, or fees” are coming soon. I wrote back on May 22:

Last week, I blogged about the possibility of property and/or sales taxes going up soon in Cook County, Illinois. Dave McKinney and Brian Slodysko reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website on May 13 the hikes might occur as part of a pension “reform” bill.

Hal Dardick and Monique Garcia added on the Chicago Tribune website tonight:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle hit Springfield Thursday to try to build support for changes to the county pension plan that she says would halt its ongoing decline toward insolvency.

She met with Senate President John Cullerton House Speaker Michael Madigan, both Chicago Democrats, and also Republican legislative leaders. “I think she’s got a good chance to pass this bill,” Madigan said afterward…

Although Preckwinkle has not identified how she would pay for her plan, it calls for the county to put $144 million a year into the pension fund. If funded with property taxes, that would cost the average homeowner up to $65 more a year, starting in 2017, according to one internal county document the Tribune obtained.

Preckwinkle, however, said Wednesday that she has closed even larger budget gaps through cuts and other, smaller scale tax and fee increases without raising property taxes — while also lowering the county sales tax by a half-cent on the dollar…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yet, McKinney and Slodysko wrote last week:

County officials do not believe they can cut enough from the budget to cover the cost, the source said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Only a matter of time now before those hikes kick in. As I also noted in that May post:

What’s that line I keep repeating on this blog?

Higher fees, fines, and taxes. Less government services.

As much as I hate saying it, that’s what Chicago and Cook County residents should be preparing themselves for down the road.

I’d say that probably applies to all Americans, come to think of it.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Byrne, John and Dardick, Hal. “Preckwinkle wins easy approval of $4 billion budget.” Chicago Tribune. 14 Nov. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cook-county-budget-met-1115-20141114-story.html). 17 Nov. 2014.

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Chicago’s Monthly Phone Tax To Rise 56 Percent?

New and higher fees, fines, and taxes. Less government services.

That’s what Chicagoans should expect going forward considering the city’s fiscal health and who’s running the show.

Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

After playing cat-and-mouse for days, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration came clean Thursday: Chicago wants to raise the monthly fee tacked on to hardline telephone and cell phone bills by 56 percent — to $3.90…

(Editor’s note: “After playing cat-and-mouse for days, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration came clean Thursday…” Beautifully worded; bold added for emphasis.)

Spielman continued:

Instead of simply asking the General Assembly to renew a $2.50-a-month surcharge due to expire July 1, cash-strapped Chicago is seizing the opportunity to get more money — by asking state lawmakers to raise the cap to “the highest monthly wireline surcharge imposed by any county or municipality” in Illinois.

The highest monthly telephone tax around the state is the $3.90 imposed in Putnam County. Under the bill Emanuel is hoping to push through in the waning days of the Legislature’s spring session, Chicago would be empowered to match that $3.90 — and go higher if any other city or town goes first.

The new and higher tax would apply to both cell phone bills and wireline phones, according to a summary sheet of the legislation distributed by City Hall. The bill would also empower the city raise the fee imposed on prepaid cell phones from the current “seven percent of the transaction amount” to nine percent…

According to Spielman, a 56 percent increase in the monthly phone tax would generate an additional $50.4 million for the City’s coffers.

John Byrne, Monique Garcia, and Ray Long added on the Chicago Tribune website Thursday:

Emanuel’s late push for a measure that would allow the City Council to raise 911 fees by as much as $1.40, which could bring the monthly charge on landline and cell phone bills to $3.90 a month, cleared its first hurdle in the Senate.

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the increase was needed because the current $2.50 fee isn’t raising enough money to pay for operating the city’s emergency response center, forcing the Emanuel administration to dip into other pots of money to keep it running. How much more the fee hike would bring in depends on whether aldermen vote to increase the fee and to what level.

The city collected about $90 million last year through the current $2.50-per-month phone fee, Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said. This year’s budget for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications is $123 million. Quinn did not directly answer whether the mayor wants to raise the 911 fee to an amount that will bring in more revenue than the city needs to cover the OEMC budget or how the city would use any extra revenue

Let’s see. Assuming the City of Chicago collects the same amount ($90 million) as last year from their monthly phone tax, adding the projected $50.4 million from a 56 percent hike totals just over $140 million. That’s enough to pay for OEMC operations plus tax- although something tells me that’s probably not where all the money would be steered to.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Spielman, Fran. “Emanuel seeks 56 percent hike in telephone tax.” Chicago Sun-Times. 29 May 2014. (http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/emanuel-seeks-56-percent-hike-telephone-tax/thu-05292014-434pm). 30 May 2014.

Byrne, John, Garcia, Monique and Long, Ray. “Emanuel makes late push to raise 911 fees paid by those own landlines, cell phones.” Chicago Tribune. 29 May 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-emanuel-makes-late-push-to-raise-911-fees-paid-by-those-own-landlines-cell-phones-20140529,0,6958184.story). 30 May 2014.

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Illinois Millionaire Tax Hike Could Pass As Part Of Class Warfare Push By Democrats

While I’ve been putting a lot of time lately into my offshore Web projects, Illinois Democrats have been grabbing the local headlines as they replicate President Obama’s class warfare strategy to win votes in November. Monique Garcia, Ray Long, and Maura Zurick reported on the Chicago Tribune website last Friday:

Illinois Democrats went all-in Thursday with their election-year class warfare theme as Speaker Michael Madigan pitched the idea of asking voters to raise taxes on millionaires, Senate President John Cullerton advanced a minimum-wage increase and Gov. Pat Quinn compared wealthy opponent Bruce Rauner to TV villain Mr. Burns…

The newest front in the campaign battle came as Madigan held a rare news conference to announce he wants lawmakers to put a question on the Nov. 4 ballot asking voters whether the state should raise the income tax by 3 percentage points on those who make more than $1 million a year.

The powerful Democratic speaker said the tax hike on millionaires is a way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools. Madigan based his calculations on what he said are roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011, brushing aside a question about whether such a tax hike might drive them out of the state.

“Well, if they’re in Illinois today, they’re probably so much in love with Illinois that they’re not going to leave,” Madigan said

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I’m not as optimistic as the 71-year-old Speaker of the House is about Illinois millionaires sticking around if they’re targeted with a tax hike.

After all, money typically gravitates to where it’s being treated the best.

And recent demographic data suggests Chicagoland and Illinois residents may not be “so much in love” with the area as Mr. Madigan claims.

That includes the rich as well.

“Cook County’s population grew by 17,000 people in 2012, about .3 percent- but much of that gain came from immigrants, according to Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

The figures showed that about 32,000 more domestic residents moved out of Cook County than moved in. But a net increase of 17,000 immigrants, along with a high ratio of births over deaths, contributed to an overall gain for the county…”

-Chicago Sun-Times website, March 13, 2013

Moving Out
The top outbound states for 2013 were:

1. New Jersey
2. Illinois
3. New York
4. West Virginia
5. Connecticut
6. Utah
7. Kentucky
8. Massachusetts
9. New Mexico”

-United Van Lines press release, January 2, 2014

“As the Great Recession churned job prospects for many, Cook County lost about 13,000 residents with six-figure household incomes to other places, despite the widely hyped revival of downtown housing and jobs…”

-Crain’s Chicago Business website, February 14, 2014

“Roughly 13,675 millionaires that lived in Illinois in 2011”

Should Illinois Democrats jack up their income taxes, I suspect the number of Illinois millionaires right before the tax hike is implemented will plummet. Revenue will follow. Out-of-state vacation homes in Indiana and Wisconsin will be declared as primary residences.

“A way to generate more than $1 billion for elementary and high schools”

I highly doubt that.

So does the proposed millionaire tax hike have a chance of becoming reality?

Consider what Greg Hinz blogged on the Crain’s Chicago Business website Friday:

Springfield Democrats have such big legislative majorities that they won’t need any Republican votes to pass the measure if they hang together. And Springfield insiders are saying that odds are much better that Democrats will unify behind the speaker’s proposal- which, after all, would affect only millionaires like Bruce Rauner- than behind another plan being pushed by Senate Democrats to implement a graduated income tax, which would affect far more voters.

Stay tuned. If you can stomach it.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Garcia, Monique, Long, Ray, and Zurich, Maura. “Illinois Democrats go all-in on class warfare theme.” Chicago Tribune. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-21/news/chi-speaker-madigan-proposes-asking-voters-to-raise-taxes-on-wealthy-20140320_1_tax-hike-bruce-rauner-income). 24 Mar. 2014.

Hinz, Greg. “GOP leaders blast Madigan’s millionaires tax, but idea likely has legs.” Greg Hinz On Politics.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140321/BLOGS02/140329950/gop-leaders-blast-madigans-millionaires-tax-but-idea-likely-has-legs). 24 Mar. 2014.

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Thoughts On Illinois State Lawmakers Passing Public Pension ‘Fix’

The Illinois General Assembly barely passed legislation yesterday that’s been touted to “fix” the state’s $100 billion public pension crisis.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who has promised to sign SB0001, declared in a press release Tuesday:

Since I took the oath of office, I’ve pushed relentlessly for a comprehensive pension reform solution that would erase a $100 billion liability and restore fiscal stability to Illinois.

Today, we have won. The people of Illinois have won.

Not so fast, big guy.

First off, as I blogged yesterday, the Wall Street Journal recently picked apart the legislative “fix,” and concluded not only was it “fake” but:

Even under the most optimistic forecasts, these nips and tucks would only slim the state’s pension liability down to $80 billion- which is where it was after Governor Quinn signed de minimis fixes in spring 2010 to get him past that year’s election…

Second, this legislation is almost certainly headed to court, as in the Illinois Supreme Court. As I noted on December 1, a provision of the 1970 Illinois Constitution defines public pension benefits as “an enforceable contractual relationship” that “shall not be diminished or impaired.”

Even the top-ranking Democrat in the Illinois Senate wonders if SB0001 can pass legal muster. Ray Long and Monique Garcia reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

Senate President John Cullerton, whose earlier union-backed plan to curb pension spending was stymied by House Speaker Michael Madigan, said he remained concerned that the package passed by lawmakers violated a state constitutional ban on diminishing or impairing public pension benefits.

Cullerton, whose Senate Democrats had been viewed as closer to the unions than Madigan’s House majority, said he viewed it important to get something before the courts to decide whether the approach is legal.

“I think the bill has serious constitutional problems, I’ve made that clear from the start, but now it’s in front of the court and they can decide,” Cullerton said.

And decide they will, meaning this supposed “fix” for the state’s public pension crisis might eventually amount to nothing.

I thought Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times summed it all up well. Brown wrote on the Sun-Times website yesterday afternoon from Springfield:

Oh, how I wish I could tell you that the long fight to fix Illinois’ grossly underfunded public pension plans was at an end with Tuesday’s historic votes by the state Legislature.

But that wouldn’t be true.

First, there will be a court challenge — or more likely challenges — brought by state workers, teachers and their retirees, along with the unions that represent them.

And before those cases can even work their way through the system, state lawmakers will have to decide in early 2014 how they are going to handle Chicago’s pension problems — beginning with those of city teachers.

Other local officials, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle are clamoring for pension relief as well, which will combine with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s priorities to keep the issue on the front burner.

If the courts strike down the pension reform plan approved Tuesday on narrow votes by both chambers, or even if they rule out parts of it, we could be back here within a year or two to start over.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

What transpired Tuesday in the Illinois General Assembly might be a first step in “fixing” the state’s public pension crisis, but much more work and sacrifice will eventually be required to arrive at a real solution.

Question is, is the will even there among Illinoisans and their elected state officials to do this?

I kind of doubt it.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Garcia, Monique and Long, Ray. “Unions vow legal fight as lawmakers OK pension overhaul.” Chicago Tribune. 4 Dec. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-illinois-pension-vote-20131203,0,5070497.story). 4 Dec. 2013.

Brown, Mike. “Brown: State’s financial problems far from over.” Chicago Sun-Times. 3 Dec. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/24156150-761/brown-states-financial-problems-far-from-over.html). 4 Dec. 2013.

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Illinois Senate President John Cullerton Says No State Public Pension Crisis

“Five million dollars a day. That’s the cost of Illinois’ unresolved pension crisis.”

-Jay Levine, Channel 2 News (Chicago CBS affiliate) reporter, October 18, 2013

Five million dollars a day being flushed down the toilet because Illinois politicians haven’t tackled the state’s public pension crisis.

By the way, that pension liability now amounts to a worst-in-the-nation $100 billion last I heard.

And here’s what Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said yesterday about the ongoing fiasco. From the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

“People really misunderstand the nature of this whole problem. Quite frankly, I don’t think you can use the word ‘crisis’ to describe it at the state level,” Cullerton said in an interview on WGN-AM radio.

“It’s something we have to deal with, but it’s not something that we’re on the verge of bankruptcy on,” Cullerton said.

The term “Ivory Tower” comes to mind here.

Meanwhile, it’s probably just a matter of time now before a major credit rating agency downgrades the State’s debt yet again due to the inability of the political leadership to deal with the crisis.

According to the Illinois Watchdog website, Illinois has seen its credit downgraded 16 times since 2003, with both Fitch and Standard and Poor’s currently assigning an “A-” rating to its debt.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Levine, Jay. “Lawmakers May Take Up Pension Reform, Gun Control In Veto Session.” CBS Chicago. 18 Oct. 2013. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/10/18/lawmakers-may-take-up-pension-reform-gun-control-in-veto-session/). 21 Oct. 2013.

“Cullerton: Illinois pension debt not a ‘crisis'” Chicago Tribune. 21 Oct. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-cullerton-pension-debt-not-a-crisis-but-about-lowering-taxes-20131020,0,4245590.story). 21 Oct. 2013.

Yount, Ben. “Illinois can stand as a lesson in government-gone-wild.” Illinois Watchdog. 10 Oct. 2013. (http://watchdog.org/110131/illinois-can-stand-as-a-lesson-in-government-gone-wild/). 21 Oct. 2013.

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Newtown Parents Join Chicago-Area Democrats In Push To Ban Standard-Capacity Ammunition Magazines

“Just wait for next week. 10 round mag limit bills and semi-auto ban bills may surface next week. They will pull out all the stops to distract us from the fight on CCW. I wouldn’t be surprised that they USE the traumatized parents of Connecticut to push their agenda.

Its sad that the traumatized Connecticut parents have to be used to take away our rights to defend our children from a similar fate.”

-Anonymous comment, Second City Cop blog, May 18, 2013

On Sunday, May 19, it was announced that some parents of children who were victims of the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last December were due to arrive in Chicago as area Democrats push for a ban on standard-capacity ammunition magazines. From the WGN Chicago website yesterday:

Governor Pat Quinn will meet with parents of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting victims today at the Thompson Center.

They are working together to urge Illinois lawmakers to ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

(Editor’s note: Going forward, high-capacity ammunition magazines will be defined as having more capacity than what is generally run in that firearm- 40-round magazine in a Kalashnikov, for example- and standard-capacity magazines are having the typical capacity that is run in the firearm- 30-round magazine in an AK or AR, or 20-rounder in an M1A, for example).

Gregory Pratt added on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, joined the parents in calling on state legislators to pass the bill banning the delivery and sale of ammunition magazines that contain more than 10 rounds.

Under that legislation, introduced Friday by Kotowski, the sale or delivery of these magazines would be punishable by a maximum of three years in prison. It would also make the use of a high-capacity magazine during a crime an aggravating factor leading to a stiffer penalty, Kotowski said.

The legislation being referred to here is Senate Bill 1002, “Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the short title.”

Should this gun “control” legislation be enacted:

A person who knowingly delivers, sells, or transfers, or causes to be delivered, sold, or transferred… a large capacity ammunition feeding device capable of holding more than 10 rounds but not more than 17 rounds of ammunition commits a Class 4 felony for a first violation and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent violation.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

And if it’s a 20- or 30-round standard-capacity ammunition magazine that’s involved:

A person who knowingly delivers, sells, or transfers, or causes to be delivered, sold, or transferred… a large capacity ammunition feeding device capable of holding more than 17 rounds commits a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent violation.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

If this legislation sounds familiar to Survival And Prosperity readers, that’s because I blogged about it on May 10, when State Senator Antonio Muñoz (D-Chicago) was still the chief sponsor, not Kotowski from the suburbs.

More information about the proposed Illinois Senate bill can be found here on the LegisScan website.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

SCC. “Flawed Concealed Carry Dies in Springfield.” Second City Cop. 18 May 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/05/flawed-concealed-carry-dies-in.html). 20 May 2013.

WGN Web Desk. “Gov. Quinn to meet with families of Newtown shooting victims.” WGN Chicago. 19 May 2013. (http://wgntv.com/2013/05/19/gov-quinn-to-meet-with-families-of-newtown-shooting-victims/). 20 May 2013.

Pratt, Gregory. “Newtown parents join Quinn to call for ban on high-capacity ammo magazines.” Chicago Tribune. 19 May 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-newtown-parents-join-quinn-to-call-for-ban-on-highcapacity-ammo-magazines-20130519,0,5894367.story). 20 May 2013.

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Illinois Democrats Now Attempting To Ban, Register Guns And Magazines In State House Of Representatives

No doubt about it- the fight for the preservation of gun rights will be an ongoing one. Especially here in Illinois. From the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action website today:

Anti-Gunners Seek to Exploit Tragedy to Advance their Anti-Freedom Agenda to Ban and Register Guns and Magazines – Contact your state Representative TODAY

Yesterday when Senate President John Cullerton was unable to garner thirty votes in the Illinois Senate to pass legislation banning firearms and magazines, he postponed the floor votes on these bills until next week. Now Governor Patrick Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have shifted their anti-gun focus to the state House of Representatives in an attempt to ban your guns and magazines during the Lame Duck session on Sunday through Tuesday.

As a way of distracting attention from his failure to control and reduce out-of-control violent crime in Chicago, Emanuel is once again actively seeking to restrict your Second Amendment rights. Emanuel is infamous for saying “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Convenience should never be used as a factor. No time should ever be considered a good time to attack the law-abiding public and strip it of its rights and civil liberties. As previously reported here, the Illinois Senate recently attempted and continues to try to pass two extreme anti-gun bills which, if enacted, will ban, tax and require registration for semi-automatic firearms or detachable magazines, impose severe restrictions on shooting ranges and create a myriad of new laws that will easily turn an entire class of law-abiding citizens into felons. After their efforts stalled yesterday in the Illinois Senate, thanks to your efforts to call and e-mail your state Senators, it appears that Emanuel and Quinn are still hell-bent on exploiting recent tragedies to achieve their goal of making YOU a felon by shifting their anti-gun focus to the state House. So they are now looking to introduce similar gun and magazine ban registration language in the House when it convenes on Sunday for the last few days of their lame duck session.

Representative Edward Acevedo just filed an amendment to Senate Bill 2899 which would accomplish this. This bill is currently scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary I – Civil Law Committee on Sunday afternoon and will be considered by the full House soon after. It is critical that you call your state Representative TODAY and respectfully demand that he or she oppose any and all anti-gun initiatives, especially Senate Bill 2899, and stand up for your rights!

While details are still emerging as to the particulars of this legislation, one thing is for certain: Anti-gun politicians are attempting to sacrifice your constitutional rights as a scapegoat for the criminal acts of violence in Chicago by gangs and drug dealers. While it might be convenient right now, it is irresponsible for these anti-gun politicians to launch an attack on your rights as a consolation prize just because they lost in their attempts to flout the Constitution and deny Illinois citizens their right to keep and bear arms.

They may not have not achieved success in courts or in the Senate thus far, but they are still determined to go after your rights. Don’t let them succeed in banning your firearms or magazines as an excuse for stopping criminals and lunatics from misusing them. Criminals — by definition — violate laws, especially gun control laws, including often: murder, rape, robbery, drug-dealing, gang violence, firearm theft, carrying concealed firearms without a license/permit, federal gun-free school zones. They do not obey gun bans, register their firearms, or get subjected to any gun control schemes (like the lone state ban on carrying concealed firearms for self-defense) that only affect and penalize law-abiding citizens like you. Your telephone calls TODAY to your state Representatives will determine the outcome of this very serious assault on your Second Amendment rights.

The NRA-ILA will continue to send legislative updates as details become available. However, it is of the utmost importance that you act NOW to stop this gun and magazine ban. Call your state Representative IMMEDIATELY and respectfully express your opposition to banning firearms or magazines, and urge them to vote against any and all measures that do so, particularly Senate Bill 2899.

To reach the main line for the Illinois General Assembly, please call 217-782-2000.

Contact information for your state legislators can be found by clicking here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (http://www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois Senate Democrats Push To Ban ‘At A Minimum, All Detachable-Magazine Semi-Automatic Rifles And Pistols’

Last night I blogged about Democrats in the Illinois Senate trying to push through gun ‘control’ legislation during the “lame duck” session of the Illinois General Assembly (welcome to the world of politics in Madiganistan). There was some initial confusion in the mainstream media about what was to be banned and registered, but by last night the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action clarified exactly what it was Illinois Senate Democrats were demanding. From the NRA-ILA website this morning:

Illinois: Gun and Magazine Ban and Registration Schemes Pass in Senate Public Health Committee Tonight in Springfield

If you own a semi-automatic firearm or detachable magazine, they may be banned, taxed, and registered and you could easily become a felon unless you act NOW

Anti-gun legislators led by Senate President John Cullerton and backed by Governor Patrick Quinn (D) substituted and passed sweeping draconian gun and magazine bans in the Senate Public Health Committee today. House Bill 1263, amended to include a ban on many commonly owned firearms passed in this committee by a 6 to 4 vote. House Bill 815, which was amended to include a magazine ban and shooting range restrictions, passed by a 6 to 3 vote. Additionally, amendments have been filed to remove the hunting exception and could be introduced and considered on the Senate floor tomorrow. These actions prove once again that Chicago politicians seem more focused on creating new classes of criminals out of law-abiding citizens than dealing effectively with their current violent crime problems.

New amendments have been introduced which add some specifics to the time limits for registration of previously owned firearms and magazines, and set the fees to register firearms and magazines. These amendments will be heard in the Executive Committee tomorrow morning at 11am. Both bills are expected to be heard on the floor of the Senate tomorrow afternoon for their third and final vote, and this is where the real fight will take place to maintain your Second Amendment rights and defeat Senate President Cullerton’s anti-gun agenda. It is imperative that you contact your state Senator IMMEDIATELY to express your opposition to House Bills 815 and 1263 and any additional anti-gun amendments.

Among other things, House Bill 815 would:

– Prohibit anyone without a FOID card from using a commercial shooting range, which in many cases would make it impossible to introduce new shooters to the safe and responsible use of firearms.

– Grant the State Police broad discretion to impose design, construction and operation standards that could shut down most commercial shooting ranges.

– Ban possession of magazines and other feeding devices that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. A “grandfather clause” would require registration by owners of such devices and give the State Police discretion to impose and charge fees. Registration would require “proof of ownership” that could be impossible for most people to provide, and even registered owners could not transfer magazines within Illinois, except to an heir or a licensed dealer. Transfers of “grandfathered magazines” would have to be reported to the ISP.

– Violations of this magazine ban would be a felony. Failure to report theft or loss of a magazine would be a misdemeanor until the third violation, which would be a felony.

House Bill 1263 would:

Ban, at a minimum, all detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and pistols. Remington 7400 deer rifles, Ruger 10/22 squirrel guns, Glocks, 1911s, etc. This ban would include about 80% of handguns now sold in the U.S.

– Possibly ban all semi-automatic rifles and even revolvers or single-shot pistols with the capacity to accept muzzle brakes or compensators.

– Ban “assault weapon attachments,” so possession of a thumbhole stock, a pistol grip,or a fore-end (a “shroud” that “partially or completely encircles the barrel”) would be a crime even if you didn’t possess a firearm.

– Ban all .50 BMG rifles.

– Contains “grandfather” provisions that would require registration by owners of devices and give the State Police discretion to impose and charge fees. Registration would require “proof of ownership.”

– Create felony penalties for violation of this ban on guns or attachments.

– Create lost and stolen penalties that would criminalize victims of gun theft.

Anti-gun politicians are attempting to sacrifice your constitutional rights as a scapegoat for the criminal acts of violence in Chicago by gangs and drug dealers. Don’t let them succeed in banning your firearms or magazines as an excuse for stopping criminals from misusing them. Criminals — by definition — violate laws, especially gun control laws, including often: murder, rape, robbery, drug-dealing, gang violence, firearm theft, carrying concealed firearms without a license/permit, federal gun-free school zones. They do not obey gun bans, register their firearms, or get subjected to any gun control schemes (like the lone state ban on carrying concealed firearms for self-defense) that only affect and penalize law-abiding citizens like you. Your telephone calls TODAY will determine the outcome of this very serious assault on your Second Amendment rights.

The NRA-ILA will continue to send legislative updates as details become available. However, it is of the utmost importance that you act NOW to stop this gun and magazine ban. Call your state Senator IMMEDIATELY and express your opposition to banning firearms or magazines and urge them to vote against House Bills 815 and 1263.

To reach the main line for the Illinois General Assembly, please call 217-782-2000.

Contact information for your state legislators can be found by clicking here.

(Editor’s note: Bold added to Ban, at a minimum, all detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and pistols)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (http://www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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