This is the latest installment of my legislative e-newsletter where I give updates on legislation, state issues, events our office hosts in District 93, and more. If you know of anyone who may like to receive this e-newsletter or other periodic email updates from me, tell them to sign up at norinehammond.org/email-updates/.
In this version of my e-newsletter, I discuss some recently-introduced legislation that has been getting headlines and a lot of media attention across our state, along with my perspective on each piece of legislation.
Here’s a very small snippet of legislation that has been introduced this year:
LEGISLATION I SUPPORT:
House Bill 3851 – Repeals the trailer tax increase
HB 3851 reduces the trailer fee for trailers with maximum loads of 3,000 lbs. or less from $118 to $18. This 650% fee increase was enacted at the beginning of the year because of a drafting error in the capital bill. The advocates of the capital bill did not intend to increase this fee. This fee increase impacts motorcycle riders and anyone with a small trailer. I strongly support the repeal of this trailer fee increase.
House Bill 4421 – Blocks an automatic increase in legislator salary
HB 4421 would prevent lawmakers from getting an automatic pay increase in Fiscal Year 2021. Current law allows for lawmakers’ salaries to increase every year, regardless of Illinois’ fiscal situation. I think lawmakers do not deserve a pay increase, given our state’s current fiscal condition. I support blocking the pay increase.
House Bill 4490 – Establishes qualifications and rules for those who care for children to address the staffing shortage at Illinois daycare and early childhood education centers
HB 4490 establishes qualifications and guidelines for teachers that care for children at daycare and early childhood education centers. If successful this action will help to alleviate the critical teacher shortages in the area early childhood education. I support this legislation because daycare and early childhood education centers across Illinois are short-staffed, which puts a strain on working parents.
LEGISLATION I OPPOSE:
House Bill 3335 – Imposes a statewide $0.10 carryout bag tax, exempts Chicago from the new tax
HB 3335 would impose a $0.10 per bag carryout bag fee statewide, although the legislation would exempt Chicago residents from having to pay the tax. This tax would harm low-income families the most. When Governor Pritzker proposed a $0.05/bag tax, one estimate stated that it would cost the average Illinois family $75 per year. Illinois families are being nickel-and-dimed by these tax and fee increases. I oppose this tax.
House Bill 4571 – Mandates that gas may only be pumped in Illinois by a gas station employee or attendant
HB 4571 would outlaw the practice of pumping your own gas at any Illinois gas station. The bill mandates that gas be pumped by a gas station attendant or employee. This bill would further increase cost on anyone who drives or owns a vehicle. It’s unnecessary, and it would make living in Illinois more expensive. Fortunately this bill was tabled by the sponsor last week, so it has no chance of becoming law any time soon. I oppose this unnecessary and costly regulation.
Senate Bill 3313 – Bans the use and sale of all gas-powered leaf blowers; imposes up to a $500 fine on anyone uses a gas-powered leaf blower
SB 3313 would ban a person from operating or selling a gas-powered leaf blower in the State of Illinois. Anyone who violates the text of this legislation would be fined a civil penalty not to exceed $500. This legislation is obnoxious and unnecessary. Out of all of the problems facing our state, the last thing we should be debating is whether or not Illinois residents should be using gas-powered leaf blowers. I oppose this legislation.
House Bill 4870 – Mandates all 6th graders receive the HPV vaccine
HB 4870 would require all sixth grade students, whether they are in public, private, or religious schools, to receive the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine as a pre-condition of whether they’d be allowed to study at their school. It would also establish a verification process for ninth grade students to confirm that they’ve received the HPV vaccine. I oppose this legislation. Parents should have the discretion to determine whether or not their child receives the HPV vaccine.
House Bill 4704 – Allows local units of government to regulate private, residential gardens
HB 4704 is referred to as the “Right to Garden Act,” but the text of the bill implies the opposite. The legislation would give the State or a local unit of government the power to regulate gardens on residential property. Potential regulations include, but are not limited to, restrictions on water use, property set-backs, maximum lot coverage, fertilizer use, and more. This legislation pre-empts home rule. I oppose this legislation. I do not believe State lawmakers should be regulating local gardens. As I stated previously, we have larger issues facing our state.
House Bill 4284 – Requires new residential construction or renovation to have an Electric Vehicle (EV) charge hookup in garages for private homes, parking lots for commercial residential units
HB 4284 would require most new residential construction and renovations to install dedicated electrical circuits to vehicle stalls in personal garages and commercial parking lots for EV hookups. The legislation states that “electric vehicles are an important tool to fight the climate crisis… The State should encourage urgent and widespread adoption of electric vehicles.” The legislation is modeled after a similar mandate in California and is designed to make parking spaces “electric vehicle ready.” I oppose this legislation because it will make home ownership and renting more expensive. We can encourage energy efficiency without expensive, burdensome state mandates.
As always, if you have any questions or comments on state issues or need assistance navigating state government, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (309) 836-2707.
If you would like to bring legislative ideas to my attention or would like to know my position on a particular piece of legislation, don’t hesitate to contact me. I plan to send similar e-newsletters in the future, so if there’s a piece of legislation you would like me to highlight, send me an email or call our Macomb or Springfield office.
It is an honor to work for you.
Rep. Norine Hammond