Illinois lawmakers faced a number of big votes this week, but as the fall legislative session wrapped up on Thursday, a number of big proposals were sent to Gov. Pritzker’s office.
Here’s a look at some of the plans awaiting the governor’s signature:
New maps of congressional districts
Illinois Democrats on Thursday brought forward new congressional district maps intended to eliminate two Republican-held districts and send more Democrats to Washington.
To do this, Illinois Democrats adopted gerrymandering, the practice of drawing district boundaries for political purposes against which party leaders including former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder , denounced “rigged” elections. The new map is a collection of odd shapes resembling abstract art and, according to critics, a symbol of the hypocrisy of Democrats.
Even though Illinois loses a seat due to the loss of population, the map was drawn to create a congressional delegation of 14 Democrats and three Republicans from 2022, a change from the current 13-5 split. . The Princeton Gerrymandering Project, a non-partisan group that evaluates the cards, gave Illinois cards an “F” rating, saying they give Democrats a significant advantage and are “very uncompetitive.”
Illinois Democrats have defended the maps they released Thursday night and passed shortly thereafter, saying they ensure minorities and other Illinois residents have an equal voice in government.
The Illinois Senate approved the cards Thursday night, with all Republicans voting no, and they were then passed by the House.
Pritzker signed both the first set of legislative cards and the rework cards, despite pledging during his 2018 campaign to veto all legislative cards drawn by politicians. He is also expected to sign the Congressional Democratic cards.
SB 1169: Law of Consciousness
The Senate on Thursday evening approved a weakened and criticized plan to preserve ramifications for those who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Democrats who control both houses of the General Assembly have struggled all week through a caustic debate to push for a COVID exclusion from Illinois health care conscience law. The Senate approved Plan 31-24 on the last day of the Legislative Assembly’s fall session.
Initially approved in the 1970s to protect physicians from the repercussions of refusing, on the basis of religious belief, to perform abortions, supporters argue that the law was never intended to grant similar protections to those who refuse. to be vaccinated preventively during a global pandemic.
“Your right to exercise your religious belief is not always without consequence and the right of conscience in health care is not a defense in certain circumstances…” Harmon said during the debate in the room. “You asked where we draw the line. The line of my personal freedom ends at the start of your nose.
Lawsuits have emerged – only nine in which Governor JB Pritzker or other government agencies are defendants – in which repercussions, such as loss of a job, are contested on the basis of conscience law.
Republicans mocked their opponents, accusing Democrats of changing the rules halfway because Pritzker can’t get enough buy-in for his virus mitigation plan, which the GOP ridicules as a series of top-down demands without public participation.
The proposal, which now goes to Pritzker, does not require anyone to be vaccinated. It targets the language of the law prohibiting retaliation, such as dismissal, in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Proponents argue that the place to invoke religious exemptions from medical care is in federal law. Pritzker’s office highlighted general religious protections and those prohibiting discrimination in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the age and age discrimination laws. genetic information.
But even if Pritzker signs it without delay, it won’t stop any trials for months. To take effect immediately would have required the approval of three-fifths of the majorities in both houses, more than the Democrats could whip up. As it stands, the law will not come into force until the middle of next year.
HB 370: Parental notification of abortion
Lawmakers voted to repeal a law requiring parents or guardians to be notified when girls under the age of 18 request an abortion, sending the measure to Pritzker’s office.
Building on the momentum of abortion rights activists after the Texas “heartbeat” law in September banned most abortions, Democrats who control the General Assembly want to scrap the law. 1995 demanding notification, which both sides of the debate call the last restriction on abortions in Illinois.
Republicans repeatedly point out that the notification has the support of nearly three-quarters of Illinoisians responding to a poll conducted last spring. And they made public the nearly 50,000 notices of opposition to the legislation that were filed electronically before the vote.
Supporters of favorable opinions note that the 48-hour alert to a parent or guardian that the law requires involves only notification, not consent. According to the Guttmacher Institute, out of 38 states requiring parental involvement in the decision to abort a minor, 21 require parental consent – in three of them both parents must give consent.
Opponents say the notification law, passed by Republican majorities in 1995 but which only came into effect in 2013 due to legal challenges, is a way to deny adolescent girls the right to abortion by delaying the procedure. They say most teenage girls have a good relationship with their parents, but notification is a barrier for those who live in abusive environments and are intimidated by an alternative process – taking their case to a judge. However, only one judge since 2013 has denied the abortion of a minor.
HB 3136: college sports betting
A new bill that would allow betting on varsity athletics in the state has been sent to Pritzker.
Bill 3136 was passed by both houses of the General Assembly with bipartisan support. This would allow businesses to accept bets on an Illinois varsity team.
This bet, however, should be made in person and cannot be done virtually.
By law, bets should be deposited before the start of a game and bets can only be made on the final score or the end result of a game.