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CRIME

Illinois less safe since SAFE-T Act enacted. In February of 2021, Governor Pritzker signed the quickly drafted and un-vetted SAFE-T Act into law. The Safety Accountability, Fairness & Equity Today Act was purported to keep Illinois families safer. However, that has not been the outcome for those who are already battling violence in their neighborhoods.

Since the law was enacted, many neighborhoods in Chicago and surrounding suburbs have witnessed an increase in violent crimes that include murder, expressway shootings, carjackings, assaults, armed robberies, smash & grabs and mob retail theft. Compared to 2019, crime is up 7.5% in Chicago. And the neighborhoods most impacted by crime are the ones that have been dealing with violence for decades.

In February of 2021, Governor Pritzker signed the quickly drafted and un-vetted SAFE-T Act into law. The Safety Accountability, Fairness & Equity Today Act was purported to keep Illinois families safer. But, that has not been the outcome for those who are already battling violence in their neighborhoods.

Since the law was enacted, many neighborhoods in Chicago and surrounding suburbs have witnessed an increase in violent crimes, that include murder, expressway shootings, carjackings, assaults, armed robberies, smash & grabs and mob retail theft. Compared to 2019, crime is up 7.5% in Chicago. And the neighborhoods most impacted by crime are the ones that have been dealing with violence for decades.

Families dealing with the rising cost of just about everything could get a break under legislation filed by Illinois State Rep. Paul Jacobs to cut the sales tax on diapers and diaper wipes from 6.25% to 1%, equaling an 84% reduction. The new rate would be the same as that for medicine and food.

According to the National Diaper Bank Network, Illinois is home to more than 439,000 children under the age of 3 years old. With an average monthly supply of diapers per child costing $80, a tax relief on diapers and wipes can help family finances.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Illinois General Assembly begins 2022 with a one-day session. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing and case counts surging, the General Assembly reconvened this week to begin its 2022 session. The current schedule calls for the members of both chambers to meet continuously from January through March. Next week’s session has been canceled, as in-person meetings are challenged by soaring COVID-19 positivity case counts, and the House and Senate have changed their rules to do some of their business remotely. Of particular significance are the current rules for House committee meetings and testimony: each House committee will conduct its meetings via video conferencing. Witnesses who wish to testify will submit their testimony and answer questions electronically.

 

Image from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
For three months the city of Springfield had been in the center of a whirlwind. Its favorite son had been elected President of the United States on November 8, 1860, and since that time the city had experienced a level of excitement not seen before in its history.

Now that time was nearing an end, as Abraham Lincoln, President-elect of the United States, prepared to leave Springfield for the journey to Washington. Outside the Great Western Railroad station at 10th and Monroe a crowd had begun to gather to wish him farewell on the chilly, dreary morning of Monday, February 11, 1861.

When the new year arrives on January 1 it will bring with it nearly 300 new laws in Illinois – everything from addressing confidentiality for victims of human trafficking to lowering fees for trailer license plates.

Insurance companies will now be required to cover comprehensive testing for cancer predisposition, pancreatic cancer screenings and tests for diabetes and vitamin D deficiency. Parking will be made easier for expectant mothers in their third trimester as they will be eligible for a free placard to park in handicap-designated spots. New laws in 2022 will help fund educational scholarships to military families, expand cottage food operations and promote awareness of sarcoidosis.

We’ve even fully legalized kids’ lemonade stands. Curious? Click here to find out more about these and the other new laws taking effect in Illinois on January 1.


NATURAL DISASTERS

A least four tornados hit Illinois; fatalities at Amazon distribution center in Edwardsville. The Amazon distribution center in Edwardsville is a significant logistical center for Amazon to handle packages that go in and out of St. Louis International Airport. Like the other consumer-goods logistical centers of the United States, it had been operating at full or nearly-full capacity for the Christmas holiday season.