Immediately upon ringing in the New Year, 253 new laws will become effective in 2019 that have wide raging impact. Here are few of those laws families should know about:
  • Children under the age of 2 years old must be restrained in rear facing car seats unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall. (PA100-0672)
  • Every Illinois school will be required to conduct at least one law-enforcement led active shooter drill a year. School safety drills must be conducted within 90 days of the start of the school year. (PA100-0996)
  • Nursing mothers upon request will be exempt from jury duty. (PA100-0696)
  • Stalking laws expanded to include messages sent through social media. Additionally, businesses, places of worship and schools can seek restraining orders against stalkers.
  • The Lyme Disease Prevention and Protection Act was enacted opening the door in Illinois for new treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. (PA100-1137)
  • All children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private or parochial school shall have a dental examination. (PA100-829)

CGFA issues National Rankings Survey. The December 2018 year-end report, compiled by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), is intended to show how the state of Illinois compares with the other 49 states in various population, revenue, and spending categories. These comparisons are especially significant when Illinois is compared to other large, urban states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, and with the neighboring states of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin.  
Crowds gather to look at a two-car automobile accident, 1930.
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Over the next few days, millions of Americans will hit the roads to travel for the holidays. As the transportation crossroads of North America, Illinois will be right in the middle of all that traffic. It is fitting, because Illinois was a state which quickly embraced the automotive revolution in the early 20th century. Illinois started regulating motor vehicle traffic as early as 1907. That was the same year that the state came out with an innovative way to make sure that auto registrations were up to date: the license plate.
General Assembly takes step to reduce administrative expenses, consolidate operations. Under the setup in place in Springfield’s Capitol Complex heading into Fiscal Year 2019, the Illinois General Assembly had two separate nonpartisan research offices. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the General Assembly’s budget-monitoring and research arm, was in place to examine and oversee trends involving Illinois’ tax revenues, budgets, and spending. As a nonpartisan oversight panel with jurisdiction over cash flow issues, CGFA was in close contact with the General Assembly’s appropriations and revenue committees.
Brothers George and Joseph Fifer in their union army uniforms during the
Civil War. Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
In the decades following the Civil War, Illinois, like most northern states, saw veterans elected to many positions throughout government. At first, Joe Fifer of Bloomington was no different. A wounded veteran of Vicksburg, an attorney and briefly a state senator, Fifer had gone back to his law practice in Bloomington when his term ended.

Fifer may have spent the rest of his career in McLean County courtrooms if not for a shocking personal attack on him from Washington, and his equally ferocious defense, which gained him national fame and launched him into the Illinois Governor’s office.
Funeral services held, National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush. George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away at his Houston home on Friday, November 30that the age of 94.

President George H.W. Bush was the last veteran of World War II to serve as president. Bush spent decades in public service, as a congressman, ambassador, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice-President for two terms under Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States from 1989-1993.
Photograph taken from a Japanese plane shortly after the
beginning of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On a Sunday morning in December 1941, the United States Pacific Fleet was devastated by a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The fleet’s eight powerful battleships; America’s guardians of the seas for more than a generation; were sent to the bottom of the harbor in a matter of minutes, and 2400 Americans lost their lives.

In the aftermath, the United States government set about two tasks: rebuilding the fleet in order to strike back, and assigning blame for the disaster. It did not take long to find two villains: Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet and the Illinois-born Lieutenant General Walter C. Short, commanding general of the Hawaiian Department of the U.S. Army.