HARRISBURG, IL – A meeting between the Governor and House of Representative Speaker Michael Madigan was considered a step in the right direction towards ending the two-year long budgetary impasse, according to State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).
Senator Fowler began his week by cohosting a coal forum with fellow Southern Illinois Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) and Congressmen Mike Bost and John Shimkus. The two Senators and Congressmen heard testimony from Southern Illinois coal producers and coal generation stations.
Coal stakeholders expressed their disappointment that Illinois permitting processes are slower than surrounding states and the complicated Midwestern electric grid makes generation difficult.
Senator Fowler welcomed groups from Alexander, Franklin, Saline, and Williamson Counties to the Capitol this week. The constituents were in town for legislative lobby days affecting local elected officials and community health care.
Fowler passes first bills
Senator Fowler was successful in getting a pair of bills passed by the Illinois Senate this week. Senate Bill 1876 repeals an outdated and unused part of the Illinois agricultural statutes. The bill is part of Senator Fowler’s effort to repeal and scale back Illinois’ unwieldy laws that make life more difficult for the average citizen and business.
The Senator also passed Senate Bill 2023 which helps fix technical issues with the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act in counties with populations that are less than 300,000. The incentives provided to businesses in enterprise zones would assist with future job retention and creation. It arguably creates revenue in the form of taxes to the state.
Illinois Senate passes 2nd Amendment infringement legislation
Over the objections of Senator Fowler and several other of his Senate Republican colleagues, a bad piece of anti-gun legislation passed the Illinois Senate on April 27. The measure Senate Bill 1657 would allow for a second licensure of nearly all Illinois firearm dealers.
Currently, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) handles the licensure of all federal firearm license holders. Traditionally, this federal process was universally-accepted by local firearms dealers. A new Illinois license would likely force many small firearms businesses to close.