First week of veto session wraps up
The Illinois General Assembly met this week for the first few days of the annual fall veto session, overriding a number of gubernatorial vetoes and taking up a few new pieces of legislation. The bills included legislation that would create new rules and standards for car-sharing apps and businesses, where individuals can rent out their cars, similar to how people can't rent out their homes through services like Airbnb. Another veto dealt with raising the maximum amount that can be awarded when individuals sue the state government. Additionally, Senators took up a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The Governor had vetoed all three bills, and all three were overridden.
The Senate also took action on the veto of a bill that would have removed the state from the Crosscheck voting database, a system designed to help clean up voter rolls. Senator Schimpf voted against this override motion, believing the system is a good check against voter fraud, and opponents were unable to gather enough votes to override the veto, so this legislation will not become law.
"I supported Governor Rauner's veto of the bill placing onerous new regulations to companies offering ride-sharing services in Illinois. As legislators, we should only support solutions that are proportionate to the problem they claim to solve. Unfortunately, this bill was less about consumer protection and more about eliminating competition for existing car rental companies."
New legislation taken up during the veto session includes a bill to update video gaming rules and add a veteran preference to the system for businesses, as well as bills to allow counties to hold referendums for the purpose of raising revenue for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
No action taken on gun control
Despite taking up a number of other potentially controversial vetoes, neither chamber of the General Assembly voted on any of the gun control bills that had been vetoed by the governor. According to Senator Schimpf, there's a chance that gun control advocates will instead file new bills once J.B. Pritzker has been sworn-in as governor.
"I will continue to support our law abiding gun owners and will fight any new attempts to limit their 2nd Amendment rights," said Senator Schimpf.
Shotgun season begins
Senator Schimpf is wishing good luck to sportsmen and women, as well as reminding them to be careful, as they head out for what is an annual tradition in many parts of the state, the first shotgun deer season of the year. This first season runs November, 16th, 17th, and 18th, and will be followed by a second round that runs from November 29th through December 2nd. Muzzleloader season runs concurrent with the second firearm season, and then a muzzleloader-only season runs from December 7th through December 9th. Illinois also has a late antlerless season for those who still have tags unfilled. You can find out more information on deer seasons by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website here.
“Our firearm deer weekends are Illinois’ most popular hunting season, and amid all the excitement of the season, we want to remind hunters that safe hunting is the best hunting,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Illinois’ hunting safety record is a good one, but even one hunting incident involving injuries or fatalities is one too many.”
The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, which administers the Illinois Hunter Safety Education Program, reports there were 19 hunting incidents last year during all seasons, three of which involved fatalities. Ten of those incidents involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing into or out of tree stands.
IDNR safety educators remind hunters using tree stands to use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harness. Nationally, more than 80 percent of reported tree stand incidents involve hunters who were not using a fall restraint system. As additional precautions, hunters should check the harness, straps, ladder and other equipment to make sure they are in good working order. Hunters should also be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery, and to have a mobile phone within reach to call for help, if needed. Hunters can review tree stand safety online at http://www.huntercourse.com/treestandsafety/
Safety educators and IDNR Conservation Police also remind everyone hunting with a firearm to:
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume a firearm is unloaded
- Always point a firearm in a safe direction
- Be sure of the target, and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles or other animals beyond the target
- Keep their finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until they are ready to shoot
Legal hunting hours for the firearm deer season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Hunters who take a deer during the firearm season in most Illinois counties must register the deer they harvest online, or through the toll-free phone check-in system. To register their harvest by phone, hunters can call 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325). A link to the online deer registration system is available here: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx
Hunters registering deer through the online or phone systems must do so by 10:00 p.m. on the day they take the deer.