Illinois State lawmakers are entering into the last month of the 2019 Spring Session. They have much on their legislative agenda, including approving a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1st. The Illinois State Constitution requires that the regular legislative session end on May 31st.
As you know, Illinois needs strong, honest and wise leadership now more than ever. Christians in the state of Illinois must commit to praying for our state leaders, their staff, and their family as they wrestle with the tough issues of the day. So, that is our call to you today.
Illinois is not only facing a $3.2 billion budget deficit but also a staggering $134 billion pension liability. To solve these problems, many of our political leaders are looking for additional streams of revenue instead of working to cut the incredible waste, bloat and unnecessary (or immoral) government programs like the millions of dollars going to pay for Medicaid abortions, expanded and approved by the previous governor and General Assembly.
To make matters worse, our state lawmakers are considering a number of proposals that would only exacerbate the anti-family environment in our state. Please pray through the following proposals, asking God to change the hearts and minds of our state lawmakers. We do this because we are fully convinced that “with God, all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26, Mark 10:27) Please pray that all these bills fail:
- Abortion Expansion: the two extreme abortion bills that we alerted you to back in February have stalled. Praise God! However, Planned Parenthood and their allies are working overtime to jump start them.
- Legalized Marijuana: During his campaign, Gov. JB Pritzker promised to legalize recreational pot. Political pundits claim that Illinois’ FY 2020 budget desperately needs the millions of dollars in tax revenue from marijuana. However, reports from Colorado indicate that the costs far outweigh the new revenue source.
- LGBT History Mandate: HB 246 has already passed the Illinois House and is pending a vote in the Illinois Senate. This legislation will require that all students in K-12 public schools be taught about the “roles and contributions” of homosexuals and opposite-sex impersonators and that textbooks purchased include discussions of the roles and contributions of homosexuals and opposite-sex impersonators.
- Mandatory Kindergarten: SB 2075 has already passed the Illinois Senate and is pending in the Illinois House. This bill would lower the compulsory school age from 6 to 5 years of age, usurping parental rights on when to start formal education for their young children.
- Gambling Expansion: State lawmakers are betting on $200 million in revenue from licensing fees from legalized sports betting licenses. There is also a move to create more casinos in Illinois (e.g., Chicago and Rockford), to expand gambling to the Internet and on smart phones. Too many lawmakers think that this is a harmless way to supplement revenues. They don’t seem to understand how addictive gambling can be or that it has costs that could be as high as $3 to $7 for every $1 of revenue.
- More Taxes: According to the Chicago Tribune, Springfield lawmakers may consider other tax schemes to increase revenue to the state coffers: “The governor’s office wants at least $19 million from a statewide tax on plastic shopping bags, $55 million from an increase in the cigarette tax, $10 million from a new tax on e-cigarettes and $89 million from a higher tax on successful video gambling terminals.” They are also considering an increase in gasoline taxes by 19 to 25 cents per gallon. These taxes create an additional burden on working families.
- Please Pray for Springfield Leaders: Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge).
Pray that the Lord would grant them wisdom and knowledge about the issues they must vote on this month. Pray that they would be bold to do what is right according to the Word of God. Pray that the good Lord would direct their hearts to do His will on earth, as it is in heaven.
By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.