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Illinois Legislature

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, celebrate passage by Senate of the Reproductive Health Act on Friday in Springfield. 

Well, Gov. J.B. PRITZKER can claim victory on any number of issues for his first session.

We won't enumerate them because as this is being written, the session still isn't over. Instead of adjourning on schedule on Friday, the General Assembly expected to work through the weekend to get its work done.

It's not like going into overtime alone is going to be a permanent blot on Pritzker's record. But he did predict the session would end on time when skeptical reporters started asking if all of those remaining big issues could be addressed quickly.

* As everyone should know by now, Democrats control everything in state government, including the legislative process.

That means Democrats have super majorities in the House and Senate and control the governor's office. If they are so inclined, they can pass pretty much anything and have it signed into law.

In a couple of late session instances, the House Democrats didn't seem shy about seeing how far they could push that power. In one case, they were going to form a task force to look into ways of executing property tax relief. The task force would be comprised of lawmakers. Those appointments are normally made by the legislative leaders, so the House Speaker would appoint the House Democrats to the panel and so on. Only in this case, House Republican Leader JIM DURKIN would not have been allowed to make the House Republican appointments, something he angrily ensured the chamber knew about. The bill didn't move in that form.

The other case involved candidates from third parties getting on the ballot. As part of an annual bill to address election issues, the Democrats tried to add a provision that could have resulted in Conservative Party candidates appearing on the ballot. That was the party formed by former Sen. SAM McCANN of Plainview, when he ran for governor in 2018.

Obviously, a Conservative Party candidate could siphon votes away from a Republican candidate and improve the chances a Democrat could win. Guess who had a problem with that idea?

It was removed from the bill.

* "When you go to the happiest place on earth, Disney World, you scan your fingerprints. And we can't do as well as they can do at Disney World to protect the citizens of Illinois." Rep. JOHN CONNER, D-Lockport, arguing in favor of a bill to require fingerprinting of gun owners in Illinois.

* "Am I in the Illinois House or am I listening to an Illinois Policy Institute podcast is the question I had to ask myself several times." Rep. ANNE STAVA-MURRAY, D-Naperville, suggesting House Republicans were simply parroting anti-tax comments when they opposed the graduated income tax.

* "That's what hyenas do to animals in the (wild). They divide them. They sanction them off. They go after the smaller group because they're easier to attack. That's exactly what we're trying to do here." Rep. C.D. DAVIDSMEYER, R-Jacksonville, saying a graduated income tax makes it easier to raise taxes on the rich who have fewer numbers.

* "Don't just vote 'no' to put a graduated income tax question on the 2020 ballot. Vote hell 'no.'" Rep. CHRIS MILLER, R-Oakland, indicating he wouldn't support the tax.

* During the debate on recreational marijuana, Rep. ANTHONY DELUCA, D-Chicago Heights, produced a frying pan and an egg and broke the egg in the pan to replicate that old anti-drug commercial about a frying egg being like your brain on drugs.

He was against the bill. Luckily, he didn't spill anything in his demonstration.

* House Bill 3584 -- which deals with crime victims' rights -- had four principal sponsors: Reps. KAMBIUM BUCKNER, D-Chicago, TIM BUTLER, R-Springfield, FRAN HURLEY, D-Chicago, and GRANT WEHRLI, R-Naperville.

Bucker noted that made the measure the rather poetic-sounding Buckner, Butler, Hurley, Wehrli bill.

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