While a measure to require gas station attendants to pump gas in Illinois was tabled, other bills at the statehouse have been catching the attention of Illinois taxpayers.
One would ban gas-powered leaf blowers. Another would require gun owners to get a $1 million insurance policy.
After widespread criticism, state Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Oak Park, tabled her gas station attendant bill on Friday. Earlier in the week, she posted on her Facebook page that the bill was “concept legislation.”
“House Bill 4571 is not intended to pass as is,” she wrote. “The input we receive is very valuable to help shape [the bill] into legislation the people of Illinois desire.”
Another bill filed before Friday’s filing deadline at the statehouse by state Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, would ban gas-powered leaf blowers.
Senate Bill 3313 would require that beginning in 2022 “a person may not operate or sell at retail a gas-powered leaf blower” and any violation would “be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500.”
That bill has been referred to the Senate Assignments Committee.
Supporters of banning gas-powered leaf blowers have said that battery-powered leaf blowers are more efficient.
Matt Noonan IV with Noonan True Value in Springfield said the idea of banning gas-powered leaf blowers was concerning, in part because the store sells a lot of them. He said that battery technology was getting better.
“The technology is there for a consumer leaf blower, however for the commercial guys, they do make some models out there, there’s one model out there that’s $1,500 to $1,600, just for the backpack blower that’s powerful enough for those guys to use,” Noonan said.
He said that could mean higher costs for consumers using landscaping companies.
State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, filed House Bill 5170 to require gun owners to obtain a $1 million insurance policy.
“Provides that an applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card or for renewal of that Card must submit to the Illinois State Police that he or she has proof of liability insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 for accidental injuries caused by a firearm,” according to the bill's synopsis. “Illinois State Police may require annual proof of the person's liability insurance coverage and may suspend a person's Firearm Owner's Identification Card for failure to maintain that coverage or for failure to provide the Illinois State Police with proof of that coverage.”
The measure has yet to be assigned to a committee.
Kailey Pritchard, owner of Raging Bullet Guns and More in Auburn, called the bill “ridiculous.”
“I have loyal customers, they’re not going to get rid of their guns,” she said. “They’ll pay what they have to. Or they’ll just move out of state.”
She said the proposal was just another in a long line of policies designed to make gun ownership more difficult and more expensive in Illinois. As a gun store owner, she said she doesn’t see the state appropriately handling policies on the books now, including the Illinois Firearm Dealer License Certification Act.
“There’s nothing set in stone,” Pritchard said. “They can’t even get FOID cards out the door. People are waiting six months for FOID cards. How are they going to check on any of this stuff? They took my money and I never heard back.”
Another measure that has received attention is Senate Bill 2920, which was filed by state Sen. Emil Jones, III, D-Chicago. That bill would prohibit restaurants and bars from providing single-use plastic straws unless specifically requested by the customer, according to the text of the measure.
That bill has also been referred to the Senate Assignments Committee.
Lawmakers return to the capitol on Tuesday.