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Illinois legislators return for final day this year with unfinished business

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(The Center Square) – The final day of fall veto session for the Illinois Legislature is Thursday and it’s the last chance to address some looming deadlines.

A major focus for many is extending the Invest in Kids school choice scholarship program before it expires Dec. 31. The plan could be left on the cutting room floor before legislators leave Springfield.

Kingswood Academy’s Tammi Karam said the program helps so many families in need of a good education.

“We give tax credits for electric cars, for so many different things, and why not for education,” Karam said during a news conference.

A separate issue impacts firearms owners who bought a banned semi-automatic firearm during the six-day window when the state was enjoined from enforcing its gun ban. Illinois State Police say despite that court order in late April, such firearms cannot be legally registered by the Jan. 1 deadline.

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, said his measure to hold such individuals harmless isn’t going anywhere.

“Only in Illinois can you commit a crime by exercising your constitutional rights,” Plummer told The Center Square.

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, said fixes to a measure taking effect Jan. 1 requiring paid time leave are likely not going to be addressed before the end of session Thursday, and that could impact small local governmental bodies like park districts, forest preserves and contracted police agencies.

“We may have to deal with a couple of months of it and say, ‘whoop, OK, we’ve got some problems here, let’s fix this in early spring,’ so we’ll see,” Sosnowski told The Center Square.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara was in Springfield Wednesday aiming to get a bill impacting his members’ cost of living allocations across the finish line.

“I’m a little superstitious cause it’s not done ’til it’s done, but 99.9% we’re being told that it’s good to go,” Catanazara told The Center Square.

Legislators return for the final scheduled day Thursday. When they adjourn, they won’t return until sometime in January.

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