One measure would begin the process of considering a new state flag

The Illinois Senate passed 68 bills this week while the House had advanced 284 as of Friday morning with hundreds more to go before their adjournment for the week.

It was the first in a two-week stretch of legislative deadlines for bills to move from one chamber to the other. While there are many procedural ways to revive a bill’s language after the deadlines’ passage, the deadlines mark an annual milestone in the session’s final stretch.

Among the hundreds of bills that passed this week were a measure banning vaping indoors and the creation of a commission to consider a new state flag.

Vaping ban

A measure banning e-cigarette use in public places passed the Senate on a 48-5 vote.

Cat declawing ban

One measure that passed last week in the House, House Bill 1533, would make it illegal to declaw a cat if the procedure is not medically necessary.

New state flag?

The Senate on Thursday also advanced a bill to create a commission that would consider designs for a new state flag. The measure sponsored by Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, passed on a 39-16 vote with Republicans’ main concern being that lawmakers could be using their time on more important issues.

Felons as estate executors

People with previous felony convictions would still be allowed to act as executor of someone else’s estate under a bill that passed through the Illinois House on Thursday.

Rent control on mobile home parks

One bill that did not pass Thursday would have allowed municipalities to impose rent control on mobile home lots.

Read more here.

RV Parking

Drivers of campers, boats on trailers, motor homes and other recreational vehicles now face stricter rules if they want to park in South Barrington.

Restrictions approved this week by the village board include limits on where people can park such vehicles, how long RVs can be parked and how many times per year they can be parked at a given address.

Complaints from residents prompted officials to develop the rules, Mayor Paula McCombie said. The changes have been in the works at least two years.

Among the rules:

  • Recreational vehicles can only be parked in residential neighborhoods.
  • Parking RVs on residential driveways is forbidden without first requesting permission from local police in writing or by phone.
  • Permission can be revoked if police discover an RV is in disrepair or a danger to people or other vehicles, among other reasons.
  • Recreational vehicles cannot be parked in driveways for more than one day at a time, and only so that the vehicles can be loaded, unloaded, cleaned or maintained; the limit previously had been 48 hours.
  • Only one RV can be parked at any residence at once, unless one RV is towing another.
  • People can only have RVs parked in their driveways for 14 days each year.

For that last rule, any part of a day counts as a whole day, Village Administrator Robert Palmer said. Previously, RV parking was limited to two weeks per year on dates that are at least six months apart.

Violators can be fined up to $500 for each day rules are broken.

Read more here.


Per the Village of Barrington:

“Active Shooter Training Notice Friday, March 24, 2023 at Barrington High School

An active shooter training scenario is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, March 24th at Barrington High School. Training for District 220 staff and officers from surrounding agencies will be participating. Please note that there will be increased police presence for this training.”


“TRAFFIC ALERT Hillside Avenue Closed Today at Union Pacific Tracks

Hillside Avenue is closed at the Union Pacific (Metra) tracks between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM today, Friday, March 24th while the Union Pacific completes track repairs. Detour signage will be in place during this work. Please plan accordingly.”

Note: Today is an, “In-Service Day,” and there will be no school.

Body Language

A bill narrowly approved by the state House on Thursday would allow an all-gender designation for bathrooms that accommodate two or more people. Not a pretty sight…

The Illinois House narrowly passed a bill Thursday that would allow businesses, universities and other building owners to designate multi-occupancy all-gender bathrooms if they choose to do so.

The bill passed on a vote of 60-40, the bare minimum number of “yes” votes needed for passage in the 118-member House, after the presiding officer held the roll open for several seconds waiting for the 60th vote to be recorded.

State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, who sponsored the bill, said the language of House Bill 1286 is identical to an earlier bill that passed 63-43 in the House in 2021 but was never taken up in the Senate.

Illinois law already allows for single-occupancy bathrooms to be designated for all genders, but Stuart’s bill would allow an all-gender designation for bathrooms that accommodate two or more people.

The bill sets out standards that all-gender bathrooms would have to meet, such as “inclusive signage” that does not indicate any specific gender; stall dividers with functioning locks controlled by the user; and partitions for each urinal, if urinals are present.

In addition, if such bathrooms are part of a newly constructed building or a building undergoing major renovation, they would have to comply with requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Accessibility Code. Each toilet stall would have to include a small trash receptacle, and it would have to have at least one vending machine for menstruation supplies and one baby diaper changing station.

The bill also provides that any multi-occupancy restroom could be converted to an all-gender restroom. But if another single-gender multi-occupancy restroom is located adjacent to or near the all-gender restroom, both would have to be designated as all-gender facilities.

Read more here.


Angela Wilcox


After last night’s meeting, I want to take some time to express my belief that we need some change on the Board of Education. I have dedicated 8 years of my life to representing this District, its children and its shareholders, and while I’m not 100% comfortable writing my personal opinions about an election in an open forum, I feel I owe it to the District and the constituents who have trusted me throughout my service.

This election, I am supporting Katey Baldassano, Leonard Munson, and Matt Sheriff. These three invited me to their Meet the Candidate event—I attended, spoke with them all, and was impressed. They all have kids in District 220 schools—that is so important as a Board Member. As most of you know, Jim and I had to pull our kids from D220 schools when they stopped offering in-person learning for nearly two years. I am a mom first and so I will never regret that decision, but as a Board Member, it put me at a disadvantage. I lost my connection to and knowledge of the day-to-day activities inside and outside of the classrooms. As most of you also know, I initially filed my paperwork to run for reelection this year but withdrew my candidacy after an honest conversation with my husband and some soul-searching as to what makes a good Board Member. You need kids in the schools.

Last night at the Board Meeting the attacks on these candidates solely focused on their sources of funding. Katie Karam posted a great explanation of how the Action PAC was formed—I didn’t know a lot of this before but if you’re curious, please read about it here:


It sounds to me that those upset with the Action PAC funding are focusing on a $6000 donation from a former Republican candidate for Governor. While this Republican does not live in Barrington, he is dating a mom in Barrington with a child at a D220 school. This doesn’t seem that notable to me, considering that our current Democratic Governor made a $500,000 donation in support of various candidates in cities where he does not live. At the end of the day though, I think the positions of the candidates themselves are the important talking points.

In this regard, as a former teacher and current administrator, Katey fills a gap that has been missing in our Board since Joe Ruffalo left—an educator’s perspective. In our conversations, she is open-minded, well-informed, and balanced in her assessment of issues. Leonard’s connection to the District runs deep and he has volunteered as a coach (also coaching my son!), mentor, and board member on multiple District initiatives throughout the years. He is a straight shooter but he also listens and processes the way a real collaborator should. Matt is newer to the District and is (admittedly) the last person you would expect to run for office. He is a veteran and kind of shy…which is why I like him. He is not led by pride or political ambition but is experienced in safety and security and is an advocate for people with disabilities. I also want to clear up a few misstatements about these candidates—I do not believe that any of these three are looking to increase class sizes, decrease programming, ban books (more on that below) or engage in an overhaul of D220. THEY HAVE KIDS IN OUR SCHOOLS. Their motivation is to support our schools and as such, their children. These misstatements appear to be scare tactics to deter voters from believing that community members can run for office for the pure and simple reason that they love their children and community.

As to the other two new candidates, I wasn’t invited to their Meet the Candidate forums; however, both Diana Clopton and Nelda Munos also have children in D220 schools. I met and spoke with Diana Clopton after last night’s Board Meeting and she was lovely. I wish I had more time to talk to her before writing this, but we are leaving for Spring Break at 5am tomorrow.

As to the incumbents, I wasn’t invited to their Meet the Candidate forums either but I, of course, know them well after working with them for the past four years. I DO NOT agree with Leah’s philosophies or values as a Board Member; however, I do agree with Barry on these principles. When it comes down to the votes that matter to me though—Barry and I do not align. I admire and respect Barry though and because of that, I have spent hours drafting some of my best arguments to sway him on issues such as reopening schools, relaxing masking requirements, eliminating quarantines and providing a tangible way for parents to weigh in on their childrens’ access to sexually explicit material (remember the Love Actually argument?! THE BEST!). We are so close to agreement, but yet so far–the Barrington version of RBG and Antonin Scalia.

The last matter I want to address is that of the books. We have spent more time talking about books than I ever thought I would spend as a Board Member, and it continues to resurface. I am not going to even touch the issue of whether these books should be in D220 libraries or not—if you have an opinion on this matter, it is made and I respect that. I do want to clear up a couple of untruths though.

  • There are pictures circulating of the content of books that have been reviewed by both the District and BOE. Some (understandably) believe these pages and images are doctored by right-wing extremists because it is just too graphic. I have not seen any pages or images that have been doctored. They are accurate representations of the content within these publications.
  • The publications in question are at the BHS library and are accessible by children ages 14-18. The author of at least one of the publications in question lists the material as ‘mature’ and suitable for audiences of 17 and above.
  • The current option for parents who do not want their children to access books with content they may find too sexually explicit or objectionable is that the parent must contact the District with the name of the objectionable publication and request that their child be denied access to same. There is no listing of books with mature sexual content or an option to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ of such access.
  • To my knowledge, families who do not speak English as their first language or do not have time to review publications for objectionable content really do not have any option to ascertain what publications contain mature sexual content or objectionable material.
  • The BOE discussion did not involve ‘banning’ books. We discussed whether these publications are age-appropriate, whether they should be labeled as sexually explicit and whether there is a means for families to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ of their childrens’ access to such publications.

Thank you for reading this. I have cherished every minute of serving this community and I know I will miss it when my service is over. Please know that every person running or serving on the Board of Education puts their neck out there, puts in a ton of time and probably has a lot of sleepless nights associated with same. Please give them grace and let’s give ourselves a break from the bristling arguments that are dividing this incredibly amazing community. Jimmy and I did NOT make a mistake moving here 20 years ago. Barrington is still the best town in Illinois…and it’s going to be even better when the Bears move down the street!

Don’t forget to VOTE on April 4 and if you have any questions, please reach out!!

My very best to you all,




The vote tally of House Bill 2789 that passed the House Wednesday.

Libraries in Illinois, including at K-12 schools, could see their funding cut if there are efforts to restrict books under a bill that passed the House Wednesday.

House Bill 2789 would limit federal pass-through tax dollars through the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for libraries that remove or restrict certain books.

State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove, used a recent controversy in her district around a book titled “Gender Queer” that she said “the Proud Boys hate group” and “radical fringe” parents protested. The book has sexually explicit themes some parents found objectionable.

“All too often, we see the books targeted by these hate groups and radical fringe parents are books having to deal with LGBTQ+ identities or Black and brown authors,” Stava-Murray said.

State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, said the measure “strong arms” local communities and is “a complete assault” on local control.

“And for the state to tell a local library board ‘listen to the professionals, follow the professionals,’ I don’t understand why we have local elections anymore if a bill like this passes,” McLaughlin said.

Local school board and library board elections across the state are set for April 4.

Read more here.

SD 220(Click HERE to enlarge) 

Wirepoints has created a series of fact sheets that put individual school district statistics in the spotlight. Wirepoints dug into Illinois State Board of Education and U.S. Census data to lay out student outcomes in the state’s 20 largest school districts and a select few others.

The data shows student outcomes are dismal, most children are passed along and yet teachers consistently receive high evaluations. Meanwhile, spending and tax burdens continue to grow while Illinois home values continue to suffer compared to the rest of the country.

Illinois ranks 8th in per student spending and has the highest property tax burden in the nation. Yet despite that spending, just 30% of Illinois students are reading at grade level and only 26% are proficient in math. 

Results are even worse for Illinois’ minority students. Just 18% of Hispanic students and only 12% of black students statewide can read at grade level.

Read more here, and view the SD 220 fact sheet HERE!

Related: “District 220 Board of Education candidates Katey Baldassono, Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff share their vision,” “Parents at top-rated school expose pornographic books in IL school library (DISCRETION ADVISED),” “The District 220 Policy Committee has a lot on their plate tomorrow,” “Who’s minding Leah and Barry’s campaign finances,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations,” “What 220 voters need to know,” “220 Parents call BS!

Tax Fuck

A new WalletHub study found the typical household in Illinois pays 15% of its income to state and local taxes, the highest in the nation. That’s an average of $10,463 – a 22% hike since 2017.

The typical Illinois family loses $10,463 – over 15% of its income – to state and local taxes, the highest in the nation, according to a WalletHub study.

The study looked the tax rates for someone with the U.S. median household income, who owns a median valued home and other variables to rank states. In Illinois, that comes out to $10,463, the highest in the nation and nearly $3,000 higher than the median state of Massachusetts.

It is also $2,300 more than the Illinois rate in 2017, or an increase of 22%. Illinois had the highest rate then and has kept its No. 1 tax ranking each year.

The study found Illinois state and local governments levy the nation’s second-highest gas taxes. WalletHub’s property tax rankings also show Illinois is No. 2 in the nation. Renters feel this burden by taking on 80-90% of property tax hikes.

Despite being asked to pay more than anyone else, the state has the nation’s worst pension debt. Illinois has 3.8% of the country’s population, but it carries 15.5% of the nation’s pension debt. Taxpayers must eventually come up with $140 billion to pay the state’s unfunded pension promises and another $70 billion for local pensions, or a total liability of $42,600 for each Illinois household.

Read more here.


Hoffman Estates trustees on Monday approved construction of sewer and water utilities enabling development of the 185-acre Plum Farms property northwest of Higgins Road and Route 59. This view looks south toward Higgins Road, with Old Sutton Road at the center of the image.( Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2019)

Hoffman Estates officials Monday approved the construction of sewer and water utilities enabling the long-sought development of the 185-acre Plum Farms property at the northwest corner of Higgins Road and Route 59.

The site lies directly west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center but has lacked the infrastructure needed to continue such development west along Higgins Road.

The right of the landowners to build utility connections was granted by an annexation and development agreement six years ago. But since then other preparations needed to be made, such as the negotiation of easements with neighboring property owners including the Hoffman Estates Park District and Canadian National Railway.

Though a 40-acre tax increment financing district was approved in 2020 to potentially provide some financial assistance in building utilities with property tax funds, there is not yet a specific agreement about which costs the district could reimburse, Hoffman Estates Director of Development Services Peter Gugliotta said.

A separate building permit is also needed to construct the utilities, which the landowner must apply for within a year of Monday night’s approval.

Construction of the utilities would probably take only two or three months from the time work starts, Gugliotta estimated.

Read more here.

3.21.23 BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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