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Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, criticizes the Democratic leaders of a property tax relief task force during a news conference Wednesday in Chicago. She said 26 Republican recommendations were ignored by the chairman of the task force.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday blasted a draft final report from the special Property Tax Relief Task Force that lawmakers formed last year. They said the panel’s

Democratic majority summarily rejected dozens of proposals from Republicans.

“Following the release of their draft within the last week, we once again see [House Democrats] refuse to be serious … at a time when our citizens are so desperate and wanting for change in state government,” House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, said during a news conference in Chicago.

The draft report has been circulating among the 88 members of the task force — or about half of the General Assembly — as the group prepares to issue a final report to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the legislature ahead of the start of the 2020 legislative session Jan. 28.

It calls for, among other things, having the state take over a greater share of funding responsibility for public schools, consolidating potentially hundreds of elementary school and high school districts into full K-12 “unit” districts, and extending the state sales tax to various services that aren’t currently taxed to raise state revenue that could be used to lower local property taxes.

Read more from Capitol News Illinois here.

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Ahead of the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana starting Wednesday, elected officials across the suburbs have been debating whether to allow pot sales within their borders.

YES: Sales allowed

Addison, Antioch, Aurora, Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Cary, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Elburn, Elgin, Fox Lake, Fox River Grove, Geneva, Gilberts, Hoffman Estates, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills, Lombard, Mundelein, North Aurora, Oakbrook Terrace, Palatine, Pingree Grove, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Schaumburg, Sleepy Hollow, South Elgin, St. Charles, Streamwood, Villa Park, Volo, Wadsworth, Warrenville, Wauconda, West Dundee, Wheeling, Winfield.

NO: Sales banned

Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Barrington, Batavia, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Campton Hills, Deer Park, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn (moratorium until Oct. 26), Glendale Heights, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Gurnee, Hainesville, Hawthorn Woods (moratorium until May 31), Inverness, Itasca, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lindenhurst, Lisle, Long Grove, Mettawa, Mount Prospect, Naperville, North Barrington, Oak Brook, Park Ridge, Roselle, Rosemont (moratorium until June 30), Round Lake, South Barrington, Sugar Grove, Vernon Hills, Wayne, West Chicago, Wheaton, Wood Dale, Woodridge.

Undecided

Burlington: next discussion Jan. 6; East Dundee: leaning yes, next discussion Jan. 6 or later, vote expected in January; Elk Grove Village: next discussion Jan. 14 or later; Hampshire: leaning yes, vote Jan. 2 or Jan. 16; Hanover Park: next discussion in late January or early February; Huntley: leaning yes, vote Jan. 9; Lakemoor: planning and zoning commission discussion in January, followed by village board discussion expected in February.

Read the full Daily Herald article here.

Editorial note: The names of municipalities that are adjacent to or nearby Barrington Hills appear bolded for reference.

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The “Rebuild Illinois” capital program “will make roads in every corner of the state safer. A variety of revenue sources will be solely dedicated to fixing our crumbling infrastructure, putting over half a million people to work and revitalizing communities across Illinois,” Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said.

What will cost more next year?

• Vehicle registrations jump by $50 for conventional cars and SUVs. Most truck registrations rise by $100.

• Electric vehicle registrations soar to $251 from $35.

• Gas taxes already went up by 19 cents a gallon this year to help pay for the capital program. In 2020, the cost per gallon will increase by the consumer price index effective July 1, 2020. That’s part of an annual adjustment tied to the CPI.

• Parking spaces on lots not owned by state or municipal governments will pay a tax ranging from 6% for hourly, daily or weekly users to 9% for monthly and yearly customers.

• Tax credits for trade-ins when buying a new car or SUV will be capped at $10,000. Pickup trucks, however, are exempt.

Read more here.

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Among the new laws taking effect in 2020 is a program that seeks to give Illinois children a leg up, before they’re even able to crawl.

Every baby born in Illinois would receive $50 in a 529-style investment account to help pay for their future community college, university or trade school expenses.

Given tuition costs, $50 won’t go far.

But the intent is to spur parents and guardians to contribute more to their child’s future education; growth on money invested in 529 accounts, like Illinois’ Bright Start program, can be taken out tax free as long as it’s put toward secondary education.

“If starting that account convinces their parents they want to add to this and they want to add to it regularly, that’s really going to maximize, increase, the number of students going to college and decrease the amount of debt they’re graduating with,” Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs said.

Read more here.

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Hoffman Estates officials have adopted regulations for the sale of recreational marijuana in the village, limiting the number of dispensaries at three and dictating three specific business areas in which they can be located.

Hoffman Estates village board members Monday gave final approval to regulations on businesses selling recreational marijuana by a 4-2 vote, largely sticking to their recommendation votes of two weeks earlier.

Though municipalities cannot ban recreational marijuana use, they can regulate sales within their borders and tax them up to 3%, as Hoffman Estates has done.

The village’s regulations limit the number of dispensaries to three and confine them to three specific business areas located on the west side, along the Barrington Road corridor, and around the intersection of Higgins and Roselle roads.

Any dispensary also will require a special-use permit, granting the village board even more discretion over their particular locations.

Read more here.

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With the recreational use of marijuana set to be legal statewide as of Jan. 1, several Barrington-area villages have made decisions on whether or not to allow a dispensary within their borders – while others are still conflicted.

Barrington Hills trustees voted against having dispensaries in the village, director of administration Anna Paul said.

“We currently don’t have really any businesses in the community … our residential character is important to the community,” Paul said.

Paul also stated that the village could reconsider their decision down the line, but they want to see how other communities manage the legalization of marijuana before they consider changing their position.

Read more here.

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A bevy of late filers Monday added to the potential intrigue of the upcoming 2020 state legislative primary in March and general election in November.

None of the races are set in stone because candidate petitions can be challenged until Monday, Dec. 9. So far, the Illinois State Board of Elections is reporting no objections to any candidates who have filed for office in the General Assembly, according to its website.

Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin announced his bid for the 52nd District House seat, which has been held by Republican David McSweeney for several years. McSweeney announced his decision not to seek reelection earlier this year. No Democrat has filed, but parties can slate candidates after the primary for the general election by June 1, according to the state board.

Read more here.

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