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Members of Barrington Area Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America wore their red shirts at a recent Barrington Area Unit District 220 meeting asking that elected officials reject a resolution that supports arming teachers or other school employees on campus.

Groups including the League of Women Voters and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America are urging suburban school leaders to oppose a proposal before the Illinois Association of School Boards that would support legislation allowing districts to arm teachers and staff members.

The measure is expected to be up for a discussion and vote when the association holds its annual convention next month in Chicago. Under the resolution, the association would encourage state legislation allowing individual school boards to decide whether to permit armed staff members in their districts.

Similar opposition is surfacing to a proposal that the school board association lobby lawmakers to create and fund a statewide school safety grant program that would help districts hire school resource officers or other armed security.

Read the full Daily Herald article here.

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Capital punishment will be a “deterrent to violent crime,” he says

A Republican lawmaker has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, calling it an “effective tool” to dissuade violent crime.

Barrington Hills Rep. David McSweeney announced his intention to introduce the bill in August after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people.

The Capital Crimes Litigation Act of 2019, filed Thursday, would restore state death penalty law to what it was eight years ago, before former Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law eliminating the measure. Its purpose, according to the measure, is to “have the death penalty serve as a deterrent to violent crime with the specific goal of reducing mass shootings, serial killings, and gun violence.”

At the time Quinn abolished capital punishment in Illinois, making it the 16th state to do so, he said the state should not have a system in place that might result in the killing of wrongfully convicted citizens. McSweeney said DNA technology has advanced “tremendously,” and added the state needs “to take special care” to ensure wrongful convictions do not result in executions.

Read more from the Rockford Register Star here.

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Barrington’s advisory plan commission this week rejected the idea of recreational marijuana sales in the village. Casual pot use becomes legal in Illinois Jan. 1.

Towns can’t outlaw its use, but can decide to prohibit businesses that sell it or restrict their location. The plan commission at a meeting Tuesday evening recommended amending a Barrington ordinance to prohibit the use of recreational marijuana businesses.

Related: ZBA to take up “Cannabis Business Enterprises” at their October 21st meeting

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Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin will run for the state 52nd District state House seat long held by Republican stalwart David McSweeney.

McLaughlin, also a Republican, is the first candidate to publicly announce a campaign for the seat since McSweeney said earlier this month he won’t seek re-election in 2020. McSweeney, a Barrington Hills resident also, has held the office since 2012.

The 52nd District covers parts of Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties, and encompasses much of the Barrington area, as well as Cary, Algonquin, Fox River Grove and Island Lake.

First elected village president in 2013, McLaughlin is in his second term as Barrington Hills’ top elected official. In his announcement about his campaign for state representative, he cites his work to lower the village’s property tax levy while increasing spending on infrastructure.

“People are fleeing our state because high taxes and the untenable financial position our state is in,” he said. “I believe that my background as a pension fund manager and village president make me uniquely qualified to help get Illinois’ finances back in order.”

Read more here.

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David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) announced last week that he will not seek reelection. Instead, he said he’ll likely be making a 2022 statewide bid for either US Senate against Senator Tammy Duckworth or Secretary of State if Jesse White retires.

He may not be a household name, but Representative McSweeney has been a huge thorn in Republican leadership’s side since he first ran for the Illinois House in the 2012 primary.

He took on Representative Kent Gaffney, who had been the House Republicans’ Appropriations director for a decade, and was appointed to the seat after the untimely 2011 death of Republican Representative Mark Beaubien. At one point during the campaign, Representative McSweeney claimed House Republican staff had violated the law by doing political work on state time and tried hard to get Representative Gaffney kicked off the ballot. He won a three-way primary and then went on to defeat Representative Beaubien’s widow, who ran as an independent in the general election.

In other words, he did not arrive in Springfield well liked by the people who ran his own party. And he hasn’t tried to ingratiate himself with them at any point since then.

Read this interesting commentary in the River Cities’ Reader here.

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Dick Duchossois

Did the death knell grow louder for Arlington Park on Wednesday?

Or was it instead some high-stakes chin music served up by management of Churchill Downs Inc. toward Illinois state legislators about the future of the teetering local oval?

CDI stated an intent to conduct live racing at (Arlington Park) only through the 2020 and 2021 seasons, citing a burden of purse contributions at an unacceptable “tax rate” as the primary reason for its decision to not apply for table and video gambling with the Illinois Gaming Board.

But Dick Duchossois, the chairman emeritus who, by his own admission, is watching the unfolding theatrics from a deck chair, noted wiggle room in Carstanjen’s ominous words.

“Churchill Downs Incorporated will not close Arlington Park,” the 97-year-old industrialist said. “The Illinois state legislature will close Arlington Park. Only its members can change things.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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SPRINGFIELD — A Republican state lawmaker is calling for the resurrection of the death penalty in Illinois after two mass shootings in the United States and recent gun violence in Chicago.

Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills said he will either sponsor or co-sponsor some version of a measure overturning the abolishment former Gov. Pat Quinn placed on capital punishment eight years ago. Former Gov. George Ryan had placed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2000.

At the time, Quinn said Illinois should not have a system in place that might result in the erroneous execution of citizens. McSweeney said “eliminating the death penalty was a terrible mistake.”

“It has been a complete failure,” he said.

Read more from The News-Gazette here.

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