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TALKING POINTS: Lots of new laws to abide by in 2018


You certainly couldn’t accuse the Illinois General Assembly of being a “do-nothing” group of politicians last year.

More than 200 new laws were passed.

There was that new increase in the state income tax to help pay the state’s bills. Good luck with that.

There’s a new school aid formula on the books and it’s probably as boring to read and digest as the old one. Here’s hoping it’ll help even things out for most of the state’s school children.

The list of new laws is a long one ranging from covering animal custody in divorce cases to designating former President Obama’s Aug. 4 birthday as President Obama Day, although it won’t be an actual state holiday.

Here’s hoping last year’s session of the Illinois General Assembly addressed your particular interests.

If not, well, you can always join the tens of thousands of other Illinois residents and leave.

You might consider California. Not only is it warmer than Illinois but there’s word recreational marijuana is now more accessible there.

Now there’s something that might help you forget Illinois.

School funding

It was about time Illinois addressed the often confusing state school aid formula.

You’d think the next step would be to trim the number of public school districts starting with requiring all of them to consolidate into so-called unit districts or kindergarten through 12th grade.

Seriously? Did it take this long back in the day to convince downstate Illinois citizens that the one-room school house was a little outdated.

Don't expect many new laws for next year

Its campaign season and the U.S. Congress and Illinois Legislature will probably spend more time campaigning than legislating.

There is some work to do.

Congress has to address paying the country’s bills among other things. Illinois legislators will spend a couple days in Springfield this spring and next fall. Can Illinois do a state budget two years in a row?

Rest assured Congress and the Illinois General Assembly will be trying very hard to please as many voters as possible while offending the fewest.

And in sports

Is the football season over yet?

Good grief the pigskin season at all levels seems to be getting longer than professional hockey, basketball and baseball seasons combined.

At least the Chicago Bears knew when to put the pads away for another season, albeit somewhat reluctantly.

  • JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing

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