Rep. Brady backs electric vehicle supplier incentives but little else in the fall session
Illinois Democrats used their majorities during the fall session to draw new congressional maps, give the governor more legal protections to enact COVID protocols, and remove hurdles for pregnant minors to get an abortion.
Republican State Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington voted against each of those measures. Brady said the mapmaking process was flawed because Democrats took little public input and the maps force Republican incumbents into primaries. U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced plans to retire from Congress, avoiding a primary fight against fellow Republican Darin LaHood in the new 16th Congressional District.
“Primaries are very difficult and it’s a cleansing of the party,” Brady said. “It pits individuals against each other that would normally be on the same page for most things.”
Brady added he’s not sure how the maps could impact the race of Illinois governor in 2022.
Kinzinger has said he plans to stay involved in politics, and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has said he will wait until after the maps are signed into law before announcing his political future.
Brady said he wants primary voters to consider electability when they make their selections next year.
Illinois lawmakers pushed through a series of tax credits and other incentives last week to help companies in the electric vehicle industry.
Brady said electric automaker Rivian won't benefit financially from the bill, but it will help suppliers who have been in negotiations to locate here.
“That was the urgency of this package to get something on the books through the legislature the governor is going to sign to show those companies we’re serious about wanting you here in Illinois,” Brady said.
Samsung is one of the companies that's been in talks to build a battery manufacturing plant in Normal, but the electronics company is considering locations in other states too.
Brady said the incentives aren't as great as some states are offering, but he says they at least make Illinois competitive.
Right of conscience
Brady said a bill that Illinois legislators approved that gives employers greater authority to enforce COVID-19 vaccine requirements should have included a COVID testing option.
Brady said he voted against changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act because it strips people's rights.
“You basically ignored over 48,000 people that sent in their opinions against the legislation and I think the legislation was something that was way too broad in that amendment and was something that should not have been pushed through or shoved downs throats in a veto session,” Brady said.
Democratic lawmakers passed the bill to hold off a potential wave of COVID lawsuits over vaccine mandates.
Brady said critics of the changes are suspicious that will lead to “forced vaccinations” on a broad scale.
“That is something that causes concern and rightfully so. They are suspicious of that. They are very concerned about their rights and something that’s been good enough to have on the books since 1995 now has got to be changed,” Brady said, referring to the Right of Conscience Act that lawmakers approved 26 years ago.
Illinois already requires health care workers, educators and other frontline workers to get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
Illinois lawmakers repealed the Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Supporters of repealing the notice requirement say it discourages many pregnant minors from seeking an abortion and could put them in danger if the parent who would be notified is their abuser.
Brady considers removing the parental notice requirement a double standard.
“You need a parent’s consent if you are under 18 to have a tattoo, to go on a field trip, see an R-rated movie, participate in school sports or take Tylenol for gosh sakes at school, but yet you’ve stripped parental notification for a serious medical procedure,” he said, adding that Illinois lawmakers seem intent to shore up abortion rights in the wake of Texas passing a law that essentially puts enforcement powers in the hands of private citizens. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review that law.
Secretary of State?
Brady said he plans to announce by Thanksgiving whether he plans to run for Illinois Secretary of State next year. Brady, who has been in Illinois legislature since 2001, said he has been exploring the potential for a statewide campaign for several months.
Brady said he has been talking with GOP leaders and potential donors about a possible candidacy.
“Discussions have been good. Of course, everybody is for you before you announce and what you have to do is make those decisions based on (that) and couple it with personal and the business side of things,” Brady said.
Democrat Jesse White is not seeking re-election after six terms. A crowded field of Democrats haver emerged in the race, including former Chicago alderman Pat Dowell and David Moore, former U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias and Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia.