Illinois lawmakers approved a 66 percent increase in the state income tax in the early morning hours of January 12, part of a dramatic effort to address the state's critical budget crisis. The Democrat-controlled legislature passed the increase at the tail end of a lame duck session, with some lawmakers who supported the measure scheduled to leave office hours later when a new General Assembly was sworn in.
Today's scheduled healthcare repeal vote was postponed in the House of Representatives immediately following Saturday's shootings that killed six and left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords hospitalized with critical injuries. Some are wondering, however, whether Saturday's shooting -- said to be inspired by anger over healthcare and illegal immigration -- will change the debate over the healthcare repeal.
It was only a matter of time before Saturday's shooting in Arizona prompted calls for gun regulations. Unfortunately, the calls go far beyond restrictions on guns. Democrats in Congress are now calling for a ban on "threatening language or symbols" as well.
Both houses of the Arizona state legislature voted unanimously Tuesday to create a “funeral protection zone” preventing disruption from protestors at the funerals of those killed in Saturday’s shooting, the Arizona Republic reported. The legislation, which was signed into law later in the day by Gov. Jan Brewer, is in response to a statement by Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, that he and his band of followers would picket at the funerals.