Gun Ban, 49 New Laws, State Softball Champions, and More

Supreme Court Refuses to Immediately Hear Appeal to Illinois Firearms Ban

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a set of challenges to Illinois Democrats’ firearms ban for now. Here’s what you should know.

Illinois Gas Taxes Increased This Week

You may have noticed you’re paying more at the pump this week…just in time for July 4th travel. The State’s tax on motor fuel has increased every year since 2019.  Another increase was imposed on July 1, when the levy on gasohol and equivalent fuels rose from 45.4 cents/gallon to 47.0 cents/gallon. As recently as the first half of 2019, the State levy was only 19 cents per gallon, but during the past five years this tax has increased by almost 150%. The 2024 Illinois tax on diesel fuel also increased. In addition to the State of Illinois tax on motor fuel, Illinois buyers must also pay a federal gasoline tax (18.4 cents per gallon), and in many cases must pay supplemental taxes levied by local governments.

 Many neighboring states charge much lower motor fuel taxes than does Illinois.  For example, the current tax rate in Indiana is 18.9 cents per gallon.

New Fiscal Year, New Laws

As the new fiscal year began on Monday, Governor Pritzker also signed 49 bills into law impacting several important areas, including public safety, elections, and hunting.

Pritzker signs 49 bills impacting elections, hunting, mobile park residents and more | Illinois |

Applications are Open for OSLAD Grants

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will accept applications for the next round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants between July 1 through Sept. 13, closing at 5 p.m.

Established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986, OSLAD is a cost-sharing program between state and local governments that has become one of the most popular grant programs in Illinois. Since it was established, OSLAD has awarded more than $585 million for park projects throughout Illinois.

Learn more:

My District Director Beckie Johnson will be happy to help guide you through the process. You can reach her at 815-844-9344. In addition, IDNR staff along with the Illinois Association of Park Districts will offer training to demonstrate how to complete an application in Amplifund on Wednesday, July 17 at 11 am.

Around the District

Congratulations to the Pontiac Township High School Indians – new IHSA Class 3A State Softball Champions! In the championship game, the Indians shut out their opponents 6-0! We were proud to present the team certificates from the House of Representatives honoring their amazing achievement. Go Indians!

Celebrate Independence Day Safely

As a general rule, consumer fireworks are not legal in Illinois. The Pyrotechnic Use Act, passed in 1942, bans the sale, possession and use of all consumer fireworks. While legal to buy in most other states, firecrackers, bottle rockets and roman candles are not legal in Illinois. Illinois is one of only three states to ban all or most consumer fireworks.

Novelty fireworks-type devices that are not considered consumer fireworks and are legal in Illinois include sparklers, snake pellets, smoke devices, and some small cap guns. Please check local ordinances where you live, as sparklers, for example, are outlawed in the city of Chicago.

Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that thousands of people are injured in fireworks-related accidents every year, so please handle fireworks safely:

  • Never point fireworks toward another person
  • Never light fireworks in a container or indoors
  • Never light fireworks near anything flammable
  • Never attempt to re-light a device that failed to go off

As always, your safest bet is to enjoy large and supervised fireworks displays in villages, counties and municipalities that have obtained permits, and there are a number of events around Independence Day throughout the state. In addition, County Fairs and the State Fair have supervised public fireworks displays.

Read the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s complete list of Approved and Prohibited Consumer Fireworks and Unregulated Novelties.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!