image
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Death penalty bill advances, open primary setback, seniors may no longer ride free

Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010

* Legislation to abolish the death penalty in Illinois just passed a House committee 4-3.

* The Tribune recently editorialized in favor of the legislation

The last prisoner executed by the state of Illinois was Andrew Kokoraleis, who died by lethal injection at the Tamms Correctional Center in March 1999. The next year, then-Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions, concerned that a deeply flawed system had sent innocent people to death row. Three years later he commuted the sentences of 167 condemned inmates and pardoned four others.

A lot of Illinoisans apparently believe that was the end of it. Only 39 percent of voters responding to a recent poll answered (correctly) that Illinois still has the death penalty. The others said it does not (33 percent) or that they didn’t know (28 percent).

No, the death penalty hasn’t been abolished in Illinois. It hasn’t been fixed either.

Those poll results show to me that people don’t really care all that much. Whether they will care if the bill passes is the big question, however.

* Unsurprisingly, another sweeping amendatory veto went down to defeat yesterday in the House

A bill that would shield voters’ political party preferences from the public record has been killed in the Illinois House.

Gov. Pat Quinn had rewritten House Bill 4842 so voters would not have to publicly declare their parties when voting in a primary election. The bill originally instructed the State Board of Elections to publish a voters guide on the Internet during primary elections.

However, House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said the amendatory veto was unconstitutional.

“He created a wholly different bill,” Currie said. “That was not what was contemplated by the people who drafted and the people who supported the 1970 Constitution.”

Lots of people support the governor’s idea, but not so much in the General Assembly. Plus, legislators don’t take too kindly to a governor attempting to legislate with an amendatory veto.

* A case in point is the seniors ride free bill. That one was such a political hot potato that the General Assembly decided to go along with Rod Blagojevich’s AV. But opponents have persisted and another vote to get rid of it appears likely

On Monday, a House committee approved legislation that would scale back the free-rides program by setting income limits for seniors to qualify.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch or a free ride,” Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said.

Gov. Pat Quinn has previously said he would veto legislation limiting free rides, but Currie said she is confident the proposal will have enough support for lawmakers to override a veto.

When the Majority Leader is on board, that usually means the Speaker is on board, and that usually means that the bill will pass.

* But not everybody is ready to vote for it

State Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, was among lawmakers hesitating to take the perk away. He said it might be difficult for seniors to adjust to the change.

* Keep in mind, however, that a federal law requires seniors to get a 50 percent mass transit discount, so they still won’t pay the full freight

On Monday, a House committee approved limiting free bus and train rides to seniors who make less than $27,600 a year. More affluent seniors would pay the federally mandated half price for rides.

…Adding… From the RTA…

Saw your blog post on the RTA’s senior ride free bill today. Thanks. Just a small note: the bill doesn’t eliminate seniors riding free. It means test it so that seniors who are in the Circuit Breaker Program ride free and all others half off. It works the same way our current People with Disabilities Ride Free Program works which was created by the General Assembly a few months after the Seniors program was created.

* Roundup…

* House Dems elect Madigan again

* ComEd fights Ill. on conservation

* Stimulus program helping 26,000 Illinoisans may expire

* Lawmakers, advocates, opponents hash out reform for Medicaid, workers’ comp

* A big push to end capital punishment - Death penalty abolitionists say now is the time

* Broken Beyond Repair

* The dollars and cents of medical marijuana in Illinois

* Waste in state government? Don’t blame auditor general

* Keep Illinois casinos smoke free

* Bill would reduce police, fire pension benefits

* The other pension crisis

* The gambling balancing act

* Quinn: Come down from North Pole

* Smokers may get to light up in casinos

* Taylorville coal plant bill advances; support lacking in full House

* Tensaka Supporters: Time To Act

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - Jo - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    So, you take something that costs the State nothing (free rides), and then you “fix” the problem by making every senior who wants free rides go through a state-run income verification process each year.

    That’s going to require the hiring of countless new state employees or temps, new phone lines to handle a gigantic influx of calls, and not to mention that every new senior who comes in for the free rides will also get a nice healthy property tax grant from state coffers (and other benefits).

    If you want to reduce the size of government, stop adding layers upon layers of bureaucracy.


  2. - amalia - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    the murder of a Chicago Police Officer and a retired CHA officer by a person out on parole, who should have been in on an attempted murder, cries out for the death penalty. in fact, the man upon whom the attempt murder was committed says that he hopes the guy gets the death penalty. Law enforcement, time to contact Springfield!


  3. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:31 am:

    ==make less than $27,600==

    One line of thinking we have to get away from is giving handouts based soley on income. Most Seniors make less than $27,600.00 per year because they are on fixed incomes and when the economy goes south, investments do not yeild. But if you live in a $1.5 million house and have 3$3million in the bank, do you need a free ride more than the single mom of 3 making $28,000 per year.


  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    amalia, the abudction, rape and murder of a young girl in DuPage County also cried out for the death penalty. I mean, if anything ought to be punished by death, it would be that combination of crimes.

    Turns out, the thrice convicted men were not guilty.


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    –So, you take something that costs the State nothing (free rides), –

    How so? The state kicks in plenty to mass transit. So do taxpayers in other ways besides their support of state revenues.

    If the state didn’t have any skin in the game, mandating free rides would be even worse.


  6. - Jo - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    Um, even if the death penalty was reinstated, that teen wouldn’t have gotten the death penalty for an armed robbery conviction, and he would still have done this.


  7. - Jo - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:35 am:

    word -

    The free rides cost the State of Illinois nothing. They may cost the transit agencies, but the State doesn’t reimburse the transit agencies for the rides.


  8. - amalia - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    Rich, I believe the punishment should be available. I believe it is just to give the punishment in certain cases. The real question is, if you knew, with certainty, that a person committed a murder, would you be in favor of the death penalty? and remember, even Rolando Cruz thinks the guy should go down out in DuPage!


  9. - cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    This is such low hanging fiscal reform fruit, but it could be stickier to implement than expected, and thus incur the wrath of those seniors who arrive at the station and find that their cards don’t work. Maybe they could convert the free cards to 50 percent fare cards and initiate an expensive advertising campaign (contract to a Democratic contributor ) to tell folks what to do about adding payment to those cards. Or maybe everybody will have to apply all over again. . And many seniors would legitimately find trooping down to some state office and waiting around to reapply exhausting, Could be messy.

    I wonder if this is what we have to look forward to with respect to the Illinois budget crisis. Piecemeal reforms targeting specific groups (but never unionized state employees) but no comprehensive strategy and definitely no shared sacrifice.


  10. - Chicago Bars - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    Between free rides, the lack of any income taxes on retirement income, medicare expenses, and the impending baby boomer demographic bubble hitting 65 isn’t doing everything possible to drive seniors away the unpleasant but pragmatic thing for Illinois to be doing?

    Free rides seem to be just the tip of this geriatric government program iceberg that will hit Illinois over the next decade.

    I don’t have any idea on what the net revenue flow on Illinois senior citizens is now, or will be in a few years, but with all the baby boomers hitting it seems like those program expenses should inevitably skyrocket.

    But I’m a beer and bar booster not an actuary so I freely admit I may be wrong.


  11. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    It is time to do away with the death penalty. Until we reach the point where our system of criminal justice is infallible, we have no business applying the death penalty to anyone.


  12. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:06 am:

    I have a friend whose father implemented his personal senior half price discount. He uses his senior free ride card for half of a trip on the CTA, then pays full fare for the other half of the trip.


  13. - Transit Supporter - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    Jo - the state already verifies income through the Circuit Breaker program - which is why it was picked. And yes, the state does reimburse reduced fare programs.


  14. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    Serious question:
    The vote for Madigan was unanimous? Did I miss something? Did those Dems who claimed that they would not support him all lose in November?


  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    ===Did those Dems who claimed that they would not support him all lose in November? ===

    LOL

    One person said that and he lost. Big.


  16. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    Thanks. I knew of one. I thought there were others. My bad.


  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    –The free rides cost the State of Illinois nothing. They may cost the transit agencies, but the State doesn’t reimburse the transit agencies for the rides. –

    I really can’t follow your logic. The state provides transit agencies hundreds of millions a year. By your logic, why doesn’t the state just mandate free rides for everyone, since it doesn’t cost anything?


  18. - Jo - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    Transit - yes, the state verifies income through Circuit Breaker, and that’s why the dimwitted legislators chose it. Problem is - there are about 150,000 seniors enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program, and more than 300,000 seniors enrolled for free rides (and most at the circuit breaker income levels). I am sure you can figure out what is going to happen there. Legislators assume that since they create a program, or a program exists, that all people eligible for that program automatically and without effort get all the benefits. They don’t realize that you have to find some way to get all those people to enroll.

    Also, the state has been reimbursing for reduced fare rides for a long time. Not the free rides. The reduced fare reimbursement today is the same as it always has been. If you put it back to reduced fare rides only, you don’t save any money.


  19. - Jo - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    word -

    The only state General Revenue Fund money that goes to transit agencies is the $35 million reduced fare reimbursement.

    If the State mandated free rides for everyone (and they could), it would not cost the State anything.

    That would cost a lot for transit agencies, and they would have to try and raise sales taxes, mft, or find other revenue to pay for it.


  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    Jo - My husband actually works for a transit system in this state. You have no idea how much those free rides actually cost them. Additionally, the free ride card is being used by non-seniors, etc. Who is supposed to police that? The bus drivers???? Of course there should be a verification process and of course, the cheating is costing the state in the form of reimbursement for illegal use.


  21. - Jo - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 12:19 pm:

    Anonymous - I am not making a comment on how much free rides cost the transit agencies. But make no mistake - it is costing only the transit agencies, not the state’s general fund.

    Additionally, the reduced fare reimbursement paid out of the State GRF is a fixed amount that has been the same for a number of years.

    Also, there is a verification process to prove you are a senior already in place. The change would be to add an INCOME verification, which is one of the most costly things to do.


  22. - cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    Not low-hanging fruit but irrelevant to the state’s fiscal crisis.

    Just what one would expect from our current state political leadership-lots of noise and no beef.
    A useless lot.


  23. - Fed up - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    I just cant see why letting the dead ride the bus for free is a big deal, they get to vote and keep their property tax exemptions so why shouldnt the dead get to ride the bus for free.


  24. - Great Caesar's Ghost! - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 2:11 pm:

    All Quinn has to do with the free ride bill is wait until the GA adjourns sine die and then veto it. There would be no chance for an override vote so the bill would be dead.


  25. - Conservative Veteran - Tuesday, Nov 30, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    I know a rich 84 year-old man who uses the free rides because he can, although he can easily afford to pay for the rides. I know some poor young people who can barely pay for their rent and food, and they have to pay the full price, on trains and buses.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Duckworth to announce on Monday
* Rauner mulls selling Thompson Center
* Question of the day
* It's just a bill...
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Brown: Exploring an exploratory committee is "under review"
* Rauner administration denies union report of progress on fair share suit
* *** UPDATED x2 - Durbin out of the running? *** Illinois Republicans react to potential Durbin elevation
* Is a new era finally dawning in Illinois?
* Meanwhile, in Opposite Land...
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * How Lightroom works: Where it keeps your images and presets, and how to back up
        * Motorola isn’t keen on tablets, suggests Lenovo Yogas
        * Motorola hints at new Moto Maker material option
        * Leaked photos might be the LG G4 or G4 Note variant
        * LG G4 tipped to launch by end of April
        * The Week in iOS Apps: Periscope and Stre.am join the videocasting revolution
        * Motorola Moto E Review: budget performance done right

        * Google’s GIF Response to Wall Street Journal Lobbying Story
        * Ellen Pao verdict: No gender bias or retaliation by Kleiner Perkins
        * If Intel Buys Altera, Look for Xilinx to Be Sold Next
        * The New Perfect Balance for Your MetroCard Is $27.25
        * Order a Private Jet from the Victor Charter App
        * Deadspin Aaron Hernandez's Fiancée Testifies, Doesn't Flip On Him | Jalopnik A Train From 1836 Could
        * Moda 3D Printer Applies Your Make-Up for You in 30 Seconds

        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * Two blasts not enough to support Shark vs. Cubs
        * White Sox injury updates: Chris Sale therapy a course for a horse
        * Gillaspie confident plantar fasciitis is under control
        * Gillaspie confident plantar fasciitis is under control
        * Gillaspie confident plantar fasciitis is under control
        * Penny misses mark in latest audition

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Rauner Signs Budget Short-Fix Into Law..
        * Rauner urges Will County to embrace 'empowermen.....
        * Rauner Signs Into Law Compromise Plan to Fix Bu.....
        * Rauner administration could put price tag on Th.....
        * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds..
        * Duckworth to announce on Monday..
        * State budget deal means $15 million cut to Univ.....
        * Rauner names new Illinois Lottery chief as figh.....


        * Ferry reopening between southern Illinois, western Kentucky
        * Chicago rooftop owner charged with trying to defraud Cubs
        * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds
        * Man sentenced for defrauding clients of retirement funds
        * Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to get small bison herd
        * Illinois comptroller expedites funds to child care providers
        * Pot seized, man arrested after Nebraska traffic stop
        * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
        * State budget deals means $15M cut to U of I
        * Durbin praises Reid's leadership; no comment on successor

        * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds
        * Comptroller Munger expedites funds to child care providers
        * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
        * Former Congressman Schilling making 'special announcement' Saturday in Peoria
        * Illinois Army National Guard member, cousin arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group
        * Senate passes plan to fix $1.6B budget hole
        * Illinois Senate passes plan to fix $1.6B budget hole
        * Schock says he leaves Congress with sadness, humility
        * Suburban Chicago men arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group
        * Bill would bar public funds for graduation speakers at state universities

        * ADM executives received big pay bumps in 2014
        * Donald Perkins, former Jewel CEO and civic leader, dies at 88
        * Esquire Theater sold for $176 million
        * Illinois GOP is biggest loser in Schock scandal
        * Common to headline City Colleges commencement


          * Rauner administration could put price tag on Thompson Center
          * Small fire at Gold Coast high-rise extinguished quickly
          * Insurer lowers cost of HIV treatments after discrimination complaints
          * Prosecutors: Man killed while begging for his life in Ravenswood alley
          * Applause for cops who save man at Midway Airport
          * 2nd woman makes sex abuse claim against chiropractor, prosecutors say
          * Manager of Chicago rapper Lil Durk slain on South Side
          * Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
          * Homeless man dies from being hit by car in Northlake
          * Maywood man dies after being shot multiple times


          * With GOP votes, Indiana House approves religious objection bill
          * After spending scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock says goodbye
          * Legislature to consider Madigan plan to fill state budget gap
          * Rauner signs into law compromise plan to fix budget hole
          * Where can a politician wield more influence? Chicago's City Council vs. Illinois' Statehouse
          * More people moved away from Illinois last year than any other state
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * ACLU: Chicago police make more stops than New York at its peak


          * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds
          * Comptroller Munger expedites funds to child care providers
          * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
          * Former Congressman Schilling making 'special announcement' Saturday in Peoria
          * Kris Theilen: Street, sidewalk improvements a point of pride
          * Esther Cepeda: An ode to the joy of inspired teaching
          * E.J. Dionne: What Ted Cruz knows about strategy
          * State Journal-Register city election endorsements to begin Sunday
          * Quote of the Day: Friday, March 27, 2015
          * Illinois Army National Guard member, cousin arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group


          * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
          * Break for Illini in LoVett's recruitment?
          * UI Men's Tennis vs. Penn State
          * Rock Island to close part of 6th Avenue for repair work
          * No decision yet on Loda liquor license request
          * Man sentenced to probation for growing marijuana
          * Coroner identifies couple in murder-suicide
          * Indiana man facing charges after Friday interstate accident
          * Pugnacious Reid retiring, wants Schumer as Senate Dem leader
          * Granite City man gets 10 years for possession of child porn


          * PM&L Theatre looks to expand its space and offerings in downtown Antioch
          * Bulls thriving after being spurned by Melo
          * Judson kicks off new inspirational world leaders series this fall
          * Daily Herald disputes Long Grove candidates' mailer
          * Duckworth to announce Senate bid Monday

          * Esty backs federal gun bill
          * Rotering To Run For Congress
          * Highland Park mayor, Schneider in for a ru...
          * Supreme Court gay marriage case highlights...
          * Duckworth to announce Senate bid Monday
          * Illinois Congressman Bost Says Granite Cit...
          * The Mushroom Cloud and the X-Ray Machine -...
          * Tammy Duckworth Expected to Challenge Sena...
          * Bustos And Other Illinois Members Renew Bi...
          * Kaergard: Schock's office not the only thi...

          * Inside Chuck Schumer's 24-hour campaign fo......
          * Schumer in line for top Democratic post in......
          * Pugnacious Reid retiring, wants Schumer as......
          * Schumer’s patience pays off as Dems make way...
          * Lil Durk's manager fatally shot hours afte......

          * Big News from Chicago: Tammy Duckworth!...
          * Tammy Duckworth Expected to Challenge Sena......
          * Some Republicans Step Back From GOP Climat......
          * Duckworth to announce Senate bid Monday...
          * Can Jesús save Chicago?...

          * The Weekend In Chicago Rock
          * The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #44: Alice In Cubsland
          * Reid not to run in 2016, endorses Schumer over Illinois' Durbin
          * U.S. Reps. Schakowsky, Becerra At Social Security Press Conference
          * TV Pilot Shooting Next Week Near Entertainment District
          * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
          * Geek Joins Outside The Loop Radio On Saturday Morning
          * “I did not come to Springfield to ask permission to opt my children out of high-stakes testing.”
          * I am a candidate for IEA Retired delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly.
          * Rogers Park Road Rage Incident Caught On Video


          * Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
          * Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats
          * Health Matters: 2015 Illinois Minority Health Efforts - Creating & Sustaining Healthy Communities
          * ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes - IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies
          * New Illinois Server Training Law effective July 1 - State currently offering FREE responsible beverage server classes




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller