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Question of the day

Monday, Feb 28, 2011

* The Better Government Association took a look at some of the bills assigned to the House Agricultural Committee this year

* concealed possession of hand guns,
* waiting periods for firearm purchases,
* changes to the criminal code for minors when handguns are involved,
* rules requiring women to have ultrasounds before having an abortion,
* required reporting of child abuse, and
* gaming.

That “gaming” bill involves horse racing, which is in Ag’s natural domain.

* And then comes the editorializing

But when bills are placed in committees that have nothing to do with their subject matter, the entire legislative process risks being subverted.

Pam Sutherland, head of policy for Planned Parenthood of Illinois pointed out that placing a bill about women’s health into the Agriculture Committee is “like sending a hog-farming bill to the Public Health committee.”

House members were chosen to sit on the Agriculture Committee because of their expertise and interest in agriculture. They do not have the subject matter expertise that allows them to make informed decisions on legislation unrelated to that topic.

House Speaker Michael Madigan knows how to play the game and is aware that bills with little chance of passing in the correct committee can sail through another committee simply because lawmakers don’t know or care to ask the right questions.

Actually, a hog farming bill might very well have an impact on public health.

People aren’t necessarily chosen for committee assignments based on their “expertise.” If they were, the committee assignments would look a bit different than they do now. The sparsely populated Counties and Townships Committee would have a lot more members than it does, for instance.

* The truth is that the House Ag Committee has been the place to send more culturally conservative legislation for a while now so that the sponsors are assured that their legislation makes it to the floor. Madigan likes to make his members happy, and getting floor votes on bills is part of that process. This started with guns and went from there. Pro gun bills were sent to Ag. Gun control bills were sent to whatever committee had the most liberals on it.

The “child abuse” bill assigned to Ag requires people whose work encompasses “abortions, abortion counseling, abortion referrals, contraceptives, contraceptive counseling, sex education, or gynecological care and services” to report suspected child abuse. Hence, the assignment.

* Anyway, I’ve been thinking for a while that Ag’s name should be changed to reflect its far more influential role in the process. So…

* The Question: What should be the House Agricultural Committee’s more “appropriate” new name?

Snark is heavily encouraged, of course.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


58 Comments
  1. - Angry Republican - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 6:17 am:

    The new name should be the Acme committee - we legislate everything


  2. - Reddbyrd - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 6:29 am:

    Committee on WingNut Affairs

    Gotta wonder when the BGA will do something besides fundraise….like asking IL corporations what they gave to the RGA…maybe all those “investigators” could start digging into 10-Ks other SEC documents.


  3. - Palatine - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 6:55 am:

    The new name should be the Lemming commitee. They mindlessly march over cliffs or into traps, just as the speaker wants.


  4. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:07 am:

    Everything AND the Kitchen Sink committee.


  5. - nona - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:10 am:

    The Aristocratic Committee


  6. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:19 am:

    The Blue Dog Committee


  7. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:24 am:

    The we-need-to-appease-the-conservative-downstate-Democrat-members committee.


  8. - muon - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:36 am:

    Guns AND Butter Committee


  9. - Observing - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:43 am:

    House Hybrid Committee


  10. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:53 am:

    The Hazzard County Commission


  11. - Dooley Dudright - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:11 am:

    Has to be “ag”-something — as if we silly wabbits had mistakenly thought that “ag” logically would be short for “agriculture”, when it actually has stood for something else all along.

    House Aggravation Committee? Nah.

    “House Ag Committee” = House Aggregation Committee. Where MJM aggregates legislation.


  12. - Ghost - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:24 am:

    The committee on selection of meeting table shapes


  13. - Ghost - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:26 am:

    We have aStaute on Statutes in the law books,

    how abut the Committee on Committee’s?

    Or the committee in support of the use of double letters.


  14. - MrJM - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:34 am:

    “Fibber McGee’s Committee”

    (And here’s the link for you youngsters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibber_McGee_and_Molly#The_Closet)

    – MrJM


  15. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:43 am:

    The Good’ol’Boy Committee


  16. - Stones - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 8:47 am:

    The House Everything But Agriculture Committee


  17. - Irish - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:00 am:

    The yes men/women.


  18. - Down South - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:05 am:

    The House Ag Getrdone Committe


  19. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:05 am:

    The Gun-Toting Minors and Pregnant Women on Horseback While Farming Committee


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:13 am:

    Hee Haw


  21. - Seriously??? - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:21 am:

    More importantly than asking for snark would be to ask the question as to why Speaker Madigan, a Democrat, would want bills that are being used to chip away at reproductive rights for women to get to the floor? Apparently unions and women are the targets of politics in this country. I just didn’t think women were a target in the state.


  22. - Honest Abe - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:26 am:

    The Bermuda Triangle Committee.


  23. - Bluefish - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:27 am:

    The “Help a Legislator Look Good to the Folks Back Home” Committee


  24. - Behind The Scenes - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:31 am:

    Mr. Madigan’s Special Filter Committee.


  25. - lincoln's beard - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:41 am:

    For the HP fans on the blog, how about the “Committee of Requirement”. It appears whenever a legislative leader has great need of it, and transforms itself into whatever the legislative leader needs it to be at that moment in time.


  26. - jerry 101 - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:43 am:

    The Special House Committee on the Proper Preparation of Tea Bags.


  27. - jerry 101 - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:44 am:

    Or, perhaps, The House Committee on What’s That Got To Do With The Price of Tea in Effingham?


  28. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    The Mayberry Tea Bagger Town Council.


  29. - Canned Yard - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:49 am:

    The House Agriculture, Arms and Fertility Committee to Defend Against ZOG

    They’ll set things aright!


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:54 am:

    The “Throw Me a Bone, Speaker!” committee


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 9:59 am:

    The “Consent Calendar” Committee … One votes and all the bills move on …


  32. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:01 am:

    Agri-Gun-Culture Committee.

    –“like sending a hog-farming bill to the Public Health committee.”–

    If you live anywhere near one of these enormous hog operations — or draw water from a nearby well — you better believe Public Health should eyeball such legislation.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:01 am:

    The “We Don’t Read ‘em, We Just Pass ‘em” Committee


  34. - Nuance - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:05 am:

    The AG Grevating Committee.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:08 am:

    The “Speaker’s Chit Cash-Out” Committee …


  36. - Alexander cut the knot. - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    The Bergoo & Ag Committee.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    The “Green Button Boys” Committee


  38. - Joe from Joliet - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:19 am:

    “Any Issue That Begins With The Letter A Committee”
    Ag, abortion, arms, ammo, assistence, anything else


  39. - Smitty Irving - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:25 am:

    I’m reminded of what one wag said “NASCAR” stood for: Non Active Sports fans Confederates And Rednecks …


  40. - piling on - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:39 am:

    Yes, Jeff Gordon screams redneck


  41. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 10:42 am:

    The Not-Chicago Committee
    The Retro Illinois Committee
    The Fair and Balanced Committee
    The Committee of Reason and Reflective Reality
    The West Indiana Committee
    The South Wisconsin Committee
    The Purple Centrist Committee


  42. - Amused - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 11:26 am:

    The Downstate Detour


  43. - Tired of This Nonsense - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 11:28 am:

    The House Gats and Chattel (yeah Sugarbuns, that means you) Committee


  44. - KGB - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 11:34 am:

    The S. of I-80 Committee


  45. - piling on - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 11:41 am:

    The committee that has as much to do with agriculture as the BGA has to do with better government committee


  46. - lincoln's beard - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 11:42 am:

    The Copperhead Committee


  47. - Holdingontomywallet - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 11:58 am:

    The “Mental Floss” Committee


  48. - Buy Us All Chastity Belts and Get It Over With Already - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 12:06 pm:

    The House Committee for the Prevention of the Defiling of the Precious Flower of our Little Women


  49. - Bureaucrat 1.0 - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 12:15 pm:

    Don’t quote me regulations! I co-chaired the committee that reviewed the recommendation to revise the color of the book that regulation’s in.

    We kept it gray!


  50. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    The Committee on Redundancy Committee


  51. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 12:47 pm:

    The Give Us Some Non-Ag Bills So We Can Discuss More Than Tail Docking and Hog Waste Committee


  52. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:01 pm:

    The House Agri-Culture-Wars Committee.


  53. - Robert - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:45 pm:

    The Gods, Guns, and Growin’ Group


  54. - Robert - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:45 pm:

    God


  55. - jake - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:53 pm:

    The ATAVIH (All Things Vegetable and Animal Including Humans) committee.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 3:58 pm:

    The “RIGHT Place to Send Certain Bills” Committee


  57. - Todd - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 5:37 pm:

    how about the Springfield Friends of NRA Committee.

    I just couldn’t resist


  58. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 7:38 pm:

    The Committee for Consideration of Issues Unappealing to Members from Cities with Populations in Excess of 100,000.


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