SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Today’s history lesson

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

* WBEZ’s Lauren Chooljian traces the origins of Illinois’ Sunday car sales ban

The state’s Sunday auto sales ban is one of many state-level blue laws, which — as a category — prohibit certain secular activities on Sundays. The ban first made its way through the Illinois legislature in 1951. Dealers wanted to allow a day off, but any single dealership couldn’t close its doors while competitors stayed open. Legislators agreed to a mandatory day off and passed a bill to make it happen, but the story got complicated as soon as the bill hit Governor Adlai Stevenson’s desk.

Stevenson’s Attorney General, Ivan A. Elliott, encouraged the governor to veto the bill, saying it likely violated the Illinois Constitution “as an interference with the right of an individual to pursue any trade or occupation which is not injurious to the public or a menace to the safety or welfare of society.”

Stevenson heeded the AG’s word, and vetoed Senate Bill 504.

“If such a restriction on Sunday trade is sound for automobiles, why should it not be extended to newspapers, groceries, ice cream cones and other harmless commercial transactions?” Stevenson wrote in a veto message. “Carried to its logical extreme, any business group with sufficient influence in the legislature can dictate the hours of business of its competitors. And if hours, why not prices?”

Go read the whole thing. I learned quite a lot from this piece.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


34 Comments
  1. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    “Carried to its logical extreme, any business group with sufficient influence in the legislature can dictate the hours of business of its competitors. And if hours, why not prices?”

    yes. this.


  2. - OneMan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    When I was a kid, South Holland had a ton of Blue Laws, not sure how many they still have. But for example you couldn’t use the drive through on Sunday at McDonnalds or get a to-go order on Sundays either.


  3. - PublicServant - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    You’ll be glad to know, Ron, that he was a fine example of a liberal democrat. Glad to count you among his many admirers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adlai_Stevenson_II


  4. - Steve - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    This is a great example of how big auto dealers wanted to limit competition and take Sundays off. This is rent-seeking gone wild. Like other industries don’t have employees that have families???? This is a classic case of restraint of trade. Why have anti-trust laws if they aren’t going to be enforced??


  5. - Walker - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Where I grew up in New England, eons ago, many towns had bans on all retail commercial activity on Sundays, a holdover from Puritan days. The bans pretty much disappeared in the 50s and 60s.

    Removing the bans, even then, was called an “attack on religious freedoms.” We haven’t changed much, in some quarters.


  6. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    I’d sure miss the unattended leisurely strolls looking at cars on Sunday before becoming prey upon my return visit.


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    When I was young and living in Metro East, I recall Missouri having some extensive blue laws regulating shopping, just plain old shopping, on Sundays. The line off I-64 on Sundays from the west to get to St. Clair Square used to be huge.

    I kind of understand the desire of car dealers to get a day off, but am a bit uneasy about legislating it. Also, why Sunday when many people are off and want to go out and look at or test drive cars. Monday would seem a better choice. Maybe keep the service departments open.


  8. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    From the full article:
    “Sloan says a six-day work week helps dealers attract high-caliber employees; he argues it’s hard to find full-time salesmen who will commit to working on commission when the dealership is open seven days a week.”

    I guess in all the other states they can’t find good sales people and no one gets a day off… I sold cars in the 90’s for a bit and you got Sunday off and one other day. Some how my haircut place is open 7 days, the cell phone store, the rental shop down the street, small engine repair shop… A law dictating days of operation is simply silly.


  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    –Removing the bans, even then, was called an “attack on religious freedoms.” –

    No orthodox Jews in the hood back in the day, I take it, lol.


  10. - Old Shepherd - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    America needs more Adlai Stevensons.


  11. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    @publicServant
    —You’ll be glad to know, Ron, that he was a fine example of a liberal democrat. Glad to count you among his many admirers.—

    I admire many democrats and many republicans. I am a little “r” republican if that makes sense. I believe in freedom for the individual to the maximum, I believe in limited government coercion.

    Hell, read some of the JFK speeches about the economy, and public service. Love them. But tossing out “Democrat”… JFK couldnt get elected today in Illinois if you published his speeches under another name.


  12. - Anon III - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    That was back when Illinois governments ran on a three percent sales tax, a personal property tax, real estate taxes, and no state income tax.


  13. - Walker - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    ===Not a lot of orthodox Jews in the hood, back in the day, I take it. LOL===

    Wait! Some of my best friends were …!

    Oh never mind.


  14. - John Galt - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Agreed, on it’s face, I don’t see the point of the Sunday ban.

    1) As for “people need to take time off”….there are 7 days of the week. Pick one or two to take off. All kinds of cops, doctors, nurses, rail workers, hotel staff, waiters, etc. have non-traditional hours. I’m sure car salesmen, if they wanted, could suck it up and take off Mondays if they wanted.

    2) And with the financial transactions on Sundays–somehow other states do it. I’m sure Illinois could figure it out.

    As for WHY the ban exists though, that’s easy—concentrated organized interests (existing auto dealerships) vs. individual car buyers. One goes to Springfield, lobbies, and donates cash to campaigns. The other doesn’t….


  15. - Former State Senator - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Voting in favor of this ban at the behest of the car dealers and with no opposition from anyone else may have been my worst vote (of those I recall) of my legislative tenure.


  16. - Deal me in - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    I think the article misses out on a key element of the ‘82 bill. Illinois was in the middle of the recession, bleeding lots of jobs to the southeast, especially. Rust belt was being coined.

    This was primarily a way for dealers to reduce costs and they figured it wouldn’t change the number of cars sold, which was probably accurate.

    Salaried employees don’t work, air conditioning and heat are off, etc.

    I’m not sure where the rent seeking aspect comes in. If anything, it’s the opposite as there are probably some number of sales that go to Gary, Terra Haute, StL, or Beloit because of the ban. Since all Illinois dealers have to abide by the rule, there is no competitive advantage gained.


  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Attending university in Germany, I used to complain that businesses were closed more than they were open due to restricted business hours. After a year, I assimilated and began to enjoy the routine of having business closed as often as it was. This way of thinking isn’t consumer friendly - but consumerism wasn’t the way thing worked, even in the US not so very long ago.

    Blue laws are obsolete. While they may create havens of vacation for some businesses, in today’s global Internet world, they are hindering the 21st Century way of doing business. I would consider them a problem today.


  18. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Oh Ron - again with the Republicon nonsense that JFK was really one of yours. Sorry, many moderates like him today as well. Stevenson was further to the left and Kennedy was a bit to the right. Same as today - Boxer on the left and Landireu on the right. It’s a large tent party - unlike yours.


  19. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Ahh low level. ever vote for an R? I can at least say I ahve voted (more than once) for a D… such a party open to ideas.

    We should all remember not to convert our politics to a personal religion.


  20. - RNUG - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Like -Ron Burgundy-, I remember St Louis (actually St Louis County I believe) having blue laws into the 1970’s barring most retail sales on Sunday.

    Closer to home, we used to bar liquor sales before noon on Sunday. I have no idea if this one is still in effect.


  21. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Never made any sense to me. If a restaurant is closed any day of the week it would most likely be Monday. Most dealerships could adjust their schedules so sales staff could get some weekend time off each month to spend with family. This is just mystifying. Baffling even.


  22. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Deal me in

    Thanks - I had heard the same thing. Being closed one day a week reduced variable costs by 14%, and while some buyers may have crossed a state line, Illinois vehicle sales didn’t go down by 14%.


  23. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Saturdays and Sundays are far more convenient to buyers; most work during the normal Monday-Friday work week.


  24. - RNUG - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Actually, with the advent of the 25 - 32 hour “part time” job the last few years, a lot of people are starting to have time off M-F.


  25. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Re: JFK

    The light of history and research shines a different light on a lot of people. You could see that light now if you paid close attention. All the same mantras about work are present throughout the speeches of most presidents, including President Obama today. Oftentimes the way he talks is seen as patronizing from the targets of his remarks, but just because he supports a social safety the deranged folks in some deep political corners attack him mercilessly using all kinds of words in a fact and context free fashion just like they did to JFK and others.


  26. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Ron - lol. Not only have I voted for a R, but was ready to do so in November had Dillard been nominated.


  27. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    A couple points- with disclosure that my info comes from car dealer friends who strongly oppose the bill.
    1) Financing-in other states, dealers have ways to work around banks being closed on Sunday, including manufacturer financing (e.g. GMAC) non-bank lenders and “indirect lending” where a bank or other lender is providing financing to dealers who do their own credit approvals. (I suspect more new cars are financed one of these three ways than through a physical “bank” anyway.)
    2) Internet-more and more cars are being sold over the Internet, with the first face to face contact occuring when the buyer arrives at the dealership to pick up the car. ( I don’t know how Sunday sales factor in here, but Web sales are going up steadily.)

    Hope these help in the discussion. Personally, I like Sunday tire kicking and prefer they stay closed.


  28. - Silliness - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    This had nothing to do with time off and everything to do with not wanting to give consumers two days in a row to go car shopping. Imagine how many more dealerships you can hit if you have two days instead of one.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    I will never understand why everything must circle back to talking points and “my party is better than your party” for some.

    Stevenson was a great governor for our state, no matter what party you belong to.


  30. - Newsclown - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Second try, because of cookie troubles…

    Whatever the motivations were int he past, why do I get the sneaky feeling the people that want to change it now are the super-duper-sized conglomerated dealers, and not the little mom-and pop used car lot folks? It wouldn’t be a means to force smaller operations to merge or fail, would it? Naw, probably just me being paranoid…


  31. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    There are a couple of east coast states with blue laws, Massachusetts is one of them, who don’t have the Thanksgiving Black Friday shopping frenzy. I think the Puritans got it right in this situation.


  32. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    At least this time we didn’t need to go back to Lincoln to brag about an Illinoisan.


  33. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Newsclown, as I understand it, the dealers’ association indicates the megastores are just as opposed as the smaller guys, fwiw.


  34. - Capitol View - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:44 pm:

    there was another bill on this topic back in 1982 or so. I wonder why it was necessary.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Gonna be a light day here
* No details except for a new hole
* Frerichs to Simon: No thanks
* 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

          
        * Samsung Galaxy E7 sees specs leaked by benchmark
        * Lightning-fast 4G connectivity: India, say hello to Nokia Lumia 638
        * Samsung to update Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge directly to Android 5.0.1
        * Baldurs Gate II Enhanced Edition makes its way to Android
        * Forensic software gets around Apple's iCloud security features
        * BLU Studio 7.0 may be more tablet than phone, but it sure is affordable
        * Bit Dungeon II: Game to save your soul from eternal damnation

        * Review: YotaPhone 2
        * Mad Catz To Make Physical Controller For Farming Simulator
        * Valve Updates Steam Policy, Prevents Game Gifting Across Different Countries
        * Lenovo To Announce Two Intel-Powered Smartphones In 2015 [Rumor]
        * Micromax Yureka CyanogenMod Smartphone Announced
        * Blizzard Offers Update On StarCraft 2: Legacy Of The Void
        * GTA 5 For PC Hardware Requirements To Be Unveiled Next Week

        * AL Central looking like one powerhouse division
        * Samardzija, Lester are right fits in Windy City
        * Samardzija, Lester are right fits in Windy City
        * White Sox offseason momentum transfers to fans
        * Samardzija, Lester are right fits in Windy City
        * White Sox unveil Samardzija, Robertson, Melky
        * White Sox sign Brad Penny to minor league deal

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Some Rauner Plans Still A Mystery..
        * BGA Cautiously Optimistic..


        * APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal
        * Video game developer to open studio in New Orleans
        * U. of Illinois to sexual assault group starts work
        * Durbin: US, Cuba diplomatic ties 'long overdue'
        * Official: Convicted killer slain in Illinois prison
        * Topinka remembered as honest, tough at memorial
        * Senate approves NATO-trial prosecutor for US bench
        * New trial linked to disgraced judge gets underway
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Chicago 'petcoke' handler says it'll enclose piles

        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Memorial service for Topinka begins in suburban Chicago
        * Police use vacant Jacksonville site to train for worst-case scenarios
        * State-grant fraud case in hands of federal jury
        * Gov.-elect Rauner says some agency directors may stay
        * Attorney blames couple's bookkeeper in state grant fraud case
        * Attorney general: Quinn, Rauner each should name comptrollers, then voters choose in 2016
        * Prosecutor: Chicago couple bought cars, paid son’s mortgage with grant money

        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Durbin: US, Cuba diplomatic ties 'long overdue'
        * Chicago couple's $3.4 million fraud case now in jury's hands
        * Treasuries drop as Yellen says Fed is on pace to raise rates
        * Illinois employers: Don't forget income-tax rollback


        * Emanuel halts private parking on city lots near United Center
        * Durbin, Kirk split on Obama’s shift on Cuba policy
        * Unions may win  HOLLOW victory with pension suit
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * CPS move may have cost more than estimated
        * Unions may win Pyrrhic victory with pension suit
        * Chicago couple found guilty of stealing millions in state grants
        * Chicago Cubans cautious yet hopeful about historic policy shift
        * After 50 years, time for a new course in Cuba
        * Obama pardons Naperville man, Brian Sledz


        * 1 killed, 12 others wounded in shootings, including man, 18, hurt near park
        * Man found in South Side home was shot to death
        * Man arrested in 2 downtown bank robberies
        * 2 found dead in South Side home
        * Father of 3 shot to death on way home from work
        * Jury finds Chicago couple guilty in grant scam case with ties to Obama friend Whitaker
        * CPS school for special-needs kids needs full-time nurse, alderman says
        * Proposed NCAA concussion settlement denied by federal judge
        * Oak Park school district, teachers reach tentative deal
        * Chicago police captain returns to work 2 months after being shot


        * Illinois Republican: Cuba Agreement "Good First Step"
        * Obama: US re-establishing relations with Cuba
        * Obama re-establishing US relations with Cuba
        * Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers
        * Real-estate developer in hot area sees bright future — and displacement
        * Worries rise in Russia as ruble falls
        * Rauner Named Nation's Most Influential Pension Figure
        * Recent incidents cast doubt on Hammond police accountability, critics say
        * Report details big problems at Illinois prison for women; state says it's safe
        * Chicago 'petcoke' handler says it'll enclose piles


        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schmidt considers challenging Sgro for park board president
        * Brian Sauder: Faithful decisions for the holidays
        * Eugene Robinson: The price of being hacked
        * George Will: A Texas-sized license plate dispute
        * Quote of the day: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Quote of the day: Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014
        * Police use vacant Jacksonville site to train for worst-case scenarios


        * Here they come a-caroling
        * Upcoming Services (Dec. 18)
        * Gas prices continue downward trend
        * Official: Convicted killer slain in Illinois prison
        * Our View: Budget problem clear; answer will not be easy
        * Police Beat
        * Special delivery
        * Central Illinois man convicted in double murder
        * All is calm
        * Looking Back (Dec. 18)


        * Larkin presses on, dumps Batavia
        * WW South coach Todd remembered as 'a great guy'
        * Addison Trail makes it 2 for 2 in tournament crowns
        * Girls bowling scoreboard: Wednesday's results
        * Girls gymnastics scoreboard: Wednesday's results

        * Lipinski seeks nominations for academies -...
        * Zeldin To Co-Chair House GOP Israel Caucus...
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian ca...
        * Ami Bera, George Holding are new co-chairs...
        * Rep. Lipinski Urges Ways and Means Committ...
        * Bera and Holding to be co-chairs of Congre...
        * Reps. Lipinski and Roskam Lead Effort to S...
        * Ami Bera, George Holding are new co-chairs...
        * Rep. Lipinski Urges Ways and Means Committ...
        * Roskam Lands High-Profile House Post After...

        * Galesburg veterans facility named in honor......
        * Durbin: US, Cuba diplomatic ties ‘long ove......
        * Reaction to release of Alan Gross, future ......

        * Galesburg VA clinic renamed after Lane Evans...
        * Why is he so upset? Because of the secret ......
        * Senate Confirms Vivek Murthy As Surgeon Ge......

        * Baseball ‘kids’ don’t live in Chicago? Why did complaints take so long?
        * Business School?
        * For Our Fallen Vigil In Chicago
        * Demands For Reparations Increase For Those Tortured Under CPD's Jon Burge
        * Memorial For Chicago Police Torture Survivors
        * Chicagoans Hold Vigil For Victims Of Violence And Police Brutality
        * How does one get to become neighborhood of the year?
        * A Thought For The Day...
        * Chicago Group Wants Quinn To Veto Eavesdropping Measure
        * Chicago Mayoral, 24th Ward Candidates Court West Side Voters At Local Forum


        * Illinois Observes National Impaired Driving Prevention Month - December designated to educate communities about the numerous risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
        * The Illinois Office Of The State Fire Marshal Promotes Fire Safety During The Holiday Season - Christmas Trees and Decorations Could Pose Risks of Fires
        * Honoring Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
        * Honoring Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka - United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Thursday, December 11, 2014.
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka




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