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.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* AFSCME rolls out new video comparing Bruce Rauner to Scott Walker
* 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

          
        * Copper Sony Xperia Z3, SmartBand Talk leaked in press images
        * Sony Xperia Z3 in Copper, E-Ink SmartBand shown off
        * Lenovo steps up its game with new Intel-powered Tab S8
        * Sony at IFA 2014: rumor roundup
        * Leaked pictures of Sony’s ILCE-QX1 to support E-mount lenses
        * China Mobile Begins Accepting Preorders for Unreleased iPhone 6
        * Lumia 830 leaks trump previous rumors, only 10 megapixel camera?

        * 64GB Nexus 5 Could Be A Possibility
        * Samsung SM-G5309W Spotted
        * PewDiePie Shuts Down YouTube Comments On His Channel
        * China Mobile Accepts iPhone 6 Preorders
        * Japanese Bipedal Robot Hits 2.6mph Speed
        * Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth Headphones Review
        * L.A. Dunkin' Donuts Fans Show Off Long Line, Coffee Hauls on Social Media

        * Viciedo, Flowers power White Sox to extra-inning win
        * White Sox 6, Twins 3 (10 innings): Dayan Viciedo's homer breaks sta...
        * Viciedo, Flowers power White Sox to extra-inning win
        * White Sox deliberate, but Rodon not called up
        * Mitchell not called up, but still in team's plans
        * Taylor eager to make most of September promotion
        * Abreu takes break from lineup in cautious move


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

        Archives
        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


        * Editorial: Government consolidation can save Il.....
        * Salaita firing shows where Zionism meets neolib.....
        * Bruce Rauner seems to think Illinois voters are.....
        * Oberweis seeks veto override for speed-limit bill..
        * Quinn Living on Minimum Wage..
        * Rauner Attacks Quinn's Veterans Policies..


        * Study: Playing music helps sharpen kids' brains
        * EPA OKs FutureGen plan for CO2 storage
        * Kirk: US must take hard line against Islamic State
        * Gubernatorial candidates discuss jobs, veterans
        * Suburban Chicago man sentenced for killing infant
        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans
        * Illinois woman rescued after day stuck in mud
        * First medical marijuana tally expected next week
        * School starts in Chicago with more safety guards
        * Climatologist says August warmed up in Illinois

        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans
        * Gubernatorial candidates discuss jobs, veterans
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing
        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue

        * Fashion's latest powerhouse has Chicago roots
        * Jeb Bush to campaign here for Rauner
        * Anne Dias Griffin claims 'coercion' when signing prenup
        * Rauner's $100,000 question
        * Amtrak renews complaint against freight line over Chicago-Carbondale delays


        * Durbin’s race against Oberweis no runaway
        * Bishop Larry Trotter backs Jim Oberweis for U.S. Senate
        * More rain, storms possible for rest of Labor Day
        * CTA offering free rides for students on first day of school
        * Elmhurst couple in murder-suicide were doting parents: neighbors
        * Man charged in forest preserve shooting
        * Police: Murders down 7.5% through August 2014
        * ‘Long way to go’ but Roseland Hospital shows signs of stability
        * Man charged with battery; police say he threw baby from vehicle, beat girlfriend and boy
        * Four dead, 36 hurt in Labor Day weekend shootings


        * Police: Missing man last seen in Bronzeville neighborhood
        * Spokesman: Chicago police considering body cameras
        * Cops did not find suicide note of man who killed wife, disabled children
        * Surf park proposed for Montrose Beach
        * Woman sues company, driver in Friday's shuttle bus crash at O'Hare
        * Lawyer: Federal agents investigating shootings by Chicago cops
        * Woman in her 80s says in lawsuit she was trampled by runners at Little Italy festival
        * Family files suit blaming Port Barrington bar for fatal crash
        * Rauner declines to say how personal relationship with Emanuel will affect political one
        * Not guilty pleas in red light camera bribery scheme


        * Pregnant Workers To Be Protected Under New Law
        * Libertarian Party Files Criminal Complaints Against GOP, Rauner Campaign
        * Dana Thomas House Drying Out, But More Water Works Needed
        * FutureGen Takes Another Step Forward
        * Decatur's Kirkland - From Beethoven To The Beatles
        * Big Predators In Illinois Inspire New Law
        * WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Casey's Expansion; Parsons In Court; Farmland Prices Fall
        * Opposition Research Key Part Of Political Dark Arts
        * Digging up political dirt? That's their job
        * State Starts Accepting Medical Marijuana Requests


        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * Couple’s wedding gifts help the community
        * Angela Bertoni: How to raise awareness of domestic violence in October
        * Catherine Rampell: Tech firms’ poor record of diversity
        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Our Opinion: Driving into floodwater a deadly practice


        * Resignation over disagreement, letter confirms
        * State rep hosting town hall meetings
        * Morgan County property transfers
        * Chautauqua celebration coming to Murphysboro
        * Carol Johnson
        * Gary Owens
        * Mary Benton
        * Faye Willmore
        * Flo Cook
        * Janet Engel


        * Girls tennis: Tuesday's results
        * Girls volleyball: Tuesday's results
        * Girls golf: Tuesday's results
        * Girls cross country: Tuesday's results
        * Boys soccer: Tuesday's results

        * US Rep. Lipinski accepting service academy...
        * Rep. Lipinski Accepting Service Academy Ap...
        * Dem Explains Why He Voted 'Present' on DAC...
        * Immigration dominates Lipinski's town hall...
        * US Rep. Lipinski accepting service academy...
        * Rep. Lipinski Accepting Service Academy Ap...
        * Dem Explains Why He Voted 'Present' on DAC...
        * Immigration dominates Lipinski's town hall...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * IRS enforcement agent numbers could drop t...

        * Durbin, Bustos Highlight Potential of Digi......
        * Durbin, Bustos Highlight Potential of Digi......
        * President Baker talks manufacturing innova......
        * President Baker talks manufacturing innova......
        * Thomson Prison Staffing Continues With Job......

        * Gubernatorial candidates discuss jobs, vet......
        * Kirk: US must take hard line against Islam......

        * Players In Red Light Camera Bribery Scheme Plead Not Guilty
        * My Fathers Day Present
        * Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit
        * Loan denied stamp
        * Election 2014
        * Guest Post: Harris v. Quinn: Another Nail In The Coffin Or Shot In The Arm For Labor?
        * Women's Rights Advocates, IL Lawmakers Rally For Reproductive Choice
        * Preckwinkle at Reproductive choice event
        * Reproductive choice event 2
        * Reproductive choice event


        * When it comes to jobs and hiring, Pat Quinn is veteran unfriendly
        * Pat Quinn’s Blagojevich-style Hiring Hurts Veterans
        * Rauner Rolls Out Veterans Coalition
        * ICYMI: Capitol Fax: “A Very Good Point”
        * Like All Illinoisans, Veterans Are Hurting Under Pat Quinn




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