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It’s just a bill…

Friday, Mar 27, 2015

* But this one looks like it’s on the fast track

Bills banning powdered alcohol and caffeine cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday with ease.

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, introduced the bill to ban pure, powdered caffeine, while Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, pushed a proposal to ban powdered alcohol. Bertino-Tarrant’s bill would ban the sale of pure, powdered caffeine to anyone younger than 18, while Silverstein’s would outlaw powdered alcohol entirely.

Bertino-Tarrant introduced the bill after Logan Stiner, a high school athlete from Ohio, overdosed on the substance. […]

The Illinois bills passed the committee with no opposition. Bertino-Tarrant and Silverstein both said they expect the bills to pass the Senate floor easily.

* This one? Maybe not

Public universities would be prohibited from using public funds to pay for commencement speakers under legislation approved by the House Higher Education Committee on Wednesday.

The approval came with a proviso, however, that sponsor Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, would return to the committee with revisions to the bill before a full House vote.

“This is just a small way of reducing costs,” Phillips said. “We’re just asking so that the universities not use state funds, but try to find private funds to pay for the commencement speakers.”

* And this bill doesn’t do what this lede claims it’ll do

School prayer would come to public classrooms in Illinois if some state lawmakers get their way.

C’mon. Prayer is already allowed. Underlined content is the proposed newly added content to existing law

105 ILCS 20/5)

Sec. 5. Student prayer. In order that the right of every student to the free exercise of religion is guaranteed within the public schools and that each student has the freedom to not be subject to pressure from the State either to engage in or to refrain from religious observation on public school grounds, students in the public schools may, during the school day, voluntarily engage in individually or collectively initiated, non-disruptive prayer or religious-based meetings, including without limitation prayer groups, B I B L E (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth) clubs, or “meet at the flagpole for prayer” days, that, consistent with the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions, are is not sponsored, promoted, or endorsed in any manner by the school or any school employee. (Source: P.A. 92-832, eff. 1-1-03.)

The bill cleared committee 23-0.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Team Sleep - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    There are some mornings when I would love the opportunity to eat powdered caffeine with a spoon.

  2. - Sunshine - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:21 pm:

    So……105 ILCS 20/5) is guaranteeing the freedom of speech? And we need this particular action why?

    Regarding powdered alcohol…hope this bill doesn’t interfere with powdered water. Now, powdered caffeine added to Mountain Dew will help set many, many new speed records, of all sorts!

  3. - Anon221 - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:30 pm:


    If presented in this manner to the GA, I’m sure we could get this substance banned as well.

  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    Huh. I always thought B.I.B.L.E. stood for Bad Ideas Beating Logical Explanations.

  5. - Wordslinger - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth? That’s a new one on me.

    I spent most of my school years in constant prayer; that I wouldn’t get caught, that my parents wouldn’t find out, that the seniors wouldn t pummel me…

  6. - lurking moderate - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    I’ve heard of Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It was a Wu-Tang Clan song that came out in 1995.

  7. - Anon221 - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    B.I.B.L.E on youtube:

    Probably not what the bill “editors” had in mind!

  8. - Bigtwich - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    Loved the lyrics to Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

    Have not looked up “meet at the flagpole for prayer” days, but suspect it has something to do with Ralphie.

  9. - Guzzlepot - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    So what will happen if/when we get a group of Satanists who want to collectively engage in non-disruptive prayer during the school day. The Bill is a bad idea.

  10. - vole - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    How about including Expecting a Second World After After We Destroy This One Club? Or more delusions in the sphere of creating god in the image of man. Or more exercises in legislator fear.

  11. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 1:41 pm:

    I imagine you have to pay someone a lot of money to go to Charleston to give a commencement address.

    This vitally important measure will definitely mitigate the massive cut facing our public universities.

  12. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    And here I thought the goal was to reduce the size of the prison population.

    What have we learned by banning substance? Anything?

  13. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    Ok, we’re doing our best to legalize pot cannabis and now Senator Ira has awakened and decides we have to ban powdered alcohol. Let’s think about this….

    So, If powered alcohol ends up being legal in Iowa or Missouri, or Indiana (Oh, there’s THAT state again…), and somebody accidentally brings some back into Illinois, and it will be the Anita Alvarez and Tom Dart show all over again - only this time it will be powdered alcohol instead of guns…..

    Folks, we got enough crazy laws to enforce. Here’s reality - we don’t have the money to do all the stuff we have on our plate as it is, much less more crazy stuff.

    And if our neighboring states aren’t going to put the same prohibitions in place, all it’s going to do is cause more problems.

    Just a thought for some of our genius legislators to think about - we have two major airports in the Chicagoland area (You know - O’Hare, Midway) - what happens if travelers coming here are carrying powered alcohol with them, coming from a state where it’s legal.

    Or what if the airlines start using powered alcohol instead of the little bottles? There’s a real likelihood it’s going to be cheaper - in the long term. I’m sure the airlines will want to continue doing things in a more costly approach - NOT.

    Do our intrepid legislators ever think this stuff through?

    IMO, we need a new Cap Fax award category:

    The Senator Ira Silverstein Technological Luddite Award.

  14. - Both Sides Now - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    A commencement address (or lack thereof) does not make you any more or less graduated from a University. Paying for a speaker who imparts words of wisdom that you probably won’t remember in an hour is silly. In my opinion, if the University wants it, find a donor to pay for it. I see no reason why my tax dollars should be budgeted for a commencement speaker.

  15. - illinifan - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    This coming after all the yelling about ACA and death panels when doctors would be able to discuss health options at end of life….but it is okay to provide children instructions on leaving earth…I hope they don’t think this is a NASA recruiting program.

  16. - walker - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    A lot of bills are introduced that call for things that are already established law. They’re solely for campaign purposes.

  17. - Allen Skillicorn - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Don’t worry, CO will legalize and tax the powder. We’ll just incarcerate the users…

  18. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    “A lot of bills are introduced that call for things that are already established law. They’re solely for campaign purposes.”

    Ok - got it. But let’s realize something. Even pitching something like this powdered alcohol prohibition legislation out there means that there is convention business that we’re probably never going to get a chance at (btw, they are in Orlando, FL this year).

    You might say it’s only one, but it adds up. And it’s not small dollars.

    Let’s not forget - The National Restaurant Association is at McCormick Place on 05.17-18.2015. We’d like to keep them here for the foreseeable future. Let’s not make the job harder complements of Senator Ira.

  19. - Thunder Fred - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    Judgement and Allen, you do understand that there is a difference between banning something and criminalizing it right? You’re creeping into OW territory with comments that misinformed.

  20. - DuPage - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    The prayer bill specifies “during the school day”. The way it is written students could ditch out of a class and say it was a religious absence, and maybe several times a day. At the very least it should specify it be during lunch break or other time the student is not in a class.

  21. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Friday, Mar 27, 15 @ 5:53 pm:

    “Judgement and Allen, you do understand that there is a difference between banning something and criminalizing it right?”

    Alright, what happens if you have a booth at an expo, and one of your product lines consists of a brand of powdered alcohol? What are they going to do? - seize your product and write a citation. So, your’re in town for 3 days at an Expo and now you’ve just had your entire convention blown up over a display of powdered alcohol?

    That’s real. So is the airport example. You imply that it’s over the top, but all that’s telling me is you’ve never had to work a booth or an exhibit at a convention. Because those types of issues are real and they do occur, and we don’t need to lose more business here in Illinois.

    And these types of bills, no matter how well intended, can lose us business here in Illinois. And we can’t afford that.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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