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This just in… Senate passes voucher bill… Senate approves red-light bill… Supplemental, job credit bills approved

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 11:14 am - The Senate just SB2494, which would create a pilot school vouchers program for Chicago elementary schools. It would impact about 22,000 students.

Whew, I wouldn’t want to be a teachers union lobbyist this week, man. “If they would just vote down a tax increase this week we’d have the trifecta,” cracked one union official a few minutes ago.

* 11:15 am - The Senate is now taking up the red light camera bill, SB935.

* 11:51 am - The bill, which was a compromise worked out by Senate President John Cullerton, passed 45-10.

* 11:56 am - Also today, the Senate approved a supplemental approp bill

Over Republican objections, the Illinois Senate endorsed legislation Thursday that will assure the state’s prison guards get paid in June.

Democrats argued the stopgap spending measure is needed because the budget approved last summer was based on Gov. Pat Quinn laying off hundreds of prison guards.

But the union representing the workers was able to block the move, meaning the state will still have to pay the employees. The shortfall — expected to affect the state’s June payroll — is about $31 million.

Republicans complained the Illinois Department of Corrections should cut its spending on things like cookies and cable television for inmates in order to make up the shortfall.

“The mismanagement from this administration does not warrant more money,” said state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine.

And the governor is getting his tax credit bill

A $50 million job creation program is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.

In action Thursday, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved a plan to give small business owners a $2,500 tax credit for each full-time position created in the next year.

It would affect people hired at a rate of $13.75 or above at companies that have fewer 50 employees. The program would be capped at 20,000 workers.

       

41 Comments
  1. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    If vouchers are as bad an idea as the teachers unions claim, they should welcome this pilot program as an opportunity to demonstrate their point.


  2. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:29 am:

    It’s about damn time.


  3. - UISer - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    Grand Old,

    They already have an example that demonstrates their point. Look at the DC school system. Their voucher program has failed. Private schools are not automatically better than public schools. This is a myth that has lasted generations.

    Hey Rich, what was the vote count?


  4. - George - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:31 am:

    Its at the link…

    33-20-3


  5. - UISer - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    Thanks George.


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:34 am:

    –“If they would just vote down a tax increase this week we’d have the trifecta,” cracked one union official a few minutes ago.–

    That’s pretty good gallows humor.


  7. - Chicago Dem - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:35 am:

    Hip Hip Horray!


  8. - The 'Dale to HPark - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:39 am:

    Vouchers require parental involvement (i.e. parents have to be aware of the program, get the voucher, find a school for their child to attend)… and students who have strong parental involvement in their education do much better in the classroom. So vouchers work, but only because those students would (probably) succeed at most any public school.


  9. - Clearing the Field - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    Looks like Madigan and Cullerton are attempting to clear the field of traditional hot GOP issues to campaign on. It appears they are trying to put up a damn to slow the pending anti dem flood of discontent.


  10. - Fed up - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    Wow maybe we should be billions in debt every year. Things get done when backs are against the wall.


  11. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    If they keep this up, the tax increase will need to be Quinn’s 4.5% from last year to offset the ire.

    Funny they are running these right before a 2 week break where there will be plenty of constituent contact. And, since the teachers will have a week off as well, I suspect many will be encouraged to take the time to stop by for a visit.


  12. - imeanreally - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    SO, while they continue to act on all of this legislation which is stirring up plenty of controversy…have they made any progress on the budget?

    Yeah, good times in Springfield these days.


  13. - Logical Thinker - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 11:56 am:

    UISer,

    You are woofully misguided on this subject. The voucher system worked very well in DC but came to an end when the democrats on Capitol Hill defunded the program.

    Simply put: vouchers work.


  14. - Bobby Hill - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:00 pm:

    Hip-hip horray! Great first step. Let’s hope they keep moving.


  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    I don’t see any way the voucher program could “fail” in any measurable sense.

    These kids — and the money — will mostly go to established private Catholic schools. If measurables are your thing, those schools will skew higher because they pick and choose their students. The public schools have to take on all comers. An enormous amount of money and resources in public schools are devoted to kids on the lower ends who Catholic Schools won’t take.

    Still, for the most part, I think choice in an enormous system like Chicago’s is a good thing. Kids come in all shapes, sizes, talents, abilities, etc. Breaking it down seems to be a good thing.

    I used to be hung up on the religious aspect, but if it were my kids, I’d want the choice.

    Now, if it’s state money going to Joe Bob’s All-New Real Good Religion School, then I’ve got a problem.


  16. - well - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    What does this red light bill do?


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    It’s linked. Read it.


  18. - fedup dem - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:05 pm:

    A party-line vote on a measure to pay prison guards is about the last thing Bill Brady needed in his gubernatorial campaign. (The last thing he needs is of course more votes like that where he digs his political grave even deeper.)


  19. - well - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:08 pm:

    They didn’t ban right turn on red tickets…disappointing.


  20. - One of the 35 - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:33 pm:

    Well: If they had banned tickets for right turn on red, then they would have to provide a list to local governments indicating clearly which traffic laws should be enforced and which laws should be ignored. You can’t pick and choose that way.


  21. - N'ville - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:37 pm:

    Great week for Bill Brady. He becomes the nomineee, and all of a sudden the Democrats pass a voucher bill, a pension reform bill, and a tax credit bill…all issues that he has been campaigning on. Check your rear-view mirror Governor Quinn…that’s a moving van getting ready to pull up to the executive mansion.


  22. - Montrose - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    *Great week for Bill Brady. He becomes the nominee, and all of a sudden the Democrats pass a voucher bill, a pension reform bill, and a tax credit bill…all issues that he has been campaigning on.*

    I see it more as stealing Brady’s thunder. Brady voted for three Democrat proposals in two days.


  23. - dave - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    **Great week for Bill Brady. **

    Really? Great week for Brady? Quinn can now say that he accomplished all of these things. Brady hasn’t accomplished anything.


  24. - well - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    You’re right, they should change the law to “yield” instead of “full stop” for a right turn on red.

    Of course, that would really cut into the profits those cameras are making. Can’t have that…


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    –Great week for Bill Brady. He becomes the nomineee, and all of a sudden the Democrats pass a voucher bill, a pension reform bill, and a tax credit bill…all issues that he has been campaigning on.–

    And those issues were just taken away. How do you figure that’s a great week?

    Um, you think the Dems might have thought it through?


  26. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Methinks Quinn is starting to act outwardly gubernatorial,and not a moment too soon I might add…


  27. - N'ville - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    “Um, you think the Dems might have thought it through?”
    Nope. It’s Brady’s ideas that are becoming reality, which shows that he has the better ideas for fixing this mess. He should welcome Quinn and the Dems on board, and encourage them to keep listening…


  28. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    So this week alone the Democrats in Springfield are pushing Republican like reforms regarding pensions, fiscal issues, Dept. of Corrections, Tax breaks for businesses, education reforms?

    Did I miss something here? Are Republicans suddenly the majority party in this state or have the Democrats seen the light after wallowing in years of darkness? :-)

    Just askin’


  29. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    N’ville, you gotta sell it.


  30. - N'ville - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 12:59 pm:

    Wordslinger…on that you and I agree.


  31. - Retired - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    Having just read SB2494, I’m not so sure the vouchers are limited to Chicago. Article 10 relates to downstate school districts and article 34 to Chicago. They are both referred to. Further, the bill state ANY non-public school which is State Board of Education approved may participate in this program.

    Am I wrong? I see no references to just Chicago.


  32. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:03 pm:

    Read the amendments.


  33. - JonShibleyFan - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    Bill: Blagojevich
    N’Ville: Brady?


  34. - N'ville - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    JonShibleyFan:
    I’m much better looking.


  35. - One of the 35 - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    Well: Why stop there? Why not change to allow yield on any red light whether turning or going straight through? Why not change other traffic laws because people are violating them in their present form?


  36. - well - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    Yeah, people are violating the full stop rule with right turn on red all the time, without any apparent ill effects. So why not change it?


  37. - Montrose - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:32 pm:

    *N’ville, you gotta sell it.*

    If the Brady camp puts out a press release ASAP saluting the Dems for adopting his ideas and encouraging Quinn to sign his ideas into law, he has a chance of making the week a draw. If he is silent, then he is just another senator voting for Dem proposals.


  38. - imeanreally - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    So school vouchers and pension reform are Brady’s ideas? Wow…it’s getting pretty deep in these comments. When I looked at the link, it didn’t even appear that Brady was a co-sponsor. Now if it had been an bill to teach creationism in schools, ban abortions even in cases of rape and incest, or have mass gas chambers for puppies, I think his name would have been all over as a sponsor.

    And I know…I went too far with that. Just can’t take the campaign workers sometimes.


  39. - Lefty Lefty - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 2:17 pm:

    These issues used to be the Republicans’ bread-and-butter until left became communists, the center became the left and the right committed to purity tests.


  40. - David Ormsby - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    The bill banned right turns. And left turns for good measure.


  41. - Conservative Veteran - Thursday, Mar 25, 10 @ 3:20 pm:

    I hope that more towns will use cameras, to enforce all traffic laws. Almost every day, I see drivers turn without signaling, make left turns into right lanes, and make right turns into left lanes. I see police officers ticket those drivers about once every five months. If more towns used cameras and sent tickets, in the mail, more law-breakers would be punished, and some of them would decide to obey the laws.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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