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*** UPDATED x1 *** The rest of the story

Friday, Apr 8, 2011

* Fran Eaton’s latest column talks about a bill introduced by Rep. Darlene Senger which would’ve required much stricter standards at abortion clinics

State Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) found Illinois’ law to be inadequate concerning standards for abortion clinics. Senger’s concern about women’s safety caused her to introduce a bill that would have raised those standards.

Senger said this week she’s giving up on the bill, however, HB 3156 would have required a facility performing more than 50 abortions a year to install a statutory number of scrub stations and halls and doors wide enough for patient ambulance gurneys in case of emergencies. It also would have required that ceilings be washable in the procedure and recovery rooms and proper ventilation be available and working.

“Surgical outpatient centers are built for surgery, and that means if something goes wrong, they’re equipped to deal with it,” she said.

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want basic, fundamental health care facility requirements for abortion clinics?

Except she left something out of her column about why Rep. Senger withdrew the bill. Eaton did include some of that reasoning in a post at Illinois Review

Democrat State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (a beneficiary of Personal PAC money) filed a hostile amendment that she knew would kill Senger’s requirement as soon as she added it to the bill. Nekritz muddied the issue of women’s health by expanding the scope of the regulations in order to bring into the debate the powerful Illinois Medical Society lobby, which has often been a partner with the pro-abortion industry in Illinois; and a major contributor to many state legislators.

So, thanks to Rep. Nekritz’ efforts the legislation has been stopped.

But she still didn’t explain what actually happened. As I’ve already told subscribers, Nekritz’s hostile amendment would require all clinics to abide by the higher standards that Senger wanted to impose only on abortion clinics. Rep. Nekrtiz’s rationale was if they want to increase standards for abortion clinics, why shouldn’t all clinics fall under the stricter regulations?

And that was what brought the Illinois State Medical Society into the debate. Senger withdrew from the fight because she knew she couldn’t beat the docs.

* From Greg Hinz

A dispute over who ought to distribute beer and perhaps other drinks in Illinois is building a big froth in Springfield, with Anheuser-Busch Cos., the company that just bought Chicago’s Goose Island brewery, hiring some very heavy lobbying talent.

In the past couple of days, Anheuser-Busch has retained recently retired state Rep. James DeLeo, a close ally of state Senate President John Cullerton; and Tom Taylor, the lobbying partner of former Senate GOP staff chief Carter Hendren.

A little earlier in the session, Anheuser-Busch hired Michael Thomson and Michael McClain, both of whom previously served as top aides to House Speaker Mike Madigan, as well as former state Liquor Control Commission chief William O’Donaghue.

Springfield insiders say that Anheuser-Busch — whose lobbyists failed to return phone calls — clearly wants to cut out the middle man in Illinois’ odd liquor distribution system, in which companies that sell the product must use a wholesaler to get it to their customers.

The reason for all this is that a federal judge ruled that the state cannot allow Illinois craft brewers to self distribute their product and at the same time not allow anybody else to do so.

The General Assembly is now attempting to work out a compromise (allowing out of state craft brewers into the game and setting limits on how much they can distribute) while attempting to maintain the traditional “three-tiered” system of brewers, distributors and servers. But that ain’t easy because the microbrewers want in on the action and the big brewers are always hovering above while the distributors are attempting to protect their turf.

The judge said he’d wait to see what the Legislature does before issuing a final ruling. There’s probably no way that the Legislature will allow Anheuser-Bush into the distributing business (the beer distributors are major heavy hitters), so I’m told the brew magnate likely wants to kill off any attempt at finding a Statehouse resolution. Gridlock would send the matter back to the court, which could then result in a very big win for A-B. They already own 30 percent of a distributor here, and they want to buy the whole thing.

* John Bambenek has an e-mail that was sent out by the Illinois Department of Public Health last week which claims that Bank of America is canceling credit cards used by state employees

Folks:

Not to send panic, but just a heads up to each of you as to what’s happening.

Bank of America is cancelling the contract with the State of Illinois effective April 22, 2011. They will not do another contract extension for the State of Illinos. So what does that mean? On April 23, 2011 at 12:01 a.m., the cards currently held by IDPH employees will no longer be valid. The State has been trying to finda new vendor, encourage BoA to give us a few more months, but as of this writing has been unsuccessful on all fronts. So what does this mean to our travelers? Most establishments will not direct bill especially conferences, (prior approval needed by travel office for this process) so persons required to travel will have to put charges on their personal charge cards or set aside personal funds on prepaid travel card, or pay cash out of pocket. For those who are non-GRF [General Revenue Fund] this should be not big deal, but to those traveling on GRF, this could have an impact.

One additional details are received. I will share that information with you so that you can share with our travelers.

Unti then . . . this is just a heads up!!!!

I’m checking on this one.

*** UPDATE *** From the administration…

The statewide contract with Bank of America for state employee travel credit cards has not been canceled, but is expiring April 21, 2011.

Official notice is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - zatoichi - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:16 pm:

    Wish I could be a state employee so that I could spend my personal money to travel to whatever location my job sends me knowing the state will promptly reimburse me as soon as I turn in my receipts. Local radio had an AM story about state cell phones, faxes, copy machines, office furniture, computers, cars, and other tools of the office trade being turned off/collected in large numbers to cut costs. That should make for some very happy inspectors and reviewers doing field work. Happy days.


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:18 pm:

    ===state will promptly reimburse me as soon as I turn in my receipts.===

    lol

    If by “promptly” you mean “6 to 9 months” then, yeah.


  3. - Palatine - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:21 pm:

    WOW you have to be kidding. I’m sure the State employees will be happy to break out their own personnel credit cards. On a side note a State Police car came into my shop with a head light out. I turned him away without doing the headlight replacement because he didn’t have a State credit card to pay for it.


  4. - dave - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:25 pm:

    If that was an e-mail from IDPH, they need a better person to write their e-mails. Wouldn’t they send something that had a slightly better sense of professionalism?


  5. - GetOverIt - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:29 pm:

    The real story here is beer. Let the small craft/micro brew folks cut out the distributors…not the big dogs. I’m sick of seeing Bud shelves that go on forever at my local grocer. Then again, Whole Foods does a good job of mixing it up…and they even add the yuppy surcharge…does anyone ever even say yuppy anymore?

    Happy Friday


  6. - Seriously??? - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:33 pm:

    “Nekritz muddied the issue of women’s health…” I’m so tired of the anti-choice movement claiming that they are for women’s health when they are clearly trying to obstruct their rights. Rep. Nekritz was the one who was protecting the rights of women and their access to health care, while Rep. Senger was the one who was trying to deny women from access to abortion services. Rep. Senger’s bill had nothing to do with protecting women as the slanted anti-choice Eaton claims.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:06 pm:

    You have to figure that River North Distributors are gearing up for a battle, too. Exclusive distributor for A-B from Irving Park Road on the north, Roosevelt Road on the south, the lake on the east and Harlem Avenue on the west. That’s like a license to print money.

    Interestingly, the Sun-Times had a story today on proposed landmark status for some old Schlitz properties in the city, from back in the day when there wasn’t the three-tiered system.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/4717504-417/landmark-status-urged-for-former-schlitz-taverns-and-stable.html

    I didn’t realize that Illinois’ system was unique. I thought it was a result of federales anti-trust actions, similar to when they broke up the old Hollywood system where the studios had their own theaters.


  8. - amalia - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:08 pm:

    The r in Republican stands for reproductive restrictions.


  9. - MikeMacD - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:29 pm:

    A credit card company not liking a late payer? I was under the impression that was where the profits were, what with high interest rates and fees.

    Then again they may have a lousy contract with the state.


  10. - Are Ya Kiddin' Me? - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:33 pm:

    Before prohibition, the large breweries had their own saloons. If you wanted a Schlitz, you went to a bar which sold only Schlitz. The large breweries practiced anti-competitive practices by requiring retailers to carry only their products.

    The breweries also held ownership stakes in the bars. They provided the bars not only with beer, but the breweries also gave loans for furniture, beer equipment, and other bar needs. While this might seem like a great way to start a bar, the breweries required the bars to carry only the brewery’s labels, and they applied pressure to the bars to continually increase beer sales. The pressure pushed their patrons to the point of constant overindulgence. Society cried for a solution, and the government gave us the 18th Amendment, otherwise known as Prohibition.

    America went without alcohol for thirteen years before Prohibition was repealed with the ratification of the 21st Amendment. The new Amendment gave the states complete control over alcohol regulation. To make sure the problems before Prohibition were not repeated, nearly every state adopted some form of the “three-tier system”, which means that a Manufacturer (Miller, AB, ect.) can only sell to a Distributor, who in turn sells to the retailer.


  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:38 pm:

    –America went without alcohol for thirteen years before Prohibition was repealed with the ratification of the 21st Amendment.–

    Not so you’d notice, lol.

    But the history as to how the system came about is very interesting, much obliged.


  12. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:47 pm:

    The state issued credit cards have been a joke for years. For a few years we were issued
    Diners Club cards that almost no one would accept. It’s much easier to use your own card, get points and miles if you like, and eventually get paid by the state.

    And kudos to Palatine for calling out the latest absurdity. The state sends case workers, contract monitors, inspectors, vocational counselors and lots of other workers out on the road every day to do business.

    Taking away cell phones and blackberrys means losing the capability to keep in touch with them and making it harder to schedule work efficiently. But the boneheads in the G.A. think that they’ve found the way to save a nickel.


  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 5:17 pm:

    Nekritz’s move was almost Madigan-esque in it’s ability to be rational and devastating at the same time.
    Kudos to her.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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