The House approved a measure Friday creating two state agencies for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
The bill passed by a 69-47 vote, with Republicans criticizing the Democratic-led bill as needlessly partisan. A previous version of the bill would have separated the two agencies but also rolled Historic Preservation into the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. It also would have privatized some of DCEO’s operations. […]
Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said he agreed with some parts of the proposal, but he ultimately voted against it.
“Once again, as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, the process is wrong,” he said. “The governor’s office needs to be involved in this operation.”
The House has unanimously advanced legislation to require land surveyors to give notice to landowners before beginning construction of high-voltage transmission lines. […]
The House also has endorsed legislation without opposition that clarifies zoning laws for wind turbines.
The House sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. Thomas Bennett, R-Gibson City, said the measure will help regulate where turbines can be constructed.
* I don’t know if there was a brick on this one, but if Rauner did brick it, GOP Rep. Dave McSweeney either didn’t get the memo or ignored it because he was the only HGOP to vote for the legislation…
ollowing a rise in concern over data breaches and identity theft, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, worked with Attorney General Lisa Madigan to pass legislation Thursday offering consumers stronger protections against cyber criminals.
“Technology has benefited our society in many ways and has enabled us to do normal every-day tasks by the touch of a button,” Kifowit said. “In these changing times, it is important to update our laws so we can better prevent identity theft and safeguard private medical information.”
When data breaches occur, companies are required to notify customers that their financial information might be at risk. Kifowit’s Senate Bill 1833 extends these protections to include medical information and online accounts. Under her legislation, data collectors must notify the Illinois Attorney General’s office if a security breach occurs involving a consumer’s personal information. The Attorney General’s office will create a website to post information on the latest breaches to keep consumers up-to-date.
* There was a weighty brick on this one, but from what I’m told the Republicans actually pushed back against the governor and he lifted it…
The Illinois House approved legislation Friday that will alter the fee people pay for 911 emergency phone service.
Under a proposal crafted over the past year, the cost of 911 will be 87 cents per month. That figure will be the same for both mobile phones and landline phones.
The measure was sent to the Senate on a 94-15 vote. […]
Without legislative action, the law governing 911 service in Illinois will sunset on July 1.
Today the Illinois General Assembly took a stand against subjecting Illinois children to harmful mental health practices. Sadly, many have been victims of a harmful pseudo-scientific procedure. It is called “gay conversion therapy,” and is an attempt to change a young person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight.
To eradicate this practice and protect our young people, Senator Daniel Biss (D – Evanston) passed legislation through the General Assembly today that will prohibit licensed mental health professionals from providing such therapies.
The legislation states that no one under 18 should be given therapy or referred to therapy that has a goal of changing his or her sexual orientation, and mental health providers that do so will be considered to have unprofessional conduct and will be disciplined accordingly.
“We must confront the reality that conversion therapy can cause anxiety, mental illness, trauma and can increase the risk of suicide,” said Senator Biss. “I will continue to fight for the rights and health of the LGBTQ community in Illinois, and to keep our children safe, just the way they are.”
Many organizations of mental health professionals, such as the Illinois Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Illinois Psychiatric Society are strongly opposed to this practice because they deem it to be dangerous.
* From the Illinois Family Institute…
Yesterday afternoon, the Illinois Senate voted 34-19-1 to pass HB 217, a bill that will censor professional therapists who want to help children who suffer from unchosen, unwanted same-sex attraction. Republican State SenatorsChristine Radogno (Lemont) and Chris Nybo (Hinsdale) voted with the majority of Democrats to pass this tyrannical legislation. Five state senators did not vote, while State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) voted present — which is as good as a “no” vote. […]
The bill now moves to Governor Bruce Rauner. While he campaigned as a “no social issues” candidate in 2014, he now has to face the reality that the Illinois General Assembly is filled with politicians who want to advance radical legislation dealing with social issues–many of whom want to champion a far left social agenda agenda. Gov. Rauner will now be compelled to reveal his position on this highly divisive and controversial “social” issue.
* From Kyle Hillman yesterday…
In the time I have been lobbying for social workers rarely have I seen an opponent help me close a bill as well as [the Illinois Family Institute] and Concerned Christian Americans did today.
The article was picked up by the Illinois Family Institute today and faxed to every Senator. Rev. Bob Vandenbosch is even hand delivering a copy of the article to Senate legislators while we speak. Except there was one problem, no one asked the author about HB 217.
So I did.
Turns out he is adamantly against efforts to convert a child’s sexual orientation and even supports the bill. (The subject in the article he wrote - HB 217 specifically does not ban.)
From: Michael Bailey [mailto:xxxxxx.edu]
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 12:27 PM
To: Kyle Hillman
Subject: Re: Bill Language.
Left you a phone message. The bill seems to be about sexual orientation, only, and as such, I support it.
Hoping to salvage some of his business-friendly agenda, Gov. Bruce Rauner said he wants to strike a deal with Democrats on issues like a property tax freeze and workers compensation reform by a midnight Sunday deadline.
With the clock ticking toward the legislature’s Sunday adjournment, the Republican governor said Democrats who control the General Assembly must act on those issues before he will sign off on a tax hike to balance a budget that is at least $3 billion out of whack.
“We can’t just raise taxes,” Rauner said. “If they really are sincere about making significant reforms, we’ll know by Sunday night. We’ll either have a deal Sunday night or we won’t.”
Over the past month, Democrats have voted down pieces of the governor’s pro-business proposals, saying they would gut labor unions and hurt the middle class. During a 15-minute chat with reporters at the Executive Mansion on Friday, Rauner said he has pared down his once expansive “Turnaround Agenda” in order to forge a compromise to keep the state operating.
Democrats and even some Republicans are unsure how much Rauner wants and how far he will go to achieve his short-term and long-term goals.
“Well, the governor…made it clear that he is ready to dig in for the long haul, that he is not going to be, you know, forced into some short-term solution that is not good for the state in the long run. That was made clear,” Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said of the current gridlock.
* The Question: What is the likelihood that House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton will bow to the governor’s demands and work out an agreement with Rauner on his workers’ compensation reforms and property tax freeze by Sunday night? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.
If legislators are willing to reform how we do business, they will find me an eager partner. If they are not, then they should expect a very long extra session because I will keep fighting for major reforms that will grow jobs and help properly fund services by shrinking waste inside government.
Rauner said he will not call the legislature back into special session because it will add needless costs to the state.
Now, maybe you think he flip-flopped. But I don’t believe that he ever intended to keep legislators in session all summer.
History teaches us that legislators milling about Springfield during the summer with nothing to do often find themselves wandering over to the press box and bad-mouthing the governor. It happened all the time during the Blagojevich overtimes.
What RRB never understood was that when the General Assembly leaves town the governor has the statewide stage all to himself.
Democrats’ $36 billion budget have now been approved by the General Assembly. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to the governor - at least not yet. […]
As with all legislation, Democrats get 30 days to send the budget bills to Rauner - which is right about when that spending plan should take effect; the new fiscal year begins July 1.
A veto from Rauner then could send affected programs and agencies that depend on that state money into a tailspin.
There’s no telling when Democrats will forward the budget bills to the governor for him to take action; however Sen. President John Cullerton has put a parliamentary hold known as a motion to reconsider on the nine budget measures the Senate took final action on today. His spokeswoman says that’s because some pieces of the budget haven’t been acted on yet, and the plan is to put it all together.
Until there’s a deal, the Democrats have no reason to send him that budget. And the Dems can hold onto it indefinitely with a motion to reconsider. The 30-day clock doesn’t start until after the motion is removed.
But it seems unlikely that the Democrats will hold the budget beyond the start of the new fiscal year on July 1st.
Armed with a campaign war chest of more than $34 million including some from his allies, Rauner has at the ready a summer TV and mail campaign he can deploy to attempt to win over public opinion and lay blame for Illinois’ financial problems and poor job growth at the feet of Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and the legislature’s Democratic majority. […]
During closed-door meetings with House and Senate Republicans, Rauner displays the results of polling he’s conducted that contends Madigan has become one of Illinois’ most unpopular politicians and is ripe to be taken out. District maps were drawn by Democrats, however, and that makes the task of unseating the current Democratic supermajorities in the House and Senate a yearslong task. […]
That’s where the Rauner TV ad campaign comes in, though there are questions about its effectiveness in stirring public opinion in summer, when many viewers are focused on the outdoors rather than televisions showing political advertising.
Democratic Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan said the ads may come, but he believes voters are unhappy with any politician, regardless of their partisanship.
“What works is people want to see you, both sides, Democrats and Republicans, governors and legislators, sitting at a table and getting done what’s of a benefit to the state of Illinois. They’re going to be as upset at Republicans as they are at Democrats. It’s everybody that’s bad. There’s no good guy out of the deal,” Link said.
I don’t think the Democrats even partially appreciate the consequences of what’s about to hit them. Subscribe to learn more, but it’s gonna get exponentially uglier than anything we’ve ever seen around these parts.
And the polling shows that Madigan is the most unpopular politician in the nation, by the way. At least, that’s what the Rauner folks are saying.
…Adding… Every governor going back to I think Dan Walker has been ripped for this at one time or another. In that context, it’s really not a huge deal...
One of the representatives sitting at the testimony table was Jennifer Hammer, who was described by her colleague as ”the governor’s senior policy adviser.”
It’s an interesting title given that Hammer isn’t being paid by the governor’s office.
Instead, records show, her $115,000 salary is being drawn from the cash-strapped Illinois Department of Human Services, which provides funding for some of the neediest populations in Illinois.
However, Rauner clearly wants to slash the Human Services budget and that makes this particular move noteworthy.
“Now, there are a lot of negotiations that are happening in this building, but I don’t pretend to believe that I’m going to negotiate you into becoming a Democrat, any more than I think you can negotiate me into becoming a Republican.”
The governor needs to remember that the Democrats have super-majorities in both legislative chambers. But the Democrats need to finally come to terms with the fact that Illinois voters chose a Republican governor last year, 50.3 to 46.3 percent.
“You go right to the heart and cut that off because you want to go after collective bargaining,” said [Sen. Kimberly Lightford] following a tense exchange in which [Richard] Goldberg, Rauner’s aide, at one point tried to speak over her in an attempt to rebut her argument.
Goldberg received a scolding from Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat who chairs the committee.
“When a senator is speaking to you, I would strongly counsel you to close your mouth and open your ears and then you’ll have a chance to respond,” Harmon said.
Goldberg has built a reputation this spring as a super-direct, aggressive defender of Gov. Rauner. I’ve known him for about a year or so, and have seen his temper, but I also like the dude a lot, even though he has made more enemies among rank and file Democrats than just about any legislative director I’ve ever covered.
The Rauner administration witness clearly deferred to Goldberg and Richard began answering the question. Yes, there was some subsequent cross-talk, but I’m not sure it rose to the level of deserving that particular smackdown - at least in this instance.
Taken in context, a blow-up was about to happen sooner or later, and a Democratic escalation could be in the cards.
Federal authorities have interviewed at least two victims of sexual misconduct in the case against former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The longest-serving GOP speaker allegedly paid hush money to cover up sexual misconduct with one male student dating to his time as a coach and teacher in Yorkville, the source said.
The source said federal investigators identified, then interviewed, at least one other alleged victim in the case against Hastert. The second victim’s statements to investigators were critical to corroborating allegations of past sexual misconduct, the source said. There was no allegation of a financial relationship involving the second individual, the source said.
These are usually not isolated incidents, so it’s no surprise and, heck, we could see more. But keep in mind that these are only allegations at this point.