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Rauner signs three controversial bills: Marijuana decriminalization, Contraception coverage; “Right of Conscience Act”

Friday, Jul 29, 2016

* Gov. Rauner just announced that he has signed three bills which have stirred some controversy. The first is the marijuana decriminalization bill. Rauner used an amendatory veto on a similar bill last year and proponents drafted another one to comply with his instructions. From a press release…

On Friday, July 29th Governor Rauner signed both SB 2228 and HB 4360. The passage of these bills represents an outstanding example of cooperation on reforming our criminal justice system.

“In the midst of a session where cooperation and compromise has been lacking, I am proud to have worked out our differences on this legislation and move our state in a very positive direction” said Representative Cassidy. “The governor and I both recognize the urgent need for criminal justice reform, reduction in prison population and the removal of barriers to reentry”

SB 2228 provides a statewide standard for cannabis possession, with a maximum $200 fine for possession of 10 grams or less and automatic expungement upon fine payment. The bill also implements scientifically proven standards for driving under the influence of cannabis and strengthens penalties for the dangerous production process of butane extracts. Representative Cassidy worked with a widespread coalition, gaining support from the Cook County State’s Attorney, Sheriff’s Office and Public Defender, in addition to numerous organizations across the state.

HB 4360 would eliminate the lifetime bar on employment and reduce time frames of prohibited hiring for various non-violent offenses for those seeking work in schools. It allows qualified individuals a schance to make their case and be considered for open positions. A thorough negotiation process secured the support of the Illinois State Board of Education.

* Two other bills signed today have been opposed by pro-life groups. Here’s part of the ACLU’s analysis on HB 5576

The Illinois Contraceptive Coverage Act will [prevent] insurance companies from imposing utilization controls that make it difficult for women to access the birth control they need, and by allowing coverage for 12 months of contraception at a time. As 99% of sexually active women use (or have used) at least one type of birth control in their lifetime, the potential impact of this legislation is widespread.

* And here’s the Illinois Family Institute’s action alert on the other bill, SB 1564

SB 1564 will radically alter the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act — an Act that allows medical personnel and health care facilities to avoid participating in morally dubious medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization, and certain end-of-life care. Doctors, pharmacists, and other medical personnel have been protected from having to violate their beliefs and values for almost twenty years under this Act. […]

Under SB 1564, a doctor’s conscience and religious beliefs are irrelevant and it’s possible that a doctor refusing to assist in a procedure he/she morally objects to could result in a lawsuit.

* From the ACLU

Senate Bill 1564, now on its way to the Governor, carefully balances the needs of patients to get complete information about their medical condition with the ability of health care providers to refuse health care services to which they have a religious or conscience objection. In the course of the debate around this legislation, we have seen a campaign of false claims hurled by a handful of opponents. The debate in the House helped pierce these claims, making clear that the bill does not force anyone to participate in or refer for abortion or any other care.

Rather, Senate Bill 1564 ensures that each patient in Illinois now can be assured that they will have complete information, so that they can make the best medical decision for themselves and their families. These medical decisions, we expect, will be guided by a patient¹s individual condition and his or her personal beliefs. Senate Bill 1564 means that when Illinois patients go into an exam room, they do not need to worry that they are being denied medical information based on their health care provider¹s religious beliefs. In short, this bill protects patients when health care providers exercise religious refusals.

* When thinking about these two bills, keep this New York Times Magazine quote in mind

And as the Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Rich Miller recently wrote, in Illinois “independent suburban women have been the deciding factor in just about every statewide race since 1990.”

No brainers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - Anon221 - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    These may have been no-brainers, but Monique is reporting that he vetoed the DON score legislation.

    From her twitter tweet- “Gov. Rauner vetoed bill backed by advocates for disabled that would keep state’s DON score at 29, meaning many could lose services.”


  2. - walker - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    Still good to see.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    We’ll get to the vetoes in a bit. Stick to this post’s topic, please.


  4. - Anon221 - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    I realize I jumped the gun. But that one is personal for our family.


  5. - Honeybear - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    HB5576 is going to be a problem for Dwight Kay coming up. Queue the mailers in three, two, one,

    “I seriously question how much promiscuity should an insurance company pay (for),” said Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon.

    This one’s gonna hurt.


  6. - Honeybear - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    Dwight…Rauner just threw you under the bus. Dude totally under the bus. Did you make him mad? We don’t even have to put Rauner on the mailer for this one. You’re right of Rauner!


  7. - Honeybear - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:59 pm:

    Especially in an election where the womans vote is going to be VERY strong. I think Rauner read the signs.


  8. - illini97 - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 3:06 pm:

    Honeybear, don’t forget the best part.

    “I seriously question how much promiscuity should an insurance company pay (for),” said Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon. “It’s simply wrong, and I think we’re trying to address issues that quite frankly don’t have any business coming up in this General Assembly.”

    Kay was right. It is pretty ridiculous that this would ever have to come up in the GA. Because in the GA, men like Kay, with no medical or insurance background, might have a say on what contraceptives women in the State of Illinois have access to.

    Kay being behind the times isn’t all that shocking. Him being allowed to decide the reproductive health of anyone other than himself is shocking.

    Get those quotes front and center and he’s got a problem come November.


  9. - Al Cerviks Golf Bag - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 3:13 pm:

    and here I thought he’d let the decrim bill go into law without his signature. Today is a good day for Illinois, especially those who favor liberty and freedom for adults to make adult decisions.


  10. - CCP Hostage - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    So is the Governor saying, “let them smoke weed,” as he clears the way to cutting services to seniors? Just wonderin’.


  11. - Slugger O'Toole - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==As 99% of sexually active women use (or have used) at least one type of birth control in their lifetime==

    A new group of one percenters is born.


  12. - Enviro - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    Golf Bag: The marijuana decriminalization bill does not legalize marijuana.


  13. - Educ - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    And Kay was talking about IUDs specifically, whose primary users are middle class married women who already have children (as many gyns are reluctant to offer them to nulliparous women, and they had a higher upfront cost). Who I’m sure are particularly delighted to be called “promiscuous” in the GA.


  14. - Lomez - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 4:17 pm:

    Re: HB5576 — good progress but unfortunately too narrow in scope. Lack of exercise is one of leading causes of high blood pressure, early onset heart disease, and many other complications. The discounts or credits on gym memberships are too few in number and too limited. We need full memberships included, and also in-home equipment as there are those who cannot easily get there before or after work.

    I am guessing that people like Rep. Kay and big insurance co execs would also like to vote against this and control the options available to me. That he would try to control the cardiovascular health of myself and millions of others in the State is sickening — literally in this case.

    Everyone help me think of some more things we need.


  15. - Anon - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    “…and strengthens penalties for the dangerous production process of butane extracts.”

    So, smoking pot is OK. But making extracts possibly for edibles is not?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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