* Conservative Democratic state Rep. with an increasingly Republican district who will undoubtedly be targeted by the GOP next year offers up some red meat that won’t go anywhere, but gets his name in the papers. Mission accomplished…
A state representative from Smithton has filed a bill that would eliminate Illinois’ Firearm Owner’s Identification card, which is needed to buy or possess a gun.
Rep. Jerry Costello II, a Democrat, says FOID cards are a burden to “responsible” Illinois residents and prevent them from obtaining firearms and exercising their second amendment rights.
“It is burdensome on law-abiding citizens to have to overcome bureaucratic red tape in order to exercise their second amendment rights,” Costello said in a prepared statement.
All Illinois residents — barring a few who are specifically exempted, such as on-duty military personnel — must apply for a FOID card in order to legally purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. According to Illinois State Police, the process is meant to determine whether an individual is eligible to purchase a firearm before allowing them to do so.
The bill is here.
* Editorial uses following words to describe the NFL Players Union’s stance on a piece of legislation: “Squawks,” “barking,” “strident,” and “whining.” Instead of wading through the Trib’s hyperbolic invective, here’s a non-strident take on the same topic from the Insurance Journal…
Should injured pro athletes be allowed to earn workers’ compensation benefits until they are 67 years old, like other workers, even if their athletic careers normally would have ended more than 30 years earlier?
That issue is being debated between the Chicago Bears and the NFL Players Association in the Illinois Legislature as one unlikely element of a compromise proposal to end a nearly two-year-long fight over the state’s budget.
The Bears are leading other Chicago sports franchises in backing a measure that would reduce a former player’s ability to tap into workers’ compensation after a career-ending injury. They want to cap certain payments to athletes at no older than 35 or five years after their injury. Currently they can claim benefits up to age 67, like other workers.
Neither the teams nor players’ advocates will say how much money is at stake. They agree it is not a relatively big pot — while theoretically some could claim millions, most if not all athletes settle their claims for reduced sums up front, the players association says.
Only a handful of pro players filed for the benefit here in the past four years, although the association would not identify them or describe their individual cases.
But one example in the public record of an athlete who claimed this compensation is former Bears offensive lineman Ted Albrecht, a first-round draft choice whose career ended with a back injury in 1982. An arbitrator tried to deny his claim, but an appeals court ruled he was entitled to receive an award based on the difference between his $130,000 Bears salary and what he later earned as a travel agent and sportscaster, which ranged from $87,000 to $36,000 between 1983 and 1986.
* Probably not a bad idea…
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that would provide a clear enforcement mechanism to ensure a detailed review of purchases made through out-of-state joint purchasing agreements received a unanimous vote of recommended approval on Thursday from the House State Government Administration Committee.
“This issue was brought to my attention because of purchases made by Illinois government units through joint purchasing agreements with other states’ government units. Illinois law requires competitive bidding, but because other states’ laws are not always as protective of taxpayers as our own, we need a strong enforcement mechanism to make sure Illinois law is followed. House Bill 2424 gives our state’s Chief Procurement Officer, who is charged with enforcing that law, the authority needed to thoroughly review these out-of-state procurements for compliance with Illinois law.”
According to Breen, joint purchasing agreements are very common among local units of government and allow for quantity discount pricing, which ultimately saves taxpayers money. While group purchasing is typically done by entities within the same state, there are occasions when joint purchasing agreements cross state lines.
“After filing this bill, I’ve had numerous other situations involving multi-state agreements that appear to have skirted Illinois’ Joint Purchasing Act,” Breen said. “As our school districts and other units of local government continue trying to bring down their costs through these types of purchasing agreements, we need to support those efforts while making sure our competitive bidding laws are being followed.”
Breen said he is currently negotiating an agreed amendment to the bill with stakeholders that will be added prior to the bill’s final consideration on the floor of the House.
* Tom Kacich: Bill looks to memorialize victims of ‘79 gunfight