Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has been vocal, especially in recent weeks, about his frustration with state lawmakers not passing legislation to stiffen penalties for “repeat gun offenders.”
Johnson hinted at a cause of some of that frustration during a news conference Friday to announce dozens of arrests in overnight raids.
“They promised me that we would have something done in January. We’re at the end of February,” Johnson said.
He went on to mention that state Rep. Elgie Sims Jr. and state Sen. Kwame Raoul, both Chicago Democrats, “are crafting the language for a bill, and I know that they are supportive of CPD.” […]
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Johnson “was told in his conversations to expect a draft to be introduced in January,” though he didn’t say who offered assurances to Johnson about the time frame.
Sims told the Chicago Sun-Times “there were some discussions about hopefully some developments” on a piece of legislation by January, but “I don’t know about ‘promised.’”
Considering that this proposal is so contentious, I’m thinking the Superintendent is confused about the passage deadline.
A pending bill in the Illinois House that would create sanctuary zones for undocumented immigrants drew demonstrators from both sides of the issue Saturday to downtown Springfield.
Rosanna Pulido of Springfield, founder of The Illinois Minuteman Project, organized a noon rally at the Abraham Lincoln statue at Second Street and Capitol Avenue. The rally was in opposition to HB 426, which would allow schools, medical treatment and health care facilities and places of worship deny access to state and local law enforcement officers who are enforcing immigration laws, unless the officers have a court-issued warrant.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Pulido said. “I think the biggest question we have for Governor Rauner and any legislator who would want to pass this bill is: Does making it easier for illegal aliens to stay in Illinois improve the lives of Illinois residents?”
About five minutes into Pulido’s rally, which drew about 50 people, a group of about 30 people marched down Capitol Avenue chanting “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.” The counter-protesters set up shop on the northeast corner of Second and Capitol near the Martin Luther King Jr. statue.
It’s not really a “sanctuary” bill. Amendment 2 is the heart of the legislation at the moment. As mentioned above, it requires a warrant before people can be taken into custody.
* Press release…
State Representative David McSweeney has been joined by 66 fellow members of the Illinois House of Representatives in sponsoring House Resolution 148, which opposes any new taxes on beverages and supports the thousands of Illinois small businesses that are linked to the beverage industry in the state.
“Representative McSweeney and a bipartisan group of representatives have stood up for the industry and Illinois families. They understand that adding yet another tax on common grocery and restaurant products will have disastrous, unintended consequences, creating higher prices at neighborhood grocers and restaurants, and causing massive job losses across several industries,” stated Claudia Rodriguez, Acting Executive Director, Illinois Beverage Association.
Beyond the regressive nature of beverage tax proposals, these taxes could severely hurt local economic growth and job creation. If imposed, a penny-per-ounce tax is estimated to destroy more than 19,000 Illinois jobs, eliminate more than $875 million in wages and would result in $1.695 billion in lost economic activity. More than 90,000 jobs in restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, movie theaters and more rely on the industry – all of which could be hurt by a proposed tax.
“We are thankful for Representative McSweeney’s initiative and support for retailers and the beverage industry. A statewide beverage tax would be devastating to the state’s economy and we’re glad to see a majority of House members being supportive of an industry that employs thousands of Illinois residents,” stated Rob Karr, President and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
A similar tax proposal imposed in Philadelphia has already produced devastating effects on the local economy, hurting small businesses and jobs. Early reports have found beverage sales in Philadelphia to have dropped between 30 and 50 percent as consumers leave the city to do their shopping. Many businesses have been forced to cut employees, with more than 300 layoffs already announced and thousands of employee work hours cut. Additional cuts are expected. With a pending penny-per-ounce beverage tax set to be implemented on July 1, 2017 in Cook County, a new state tax would multiply these negative impacts and dramatically weaken the state’s economy.
A broad coalition of more than 1,000 concerned Illinois families, small businesses, labor unions, chambers of commerce and community organizations are opposed to regressive beverage taxes, which could dramatically increase costs for many common grocery items, including juices, teas, sports-drinks and sodas. HR 148 is a bipartisan effort with more than 66 co-sponsors opposed to approving yet another tax on the beverage industry.
* Rauner backs water testing near quarries used as cheap dump sites