* Brian Mackey…
House Republican Leader Rep. Jim Durkin says Madigan is insisting that Rauner sign off on a bill to let Chicago raise cell-phone fees.
“Three-and-a-half days out before the close of the fiscal year, and new demands from the speaker over-complicates closure to this process,” Durkin said.
If Chicago raises the fees, the money would be used to pay for 911 services. The bill would also extend funding for downstate 911 centers, and would let AT&T phase out traditional landline telephone service.
The legislation passed with bipartisan support, but Rauner prefers a so-called “clean” bill that would allow current 911 services to continue.
House Democratic spokesman Steve Brown said he’s not sure he’d call Madigan’s position on the legislation a “demand.” He says Republicans outlined Rauner’s objections to the Chicago mobile phone fee hikes that would be allowed by the legislation, and Madigan responded that the governor should just sign the bill.
Senate GOP Leader Radogno is a hyphenated co-sponsor of the bill.
…Adding… Relevant press release…
Paul Caprio, Director of Family-Pac, today urged Governor Rauner to veto S.B. 1839.
Caprio said, “We strongly oppose S.B. 1839 for two important reasons. First, we oppose the increase in the 911 telephone tax. Illinois does not need another tax increase on this essential service which hits hardest on those least able to afford it.”
Caprio continued, “Secondly, we strongly object to the provision in this bill that would effectively end telephone land lines and create a cell phone monopoly in the state. This is reckless intervention by government with the freedom to choose which Illinois consumers should have. S.B. 1839 is a classic example of state government promoting ‘crony capitalism’ as opposed to responsibly regulating public utilities.”
Caprio added, “Without land telephone lines in the state of Illinois, our 1st Amendment right to redress grievances through communication with our legislators will be greatly impeded. This is not a time when Illinois should be passing legislation that reduces communication between voters and their Representatives.”