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Did Madigan really make a “demand”?

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - illinoised - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    I would love a progressive income tax but that requires a constitutional change. We need a budget this week.

  2. - Chucktownian - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    You’d think they’d check these little details out before standing in front of everyone and lying about things. If Radogno is a co-sponsor that means the GOP should support the bill. It’s not a demand.

  3. - ANON - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    Next Gen 911 is a great move to new technology but why would we cut traditional land lines (the most reliable way to call 911) until the new technology is implemented across the state? Biggest reason - putting multi billion dollar company (AT&T) in front of the safety needs for hundreds of thousands of IL residents.

  4. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    The House voted 81-27 and the Senate voted 53-3, both in favor of the bill. Just because Durkin voted “No” didn’t prevent quite a few Republicans from voting “Yes” in the House. Will they not be there for an override if needed? Were their Green lights only for show? (slight snark)

  5. - Rogue Roni - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    sounds like the stress is starting to get to durkin

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    Leader Radogno continues to do things to make governing possible, to make smart choices to what’s needed… and time after time… Raunerite thoughts undercut the responsible governing.

  7. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    The House votes:

    Some of Rauner’s own candidates pressed Green on this bill.

  8. - ANONIME - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    The 911 funding part of the bill is OK if the extra money is needed to keep it running. However, not everyone in the state has access to reliable cell service. So, getting rid of landlines is not a good idea. I agree with ANON, just benefiting AT&T

  9. - JoeMaddon - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    Huh? Since when does Family PAC take positions on these things?

    Family PAC refuses to support anything that supports low-income folks, yet they take a position on a 911 tax?

  10. - George - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    But ANONIME, Rauner isn’t going to veto the bill because it benefits AT&T. He’s going to veto it because it benefits Chicago.

  11. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    If Paul Caprio is against it, that means this is probably a really good bill.

  12. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    Take out AT&T’s egregious Carrier of Last Resort relief demand from the bill and maybe we’d have something the governor of ALL the state could sign?

  13. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    So, not forcing AT&T to do something is reckless intervention? Huh?

  14. - Pass_The_Buck - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    I don’t like anything much that Rainer has done since he has been in office; however, I hope that he does not sign the 911 bill because the bill would give ATT the authority to phase out landline phones. This would disenfranchise a LOT of rural citizens. I, for one, get “spotty” mobile reception at my house, at best. For the most part, we cannot use a cell phone where I live. There are also a lot of senior citizens and handicapped individuals who do not have cell phones. This bill, in effect, would make it unsafe for these people to live in the country.

  15. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    I agree with taking out the landline/ATT issue from the bill, but George makes the prime point. That is not the part of the bill Rauner wants “cleaned”.

  16. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    Cell phone monopoly, seriously? It is much easier to pick a different cell phone carrier than your land line carrier.

    The press releases I have all seen start with Rauner vetoes 911 over higher fees. That makes him sound like he doesn’t have a clue as to the purpose of 911 or even the purpose of government in general.

    So let him veto the bill and then override him. It will make a great campaign ad: “Rauner is so out of touch with the middle class that he would rather save a few dollars on his phone bill than provide emergency call service.”

  17. - Been There - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    ===. I, for one, get “spotty” mobile reception at my house, at best. For the most part, we cannot use a cell phone where I live====
    Actually there will still be “land lines” but they just won’t work as stand alone lines. You would have to have cable and the phone works over that line. Probably out of luck if you use a dish though.

  18. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    I still have a line without cable. It is just digital and not analog. So yes, it doesn’t work during a power outage unless you buy the battery backup. Just like analog to digital television there will be resistance to change, but it will happen.

  19. - ANON - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Senate Telecom committee - 911 just testified that the larger increase in the surcharge for Chicago is because they didn’t take into account the lines they would loose from the AT&T portion of the bill…i call their bluff on that one: any household that looses a traditional land line is going to find another phone service, heck they might have to get 2 or more if the household goes to cell devices so 911 isn’t going to loose anything from the traditional land lines going away…they might just gain. Also, the traditional land line termination discussion has been around for years I can’t believe that wasn’t discussed and why didn’t they say this earlier? The question about the larger increase for Chicago has been around for a little while. If you are asking for something don’t you usually know why? Sounds to me like someone had to come up with a “reason”. And why wouldn’t the entire state have a larger increase? There are traditional land lines in AT&T territory outside of Chicago.

  20. - yo - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    ATT “we only made $14 billion last year.”
    Most of IL GA “can we help you make more?”

  21. - Telly - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    Lots of misinformation on the AT&T bill bouncing around.

    Most people get their “land line” phone from a cable wire — they are not effected by the law. Only copper wire land lines are phased out by the bill. Just about 10 percent of AT&T’s customers get their service through copper lines.

  22. - yo - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    Lol, please Telly tell us the “facts”. LOL

  23. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    People obviously are entitled to different views on the legislation and to their talking points. But people who clearly do not understand how the different telephone delivery systems provided by AT&T work–especially as they relate to both regular and 9-1-1 service outside the greater metro area– probably should refrain from opining on how the phone systems work (so as to not look silly).

  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    The term “crony capitalism” has clearly lost all meaning. Wouldn’t it be crony capitalism to REQUIRE low use infrastructure that AT&T customers must pay for plus a rate of return? So confusing.

    Also, good luck with a 1st Amendment right to copper-based landlines.

  25. - ANON - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    AT&T’s testimony was approximately 440,000 residential lines and 700,000 business lines will be impacted by this bill. May “only” be 10% of their customers Telly, but sure is a lot of household and businesses. You see a lot of legislators arguing for groups with smaller numbers than these.

  26. - Team Warwick - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    I live three miles north of Springfields Capitol Airport runways and i have zero AT&T reception and veey limuted Verizon cell reception. My location is not exactly remote and rural, so if i have no cell phone reception is quicker to ride my bicycle to the nearest police station four miles away! Your missing the hustler here. The companies want to phase out landlines because of infrastructure costs. Right now they have to provide access to those telephone utilities.

  27. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    Most the rural locations that rely on hardwired copper lines don’t have cable service. Heck, even AT&T’s TV offerings don’t work in some rural areas due to the distance to the substation. Those people have to rely on one of the dish providers for TV service. There truly are areas where copper wire is the only decent choice for phone service. I

  28. - Signal and Noise - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 2:08 pm:

    “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.” - he typed from his android device.

  29. - walker - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    Madigan asked that Republicans stick with their previous votes, even if Rauner tells them to reverse their position. That’s hardly “moving the goalposts.” That is trying to keep a deal in place.

  30. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    If you read the synopses of the bill it says zilch about discontinuing cable wiring. It talks about changing from an analog to a digital phone system. I did that quite a while back and also get my internet through the same copper wire that has been there for a dozen years. It is now a digital signal instead of analog and a much cleaner sound.

    Some of the arguments here remind me of the arguments people made when switching from horses to the automobile.

    AT&T is not going to cut off their revenue by not maintaining the copper to my house. Neither are they going to run cable or fiber because it is not cost effective. I have spoken with AT&T at length on the subject.

  31. - ANON - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    A Jack not everyone has access to VOIP service in AT&T territory and not everyone can afford internet service due to limited resources and believe it or not more costs thanks to the state cutting services and most likely raising taxes.

  32. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    A Jack –

    Your comment is naive. This is about Carrier of Last Resort responsibilities and regulation that AT&T wants to be rid of. Please. If you only read “the synopsis” you are only getting a watered down version of what some one/some group wants you to know. You are not fully informed as you would be if you had read the original testimony and source documents of the bill and researched the importance and reasoning behind Illinois’ currently mandated COLR responsibilities for AT&T that they want to go away. No they won’t disconnect you–but they will forcibly transition you and charge you for other non-regulated services that don’t work well in many areas of Illinois.

  33. - Fdrdemocrat - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    2/3 thirds of the 911 money will go to
    Systems in the suburbs and downstate.
    State law requires both the local 911
    Systems and the state police to have
    In place next generation 911 by 2020
    This will allow people and emergency
    Personnel to send and receive texts, pictures and

    SB1839 is supported by the sheriffs,
    Police and fire chiefs associations
    And the il ambulance assc

  34. - PhoneLinesAreNecessary - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    The Hearing Impaired people need hardwired copper lines because they can not hear on cell phones. Doctor’s offices, etc are not allowed to text or send emails. ‘911′ is not text- able.

  35. - PhoneLinesAreNecessary - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 4:38 pm:

    “In place next generation 911 by 2020″

    How can the hearing impaired access ‘911′ prior to 2020?

  36. - FDRDemocrat - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:55 pm:

    If SB1839 does not become law, funding for ITAC
    will stop. That programs provides assistance for the hearing impaired to buy phones. Also, the
    voluntary UTAC program expires as well. That assists low income citizens purchase telephone service today, and under SB1839 purchase broadband services.

  37. - FDRDemocrat - Wednesday, Jun 28, 17 @ 5:57 pm:

    The whole point of next generation 911 is to allow
    911 to accept text messages along with pictures and video.

    This all requires access to VOIP landlines or
    4G and in the future 5G wireless service.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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