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*** UPDATED x2 - Bill passes House *** Looks like you may be too late, SJ-R

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017

* From the governor’s press office…

ICYMI: Lawmakers must ensure funding for 911 centers continues

The following is an editorial published in this morning’s State Journal-Register:

    The legislation that allows the collection and distribution of fees for the state’s 911 call centers expires June 30. […]

    This is the textbook example of a “no-duh” action that must be addressed in the Statehouse. Ensuring responses by police and fire departments in emergency situations is about as essential a service as it gets. But we’re in Illinois, where bitter partisan bickering has left us teetering on the brink of fiscal insolvency.

    By overwhelming margins, the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 1839, which would extend the ability to collect and distribute fees to fund 911 services. As proposed, the legislation would raise the 911 surcharge in Chicago from $3.90 to $5, and from 87 cents to $1.50 elsewhere in Illinois. […]

    If approved as is, it would be about a 28 percent increase in fee for Chicago residents, and more than 72 percent for everyone else in the state.

    And as Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration noted in a memo issued June 22 that declared the hikes “unacceptable,” Chicago has already received two increases in the past four years: From $1.25 to $2.50 in 2013 and from $2.50 to $3.90 in 2014. The memo didn’t offer a suggested amount, but noted a 911 advisory board recommended a $1.05 statewide fee. It also warned of the dire consequences if lawmakers don’t send Rauner a “clean” extension bill before July 1. […]

    We urge lawmakers to put SB 1839 to the side for now and explore other avenues to ensure continued operation of 911 centers. Legislators have introduced or amended existing bills to provide other options. The simplest — and one that should fly through the Capitol’s chambers and land on the governor’s desk as soon as humanly possible — is House Bill 4072, which would extend the sunset dates for 911 and similar services from this week to Dec. 31, 2020. […]

    HB 4072 would allow 911 services to continue uninterrupted, and Rauner’s office said Wednesday he would support it. Leave the fee increases — and the fighting that accompanies them — to another day, and extend the act.

The emphasis was added by the governor’s office.

One problem: A revamped 911 bill with the fee increases intact overwhelmingly passed the Senate yesterday on a vote of 47-2.

Apparently, the SJ-R editorial board was only paying attention to what the governor’s office told them.

So, let him veto it again. It could turn out to be worse than Pat Quinn’s humiliation on the ComEd “smart grid” veto.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  47 votes in the Senate and the governor still calls it a Democratic tax hike…

*** UPDATE 2 *** The House just passed the revamped bill 86-24. Boom.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Not Rich - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    “my way or else” Governor will look more foolish than PQ did over the smart grid.. Love it..

  2. - Blue Bayou - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    “…the SJ-R editorial board was only paying attention to what the governor’s office told them.”

    And people wonder why newspapers are dying.

    The answer is that they have lost their ability to do the basics of their job. And everybody suffers.

  3. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    I read this piece today in the newspaper and took it as the newspaper simply taking a populous stand against taxes. That is not what the press is supposed to do. We need the press to take the tough stands and tell the truth, not what the people want to hear. It is common place to bash the General Assembly or Congress, part of our fabric as a society to criticize our elected officials. But, all too often fluff pieces are written in newspapers (not just this one) to appease to the public, not inform them.

  4. - Biscuit Head - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    “Apparently, the SJ-R editorial board was only paying attention to what the governor’s office told them.”

    Most of the media only repeats what they’re told. Some, but not all will make a moderate effort to balance it against what another side tells them.

    So it’s important for all sides involves to be media-savvy and quickly craft pointed short on-message replies. That’s not Speaker Madigan’s strength but the IL Democratic Party and its candidates for Governor need to elevate their game.

  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    ===the SJ-R editorial board was only paying attention to what the governor’s office told them.===

    I think Jim Durkin might be making the same mistake.

  6. - 911 Flatlining - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Tried to talk to this paper in person, about a statewide 911 issue once and was told by the Editor, we don’t run stories that our outside of our area.

    That sound you hear is 9-1-1 flat lining and the Governor has Power of Attorney and his hand is on the plug.

  7. - Periwinkle - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Anyone know if this article refers to the newer version of the bill, i.e. that AARP opposes it?

  8. - cdog - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Glad to see the 47-2 mutiny.

    More of this, please.

    Get ‘R did, folks. Just drive the legislation bus around the two troublemakers.

  9. - Ractin - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    The Gov could use his line item veto to just remove that, so it at least passes.

  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    ==The Gov could use his line item veto to just remove that, so it at least passes.==

    That’s not how it works. The part not vetoed doesn’t automatically become law and only the veto portion sent back, the entire bill is still sent back for approval or not from the GA. So logistically in terms of the timing problem and July 1, there is no difference between the types of vetos.

  11. - Pelonski - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Anyone who works in emergency services knows that the 911 system in the State of Illinois could use some major improvements. For the most part, each system operates on its own which makes it a challenge dealing with emergency situations on the borders of each system. Most systems are also incapable of receiving text messages and other alternative forms of communications which are essential for situations where making a phone call can put you in real danger. These types of improvements take money.

  12. - Teddy K. - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    To the update: There wasn’t a single Republican “no” vote in the Senate yesterday. Not one. Welcome to the Bizzaro world.

  13. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    ===47 votes in the Senate and the governor still calls it a Democratic tax hike===

    The way the GOP has latched onto to SB9 without voting for it should tell you all you need to know about how a bi-partisan budget agreement will be paid for by higher “Democrat” (sic) taxes.

    That’s what all of this mud wrestling is about.

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    To the update, isn’t Chicago about 20% of the state’s population? So wouldn’t that mean they’re paying more than they should? So why is Rauner touting that fact?

  15. - Pelonski - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    If he was honest, his graphic would state “Say no to the Phone Tax which funds improvements to 911 services”.

  16. - former southerner - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    Congratulations Gov. #WorseThanBlago

  17. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    From the Update: “47 votes in the Senate and the governor still calls it a Democratic tax hike…”

    If vetoed, will they stand firm and override? Right now the Senate has more sense that the House when it comes to recognizing bipartisanship. Just hope it holds.

  18. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    47 votes in the Senate for a tax hike . . . on phones. And he comes out swinging calling this a “majority party” tax hike. Anyone wonder what’s coming when the income tax is passed? I didn’t think so.

    This is not helpful.

  19. - Roman - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Read the roll call. The only opposition to the bill came from the “Majority Party.”

    Way to hang your own party members out to dry, governor.

  20. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    “Way to hang your own party members out to dry, governor.” He can’t take a win when he sees it.

  21. - yo - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Going to be comical when ATT mails out notices that consumers landlines are going away. The GA will be able to tell them “it’s not going away, it’s getting better.” Seniors vote. Good luck.

  22. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    Revamped bill just passed overwhelming out of the House.

  23. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:00 pm:


    That’s for an appropriation bill, not a substantive bill. An amendatory veto of a substantive bill prevents the entire thing from becoming law unless the GA accepts or overrides the veto.

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    What exactly is “revamped” about this bill that they felt they had to run another one? It looks pretty much the same as the one already passed

  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==If he was honest, his graphic would state “Say no to the Phone Tax which funds improvements to 911 services”.==

    If the GA was honest they would say “say yes to increased fees to bail out Chicago pensions”

  26. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    what’s revamped is that it reauthorizes the telecom law, the other bill prevented it from expiring, but that only works if the bill is enacted prior to the sunset.

    This is good government in action. The governor points out a fatal flaw in legislation, the legislature acts quickly to fix it.

  27. - Telly - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    The first 911/AT&T bill goes “poof” on July 1st because it amends a state law that will sunset at midnight June 30th. Can’t amend a law doesn’t exist. Need a new bill to reinstate the act — that what the GA just did.

    The guv could just veto the original bill, but he’s taken no action because he doesn’t want the over ride. That makes the 911 centers the latest hostage.

  28. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Those are some pretty hefty veto-proof majorities.

  29. - anon2 - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    === 47 votes in the Senate and the governor still calls it a Democratic tax hike ===

    Apparently his party is just like him — it has no responsibility even when it supports a tax hike. It’s all the Democrats’ fault, just like every other problem.

  30. - EVanstonian - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    47 to 2, with the two no votes being Biss and Collins? Elections are weird, what’s Sen. Collins beef?

  31. - Really - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    It’s surprising that the governor doesn’t call the senate Dems 4.95% tax a 4.95 increase since we didn’t have a budget last year

  32. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    Mr. “Unity” strikes again.

  33. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    So, the governor says you can’t have 9-1-1 service without something-something-harrumph-harrumph.

    Or maintain and build roads.

    Or maintain all the state’s other physical assets (except for that mansion p.r. play).

    Or pay contracted bills (except for those nice IT consultant guys).

    Or even pay utility bills.

    Or keep his promises to K-12.

    Or adequately support public universities and community colleges.

    Or fund MAP grants.

    Or have the big lottery.

    And on and on and on.

    That’s been the governor’s public position for 2.5 years now.

    Turns out, the State of Illinois is just one big entitlement program for one Bruce Rauner.

    The state exists for what he wants, right now. Not 90% of what he wants, he is entitled to the whole schmear.

    Until then, everything, and I mean everything, will have to suffer, without any effort from the governor to mitigate the damage.

  34. - Mokenavince - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:48 pm:

    the beat goes on more taxes. The thing out state does best.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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