|It’s just a bill
Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
* This bill probably won’t move forward without all parties at least grudgingly comig to agreement (mainly trial lawyers and business interests), and that’s gonna be tough in a year like this…
While Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg were publicly apologizing this month for failing to protect users’ information, Google’s lobbyists were drafting measures to de-fang an Illinois law recognized as the most rigorous consumer privacy statute in the country.
Their ambition: to strip language from a decade-old policy that regulates the use of fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition technology, and insert a loophole for companies embracing the use of biometrics.
Google is trying to exempt photos from the Illinois law at a time when it’s fighting a lawsuit in the state in which billions of dollars of damages may be at stake. The world’s largest search engine is facing claims that it violated the privacy of millions of users by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent. […]
Illinois state senator Bill Cunningham proposed an amendment to the Biometric Information Privacy Act in February then aimed at saving a local nursing home from overly burdensome litigation. Google and lobbyists from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce — of which Facebook is a member — intervened, and on April 4 they offered a new version with Cunningham to embed further caveats in the legislation, including language to exclude photos from regulatory scrutiny. […]
The amended bill in Illinois has twice been called to committee in the state senate, and twice pulled from the agenda over “misconceptions with what the bill aims to achieve,” said Cunningham. He confirmed he’ll continue to meet with Google’s lobbyist, the Illinois Chamber and privacy advocates in search of a compromise. Central to his effort and Google’s: ending the mountain of litigation triggered by BIPA that’s spawned more than 140 lawsuits since 2014.
* Other bills…
* How state lawmakers are trying to stop political patronage at tollway: Murphy said she was concerned by a Daily Herald article this month about a $6.6 million subcontract with Morreale Communications that piggybacked onto a larger engineering contract and so did not require a separate vote. The PR firm’s CEO Kim Morreale is married to Republican state Rep. Michael McAuliffe of Chicago. Engineering contracts do not bid on projects as construction companies do, where proposals are opened publicly and the lowest-cost, qualified one is selected. Instead a committee of tollway executives and an engineering professor review engineering applications and make recommendations. “Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent,” particularly with a no-bid process, Murphy said. “We have procurement rules in place to avoid the exact thing that this appears to be.”
* Stephanie’s Law gets hearing, still remains in committee: The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois opposes the bill. ACLU’s Ben Ruddell called the measure a perversion of due process. “The way the law works is to be on a sex registry, one has to be convicted of a sex offense,” Ruddell said.
* Phelps Finnie-sponsored bill would change tax rules for oil and gas producers
* Vapor product licensing: State lawmakers are drafting plans to regulate the vaping industry. Supporters think it could block illegal sales to minors. Critics say new licensing requirements would hurt tobacco shops which already sell vapor products.
* Homeless protection proposal: If passed, local police won’t be able to force someone off public property without helping them find shelter first. Officers also won’t be allowed to throw away their belongings. If rights are violated, a homeless person could sue the city. The bill would also require local governments to help them find jobs and access to public transportation.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* From the Southern Illinoisan…
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s current trip to Germany and Poland could result in economic development for Southern Illinois, the governor said Monday morning.
In a phone interview with The Southern Illinoisan, Rauner said many of the companies his team has been speaking with are perfect investors to build factories, distribution centers, and offices in Southern Illinois. He didn’t mention anything specific, adding that the state has commitments, but he’s not ready to make an announcement.
* Press release…
Governor Bruce Rauner made it official today. HANNOVER MESSE, the world-renowned trade show brand synonymous with industrial innovation, key trends and business leads, is coming to Chicago this fall co-located with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
The premiere of HANNOVER MESSE USA is expected to attract some 550 exhibitors and more than 100,000 visitors to Chicago for the September 10-15 show. The brand will occupy about 130,000 square feet of display space on two levels in the East Building of McCormick Place.
IMTS is already among the largest trade shows in the world, attracting more than 115,000 visitors from every level of industry and more than 120 countries. The addition of the HANNOVER MESSE brand adds to the show’s international standing among manufacturers looking to learn more about advances in equipment and technology.
“Having HANNOVER join forces with IMTS for this biennial event makes Chicago the go-to destination for manufacturers worldwide,” said Rauner at a press gathering in connection with the HANNOVER MESSE event taking place this week here. “We can count on the collaboration to enhance our reputation as a center for industrial technology. We will also benefit greatly from the economic impact of an enlarged convention visitor and exhibitor base for these shows.”
As we’ve already discussed, this announcement was made last September.
I sure hope he has something real to announce after all that time over there.
- Posted by Rich Miller
After his gubernatorial hopes were dashed in the March primary, state Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, says he doesn’t really know his next career move but he plans to continue his push for the state adopting a progressive income tax structure – and he could throw his full support behind his former billionaire opponent J.B. Pritzker. […]
The two men have had multiple phone conversations since the primary, and Biss said he meets regularly with Pritzker’s staff. […]
“I have no doubt that J.B. is serious about getting this [graduated income tax] done,” Biss said. “But others who have been serious about it have failed. In fact, all of them have failed. So the question is, what’s [his] plan that’s different from the plans we’ve had in the past?”
Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is running against Pritzker, said through a spokesman that “raising taxes on the people of Illinois has been the cornerstone of J.B. Pritzker’s campaign.”
“Daniel Biss is an unapologetic supporter of the graduated income tax hike while J.B. Pritzker supports it without giving any details of his own plan,” Rauner spokesman Alex Browning wrote in an email. “Biss is right, it’s time J.B. gets more specific so the people of Illinois know the truth.”
*** UPDATE *** Carol Marin tried to drag details out of Sen. Biss about his own graduated tax hike proposal back in January…
MARIN: Do you have a number?
BISS: It’s a real burden. So we need to change the constitution to allow for a progressive income tax. It’s something I’ve been fighting for for a long, long time and use that tool to adequately fund schools.
MARIN: But do you have a number? What the Civic Federation and what the tax accountability groups all look for are some sort of rate and some sort of yield, so we know what we’re gonna get that we don’t otherwise have.
BISS: That’s right. It would have to be patterned after what we see in neighboring states. It would have to be arrived at by working through a series of negotiations on both sides of the ledger by the way. There’s no sense in just setting tax rates unless you said something about what to do with the money, but we need to make sure that resources are adequate to fund our schools properly, which requires significant more revenue.
* New ad campaign warn taxpayers about progressive tax: Nelms said once Illinois lawmakers get the power to add tax brackets, and raise rates, the sky is the limit. “If we scrap our flat state income tax and implement a progressive tax, that would give the legislature carte blanche,” Nelms said.
- Posted by Rich Miller
|Question of the day
Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
* Speaker Madigan…
“But for American political parties, they have to be aware of what the people want.”
That’s a pretty bold statement for someone who has for decades bottled up a whole lot of stuff that people say they want.
* The Question: What do you want the GA to do?
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Peoria Journal Star…
At Sunday’s new conference, [Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston] released all the reports his office had filed with regards to Reinking. He also said Reinking’s weapons were taken from him but then returned to his father, who had a valid FOID card. That was done, the sheriff said, because it was a “constitutional” issue regarding property rights.
“Constitutional” property rights issue, eh?
Newspapers in an 11-county area that make up GateHouse’s Western Illinois Division have completed an in-depth news project looking at spending of money seized in drug busts. Each city police department, sheriff’s office and state’s attorney’s office gets a share of the money. The project gathered itemized expenditures out of those funds from 38 agencies in the 11 counties between Aug. 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012.
Number one county on that list? Tazewell, at $12,300.
* And it’s not like the county didn’t know about Reinking’s many mental problems. Click here for the local police reports going back to May of 2016. Pantagraph…
“The police reports speak for themselves. I think anyone can conclude after reading them that there’s evidence (Reinking) has mental health issues,” said Tazewell County Sheriff Bob Huston.
And yet, Reinking kept legal possession of his guns until he showed up at the White House.
Jeff Reinking, Travis’s father, owns a crane rental service in Illinois. His son was described as “delusional” in another police report from 2016.
The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office report for an incident referred to as “suicide attempt by firearms” said Travis Reinking “was delusional and believed the famous entertainer, Taylor Swift, was harassing him via stalking and hacking his phone. Travis believes everyone including his own family and the police are involved.”
It noted that his father, his mother, Judith, and his grandmother Marilyn all had concerns about him.
“Travis is hostile towards police and does not recognize police authority. Travis also possesses several firearms,” said the incident report. It also said Reinking believed he has autism, had made “suicidal comments” and was eventually taken away for mental evaluation.
And yet Reinking kept his guns.
* He was forcefully taken by the police to that mental evaluation…
The former Morton man had several run-ins with police over the past several years. In May 2016, police responded to the CVS parking lot in Morton, where Reinking was in his vehicle allegedly having delusions about singer Taylor Swift harassing him, stalking him and hacking his phone. The delusions had allegedly gone on since August of 2014. His family was also at the parking lot and feared for his safety because he had made comments about killing himself earlier in the day.
Officers tried to convince Reinking to seek help at UnityPoint Health-Methodist, and told him he could not leave the scene because he was in protective custody due to suicidal comments he made. Reinking allegedly attempted to leave again before he was made to go to [UnityPoint Health-Methodist].
No word on what that evaluation found, but Reinking kept his guns.
* The police had lots of forewarning. WAND…
Reinking also told the officer he believed people were trying to goad him into breaking the law, alluding to an out-of-state incident where a van had a sign which read “Don’t steal the van on it.” Reinking thought the sign was directed at him specifically. Reinking appeared to be serious and concerned when filing the August 2017 report, the officer said. The officer assured Reinking a report would be on file.
And the cops let Reinking keep his guns.
* NY Times…
In reports, the sheriff’s department in Tazewell County, Ill., had described Mr. Reinking as a man who was hostile to the police, had threatened suicide and believed his family was harassing him. […]
In August 2017, Travis Reinking, driving a blue Mitsubishi, pulled up alongside a police car and said he wanted to file a report. About 20 to 30 people were hacking into his phone and computer, he told the police. He could hear people outside his home barking like dogs, but didn’t know who they were. At a Walmart recently, he felt that a man in a black shirt was watching him, and no one else.
Hostile to the police, suicidal and clearly delusional, but Reinking kept his guns.
On June 16, 2017, an employee of his father’s business, J&J Cranes, called the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office to report that Reinking came down from his apartment wearing a pink dress and holding a rifle, an incident report states.
The employee told police Reinking yelled “Is this what you f—–g want?” before he threw his rifle in his trunk and left, according to the report.
Around the same time, the Tremont Police Department responded to a call to a public pool, according to another incident report. The pool director told the responding officer that a man in his 20s barged into the pool wearing a pink women’s housecoat, the report states. The man dove into the pool and took off the coat and swam around in his underwear. When he got out of the pool, he shouted at lifeguards that he was a man and exposed his genitals to them, the report states. […]
The officer said he also called Reinking’s father, who was out of state. Jeffrey Reinking told the office he had taken three guns from his son before and locked them up “when Travis was having problems,” the report states.
Later in the day, the officer said in his report, “I called back Jeff Reinking and advised him of what happened and when he gets back home he might want to lock the guns back up until Travis gets mental help, which he stated he would.”
He “might want to lock the guns back up.”
* Meanwhile, the Tribune reports that the father returned his son’s guns three times. There may be a legal loophole…
Transfers of weapons from one family member to another as a “bona fide gift” are exempt from a requirement under Illinois law that the owner first verify with state police that the recipient of the gun has a valid FOID card.
More information is required before a decision on whether to charge Jeffrey Reinking is made, Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stuart Umholtz said Monday in an email to The Pantagraph.
At the very least, that loophole needs to be closed.
*** UPDATE *** I didn’t initially see this Sun-Times editorial on this very topic…
In the wake of the Waffle House shooting, the Legislature also should draw up a bill that would prevent weapons from being returned to anybody after police take them away, unless a court signs off on it. As the Waffle House case shows, we can’t always rely on family members to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* AP late yesterday…
The Illinois state comptroller reports that the amount of late charges the state has incurred on billions of dollars in debt outstrips the amount accrued in the previous two decades.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza said in a report obtained by The Associated Press Monday that Illinois has run up late-pay fees of $1.14 billion since mid-2015. That’s $100 million more than in the previous 18 years combined.
Illinois must pay 12 percent annual interest on bills not paid within 90 days. The backlog ballooned to $16 billion last summer after a two-year budget stalemate between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly.
* Mendoza press release…
“The fact that, under Governor Rauner, the state allowed its bill backlog to grow to a point where we incurred nearly two decades worth of late payment interest penalties in just over two years is asinine,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “Imagine what that money could have done to improve conditions for residents at the Quincy Veterans Home, build roads and other infrastructure or fund public schools. This puts a massive price tag on missed opportunities due to a failure in leadership. Going forward, my Office will continue to pursue a legislative agenda that stresses accountability and requires the Governor to address these costs and tell taxpayers how he plans to cover them.”
* Press release…
The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a measure State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) sponsored to get a better accounting of what the State wastes in late payment interest penalties. […]
Rep. McSweeney worked with the State Comptroller’s office to craft a bill that would add more transparency to the State budgeting process. Beginning with Fiscal Year 2019, House Bill 5814 requires the Governor’s budget to include an estimate of late payment interest penalties for the fiscal year. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget must also compile in their annual report an estimate of all the late interest payment projections for the following four fiscal years. The bill further provides that late interest payments will not be paid if a Chief Procurement Officer has voided the underlying contract or if the Auditor General is conducting an audit and the State Comptroller is holding the contract for review.
That’s a good idea.
* Pritzker campaign…
“Bruce Rauner starved critical state agencies of funding, holding programs to support Illinois’ working families hostage and devastating countless lives, only to rack up over $1 billion in fees on the backs of Illinois taxpayers,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Bruce Rauner is a billion dollar failure who fiscally mismanaged this state by historic proportions.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
As lawmakers eye the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan says he hasn’t made up his mind on the issue.
“I haven’t come to a final decision,” he said Monday.
Madigan was asked about the topic shortly after he was elected to a record sixth term as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Madigan spoke about how the party must be “inclusive” to win elections.
“The issues change from time to time,” he said. “But for American political parties, they have to be aware of what the people want. When American political parties are not aware of that, they usually dissolve.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday after being re-elected to his sixth term as chairman of the state Democratic Party, Madigan noted he expects a “very strong effort” to get marijuana legalized in the Legislature.
“I’m not quite sure when,” Madigan said. “I just think that you’ll see a growth of support.”
Madigan also said that since JB Pritzker supports legalizing marijuana he expects to see a big push on the topic next year if Pritzker is elected.
As far as I know, Pritzker is the first major party gubernatorial nominee to openly and forcefully argue for legalization. That’s probably not mentioned often enough.
* Meanwhile, Gov. Rauner has often used Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as an excuse to hold off on legalization here. But Gov. Hickenlooper has evolved from his initial opposition and then skepticism. Here he is in Rolling Stone…
We haven’t seen a big spike in consumption. The only increase in consumption is among senior citizens, which we think is either Baby Boomers coming home to roost or arthritis and the aches and pains of growing older – people finding that marijuana is better pain solution than opioids or other things. […]
Certainly the worst things that we had great fear about – spikes in consumption, kids, people driving while high – we haven’t seen any of that. We saw a little increase in teenagers and that came down within a couple years… We were very worried that by legalizing, we were making this more somehow more psychologically available to kids. We haven’t seen that. If anything, we’ve seen less drug dealers.
Kids can’t buy booze at the grocery store because grocers check IDs. Illegal drug dealers don’t check IDs.
* Illinois gets donation of nearly 800,000 vitamin K tablets to treat poisoning from synthetic marijuana
- Posted by Rich Miller
[The following is a paid advertisement.]
Did you know that health plans are changing Illinois families’ benefits while consumers are locked into their plans for the year? People in Illinois, especially those living with chronic conditions, carefully shop for a health plan which covers the treatments they need at prices they can afford. But health plans aren’t delivering the benefits they have marketed and sold to Illinois consumers.
House Bill 4146 Fixes the Health Plan Bait-and-Switch
House Bill 4146 would simply prevent insurers from making unfair – and potentially unsafe – benefit changes while Illinoisans are locked into the plan. The legislation, however, would still allow insurers to utilize generics, add treatments to their formularies and also remove them for safety reasons.
Insurers need to deliver on the policies they sell. The Illinois Legislature should support HB 4146 to make health coverage fair.
- Posted by Advertising Department
* Rauner campaign…
Today, the Rauner campaign is launching PritzkerMadigan.com, a website highlighting JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan’s agenda of fewer jobs, higher taxes, and more corruption.
With Pritzker now the Democratic nominee for governor and Madigan’s reelection as head of the Democratic Party of Illinois, they can finally make their ticket public for all of Illinois to see.
Madigan has conspired to elect Pritzker by “breaking legs behind the scenes.” To repay Madigan, Pritzker has remained silent on his corruption despite calls from high profile Democrats for Madigan to step down as head of the party.
Pritzker and Madigan are offering the same corrupt deals that have hurt Illinois for decades with destructively high taxes and less economic opportunity for hardworking families.
Pritzker-Madigan: Keep Illinois Corrupt
The website is here.
* Madigan addressed this corruption allegation yesterday…
As to being repeatedly called corrupt by Rauner — and having Rauner compare his fight to taking on the Mafia — Madigan said such words and comparisons shouldn’t be used “without solid evidence, which Rauner does not have. … That speaks to Rauner’s mind … (and) how he views attempting to gain success. And I think in the end the people of Illinois are going to come to understand that about Bruce Rauner. They’re going to vote him out of office.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
* House Speaker Michael Madigan was a guest on “The Ben Joravsky Show” radio program yesterday, which is odd in and of itself. The anti-machine Chicago Reader columnist ain’t exactly a member of the Madigan wing of the Democratic Party. But making this even more interesting, Madigan appeared on the show with Peter Janko, who was the lone vote against Madigan’s bid for party chairman yesterday.
Everyone appeared to get along fine, partly because Madigan kept the focus on defeating Gov. Rauner. Madigan was also asked what he would say to Alaina Hampton if he could. It’s definitely worth a listen…
I doubt we’ll ever see Rauner and Ives appear together on Dan Proft’s radio show. Just sayin…
* Re-elected party boss, Madigan looks to future: ‘I’m a very young 76 years old’: Speaking on the “The Ben Joravsky Show” on WCPT-AM shortly after the meeting, Madigan extolled his longevity. I’m a very young 76 years old,” Madigan said. “So long as I can continue to do a good job, I’m going to continue to do it.”
* Madigan gets another term as Illinois Democratic chairman despite sexual harassment complaints on his watch: “So I would like to second your nomination, but I will say in seconding your nomination it’s not a secret that change needs to happen, and we need to be more transparent as an organization,” [US Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson] said. “We need to be more inclusive as an organization, and we need to make sure that we are respecting every man and woman that has anything to do with this organization, in and out.”
* Madigan Elected For 6th Term As Democratic Party Chairman: Madigan said he’s aware of the changes needed to curtail sexual harassment within the party, as well as issues of unity within the party. “Others have said it very, very well. Now it’s the time for Democrats to come together. Now it’s the time to come together so we can elect J.B. Pritzker as the governor of the state Illinois, and make the changes in state government that need to be made so that all Illinoisans can move forward.”
* Madigan re-elected as head of Democrat Party in Illinois: Scott Drury was the only Democratic state Representative not to vote for Madigan as speaker and called for his resignation on the House floor after allegations of sexual harassment in his ward became public. “It is time to call on Speaker Madigan to step down as the leader of the House because he is not worthy of that position,” he said in February. Neither Biss nor Drury would respond to calls about Madigan’s election.
* Michael Madigan wins re-election as Democratic Party leader: Madigan, at the meeting, said that all staff and volunteers of the party and related committees will have mandatory sexual harassment training. “I think that we’ve done a good amount of work” on the issue, Madigan told reporters, “but there’s more to be done.” He said “step number one is to respect other people, treat other people the way you want to be treated.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
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