* WCIA TV…
Environmental groups are pushing to give more people a chance to take their disputes with big polluting companies to court.
The state grants or denies permits to companies if they follow the law. In the past, courts ruled only the company applying for a permit or the state agency itself could challenge the ruling.
Now, business groups are pushing back to prevent legal hurdles. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said this change would create too much red tape.
“This expands it far beyond people in Illinois or neighbors of projects. This allows anyone in the world to file a lawsuit which is gonna add time and cost and probably result in fewer projects and fewer jobs in the state of Illinois,” said Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Vice President and COO Mark Denzler.
Previous legal challenges involved the construction of a sand mine near Starved Rock State Park and a large cow farm. Neighbors in both cases complained of the potential for increased environmental challenges from large trucks, dust issues, or contamination to ground water or soil.
* Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago)…
[House Bill 4900, the Generic Drug Pricing Fairness Act] will empower the Attorney General’s Office to investigate egregious price increases on generic and off-patent prescription drugs. If the only reason for the price spike was a desire to cash in on sick patients, the manufacturer will be held accountable. They’ll have to provide rebates to consumers and sell the drug at the pre-gouging price.
Ike Brannon of the libertarian Cato Institute editorialized against the bill in these pages recently. Most generics are actually cheaper than on-patent drugs, he argued, so why regulate them?
That’s like arguing that we shouldn’t have arson laws because most people don’t burn down buildings.
It’s true that on the whole, generic and off-patent drugs are cheaper than their patented counterparts. It’s also true that some manufacturers are unquestionably exploiting consumers to get rich. A federal report that looked at 1,400 generic drugs over five years found 300 instances of “extraordinary” price increases of over 100 percent in a year.
Most companies are doing the right thing. Some aren’t. We’re going after the bad actors.
* Press release…
Today, CHANGE Illinois and the members of the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative, sent a 15-question gerrymandering survey to all the candidates running for the Illinois General Assembly.
Asian-Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, Better Government Association, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, Citizen Advocacy Center, Common Cause Illinois, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, League of Women Voters Illinois, Small Business Advocacy Council, Union League Club of Chicago, and the Unite America – Chicago chapter have joined CHANGE Illinois in this effort to elicit the candidates’ views on gerrymandering.
“Illinois voters deserve to know where their candidates for the Illinois General Assembly stand on gerrymandering,” stated Jeff Raines, Communications Director of CHANGE Illinois. “We all deserve to know if our future legislators will toe the party line and support gerrymandering for another decade or if they will demonstrate some independence by supporting fair maps?”
Among the questions, the survey asks candidates, should they win in November, if they would support the Fair Maps Amendment (HJRCA43/SJRCA26) in office.
The legislative survey response deadline is Wednesday, April 18th. Each legislative candidate’s survey response will be shared with the press and the public and posted online on CHANGE Illinois’ website: www.changeil.org/2018survey.
There are 29 open seats for the Illinois General Assembly in 2018, compared to just 15 open seats in 2016.
* Editorial: Lawmakers shouldn’t compromise on keeping salary history private: A competing bill has thrown a wrench in the legislative machine, but it’s a flawed compromise. The alternative bill, SB3100, includes a provision that the ban on asking for a salary history does not apply if “a prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed the information.” There’s no way to stop applicants from volunteering information if they think it will help them to snag a better job. But surprisingly, that might make matters worse. A study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2017 found that women who were asked about their salary history but refused to give the information were offered less than women who did disclose it. Men, on the other hand, got more money when they didn’t provide a salary history. Women, it seems, get punished for standing up for themselves.
* VIDEO: Gun safety advocates seek to override Rauner’s veto of gun dealer license measure
* Illinois lawmakers weigh sports gambling, as NBA and MLB officials back the idea: Gambling industry officials estimated sports betting could net the state about $85 million annually in taxes.