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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018

* Penalty enhancement bill with a Democratic sponsor that was advanced to the House floor

Illinois lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation that would harshen penalties for texting and driving. The bill will allow law enforcement to issue a moving violation on a first offense. That carries a fine of $75 for the first violation. Current law only allows a ticket to be issued on the second or subsequent stops.

State Representative John D’Amico, a Democrat from Chicago, also sponsored the original ban on texting and driving four years ago. He said everyone knows now that texting and driving is illegal.

“They don’t need to have a warning on their first stop,” said D’Amico. “They can get a ticket. Bottom line is, we want to try to continue to make the roads in Illinois as safe as possible.”

* Penalty enhancement bill with a Republican sponsor that was killed in committee because it increased a penalty

An area lawmaker says a bill that enhances the penalty for attacks on DCFS workers should have the chance to be reconsidered in Springfield.

Pam Knight, a DCFS worker from Dixon , was brutally beaten on the job last September. She later died.

State Rep. Tony McCombie of Savanna says she and Knight’s family will be in Springfield on Tuesday, with hopes of convincing certain committee members of advancing the bill in Knight’s honor.

The bill would boost the penalty for a physical attack on a DCFS worker on the job, and make it punishable by four to 15 years in prison.

* Related, with a bit of snarkiness intended on two of the links…

* Statehouse bill would protect rights of homeless

* Election-year resolutions from Illinois’ Democratic majority oppose Trump policies

* Press Release: Neo-Nazi Resolution Stalled in Tennessee House Revived – in Illinois House 

* Letter: The ERA would take away rights from women: Hundreds of good state laws would be overturned — such as sex segregated prisons, women’s shelters, and legal accommodations for pregnant women. ERA would mandate taxpayer-paid abortions and equal representation of women in military combat and selective service. Passing ERA would take away plenty of rights that women enjoy; but nothing in ERA would ever give women a pay raise or stop any sexual harassers. ERA would not be “symbolic,” but would cause real harm to real women by mandating that men and women are interchangeable in every circumstance. I am proud to continue the fight against this destructive amendment that my mother, Phyllis Schlafly, led.

* Illinois considers requiring public school textbooks include LGBT effect on history: Was Abraham Lincoln gay or straight? How about Woodrow Wilson or Robert Taft? What type of sex did they prefer - or what were their identified sexual orientations?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments »
  1. - GreatPlainser - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Amazing…all of it.


  2. - trooth - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    There’s a difference between a $75 ticket paid for by the driver to adding 20-30 years to a prison sentence paid for by taxpayers. I’m not trying to diminish increasing the penalty for violence against DCFS workers, but these two aren’t exactly the same. Although I bet more people die each year from texting while driving.


  3. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    I *heart* Lou Lang. That is awesome.


  4. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:13 pm:

    I’m sure by now that since that horrifying beating/murder while on call, DCFS case workers who face violent situations know that when it comes to safety, the heartless Illinois Legislature has their back.

    Not.


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===but these two aren’t exactly the same===

    In the hearing I attended, the gist from the Dems was that enhanced penalties don’t deter. So, yeah, they’re not the same, but that’s beside the point.


  6. - Downstate - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    This raises a couple questions….

    What’s the difference between using voice commands on my cellphone to dial the phone vs. using voice commands to send/read a text?

    It is okay to read and type out an email on my phone, but I texting is bad? I don’t get the difference.

    I can set up my gps unit (on phone or garmin device) while I’m driving, and that’s not considered dangerous?


  7. - Stand Tall - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    Most people that do a crime of impulse don’t know what the penalty is but still what’s right is right and DCFS workers need better protection in this volatile world that they work in daily.


  8. - One hand //ing - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    I think there’s a lot more nuance here than we get when it’s boiled down to simply a partisan issue. Rep. McCombie said it wasn’t passed because it was a sentence enhancement, but I suspect the Dems on the committee would say they’re not interested in perpetuating the mass incarceration of disproportionately black and brown youth, and bearing the added cost lengthy prison sentences for crimes that may be tragic but are still simple battery. The question on both bills should come down to whether the punishment fits the crime. I’ll leave it to our esteemed legislature to decide whether the punishment for texting and driving should be a warning or a moving violation, but leave members the right to say no if (as was the case with Rep. McCombie’s bill) they deem the sentence to be overly punitive and costly.


  9. - SSL - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    Raise the fine for texting and driving to $500 for first time offenders, and raise it $500 for each subsequent offense. That ought to reduce the silliness I see daily. People are doing crazy things.

    Hopefully the DCFS penalty enhancement will also be enacted. Those workers need to be protected.


  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 5:22 pm:

    All penalty enhancement bills are equal, but some penalty enhancement bills are more equal than others.


  11. - filmmaker prof - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    James Buchanan was our one gay president.


  12. - m - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 7:25 pm:

    =I can set up my gps unit (on phone or garmin device) while I’m driving, and that’s not considered dangerous?=

    No, the law reads “electronic device” not “phone” for a reason.

    Though the hypocrisy is still strong with the law. Basically every study that looks at the use of hands free devices shows that it makes driving more dangerous, because people talk longer and with less worry.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/10/16/hands-free-cellphones-make-driving-more-dangerous-not-less/PBKizEbUwZm880QS1PtClN/story.html


  13. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 8:08 pm:

    If lawmakers want to keep DCFS workers safe, they could stop passing half-baked budgets.

    Child abuse reports have increased dramatically.

    The number of caseworkers has not increased dramatically.


  14. - Freezeup - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 8:18 pm:

    Two things: There is no requirement that a driver must be warned the first time they are stopped for texting and driving offense. None. Citation can be issued the first time a driver is stopped for that offense. The NPR article at least implies otherwise.

    Two: don’t confuse a “handheld electronic communication device” with a GPS unit such as a Magellan or Garmin. It is not illegal to have in your hands a GPS unit. It IS illegal to have your smart phone in your hand using a GPS app.


  15. - New Commenter - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 9:07 pm:

    Thinks my other comment got eaten by a profanity filter, so I’ll try again:

    Rich, I don’t see the harm in recognizing historical figures who were LGBT. Jane Addams comes to mind.

    Frankly, I think it would be very beneficial for LGBT kids to see figures like themselves recognized in history. And it would help to combat the all too common myth that LGBT people never existed until Stonewall. We’ve always been here. We’ll always be here.


  16. - Radio Flyer - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 6:04 am:

    “I’m sure by now that since that horrifying beating/murder while on call, DCFS case workers who face violent situations know that when it comes to safety, the heartless Illinois Legislature has their back.”

    Do you know what is heartless? Andrew Sucher.(Who now faces 20 to 60 years on a murder charge.)
    Do you know what is brainless? Wanting a legislators to make laws based on emotions.


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 7:14 am:

    Texting while driving…. $1,000 fine isn’t enough.

    When you drive down the Dan Ryan, and you see a snow bird texting while driving, doing 30 mph in a 55… jail time.

    Driving while texting causes deaths… $1,000 fine first time up. That would put a dent in drive texting.


  18. - m - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 8:47 am:

    = It is not illegal to have in your hands a GPS unit.=
    It is illegal to be using the gps device, i.e. typing an address in, looking at the screen. GPS use and other devices like tablets were specifically brought up in committees and floor debate when this passed. The law gives officers wide latitude on this.


  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 9:05 am:

    “Do you know what is brainless? Wanting a legislators to tank with little or no notice proposed laws based on emotions.”

    There, fixed it for you.


  20. - Freezeup - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 9:05 pm:

    (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2)
    Sec. 12-610.2. Electronic communication devices.
    (a) As used in this Section:
    “Electronic communication device” means an electronic device, including but not limited to a hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer, but does not include a global positioning system or navigation system or a device that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.


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