* Very predictable…
State Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, state Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, state Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Freeport, state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, state Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie, D-Elizabethtown, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, state Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, and state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro are working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers working to reinstate the death penalty for cop killers, killers of firefighters and mass murderers, while also rejecting sweeping gun control measures proposed by the governor.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has tied reinstatement of the death penalty to strict gun control measures opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates. Costello is working in a bipartisan effort with other members of the legislature to introduce their own clean death penalty legislation without Rauner’s gun control language, in order to protect law enforcement officials and firefighters to keep local communities safe without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
These legislators released the following statement:
“According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 28 police officers have been killed in 2018. Our law enforcement officers are doing everything they can to keep our families safe and they shouldn’t have to fear for their own lives. As a community, we have a responsibility to support members of law enforcement for all that they do for us. It is unacceptable that anyone would target police officers or firefighters for doing their jobs, which is why we support the death penalty as a form of punishment for those who target our members of law enforcement.
“While the governor’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1468 supports the death penalty in the situation of targeting a police officer, it also places overreaching restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. As strong supporters of the Second Amendment, we oppose these new restrictions which only punish those who are already following the law. When the men and women who keep our communities safe are injured in the line of duty, we have a responsibility to be there for them. Police officers and firefighters continuously put their lives on the line to protect the public in times of crisis. The families of police officers and firefighters deserve justice and the ability to hold people accountable for their actions, which is why those who knowingly and willingly kill members of law enforcement and firefighters should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The bill is here. All those Democrats represent conservative pro-Trump, pro-gun areas where this will play well. Adding firefighters was a nice touch, too.
Rep. McSweeney, of course, is one of the most frequent Republican critics of Rauner. Rep. Bryant is a Tier One target.
* Speaking of Rep. McSweeney, check out his resolution to set an official revenue estimate…
WHEREAS, The budget estimate contained in this Joint Resolution reflects the repeal of Public Act 100-22, the income tax hike, enacted in July 2017;
He can’t help himself. He just loves sticking it to the governor, who will obviously use a revenue estimate based on every dime of the money from last year’s tax hike.
Jeanne M Ives - John M. Cabello - Brad Halbrook - Margo McDermed, Tony McCombie, Mark Batinick, Brian W. Stewart, David A. Welter, Thomas Morrison, Allen Skillicorn and Joe Sosnowski
* Other bills…
* SIU study, if approved, may delay vote on splitting university system: State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, said in a phone interview that state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, will not call for a vote on his bill to separate SIU Edwardsville from SIU Carbondale, if a resolution for a study were to pass.
* Should SIU Edwardsville And Carbondale Split? Or Stay Together For The Kids?: Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) both warned that having the IBHE assess the feasibility of splitting ISU would set a precedent that could be the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” that could lead to similar investigations in everything from the University of Illinois system to community colleges with satellite campuses.
* Lawmaker charging retaliation wants complaint system changes: Under the current process, the legislative inspector general, who works independently from the ethics commission, cannot conduct an investigation into a complaint without the ethics commission’s permission. The commission is composed of eight state legislators — four Democratic and four Republican.
* Bill to give Sangamon County first dibs on state jobs passes Senate: If signed, House Bill 4295 would make Springfield and Sangamon County the default location for employees of most state agencies. The director of Central Management Services would have to establish a geographic location for each state job and specify why positions located outside the capital city need to be there. The legislative and judicial branches are exempt, as are the offices of the state’s constitutional officers and those employed directly by the governor’s office.
* House OKs bill to pay $63M in back wages owed to 24,000 workers: The issue stems from 2011 when former Gov. Pat Quinn said lawmakers did not appropriate enough money to cover 2 percent raises for thousands of AFSCME members at 14 state agencies. Quinn said that without the appropriation, the state could not pay the additional money to workers.
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fight opioids: Cassidy says she is working on cleanup provisions that she hopes will get committee approval next week before moving to the House floor.
* Press Release: To expedite discrimination case decisions and clear the backlog of claims, the Senate recently approved State Senator Heather Steans’ (D-Chicago) measure to restructure the Human Rights Commission. “The Human Rights Commission is an important avenue for individuals who have been discriminated against or harassed to resolve their complaints,” Steans said. “Due to the current structure and process, a backlog of cases has developed over time. To expedite cases, I worked to restructure the commission to ensure that cases are addressed quickly and efficiently.” Senate Bill 20 would change the Human Rights Commission from 13 part-time commissioners to seven full-time, dedicated commissioners. Additionally, it creates a temporary three-person panel to address the backlog of cases. To prevent a future buildup of cases, it streamlines the administrative process and removes duplicative steps. In March 2017, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an executive order to consolidate the Human Rights Commission with the Department of Human Rights. However, the executive order did not take effect following the House’s passage of a resolution disapproving the order.
* Press Release: A measure sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe to simplify Illinois’ complicated court fee system recently cleared the Senate. Because court fees in Illinois vary greatly among counties, House Bill 4594 aims to standardize them by establishing four categories for civil fees and fines and 13 categories for criminal and traffic cases.