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Yet another appeal filed over HB40

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Attorneys from the Thomas More Society are appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court to stop a state law requiring taxpayer funding of abortions for Medicaid recipients. According to the December 17, 2018, filing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Illinois taxpayers, the funding for the law violates the state constitution’s balanced budget requirement. In September 2018, an appellate court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against the funding for the law, previously known as “House Bill 40.”

Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Special Counsel, stated, “The decisions of the lower courts effectively write our balanced budget requirement out of the Illinois Constitution. We’re asking the Illinois Supreme Court to interpret and enforce the constitution and protect taxpayers against future unbalanced budget spending, including the unfunded spending for elective abortions required by House Bill 40.”

Breen said that, while House Bill 40 was validly enacted, funding was not validly provided, and its effective date was improperly determined. The petition alleges several issues with the new law, including that House Bill 40:

    · Has not been legally funded, because the General Assembly has not made the estimate of available revenues to pay for the abortions, as required by the Illinois Constitution.
    · Does not implicate the political question doctrine, a limited doctrine where courts decline to hear issues because of their politically character.
    · Was passed after the deadline set for an early effective date by the Illinois Constitution and Effective Date of Laws Act.

* Brian Mackey

“The lower court decisions read that requirement out of the Constitution altogether,” Breen says. “That is the only protection taxpayers have that they would get a balanced budget.”

Indeed those judges basically said the anti-abortion groups are over-reading the balanced budget language in the Illinois Constitution. They also said the dispute is a political question, and thus should be settled in the legislature.

* From the appellate opinion

While the language of the constitution certainly seems to anticipate some estimate, absent is language imposing an obligation on the General Assembly to develop a revenue estimate. Plaintiffs argue that reading the language of the COGFA Act in conjunction with the constitution imposes such a duty. In reading the language of the COGFA Act into the constitution, plaintiffs skip an important step. Without a constitutional requirement of an estimate, there can be no legitimate probe into whether the General Assembly complied with that nonexistent requirement. […]

Under the constitution, the General Assembly must simply refrain from appropriating beyond funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during the year. There exists no requirement that the General Assembly itemize appropriations for specific services. In this circumstance, the circuit court had no way to determine if the General Assembly properly appropriated funds specifically to cover services under HB 40. […]

Therefore, because the COGFA Act does not state that legislative appropriations are invalid if there is a failure to comply with section 4(a) or that legislative appropriations are valid only if the General Assembly follows section 4(a), we conclude the statutory provision is directory. […]

We agree with the circuit court that the filing of a motion to reconsider and withdrawal of that motion did not constitute a final legislative act changing the passage date of the bill.

I wouldn’t bet too much money on the likelihood of this new move’s success. That petition is here.

* Illinois News Network

Abortion rights group Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove said he was confident that the law would be upheld.

“This is a desperate attempt from right-wingers to put the lives of Illinois women at risk by trying to make abortion illegal and unsafe,” he said.

The law allowed for women who meet certain income requirements to qualify for an abortion assisted by Medicaid funds. It also allowed state health care plans to cover the procedures.

Illinois taxpayers paid for nearly four times more abortions in the first six months of 2018 than the year before. There were 84 abortion reimbursement requests in the first six months of 2017. During the same six-month period this year, there were 314 abortion reimbursement requests, a 247-percent increase, according to records from the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services.

The case was appealed directly to the Illinois Supreme Court, but the court didn’t take it up at that time.

       

7 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    R̶e̶p̶.̶ Peter Breen has a lot of free time these days

    – MrJM


  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    To accept their argument you have to believe that revenue has to be attached to each and every line item/program. That’s an absolutely absurd argument. They are grasping at straws. The court should laugh in their face trying to make that argument.


  3. - lakeside - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    Imagine going to all this trouble when you could just leave women alone.


  4. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    If you’ve got money to throw away, you might as well throw it away with style.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    Mr. Breen and his righteous indignation supported Bruce Rauner in his re-elect, after Rauner signed HB40, ave Breen burned his ships with Rauner.

    How can I take Mr. Breen at all serious with such a whimsical way Mr. Breen treats those who sign… HB40.

    Mr. Breen is only relevant to those who stand for something, but can be talked out of their own beliefs for politics.


  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 5:41 pm:

    Much cheaper to fund an aboerythan unwanted people.


  7. - Union Thug Gramma - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 7:58 pm:

    another white male who sort of looks incel trying to ensure that women have no reproductive rights…dude, you were voted out cuz of your views…don’t you get it?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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