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It’s just a bill

Monday, Mar 11, 2019

* In this case, it’s a dead bill

It will be at least another year before self-driving cars hit Illinois roads.

Bill-sponsor Mike Zalewski says it is time to pump the breaks on his legislation. The bill is currently in committee, and if it were to pass there, it would be put up for a vote in the House. However, there are still a lot of issues and it is enough to make Zalewski admit that the bill is not ready for a vote this session.

Skeptics include Abate Illinois. That is a group dedicated to preserving motorcyclists’ rights. Zalewski is planning on hearing out every concern he can.

The assistive technology is great. Completely automated cars are, however, nowhere near fruition. I’m with ABATE on this.

* When I was in the hospital years ago, I noticed that nurse staffing levels were way down on the weekends. I simply couldn’t get the same medical attention as I did during the week. And I noticed it again when Steve Schnorf was in the hospital before he passed away

Under the Safe Patient Limits Act, no nurse working in a hospital could be responsible for more than four patients at a time.

That number would be lower for special units like maternity wards, intensive care units and emergency rooms.

Paul Pater, with the Illinois Nurses Association, said high patient-to-nurse ratios are dangerous for everyone.

“Hospitals and administrators take advantage of our empathy and sense of duty to our patients to force unsafe situations on the nurses of Illinois in a misguided attempt to save money,” Pater said.


Democratic State Senator Andy Manar is joining with Republican Jason Barickman on a bill that would reduce the signature requirement for new political parties and independent candidates. Currently, established political parties need fewer than 10,000 signatures to get on the statewide ballot… while independents need 25,000.

The bipartisan bill would put everyone at the same, lower threshold. Manar and Barickman say their bill should get bipartisan support.

* Illinois Policy Institute

Airbnb’s growth has created push-back from hotels in the form of new taxes and stringent regulations by local communities, but a new Illinois House bill would halt bans and overregulation of vacation rental services.

House Bill 2919, introduced by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, limits the home-rule authority of local governments. HB 2919 would prohibit municipalities from enacting ordinances that have the “express or practical effect” of banning Airbnb and similar vacation rental services, as happened in Lake Bluff and a well-connected ward in Chicago.

Vacation rental services provide valuable and affordable lodging alternatives for visitors, and income streams for residents. Studies suggest the growth in vacation rentals benefits both property owners and the broader economy.

The services, also known as home sharing, have come under fire across the nation. New York City bans vacation rental of full units for fewer than 30 days.

…Adding… E-mail to the author of that Policy Institute piece…

Hi Joe,

I’m writing on behalf of the Village of Lake Bluff to request a clarification regarding your recent article on HB2919 (re: short term rentals / Airbnb).

In the second paragraph, your article references some prior (2017) IPI reporting on Lake Bluff’s short term rental regulations that is no longer accurate. In early 2018, following a fact-based public process, the Village adopted regulations that allow short-term rentals to operate with reasonable restrictions that protect public safety and ensure payment of the Village’s hotel tax. I have attached our regulations if you are curious to know more.

There are inconsistencies between our regulations and what would be permissible under HB2919. Notably, we would prohibit the use of neighborhood houses as vacation rentals 365 days a year. However, certainly, we do not “ban” short term rentals. As someone reading your article would likely come to that conclusion, we would appreciate an edit or a clarification.


Glen Cole
Asst. to the Village Administrator
Village of Lake Bluff

* Other stuff…

* Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation at Southern Illinois Hospital: Ferrell Hospital CEO Alisa Coleman says the additional funding is huge so her facility and the 50 others like it receive the appropriate payments under the hospital assessment program. “More than 43% of critical access hospitals are operating in the red today and others on extremely thin margins.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Old Illini - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    I am concerned that, without any flexibility, the four patients per nurse rule could result in needy patients not being admitted to a hospital for lack of nurses. Less care is better than no care.

  2. - Fixer - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    I like seeing Barickman and Manar working on that together. It was something that came up a lot during the last election and will hopefully allow for more interesting races in the future.

  3. - Perrid - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    I was in the hospital for about a week after surgery, this is almost 6 years ago, and a doctor family member was outright appalled at the staff ratio.

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    –It will be at least another year before self-driving cars hit Illinois roads.–

    I’ll be way happy if this concept gets fully tested and the bugs worked out somewhere very far from me.

    –Vacation rental services provide valuable and affordable lodging alternatives for visitors, and income streams for residents. Studies suggest the growth in vacation rentals benefits both property owners and the broader economy.–

    Yeah, well, when I invested my life’s blood, toil, sweat and tears into my single-family neighborhood home, I specifically avoided buying next-door to a flophouse.

    Also, backyard hog farm and front-yard, shadetree auto mechanic. I’m happy those limiting regulations are in place.

  5. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Minimum staffing levels for nurses sounds good, but would be difficult in practice. How do you handle a measles outbreak or bus crash? Do you shut down or limit admissions in places where there not enough qualified nurses ?
    Staffing levels should be (and I think are) part of the accreditation review. That should help.

  6. - Ed Higher - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Self-driving cars are a little ways down the road yet. On the other hand, electric cars will be siphoning off much-needed gas taxes for road maintenance.

  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ===a little ways down the road yet===

    LOL. It’s not even close, man.

    ===electric cars will be siphoning off much-needed===

    Still not close. 1.15 percent of all cars sold in 2017

    You need to stop getting your news from Facebook.

  8. - Bourbon Street - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Perhaps Zalewski should actually talk to people who live in areas overrun by vacation rentals to see why they support a municipality’s right to limit such rentals. Honestly, what is with this notion that Springfield needs to take over common municipal functions? Does Zalewski really believe that local authorities are acting so irrationally that the State needs to run their towns and cities?

  9. - Ed Higher - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    ==Still not close. 1.15 percent of all cars sold in 2017== Of course, electrics are a small fraction today, and will be for a while. However, your article goes on to say that the 2017 figure is 26% increase over 2016. We may be seeing the beginning of an “S” growth curve.

  10. - James - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    I agree regulation of vacation rentals should remain with home rule units. The industry would like a liberal state law, enacted now or later, and is laying the groundwork to invade and disrupt neighborhoods. The corporate boards of directors cannot be trusted to concern themselves with local preferences.

  11. - Downstate - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    Nursing - I’ve found that market forces tend to solve these issues much quicker than a state law.

    The ER’s will become like the bounce house at the county fair - regulating the number of people admitted.

    Of course, when a nurse becomes ill during her shift, I can only imagine the public announcement, “Due to a reduction of one nurse in ER we will now be asking 4 patients to please leave the ER immediately.”

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===what is with this notion that Springfield needs to take over common municipal functions===


  13. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Mar 11, 19 @ 4:44 pm:

    Regarding the critical access hospital legislation Governor Pritzker signed, two thoughts:
    1) Kudos to him for doing a bill signing in Southern Illinois. I appreciate the fact he has been all over this state and he’s been in office less than 2 months.
    2) CBS Sunday Morning had a story on the closing of rural hospitals last Sunday. They had a map of all the closings and there was only 1 in Illinois, which I believe was Streator, and that even still has a freestanding emergency room and other medical facilities.

    I can’t help but wonder if some of the laws Illinois has put in place specifically for rural hospitals has helped prevent hospitals from closing at the rate they have in other states. Rural areas in Illinois are struggling, like rural areas in other states, but at least it seems like our hospitals are doing a little bit better than in other states.

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