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It’s just a bill

Friday, Mar 15, 2019

* Jerry Nowicki at Capitol News Illinois

According to a report from the Illinois Department of Public Health, an average of 73 women in Illinois died each year from 2008 to 2016 within one year of pregnancy, 72 percent of those deaths were preventable, and 93 percent of violent pregnancy-associated deaths were preventable.

Per the report, African-American women were six times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition during that span.

“For African-American women in particular, we’re dying at six times the rate amongst American women, which means we’re dying at Third-World country rates,” state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, said.

Hutchinson and Castro have introduced, among other reforms, Senate Bill 1909, which would continue Medicaid coverage for new mothers for 12 months after giving birth – currently a mother is covered for only 60 days after a birth.

That bill would also create a pilot program to provide voluntary in-home nursing visits to low-income, first-time pregnant women; mandate quality control guidelines and hemorrhage protocols for birthing facilities; and require insurance plans to cover medically necessary treatment for postpartum complications.

* This bill has gone nowhere in the past

Supporters are making a case for instituting a new tax on financial transactions in the state of Illinois.

The legislation would require a $1 fee on any financial transaction done in the state with the exception of securities held in a retirement account or a transaction involving a mutual fund.

“Beginning January 1, 2020, a tax is imposed on the privilege of engaging in a financial transaction on any of the following exchanges or boards of trade: the Chicago Stock Exchange; the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; the Chicago Board of Trade; or the Chicago Board Options Exchange,” according to the text of the bill. “The tax is imposed at a rate of $1 for each transaction for which the underlying asset is an agricultural product, a financial instruments contract, or an options contract. The tax shall be paid by the trading facility or, in any other case, by the purchaser involved in the transaction.”

Illinois state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, has been the standard bearer for a state-based financial transactions tax for a number of years. She brought Matt Harrington, a self-described financial expert, to explain how the financial transactions tax “could help bring prosperity to our economy.”

* From the Anna Gazette-Democrat

A Southern Illinois legislator earned unanimous approval from the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee on two separate, but related pieces of legislation last week. […]

HB 2308 ensures that a defendant is prohibited from contacting victims or witnesses from jail while awaiting trial.

Windhorst says inmates awaiting trial sometimes use their phone privileges to harass victims while waiting for their court date.

“This is a victims’ rights piece of legislation,” [Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis] said. “HB 2308 will keep incarcerated offenders from being able to contact their victims while awaiting trial.”

HB 2309 also passed the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee with unanimous support.

Windhorst says the legislation provides that when a petition for an emergency stalking no contact order, a civil no contact order, or an emergency order of protection is filed, the petition shall not be publicly available until the petition is served on the offending individual.

* Other bills…

* Opponents say bill could make Illinois college campuses less safe: Illinois State University receives about 20,000 applications in a given year. In 2018, Woodruff said about 150 potential students disclosed a criminal history. Of those, six were denied entry. Most of those were because of a past sex offense.

* Childcare facilities would have to hold active shooter drills under new bill: The bill was heard in committee Thursday. Committee members raised concerns about the effect such a measure would have on childcare businesses’ insurance costs, regardless of the size of the operation. Mussman promised changes to address those concerns.

* Bill would require single-occupancy bathrooms in Illinois be gender neutral: Bush said she’d bring back an amendment to change the language to clarify some aspects.

* Measure would require minimum number of women on corporate boards: The measure was heard in committee, but the committee didn’t vote on it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    I think that dropping questions about criminal history is not a bad idea but don’t think will have much effect. Convicted sex offenders must register and their location is public record. Minors convicted of crimes are in juvenile court and records sealed. Placing obstacles on someone who offended as an adult and has served time and is qualified for college seems like further punishment

  2. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    A $1 fee for financial transactions appears to be a great idea. It’s a very small tax but would bring another revenue stream. To see greed among its purer forms, see the rabid opposition to a tiny fee that would do the state a lot of good.

  3. - lakeside - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    Will be excited to see opponents of the Reproductive Health Act line up behind this bill to protect maternal health.

  4. - Burden - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    I’m concerned that HB 2308 would prevent criminal defendants representing themselves (who are, after all, entitled to the presumption of innocence) from gathering information from witnesses that could be used in their defenses.

    The bill isn’t as draconian as the Anna G-D makes it out to be, since it doesn’t require the no-contact orders, but just gives judges discretion to enter them. Still, I’d like to see a provision inserted requiring the judge to find that the defendant has harassed witnesses or suborned perjury before entering such an order.

  5. - Not for Nothing - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    Grandson - it’s actually a really bad idea. It could cause riskier trades with higher margins. It should be nicknamed the corn tax because it could drastically unsettle commodities prices.

  6. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    Any “small” tax that adds up to large dollars can be a large burden. Suppose the tax was 1/10 of a penny. A small tax? Now levy the tax on each heartbeat. At 70 beats per minute that becomes 7 cents a minute, $4.20 an hour, $100.80 per day. Is it still a small tax?

  7. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    perhaps the extension in coverage for women giving birth will inspire and aid in women seeking pre natal care. the earlier the better for the woman as well as the developing child.

  8. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    I agree with Burden that this may not work with self-represented purposes. Further, I have concerns that this would be a prior restraint violation of the defendant’s first amendment rights. However, you might be able to block phone calls while still allowing contact via mail and in-person (e.g., via a subpoena or deposition) as a “time, place, and manner” restriction that does not require strict scrutiny.

  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:05 pm:

    Is it just me, or is state government noticeably drama-free these days?

    Is it possible that the chief executive is not required to create screwball or malignant crises every day for his own perverse pleasure?

  10. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    The financial tax is a bad idea. Admittedly, Chicago has a great Telecom infrastructure for a trading site but, with a couple of years planning and build out, they could easily move out of state AND end up with brand new computers indirectly paid for by tax avoidance, a win-win.

    Think it can’t happen? Go back to when the Feds broke up AT&T. They built two brand new state of the art data centers and dumped all the old stuff on the baby Bells.

    If the trading centers leave, so do a lot of high income earners. Better to skip the transaction tax and keep the traders here paying income tax.

  11. - Shemp - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    My one fear on the gender neutral bathrooms is going to be the spike in complaints about pee on the seats.

  12. - Shemp - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    I love RNUG’s take on the transaction fee, but it seems too sensical for the GA.

  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    RNUG is right, as usual.

  14. - IKR - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    Quotas for women on private business boards? Such legal quotas exclude men based on their gender. This is a clear violation of equal protection under the law.

    The equal protection of the laws shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex by the State or its units of local government and school districts.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

  15. - Steve - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    The transaction tax is pretty laughable for 2 reasons. 1) Congress has to approve a transaction tax on all futures and options before the Illinois legislature would approve of the tax. Senator Republicans aren’t going to approve this. Why would they? 2) Even if the Senate Republicans approved the law, the CME has promised to move out of state to avoid the tax. Already most of the CME trades are being done on the surver in Aurora, Illinois. There’s already serious talk of moving the server closer to their major customers on Park Avenue in NYC. So, those dreaming of a transaction tax need to put down the crack pipe. It’s as likely as winning 4 numbers in the Powerball.

  16. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    ok, now to the board quota issue….women have been excluded based on their gender for years. heck, we have not even had the right to vote for 100 years. take a look at other countries who are making this requirement for gender equality a standard. the distance between the number of men and women on boards is shocking.

  17. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    “She brought Matt Harrington, a self-described financial expert…”

    I’m not a financial expert, although I play one in Springfield.

  18. - KJ Green - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    RE: Financial Transactions Tax

    I always marvel at the [fill in the industry] salesperson’s approach that many lawmakers and their acolytes take when trying to sell their “itty-bitty” taxes. On its face, the transaction tax doesn’t seem too onerous. But when you add it to all the other nickel and diming our state pols do, plus include the looming progressive tax proposal, you get the same result: substantial money in the hands of those who have shown abhorrent stewardship of resources in the past. And one of the biggest, if not the biggest, overall tax burdens of any state in the country.

    I am also amazed that these very same pols do not consider dynamic factors when mulling this kind of legislation. As the CME president commented last year, siting in Illinois is not a mandatory consideration for CME; their systems and processes are largely digital. What will legislators do when they realize that their transaction tax cost Illinois thousands of jobs (and associated tax revenue)? Then again, the pols have fiddled while Illinois burns, so maybe it’s not a concern to them.

    In addition to the above, I found one thing to be the saddest and most offensive in the narrative regarding this topic: “She [Rep. Mary Flowers] brought Matt Harrington, a self-described financial expert, to explain how the financial transactions tax “could help bring prosperity to our economy.” Only a politician would call increased taxation (more money for the pols to squander) something that could help bring prosperity to our economy. Either this is ignorance of the highest level, or a major attempt at marketing-speak.

  19. - Been There - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===* Bill would require single-occupancy bathrooms in Illinois be gender neutral: Bush said she’d bring back an amendment to change the language to clarify some aspects====
    I know this is not aimed at just women but the transgender but I would think most women prefer to use a different restroom than the one guys use. While they were remodeling the Capitol a few years back and they switched out restrooms. The old women’s room on the first floor was used by the guys. No urinals and the aim of some of us was not spot on. It got pretty disgusting after awhile.

  20. - anon2 - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===== * Measure would require minimum number of women on corporate boards.===
    More important is to require a minimum number of corporate board members are nonmanagerial workers in the company, just as Germany does. Consequently, German CEOs do not have salaries 600 times higher than their average employee’s.

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