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Two of Rep. Guzzardi’s most progressive bills killed by fellow Dems

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I wrote a column for Crain’s Chicago Business a few weeks ago about a package of bills regulating the pharmaceutical industry. Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) had commissioned a poll to test public backing of his plans. This one was favored by 69 percent of Illinoisans

House Bill 3493 would set up a state commission similar to the Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates utilities. The commission could investigate drug prices and set limits on reimbursements and payments. The poll found the idea was strongly favored by 42 percent and somewhat favored by another 27 percent.

* That bill went down today in committee on a tie vote after two Democrats flipped to “No” and another Dem sided against it…

* Meanwhile, Rep. Guzzardi lives in the Logan Square neighborhood and voters in that part of town overwhelmingly supported lifting the state’s ban on rent control last November

In wards that encompass parts of Logan Square (35th), Uptown (46th) and Rogers Park (49th), a nonbinding referendum asked voters whether they want the state’s ban on rent control to be lifted.

In each of the three wards, at least two-thirds of voters supported lifting the ban: 71 percent in the 35th, 70 percent in the 46th and 66 percent the 49th, according to vote totals posted by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

* Guzzardi’s bill died in subcommittee today when Democratic Reps. Curtis Tarver and Rita Mayfield sided with Republicans and voted against it and Rep. Andre Thapedi voted “Present.” The Chicagoland Apartment Association put together a coalition to lobby against the bill and issued a press release celebrating its demise…

We believe today’s decision is a positive development for the millions who rent their homes in Illinois because market-rate housing will continue to function without interference. It is true that affordable workforce housing, especially in Cook County, is currently lacking in supply, but the concept of rent control would make the goal of providing additional affordable housing less attainable because it would reduce the supply and quality of rental units to select from. SHAPE Illinois can now concentrate our efforts on advocacy for legislative initiatives that create more vitally important affordable housing, including, 1) HB2168 by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz to provide tax relief for the construction and rehab of affordable housing, 2) Prioritizing at least one billion dollars for the construction and preservation of affordable housing in the upcoming capital bill, and 3) SB2090 by Sen. Omar Aquino which allocates more resources to the state’s Rental Housing Support Program by doubling the modest $9 cost for each county’s document recordation fees.


  1. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    I live in the area that had that nonbinding referendum. It was clearly worded in such a way that voting against it would make you feel evil. Glad to see this bill die a deserved death.

  2. - intern - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Some construction union people spoke in opposition to Guzzardi’s Rent Control Bill (HB 255) in committee today. Their testimony was probably what swayed Thapedi, Tarver, and Mayfield.

  3. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    Big Rx and Insurance always win

  4. - Progressive - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    Will sacrificed his “progressive” credentials when he went all in on Toni.

  5. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    Good call, Progressive.

  6. - Water is Wet - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:55 pm:


    That will be news to a lot of Chicagoans that they have to turn in their progressive cards if they didn’t vote or don’t plan to vote for Preckwinkle. Luckily I doubt Lori will be so draconian when she wins.

  7. - City Zen - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    ==It was clearly worded in such a way that voting against it would make you feel evil.==

    “Should the State of Illinois lift the ban on rent control to address rising rents, unjust evictions, and gentrification in our community?”

    They should have followed with a disclaimer like the pharma commercials. “Risks include…”

  8. - Water is Wet - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 1:59 pm:


    Whoopsie, misread and mis-commented. My bad.

  9. - Montrose - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    I can’t imagine Rep. Tarver’s vote is going to play well with the community groups in his ward.

  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Illinois may be “blue”, but it is not as progressive as the “progressives” make it out to be.

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    –Republican House members Deanne Mazzochi and Ryan Spain tear into @WillGuzzardi’s bill, calling it a “government price control” on prescription drugs.–

    Obviously, government-enabled price-gouging is best for all.

  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Thank god. Less ideas from Guzzardi is better for the state.

  13. - 62656 - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    After rent control has proven to be a bad practice elsewhere, this is positive & probably good on the Chicagoland Apartment Association for acknowledging the local housing shortage, although they should also be trying to do something about just how much of Chicagoland doesn’t allow people to construct more than 1 unit on a lot, adding to the shortage. (it looks like you have to hit minus at the top left to pull out & see the full city)

  14. - anon2 - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    Just examples of how, regardless of which party is in control, the powerful interest groups still prevail. It’s hard to believe that the legislator who switched his position at the last minute was responding to a constituent desire that prescription drug prices keep rising much faster than inflation.

  15. - State gate - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    Mayfield needs to work on her progressive credentials. She represents people who don’t have the backing of special interests. They need her to have their back.

  16. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    The drug price control idea may be good, but I would really want it to be researched well before implementing it at the state level. I’d question whether Guzzardi did enough to educate lawmakers on that bill. That’s a big change to state government, and I think you got to spend some time explaining it before it can be pushed through.

    I think rent control is a bad idea. Developers are just going to take profits elsewhere, which will increase rents for everyone and further price people out of neighborhoods.

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    –Republican House members Deanne Mazzochi and Ryan Spain tear into @WillGuzzardi’s bill, calling it a “government price control” on prescription drugs.–

    Well of course Mazzochi did. Her law firm represents and litigates to protect the pharmaceutical industry. Any thoughts she wouldn’t take the side of serving her own law firm and clients?

  18. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    Vote out every one who voted against these bills. Primary all the Dems. Tie these votes around their necks like an albatross. Run ads day and night: they’d rather Illinoisans suffer or die from unaffordable medication and housing than stand up to developers and big pharma.

  19. - LBJ - Wednesday, Mar 27, 19 @ 8:24 pm:

    Guzzardi didn’t

    know his bill
    work the committee
    work with opponents as much as possible
    build a coalition to blunt opponents

    Guzzardi is not ready for prime time. If he is the Progressives best hope, God help them.

  20. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 1:10 am:

    CityZen - How about this:

    Should the State of Illinois lift the ban on rent control which will discourage landlords from making improvements to their rental properties, make it harder for people to find places to live, and at the same time benefit a small group of people?

  21. - Actual Red - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 9:10 am:

    Lifting the ban on rent control is not the same as implementing a particular rent control policy. No city would be required to implement one, and those that did could tailor them to their particular needs. Rent control in New York, while far from perfect, still helps keep many people housed who otherwise would have to move. Lot of scaremongering around this topic.

  22. - West Town TB - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 9:13 am:

    “Rent Control” is just economically terrible policy. If you want to lower housing costs, build both more market rate and affordable housing, and limit the influence of NIMBYs that prefer to limit both of those things.

    Not to mention, there are large swaths of Chicago and Illiinois that are very affordable. Except for the property taxes that is.

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