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McAuliffe introduces “JUSSIE Act”

Friday, Mar 29, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* As promised, Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) has introduced a bill to take film tax credits away from any company that employs our new Public Enemy Number One Jussie Smullet. It’s entitled the Just Usage of State Subsidies In Entertainment Act

Amends the Film Production Services Tax Credit Act of 2008. Provides that, for accredited productions certified or renewed on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act, the applicant shall verify that no person hired on the applicant’s production has, prior to the date of the application or renewal: (i) been convicted of or pled guilty to a hate crime; (ii) been convicted of or pled guilty to disorderly conduct for falsifying a police report of a hate crime; or (iii) participated in a deferred prosecution program for disorderly conduct or for falsifying a police report of a hate crime. Makes conforming changes prohibiting the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity from issuing a tax credit certificate to a production that fails to verify that information. Effective immediately.


So far, Rep. McAuliffe has appeared on TMZ and CNN and been featured in a story by the Daily Mail, among other outlets.


  1. - Not again - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:11 am:

    Clever indeed

  2. - South of Sherman - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:14 am:

    Can we still give tax credits to productions that employ people who sexually assault or harass their coworkers?

    …asking for a friend…

  3. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:14 am:

    Article IX Section 2 of the Illinois Constitution:

    ” In any law classifying the subjects or objects of non-property taxes or fees, the classes shall be reasonable and the subjects and objects within each class shall be taxed uniformly. Exemptions, deductions, credits, refunds and other allowances shall be reasonable.”

    This does not seem like a reasonable classification to me.

  4. - TominChicago - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:14 am:

    The problem with the bill as summarized is that it would not apply to Smollet as he wasn’t convicted and what the SAO did was not a diversion. It was a flat out dismissal.

  5. - Perrid - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:15 am:

    Both the name and the actual definition of who is being excluded are clever. And the addition of people actually convicted of a hate crime makes it harder (though still doable, no doubt) to vote against it.

  6. - Not for Nothing - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:16 am:

    Filed on the last day to get a bill out of committee. I’ll keep hitting refresh waiting for the deadline extension. /s

  7. - Perrid - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:17 am:

    TominChicago, I don’t think so. Jussie did community service over the weekend and gave up his bail. That sounds like a diversion program to me, if an incredibly anemic one.

  8. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:17 am:

    It doesn’t really matter what the bill says because it won’t pass and the purpose has already been achieved by the media mentions. Leave the issue to Fox and the Film Office.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:19 am:

    The most productive McAuliffe has been in years, but per usual, wrong-headed and wacky.

  10. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:21 am:

    Wow…so let’s attack a huge money making film production which benefits the local economy and employs people
    to make what I think
    what I think
    my opinion
    is a racist point.

  11. - Former Downstater - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:23 am:

    Did McAuliffe support hate crimes bills in previous sessions?

  12. - Perrid - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:25 am:

    Wow. Honeybear, Jussie committed a crime and got away with a slap on the wrist. This made national news. You want to say it’s a waste of time and resources, that we should shrug, call Jussie a jerk, and move on, I’m with you. You want to say writing a law to single out individuals is terrible policy, I agree with you. But saying it’s racist to want to actually hold him to account is way off base.

  13. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:28 am:

    Perrid - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:25 am:

    I agree with you 100%. Well stated.

  14. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    Why just this specific crime? Why not other ones? If we’re going to go after the film industry then why not just tell them “if you hire someone who has committed a crime then no tax breaks for you.”

  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    – Just Usage of State Subsidies In Entertainment Act…–

    What’s the over/under on the number of beers it took to come up with the title to make the acronym?

  16. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    Pass the bill and let FOX challenge it in court.

  17. - Fixer - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:38 am:

    Word, the line is 7. I’ll take the over.

  18. - Scmodts - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    State Municipal Offender Loser Law Empire Tax?

  19. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    I agree that he committed a crime.
    and justice was served
    by our judicial system.
    The wailing and gnashing of teeth
    the press conferences by Raum et al
    the Presidential screed
    The outrage that he wasn’t punished more
    This ridiculous bill
    It’s so extra
    In my opinion

  20. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    SAO messed this up so badly we’ll probably never know what the real disposition was unless - and maybe not even then - the court file gets unsealed. SAO says one thing, defense attorneys say another and Jussie of the trembling hands goes for his Emmy.

  21. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    === What’s the over/under on the number of beers it took to come up with the title to make the acronym? ===

    Word, that’s one of the fun things about working on legislation. The initials of a special fund spelled out the nickname of the administrator of the program at the time it was enacted. No beers, but I was drinking pop at the time we came up with the name.

    To the post, McAuliffe is getting his 15 minutes of fame from the unknowing national media that likes to play up the sensational. The bill doesn’t stand a chance.

  22. - Anon - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    ==What’s the over/under on the number of beers it took to come up with the title to make the acronym?==

    His wife runs a PR firm. I’m going to guess it came pretty easy.

  23. - Anon Y - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    Honeybee you are 100% correct. Take a tv production hostage that hires hundreds for a political stunt when children are dying under the state care, when not proven guity in a court of law, what a waste of time and energy. When the production companies say had enough by all means explain it to the people who loss their jobs for a point. Where is the same indignation when men and women spent years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. Enough is enough start doing serious legistration.

  24. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    to the McAuliffe bill….yes, clever. to the racism question, nope. not racist to protest the outrageous work on the case, or the perp…Jussie. or Kim Foxx, who yesterday on WGN radio became what was by their analysis after she talked, the only person without an opinion as to what happened the night of the incident that started this story. they pointed out that she did not even agree with her First Assistant. when you lose Eric Zorn on something, you really lose. not racist.

  25. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:04 am:

    Honeybear- Don’t think it’s racist. Think it’s a feeling we got snookered by Hollywood. SAO didn’t realize that a defendant who has a publicist is not your normal defendant with your normal attorney.

  26. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    While on this subject; can we have a bill that removes subsidies projects that involve individuals convicted of sexual abuse?

    The bill itself, designed to Target one individual, is the kind of loony hare-brained scheme worthy of Mr. Smollett himself.

  27. - A guy - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    It’s not going anywhere. Arguably, it pushes the buttons on just how idiotic and irresponsible Jussie is and was. It’s legislative and PR venting. I highly doubt Hollywood in any form is going to “defend” Jussie. Frankly, producers and directors really like filming in Chicago, and they’re likely just as ticked at this indulged and spoiled narcissistic brat.

    Mac will get his woots in parades for this one for sure.

    The only person more disliked in Chicago right now than Jussie…is Kim Foxx. Her antics are more kooky than Mike’s bill.

  28. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    How about a bill that says if a movie or television productions’ Best Boy Grip was ever given a ticket for reckless driving, the production loses all tax credits.

  29. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    I agree with Honeybear.

  30. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    I’m seriously not trying to stir a pot here.
    I just feel that we can point to
    any number of crimes committed
    by white actors, actresses, celebrities (producers)
    and not see the righteous indignation
    over a verdict and sentence
    that a black celebrity has received.
    I think it’s racist.
    Again, my opinion
    You’re always welcome to disagree.

  31. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    The “righteous indignation” came after it was discovered Smollett (correct spelling) set up the false hate crime for personal gain, then got a free pass. Where’s the racism in that?

  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    It’s not racist to be angry at someone who picked one of the most painful scabs our society has for his own personal advancement and enrichment.

    It’s also understandable to be enraged when that person is let off scot-free and has the unmitigated gall to go on TV and crow about how he has been exonerated.

  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    ===It’s also understandable to be enraged when that person is let off scot-free and has the unmitigated gall to go on TV and crow about how he has been exonerated. ===

  34. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    As a sort of free market capitalist, i oppose all tax credits.

  35. - DuPage Moderate - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Anon - 11:32….exactly.

    The Jussie matter wouldn’t really have been that big of a deal if he didn’t sanctimoniously rub the City’s nose in his dismissal and double down on his b/s outside the courthouse. He rightfully owns this attention and the public’s ire….As does Kim Foxx who is ill equipped to lead the CCSA office and should resign.

    In more relevant news, this bill is ridiculous.

  36. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    I hope I am always open to reexamining my own opinions.
    Do I have a point about black vs white offenses and appropriate justice being delivered?
    or have I engaged in “whataboutism”?
    Smollett went through the justice system
    he was sentenced by it.
    You may not agree with the sentence.
    But are we giving more weight to it than it deserves.
    My point is that that righteous indignation
    to me
    is indicative of institutionalized racism.
    I super appreciate folks engaging in a civil manner on this.
    And just for the record
    I do think that Smollett got off light.

  37. - SAP - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    I don’t believe that Smollet entered a deferred prosecution agreement. My understanding is that all charges were dropped. It looks like the JUSSIE Act is a clever misnomer.

  38. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===Smollett went through the justice system
    he was sentenced by it.===
    There was no sentence, it was prosecutor discretion. In a perfect world (which this one ain’t by far) we would collectively show our righteous indignation in correct proportion to each wrong. Just as we can complain that “justice was not served” in this case, and take umbrage at the subsequent crowing by the “victim” that he is owed an apology, we can also raise our voices appropriately about other, more serious wrongs or miscarriages of justice where victims lost their lives or their health. Again in a perfect world, these things are not mutually exclusive.

  39. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    Welcome back to the 2019 NAACP Image Awards. Here to present the award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” are, comedian and creator of the hit Fox series “Rel”, Rel Howery, and Illinois State Representative Michael McAuliffe…

  40. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Institutionalized racism. I believe Blago fell victim to that as well. As regards to this current fellow, dont ya’ll think his career is over anyway?

  41. - helen of troy ave. - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    >Can we still give tax credits to productions that employ people who sexually assault or harass their coworkers? …asking for a friend…

    TV productions? I thought Marty was driving paid voters to the polls for the McCaskill for Mayor campaign in Harvey.

    Just joking. Of course no one knows nothing about no paid voters.

  42. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==My point is that that righteous indignation
    to me
    is indicative of institutionalized racism.==

    This doesn’t make any sense. You’re basically arguing that anyone who is a member of said “institution” (which in this case I can’t help but assume you mean politicians and the media) who takes serious offense at any action by any member of any minority group is, by definition, engaging in a racist act.

    You’re pushing up against the line of accusing McAuliffe of being a racist by simply being offended by Smollett’s actions. If that’s the case, you’re also accusing Rahm Emanuel as well as CPD Chief Johnson (who is black) of being racists. That’s probably an argument you’re better off not attempting to make.

  43. - Practical Politics - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:42 pm:

    Some people were speculating that McAuliffe would be stepping down in 2020. His 2018 dropped out which permitted him to win another term, so the reasoning goes. This publicity stunt makes me think otherwise.
    I do not think he will retire in 2021.

  44. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===It’s also understandable to be enraged when that person is let off scot-free and has the unmitigated gall to go on TV and crow about how he has been exonerated. –

    Like, someone who claims that, even though a brief, second-hand summary of a much larger, unseen report specifically states that he was not exonerated?

  45. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    There was no sentence, it was prosecutor discretion

    My bad, you’re right on that one. But even going through our system to the point of “prosecutorial discretion” I would say is still regular order for our judicial system. In otherwords it’s not outside of our judicial system.

  46. - bafraid98 - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    I agree with Honeybear..the bill feels racist..

  47. - Ohbrother - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    It’s comments and hot takes like the one Honeybear shared that get people like Trump elected. Racist? That’s way over the top.

  48. - Practical Politics - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Sorry for my poor proofreading. I meant to say that McAuliffe’s 2018 opponent (Marwig) dropped out. Oops!

  49. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    Let’s talk Jussie into working for Lincoln Yards. Or Amazon.

  50. - bafraid98 - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    People can agree to disagree over the Jussie Smollett issue..but crafting a bill over this seems waaay over the top..and thats we end up with a Trump…

  51. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    hot takes like the one Honeybear shared that get people like Trump elected.

    How do you figure? Please explain

  52. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    Lester Holt- I beg your patience as I try to explain.
    First, I am not accusing anyone directly of racism……And I also feel that we are ALL involved, to one degree or another, with knowledge and complicity to one degree or another with racist systems that are institutional or culturally hegemonic in nature. Does that make more sense? Thus when I didn’t see from most white folk similar righteous indignation during the early days of the Laquan horror,
    I am hearing echoes of institutionalized racism. When it seems black deaths are outright ignored, I am hearing echoes of institutionalized racism.
    When white cops “get away with a slap on the wrist
    I am hearing echoes of institutionalized racism.
    and yes, black folk can be involved in systems of institutionalized racism too. It’s how I believe the derogatory label “uncle Tom” came about.

    On the other hand. It was totally unacceptable and brazen for Smollett to sanctimoniously proclaim his innocence. I get it.

  53. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    Honeybear - When you reference black deaths being ignored, based on your writing on Cap Fax, I’m assuming you are referring to the fact that the slaughter on the streets of Chicago basically goes unnoticed except as a total number and ignored as far as the individual victim. Why aren’t people upset and protesting when babies are shot? Is that life worth less just because the shooter was some gangbanger spraying bullets down the block? When take happens we as a society that should value all lives are lessened.

  54. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    “That” not “take”

  55. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    Ohbrother, How does that work? The comments and Trump voting thing? I always heard Trump wasn’t racist. Are you trying to say Trump IS racist? What do you base that on?
    Or are you trying to say Trump’s voters use nonsensical reasons for making a decision to vote for him?

  56. - Bourbon Street - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 4:29 pm:

    It’s not the exercise of prosecutorial discretion that’s necessarily the problem; it’s how the whole mess was handled. A “recusal” that wasn’t really a recusal; an “emergency court hearing” scheduled for a day that the case was not scheduled to be heard, thereby hampering the public of the opportunity to be present in court; the sealing of the court file without objection by the CCSAO even though it claimed to have a good case (court files are presumed open—even defendants who are acquitted of felonies are not entitled to have their court file sealed absent some compelling reason); and the outright dismissal of the charges without requiring an admission of guilt. Ask any assistant public defender if his or her clients ever got this kind of favorable treatment. There is enough here for reasonable people to be offended if for no other reason than the lack of transparency. We should also be concerned about other cases, but criticizing those who are offended by an injustice does nothing to solve other injustices.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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