* Rebecca Anzel at Capitol News Illinois…
McHenry County is the sole subject of legislation giving its voters an option to dissolve township government. It is an effort by a state lawmaker to cut residents’ property taxes by eliminating what he calls “unnecessary” levels of government.
If the experiment goes well there, in the sixth most populous county in the state, Rep. David McSweeney said the next step would be to give the rest of Illinois the ability to get rid of township governments. […]
But the measure is contentious even in McHenry County, where some officials expressed frustration McSweeney did not ask if such a provision was needed. Others said they worry what the impacts would be if McSweeney’s bill becomes law — there has not been a recent study providing a clear analysis. […]
“There are hypocrites on the Republican side who support lower property taxes but not consolidation of unnecessary units of government. It’s a real eye-opener,” McSweeney said. “I’m glad to have bipartisan support, though.”
His Republican colleague, Rep. Steven Reick, disagreed with that assessment. From Woodstock, Reick is the only representative whose district falls completely within the boundaries of McHenry County. He voted against the legislation.
“If I’m a hypocrite, I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Reick said. “I believe in cutting property taxes, but the fact is, this bill does not do that.”
Go read the whole thing. It’s a very good deep-dive.
Illinois, by the way, has 1,428 townships.
* Illinois’ new Tobacco 21 law might be having a national impact…
Facing criticism for selling tobacco to minors, Walgreens announced Tuesday that it will now sell tobacco products only to customers age 21 and older.
The new policy will go into effect Sept. 1 across the Deerfield-based chain’s more than 9,500 stores.
The announcement comes about two months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Walgreens had the worst track record among all pharmacies when it comes to selling tobacco products to minors. About 22 percent of the more than 6,300 Walgreens stores the FDA inspected since 2010 had illegally sold the products to young people, the agency said at the time.
* Some of these apps are just ridiculously invasive…
Is that smart device listening to your children? A measure advancing through the Illinois legislature would require companies to let consumers know.
Public Interest Research Group Director Abe Scarr said the Keep Internet Devices Safe Act that passed the Senate is simple: Parents and consumers need to know when their smart devices are listening.
“We know some level of this activity is happening and we think that families and parents deserve to know if they’re being listened to and that’s all that the bill does,” Scarr said.
Senate sponsor state Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, said there are a few things to hammer out with the tech companies opposed to the measure.
“We’re trying to kind of meet and trying to accomplish in making sure that consumers are aware in how their information is going to be used, but also make sure that the business community and the internet providers understand and it’s very clear,” Castro said.
Both Scarr and Castro shared a story about a professional basketball team using a smartphone application that turned individual cell phone microphones on to let the app know where at the stadium the user was.
“They may not even be listening to your conversation per se, they’re listening for signals in the department store or in the arena to know where you are so they can send you push notifications,” Scarr said. “There’s been some documented apps that are listening to what you are watching on your television so they can have a sense of where you are, your consumer demographic so they can better sell advertisements to you.”
I finally figured out how to turn off the notification from Walgreens that set off an alarm on my phone when I drove by one of their stores.
* Other bills…
* House bill could grant both SIU student trustees a vote