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The very definition of “polarized”

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019

* New York Times

When J.B. Pritzker took over as the governor of Illinois this year, Democratic lawmakers, who had spent four years at an impasse with his Republican predecessor, vowed that their party’s new grip on the State Capitol would bring immediate change.

The pace has been startling. In recent months, Illinois legislators have moved sharply to the left, deeming abortion a fundamental right for women no matter what the Supreme Court might decide, raising the minimum wage, taking steps to legalize recreational marijuana and introducing a graduated income tax.

Some 700 miles to the south, the Alabama State Capitol, dominated by Republicans, has raced in the opposite direction.

Alabama lawmakers voted during this term to ban most abortions. They eliminated marriage licenses, so that probate judges opposed to same-sex marriage would not have to sign marriage certificates. And they approved requiring sex offenders who commit crimes involving children to undergo chemical castration at their own expense.

* There was one bit of agreement, however

This year’s [Alabama] legislative session started with the gasoline tax for roads clearly established as the top priority for leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Kay Ivey. The legislation quickly passed with bipartisan support during a special session Ivey called to focus on the issue.

The tax on gasoline and diesel will increase by 6 cents a gallon after Aug. 31 and by 2 cents each of the next two years. The 10-cent increase is projected to raise more than $300 million a year for roads. The state gas tax was last raised in 1992. Advocates for the increase said the state could not build and maintain a road system to handle traffic volume and economic demands without more revenue.

Leaders from both parties joined the governor for a ceremony to sign the bill that Ivey called historic.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    Sure is. Iowa passed the usual anti union and budget cut stuff when they took control. This year they failed on felon voting but passed a new version of an gag after the previous failed in court. Missouri passed the abortion ban and the merchandising law which is in court.
    Anything else happen in our neighbors. Wonder how split is going in Wisconsin and Michigan.


  2. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Every time we compare our state to Alabama as the polar opposite, it really identifies this state as being extreme in the other direction. There are states like Ohio, and others closer to our demo who have enacted legislation less restrictive but still more conservative than what we have. I guess I’d rather be compared to another midwest state than other regions. Don’t like comparisons to CA or NY or NJ either.


  3. - PJ - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    I wonder how much the lawsuit award will be for the first wrongly convicted person who has to pay for their own chemical castration. Hopefully they save some of that gas tax money.


  4. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    The article makes good points about the contrast between legislation passed by Illinois and Alabama. Though I don’t know the politics of the other states mentioned, I think it fails to include the bipartisan accomplishments of the Illinois legislature this spring. The Tribune editorial board has indeed recognized this, though the fact that it did so with Nazi comparisons may serve to underscore the NYT article’s points.


  5. - Joey Twoshoes - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    I gotta say, I much prefer Illinois…


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===like Ohio, and others closer to our demo===

    For one, Ohio is way whiter than Illinois. 81.1 percent non-Hispanic whites vs. 61.2 percent for Illinois.


  7. - don the legend - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rich, when the Eastern Bloc gets its way Illinois will be so much whiter than Ohio. /s


  8. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==Don’t like comparisons to CA or NY or NJ either.==

    Actually, NJ is more in our wheelhouse than you think, as is PA.

    ==Ohio is way whiter than Illinois.==

    As is Minnesota, but that doesn’t stop anyone from the comparisons either.


  9. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    Leaders prioritize the business of the government and get things done no matter the partisan rancor, which was the case on infrastructure in Illinois and Alabama. It’s why Bruce Rauner was such an abysmal failure—he couldn’t manage hatred of political opponents and rendered himself unable to do his job.

    Speaking of terrible comparisons and unreasonable expectations, some want Illinois to be a lower-wage RTWFL state.


  10. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    ==For one, Ohio is way whiter than Illinois. 81.1 percent non-Hispanic whites vs. 61.2 percent for Illinois.==

    How about Alabama? Way whiter? (Obviously not)


  11. - lostintranslation - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    I wonder what Roy Moore thought about the chemical castration bill?


  12. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===I wonder what Roy Moore thought about the chemical castration bill?===

    I wonder what Bishop Paprocki thinks of that too.


  13. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==I wonder what Roy Moore thought about the chemical castration bill?==

    I wonder why anyone wonders what Roy Moore thinks about anything; ever.


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