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It’s just a bill

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

* From the bill creating the Property Tax Relief Task Force

Within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the Task Force shall submit an initial report to the Governor and General Assembly outlining short-term and long-term administrative, electoral, and legislative changes needed to create short-term and long-term property tax relief for homeowners.

The Task Force shall submit a final report to the Governor and the General Assembly… by December 31, 2019.

The task force obviously missed the first deadline

The law was enacted Aug. 2. The 90-day deadline, Oct. 31, came and went. With the initial report nowhere to be found and only a couple of days left in the fall veto session, lawmakers won’t be able to take any action on the task force’s suggestions this year.

A spokesman for the task force referred questions to the eight co-chairs of the task force.

State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, said Republicans have given Democrats a number of suggestions, but said Democrats have shown no interest in creating actual legislation to take up those ideas.

“The initial draft was supposed to be done on October 31st as far as I know,” she said. “The governor and their staff missed the deadline, so now we’re going to be waiting until December 31st for a final report, but obviously if we don’t even have a draft it’s very difficult for us to put input into the final draft.”

The governor’s office has two members on the task force, but neither are co-chairs. So, blaming the governor for this is a bit weird. It’s not their task force.

* Last month

When Governor J.B. Pritzker appointed former state Senator Bill Haine to serve on the State Board of Elections in May, the former downstate Democratic Senator had to surrender control of his campaign fund and the $286,786 in it. But now, months later, Haine controls the same money, just under a different name. […]

Haine said he believes the law would allow him to spend money in his son’s race [for state’s attorney], or any race, if he chooses.

The spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections told me this at the time

Bill Haine also consulted with our staff before joining the board about the disposition of his candidate committee. His conversion of the committee to a political action committee puts him in compliance with board rules.

Haine’s son sent me this statement last week…

There has been some speculation regarding my Dad’s political action committee, “William Haine Fund to Promote Progress of Citizens of the Metro-East.” Now that he’s on the Illinois State Board of Elections, he has made it clear that he is in the process of liquidating this account. Some have pointed out that, by law, some of this fund could be donated to my own campaign for Madison County State’s Attorney. But that won’t happen. I agree with my Dad’s plan - these funds will go to local charities, not politics

* Press release

As allegations of government corruption continue to plague the Statehouse, Republican legislators including State Senators Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) and Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and State Representatives Tim Butler (R-Springfield) and Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield), announced new legislation during a press conference at the Capitol on November 13 that aims to ensure members of the Illinois State Board of Elections aren’t funding political action committees.

“Under current state law, a person can serve as a member of the Illinois State Board of Elections while at the same time run a political action committee that benefits candidates. Not only is this allowed, it’s currently happening,” said Sen. McConchie. “Common sense would dictate that no member of the State Board of Elections should be allowed to fund a campaign while simultaneously presiding over and judging legal matters regarding that campaign. It’s an inherent conflict of interest and yet another loophole in state law that enables government corruption—something that is all too familiar in Illinois.”

The bill is here

Prohibits a member of the State Board of Elections from contributing, either financially or in services or goods or any other way, to a political committee or from serving as an officer of a political committee. Requires a member of the State Board of Elections serving as an officer of a political committee to resign from the political committee within 30 days after confirmation by the Senate or within 30 days of the effective date of the amendatory Act if currently serving. Effective immediately.

* In other news

Despite House leadership calling on former Chicago representative Luis Arroyo to step down last Monday, he did not do so until that Friday. Some of his colleagues say this was not a coincidence and now they want to make sure nothing like this happens again.

Representative Mike Murphy of Springfield is calling for action on a bill that would allow lawmakers to only receive pay for days they actually worked instead of full pay on the last working day of each month.

“We need some reforms and this a pretty simple reform. The fact that you can work one day and get paid for the entire month is silly,” said Murphy.

“We had a representative recently resign the first of the month, so he’s going to be paid for the entire month. He’s going to get medical benefits, you know, insurance for the whole month. One more month will be added to his retirement and it’s just not right.”

Yep. That’s why Arroyo waited until November 1 to resign. Back in the day, legislators received their full pay up front.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - Chambanalyst - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    Genuinely curious: Does legislation like this not exist in other states? If it does, how long have they had it, and we haven’t? Pretty telling that we are just now creating laws to fix it, only after they’ve been caught. It’s a step in the right direction but long overdue.


  2. - Just Me - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    So, no time for tax relief studies, but plenty of time for tax increase bills. Got it.


  3. - Chambanalyst - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    Follow up to previous comment - does legislation prorating legislator pay exist in other states? I was so triggered by the fact Arroyo will collect full pay for “working” (quite a generous definition of working, I might add) one day, I didn’t even think to clarify. Whew.


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    ===but plenty of time for tax increase bills===

    What tax increase bills?


  5. - DIstant watcher - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    ==Back in the day, legislators received their full pay up front==

    IIRC, legislators got paid for the full year on day one. Cutting that down to pay for a month was itself a reform, and it’s worked pretty well since then. You want to chop it down to pay by the week? Maybe that’s the next step.


  6. - Maybeboomer - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    What tax increase bill..

    The pension consolidation for one. A rushed bill with increases and no detailed numbers.


  7. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    Hope murph doesn’t heave up his horseshoe when he sees how the PAWS solution was aplied by the GOPies and GovJunk.


  8. - Romeo - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    There is no pension relief coming, folks. Taskforces, committees, studies are all lip-service and delay tactics.

    I live in Will County and have appealed my property taxes to the County Board of Assessments. This process is online. However, when the County rejected my appeal, I took it to the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB). For PTAB, they do not process it online; you have to print out three copies and mail it to PTAB.

    What this results in is literally rooms full of paper appeals and staff time sucked away to just opening and inputting data into an online docket. Why on God’s green earth this is allowed is beyond me. Oh and remember it is +/- 700 DAYS (almost two years, folks) to get a decision from PTAB.

    Property taxes are going in one direction, and it ain’t down.


  9. - anon2 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    ==Back in the day, legislators received their full pay up front==

    As I recall, it was Pat Quinn’s agitation on this issue that led to reform.


  10. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    I wonder why nothing gets done?
    “ eight co-chairs of the task force.”
    Do they set these things up to fail on purpose?


  11. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    Romeo
    “What this results in is literally rooms full of paper appeals and staff time sucked away to just opening and inputting data into an online docket. Why on God’s green earth this is allowed is beyond me.”

    You mean DoIT hasn’t fixed it? /s


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