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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020

* Neal Earley at the Sun-Times

Sen. Joe McCarthy has been dead for more than 60 years, but the Red Scare may still not be over in Illinois.

State Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton, D-Western Springs, said Illinois can save money by removing the state’s optional loyalty oath, a Cold War-era vestige in which candidates for office pledge they are not affiliated with a communist organization.

Glowiak Hilton introduced a bill that would remove the loyalty oath from a packet of forms candidates file when they run for office. Candidates can sign an optional form affirming they are “not affiliated directly or indirectly with any communist organization or any communist front organization.”

“This dated Cold War scare tactic wastes taxpayer dollars and has an immeasurable cost to our natural resources,” Glowiak Hilton said in a statement. “Printing a separate page for the oath for every candidate who files in Illinois not only wastes paper, but the time and energy of the public servants who administer our elections.” […]

Dietrich said most candidates print the forms they need to run for office on their own, meaning the Board of Elections prints few, if any, loyalty oaths.

It’s indeed a relic of a bygone era and should be eliminated, but the savings are practically nil.

* Center Square

As lawmakers prepare to come back to the Illinois State Capitol this week, some Republicans want to address delays in renewing Firearm Owners’ Identification cards.

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, said there had been a lot of conversation at the statehouse about the Firearm Owners’ Identification card process.

“The bureaucratic process, the fees, everything and I think there’s a lot of us that would like to see significant reform to that system,” Plummer said. […]

“The FOID card this year is a huge issue with the renewals,” state Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, said. “Having people nervous about having their Second Amendment right taken away because we’re behind on getting their new FOID card – that’s a big issue.”

Anderson said he doesn’t blame state police.

“We’re in one of those ten-year cycles where everybody’s FOID card is coming up for renewal at the same time,” he said.

* Press release…

Today, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) and State Representative Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) join legislators from around the country in unveiling a national bipartisan campaign to phase out corporate giveaways by establishing an interstate compact. This bold proposal seeks to liberate states from participating in tax-payer funded subsidy battles by having states join together and refuse to provide companies with tax breaks or other incentives, as in the case of the Amazon HQ2 bidding war.

As of January 28, the legislation is filed in New York, Hawaii, Maryland, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

The legislation would bring each state into a formal agreement with other states to phase out corporate giveaways through two main provisions. First, member states agree to end the practice of offering tax breaks to a facility located in another member state as an inducement for the company to move. Second, member states participate in a national board of appointees to discuss and propose enhancements to the existing agreement for future consideration by each state.

“Corporate giveaways are one of the least effective uses of taxpayer dollars for job creation because companies too frequently take tax incentives to choose locations that they would have chosen anyway,” Senator Villivalam said. “So instead of creating additional jobs, they simply deplete a community’s tax base instead, which often affects communities who can least afford it. This legislation is a good first step in phasing giveaways out and in creating a level playing field for all employers.”

“While our state budget is already starved by excess tax breaks, we want to build support over time and appeal to our colleagues who don’t wish to unilaterally disarm in the giveaway game.” said Representative Morgan. “This is a reasonable go-slow approach, and can help us refocus our state budget on priorities such as education and human services funding.”

Please see for links to the legislation in other states as well as the names of legislators who are supporting the effort.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    The “feel” for this GA session seems anticlimactic after the heady accomplishments of last year.

    Agree, get rid of the red scare oath, even if the ILGOP keeps peddling the fear to its shrinking and aging base.

  2. - Brendan - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 1:47 pm:

    Shocking that laws like that are still on the books.

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===Shocking that laws like that are still on the books.===

    Not really. Anyone who tries touching it can be labelled by their opposition as ’supporting communists’. The time is ripe right now howver to finally get rid of it. Republicans have really painted themselves into a corner and can’t really use that as an attack anymore. At least not one that will get more benefit than damage.

    It’s the same reason that IL had the flag burning law on the books almost 3 decades after the Supreme Court invalidated laws against flag burning.

    No politician in their right mind would try to remove that from the state statutes, even though it is simply a bookkeeping issue. Any opponent could have easily used “this guy supports flag burning”.

    IT took a young guy getting arrested for burning a flag on his own property to finally draw attention to the state law that was unconstitutional. Remember the flimsy excuses from the police chief of the department that made the arrest? “Well, state law says it’s illegal and we enforce state law”.

    There are volumes of laws like this still on the books, that should have been removed a long time ago.

  4. - Morty - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    establishing an interstate compact

    If it could get off the ground and with buy-in,this could be one of the best pieces of legislation in years

  5. - Anonish - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    What? I like being able to choose to not fill out the loyalty oath.

  6. - not to mention... - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    The loyalty oath is unconstitutional! That’s the reason to get rid of it. Reducing paper waste is a beneficial side effect.

  7. - hippo2 - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    1195 candidates recently filed and 700 of those candidates filed loyalty oaths. Multiply that by the number of years past that candidates has filed. What a waste of paper.

    Also, 495 didn’t file it. Do we really have that many secret communists running for office?

  8. - Fav human - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:04 pm:

    I was always very happy to complete and to post my I’m not a commie form on WeChat.

    All my friends in China wanted one too :)

  9. - revvedup - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:59 pm:

    Col. Flag (MASH)”You never signed your loyalty oath” Dr. Sidney (Psych) “If I was a Communist, I would not have hesitated to sign”. Might as well make elected and appointed officials sign a form that they won’t be corrupt.

    The best way to “Fix the FOID” is to abolish it as unconstitutional, and useless as a crime-prevention tool.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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