* 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 EndTaxGiveaways.org for links to the legislation in other states as well as the names of legislators who are supporting the effort.