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It’s just a bill

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020

* Capitol News Illinois

A state lawmaker advanced a bill Tuesday that would lift a 1911 state prohibition of alcohol consumption on trains because, she said, the existing law is not enforced or obeyed.

“As most people probably don’t realize, … this bill was passed in 1911, pre-Prohibition,” Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, said during a House transportation committee hearing, “and it prohibits the drinking of alcohol on any train, train station; it also requires our engineers to make arrests.”

She said the 1911 law is not only not enforced, but public transit is generally viewed as an alternative to drunk driving.

“Isn’t there a bar car on the train?” asked Rep. Natalie Manley, a Joliet Democrat who was one of two lawmakers to vote against Costa Howard’s House Bill 3878 in committee.

“On some trains, yes there are,” the bill’s sponsor replied.

* Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line

Fresh off of a legislative win capping the price of insulin in Illinois, State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) are working to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which would limit what Illinoisans would pay for certain medications.

Guzzardi originally introduced HB 3493 last spring as part of a six-bill package aimed at bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, tackling an issue typically reserved for federal lawmakers. But the bill failed to advance out of the House’s Prescription Drug Affordability Committee in March, as three Democratic lawmakers voted against the measure.

A new amendment to the bill addressed some of the concerns that stalled the bill last year, Guzzardi said, adding he hoped to see the bill pass out of committee in the coming weeks. However, a hearing on the bill set for Wednesday by the Prescription Drug Affordability Committee was cancelled.

The bill establishes a five-person board to oversee drug prices in Illinois and set the upper limit based on what most Illinoisans can afford to pay for prescription drugs. Using market data and research compiled by a 21-member Prescription Drug Affordability Stakeholder Council also created by the bill, the board would essentially provide drug companies with a figure representing the maximum amount they should sell their medications for in Illinois.

* Alex Nitkin and Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line

Cook County leaders vowed Tuesday to fight a proposed state law that would merge the independent police department for the county Forest Preserves District with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Sponsored by State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates), HB2297 would eliminate the Forest Preserves District’s “authority to appoint and maintain a police force.”

Crespo said he filed the bill after a 2018 incident in which a woman wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it was harassed by a man repeatedly asking her if she was a U.S. citizen. Video the woman shot on her phone shows a forest preserve police officer nearby ignoring her requests to intervene in the harassment. The officer resigned from the department without being disciplines.

Since then, the Cook County Inspector General issued a report finding an unnamed county commissioner had pressured a forest preserve officer to throw out a political ally’s $250 parking ticket issued for parking in a spot reserved for people with disabilities.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 10:50 am:

    Considering there are like at least 5 places you can buy a drink at Union Station I would say this isn’t enforced

  2. - ChrisB - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 11:12 am:


    The secret is to buy a tallboy at the Walgreens for 1/5 the price.

  3. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 11:20 am:

    The complaint here is that a pre-Prohibition law is not being enforced on trains? Trains with bar cars?

    PLEASE run this bill on the floor of the House. Polish up the 100 no-votes trophy . . . .

  4. - Maryjane - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 11:30 am:

    Great news. When I was a regular Caltrain commuter on the SF peninsula (Caltrain is SF’s equivalent of Metra/same type of trains), I would on most days on my way home, enjoy a cold one. It was on of the benefits of taking the train. I believe some of the pre-Metra commutes (C&NW?) had tavern cars in the consist.

  5. - Victor Kingston - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    “Isn’t there a bar car on the train?”
    “On some trains, yes there are.”

    Absolutely hilarious.

  6. - socialist state - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    I hate paying for prescriptions just as much as the next guy, but I hope common sense prevails at some point. If Illinois is going to start telling drug manufacturers how much they can invest in research and development Illinois will likely lose many of the companies that are here and have a hard time attracting others.

  7. - JoanP - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 11:45 am:

    =one of two lawmakers to vote against Costa Howard’s House Bill 3878 in committee=

    Why would you vote against taking a useless law off the books? Just because it’s not currently enforced doesn’t mean some yahoo might not try to do so.

  8. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 12:08 pm:

    == “Isn’t there a bar car on the train?”
    “On some trains, yes there are.”==

    Amtrak rules say that you can drink alcohol on the train, but only beverages that you purchase from them. I was on the evening Texas Eagle coming back to Springfield from Chicago a few months ago, a guy seated across the aisle from me had his own beer in a little cold bag. The conductor confiscated it, told the guy he could either hand it over to them or they’d have to stop the train and call the cops to come pick him up.

  9. - All This - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 12:18 pm:

    == If Illinois is going to start telling drug manufacturers how much they can invest in research and development Illinois will likely lose many of the companies that are here and have a hard time attracting others.==
    ‘Cause, you know, employers love paying exorbitant prices for their employees’ health plans.

  10. - Woody - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    Would consolidating the Cook County Forest preserve police with the Cook County Sheriff’s department save any money?

  11. - anon2 - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’d like to hear Rep. Crespo’s case for merging two departments. It needs to be more than an anecdote about one bad cop.

  12. - 17% Solution - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 1:30 pm:

    -If Illinois is going to start telling drug manufacturers how much they can invest in research and development-
    How much “research and development” did Martin Shkreli do on Daraprim when he bought the patent and raised the price on it 56 times? Prices don’t represent research and development, they represent how much the pharmaceutical company can soak the customers.

  13. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    Small departments like that can cause all sorts of problems (lack of funding, training, and hiring standards). Wasn’t there an issue with Cook County Hospital police 2012-ish?

  14. - Northsider - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    FYI, Metra officially ended bar cars in August 2008. And of course you can get alcoholic drinks in any Amtrak club car.

    Good on Rep. Costa Howard for attempting to get rid of a law apparently no one knew was there.

  15. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    === Small departments like that can cause all sorts of problems ===

    My guess is that the Cook County Forest Preserves police are among the largest departments in the state.

  16. - LoneWolf - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 2:41 pm:

    My wife’s prescription drug went from $4.00 / month to $1,400 / month when I retired and we went from United Health Care Ins to Medicare. Ridiculous! Appears some (Seniors on fixed income) are “subsidizing” the others (private health insurers).

  17. - NoGifts - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    Metra had bar cars until 2008.

  18. - 14th Ward Regular - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    - and set the upper limit based on what most Illinoisans can afford-

    Don’t know if this is koshur with the Sherman and Clayton Anti-Trust Act. Could become a federal case really quick.

  19. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Feb 26, 20 @ 4:39 pm:

    Just Observing
    ==My guess is that the Cook County Forest Preserves police are among the largest departments in the state.==

    According to their FY 2020 budget, they have 94 officers. IF you use that for 24 hours per day / 7 days a week requires 5 for each position, CCFP has 19 officers to cover 346 locations. Seems under-resourced to me.

  20. - PJ - Friday, Feb 28, 20 @ 8:33 am:

    To say that the Forest Preserve Police Officers are not needed is just wrong, the county and local Police Officers do not know the real ins and outs that they are faced with everyday. They a valued asset to the county and are NOT paid on the same scale as other officers. They are needed.

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