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It’s just a bill

Thursday, Mar 4, 2021

* Tim Kirsininkas at Capitol News Illinois

The Illinois House Human Services Committee advanced two bills Tuesday, one allowing special needs students to stay with a school program past their 22nd birthday and another allowing the use of certain federal nutrition benefits to purchase feminine hygiene products.

House Bill 40, introduced by Rep. Frances Hurley, D-Chicago, would allow special needs students to receive special education services through the end of the school year that they turn 22 years of age.

Under current state statute, special needs students can be removed from special education programs as soon as they hit their 22nd birthday. Hurley said the bill would be key to beginning to increase equity for special needs students that can already be left behind by a state system not properly equipped to support them.

“I don’t think they should be punished for their birthdate,” Hurley said.

* Raymon Troncoso at Capitol News Illinois

Legislation backed by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group would require farming equipment manufacturers to make software required for repairs available to consumers for purchase.

House Bill 3061, introduced as the “Digital Right to Repair Act” in February by Democratic Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg, would mandate that manufacturers, by 2022, provide farmers with the same diagnostic materials available to official repair providers. It would also require the manufacturers to make parts necessary for repair, including software, available for purchase.

The legislation comes after the release of a report by the U.S. PIRG that alleges farmers are unable to sufficiently repair tractors purchased from John Deere and other manufacturers because they withhold the software necessary to do so.

“The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, of which John Deere is a prominent member, promised that by 2021, they would give farmers the necessary tools to fix their machinery. However, Deere has fallen short of that commitment, so farmers – and all Americans, who rely on them to produce food – are worse off,” U.S. PIRG Education Fund Right to Repair Advocate Kevin O’Reilly said in a release announcing the report.

* Bill becomes law, law implemented by rule

The state is no longer charging interest on late child support payments that are made through the Department of Healthcare and Family Services unless it’s ordered by a court, and all of the outstanding interest charges that those parents owed have been zeroed out.

A spokesman for the agency said in an email that the total accrued interest penalties that were eliminated amounted to just over $2.7 billion.

DHFS made that announcement Monday, saying those interest charges fell disproportionately on low-income families and people of color. […]

Illinois had been one of only 15 states that automatically charged interest on late child support payments. But, in a bill passed last May and signed by Gov. JB Pritzker into law in August, the automatic interest penalty was repealed and DHFS was given authority to adopt administrative rules to determine how, and if, it would charge and enforce interest penalties.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    To HB3061. The BlueDog family has been scammed by this monopoly. What a ripoff. If there’s to be a class action lawsuit, sign the family up.


  2. - Cool Papa Bell - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:06 pm:

    The right to repair is a major issue. A small group of farmers choose to buy older equipment so they can still turn a wrench on it and get it back up and running. Deere, Case and others have made plenty of empty promises about working for the right to repair but they are standing in the way.

    The flip side is, some farmers want to change the code so a tractor can run without DEF, or charge up an engine so it will produce more horsepower than it is rated for. Those protections need to remain, but when you allow for code to adjusted or give access to it then you open up a wide world of possible outcomes for people to really tinker with machines.


  3. - The Ford Lawyer - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:29 pm:

    The Digital Right to Repair bill sounds like the kind of thing that is going to get preempted by a federal bill. There is no way that big companies like Deere and IH are going to stand for it being implemented on a state by state basis.


  4. - checkpl - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:37 pm:

    Ah yes, thank you Ford. The federal/state shell game argument. The same guys that say you can’t pass a law at state level because “patchwork” are the same guys killing the bill at federal level. Have to be gullible to believe the old federal/state shell game argument.


  5. - PublicServant - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 6:26 pm:

    Blue Dog, notice the fact that a Democrat is sponsoring this bill. Also make not of who votes in opposition to its passage. Vote accordingly.


  6. - The Ford Lawyer - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 6:28 pm:

    -checkpl Just a preview of how JD and IH are going to fight this. Their lobbyist will be in all of the right pockets.


  7. - Huh? - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 9:33 am:

    HB 3061 ought to apply to any any motor vehicle. The failure of a single sensor can stall a car. Without the software it isn’t possible to locate and fix.


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