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It’s just a bill

Friday, Apr 16, 2021

* Mike Miletich

Many people struggle to pay processing fees for housing applications when they have little to no income. Democratic state lawmakers want to create a special grant program to provide assistance for anyone left in that situation.

Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) wanted to create the Emergency Solutions Grant program to help families who don’t make enough to have a place to call home. The plan could prohibit landlords, mortgage companies, and rental property owners from charging administrative fees on housing applications submitted by people using this assistance.

Assistance previously came from the Emergency Shelter Grant program which was created through the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act.

Property owners would still have the ability to conduct background checks on applicants. However, anyone violating this legislation could face unlawful practice charges under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

* Mike Miletich

The Illinois House approved a proposal Thursday to add sexting curriculum to sex education courses in schools.

Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) championed this plan last year when it unanimously passed out of the House. However, it couldn’t get approval from the Senate before the COVID-19 pandemic cut session short.

His plan covers age-appropriate content for students in sixth grade through senior year of high school. The Democrat reintroduced the bill because he feels students need to understand the consequences of sending or sharing sexually explicit messages.

West’s proposal could require sex education courses to include information on the long-term social, legal, and academic consequences of sharing or forwarding suggestive photos, videos, or messages. He also noted there’s a disturbing increase in sexting online.

“60% of sextortion, as the detective told me who I had a conversation with, 60% are from individuals that they know. 40% comes from gaming, the games that they play,” West said.

* Capitol News Illinois

Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday to make it a felony offense if a person kills or injures a police animal while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, sponsored House Bill 3019, which passed with 72 votes in favor. He said it was brought to him by a state’s attorney from his district.

“We had an unfortunate circumstance of a drunk driver who hit a police safety vehicle, instantly killing a rescue canine that was within that vehicle,” Sosnowski said. “Unfortunately what came out of this was that there’s actually nothing that could be charged to that particular drunk driver if nothing else had happened.”

* WICS

Newly proposed legislation intends to prevent poor dental health among Illinois youth.

State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest, filed Senate Bill 346.

This bill would allow preventative dental services in schools.

If passed, SB346 would let the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services implement a school-based dental program that would allow out-of-office preventative services, such as teeth cleanings.

* Center Square

The Illinois Municipal League is working with municipal leaders across the state in a legislative platform that aims to ensure long-term funding for cities, towns and villages.

It’s called “Moving Cities Forward” and calls for initiatives that protect municipal revenues. One is the protection of the Local Government Distributive Fund, which sets aside a percentage of state income tax revenues for municipalities and other local governments. […]

Local elected officials are also asking state lawmakers to address the fiscal strain posed by downstate public safety pension funds by extending the amortization schedules, so municipalities are better equipped to meet their obligations to both public safety personnel and taxpayers.

The “Moving Cities Forward” platform also addresses the need for local governments to provide economic relief to local businesses as they work to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cole said IML’s proposal would allow municipalities to provide grants, subsidies or loans to local businesses within Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts that have experienced business interruptions.

* Jeanne Ives…

Dear Friend,

In 2019, Illinois passed a $45 Billion Capital spending plan.

Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, the plan included $25 million to pay off up to $40,000 of other people’s student loans if they purchase a home in Illinois.

It also gives them an additional $5,000 for a down payment. It is called the SmartBuy Program.

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The state allocated up to $25 million to the program in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

To date, the agency has paid off an average of $24,100 in student loan debt.

So, expect this program to grow exponentially over the next few years unless there is significant push back on state lawmakers from Illinois voters – remember, the nature of government is to expand, not reform or contract.

Worse still, Illinois voters / taxpayers had no voice in this decision.

The horror.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments
  1. - Quibbler - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    == Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday to make it a felony offense if a person kills or injures a police animal while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. ==

    Glad we’re laser-focused on the priorities.


  2. - cermak_rd - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    If we can get recent college (and I think most student loans are paid off in 10 years post graduation) grads to buy property in IL and set down roots here then heck yeah! I see no problem with incentivizing such. Those folks are likelier to have higher incomes and thus will pay more down the road.


  3. - Publius - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 2:52 pm:

    @ Jeanne Ives it’s called representative democracy. We did have a voice and it is called elections. I assume those who were elected ran on it and passed the bill. Sounds like a good idea better than just a simple loan repayment plan. We could do like Switzerland and have direct democracy and we could all get tons of mail and we vote bills directly but I don’t think most people would go for that. Most people seem to think they want to do that but don’t want to have to read up on things.


  4. - Nuke The Whales - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    Republicans have created programs to forgive student debt if the student opts to basically homestead in a rural, declining area. When an Illinois Democrat does it to stop the out-migration Republican complain about? The horror.

    It amazes me how the Republicans have just come to define themselves oppositionally to anything Democrats do/are perceived to do and amazes me even more Democrats aren’t better at using that reflex against Republicans.


  5. - Back to the Future - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 3:06 pm:

    I noticed the bill to kick the can down the road on funding Police and Fire pension funds.
    I thought consolidation would solve the funding problem, but it looks like the same old same old approach of pushing funding out another decade.
    Not sure how this will effect funds that may be poorly funded, but it can not help.
    Just some more debt for the kids and grandkids to pick up.


  6. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    ===Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday to make it a felony offense if a person kills or injures a police animal while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.===

    Quit creating legislation that reinforces the idea that cops are better than the people they serve.

    It wasn’t enough for police officers to believe they’re better than other people. It wasn’t enough for them to be able to commit crimes with impunity. It wasn’t enough for their code of silence to protect them from being held accountable.

    Now the police want their dogs to be better than your dogs too.

    Drunk driver hits your car and causes the death of your beloved pet? Nah, that’s fine. Your beloved pet is just a piece of property. What if it’s a service dog? Nah, that’s fine. It’s just a piece of property.

    But if you hit an animal that’s owned by a police department? Nope. That’s a felony.

    This bill wants police dogs to be better than your dogs.

    Meanwhile every day in this country the police continue to needlessly shoot dogs for sport because there’s no punishment for them to shoot your dog and it doesn’t matter what your dog was doing or where your dog was at, or if they have the wrong house.

    They will kill your beloved family pet. They will just kill your dog intentionally and maliciously for sport — and you should just be grateful they didn’t kill you or any of your human family members because they can do that too.

    But accidentally kill one of their dogs? Oh no. That needs to be a felony.

    I would say this bill is a joke, but it’s too detached from the reality of police culture to matter and so here you have a state legislator pandering to make it a felony to accidentally kill a police dog.

    A police dog is a piece of public property just like your dog is your property.

    Police dogs don’t deserve better rights than your pets.

    Police dogs don’t deserve better rights than your children.

    The fact that this passed the legislature is a travesty and an insult.

    A person employed as a police officer does not deserve better rights than people who are not police officers.

    A dog owned by a police organization does not deserve better rights than a dog owned by someone else.


  7. - Homebody - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    Regarding the police canine DUI bill: I’m generally against laws that criminalize outcomes worse than behavior. You shouldn’t get a randomly assigned punishment for your DUI depending on whether or not the parked car you hit happened to have a police dog in the back.

    Punish offenders based on the culpability of their actions. DUI is inherently dangerous and should be taken seriously, but escalator provisions outside the control of the offender are just bad laws.


  8. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    In reflection, I may be undervaluing how difficult it is to train a dog to falsely indicate a positive for drugs when the driver is non-white. Maybe that’s why this was a bill that needed to be passed.


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