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Local pension boards lose anti-consolidation court case

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background

In 2019, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 101-0610, which required downstate police and firefighter local pension funds’ assets to be consolidated into statewide funds for investment purposes. Since then, the Firefighters Pension Investment Fund (FPIF) and the Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund (IPOPIF) have geared up to receive those investment funds and go to work. Recently, however, the consolidation encountered its first legal challenge—a class action lawsuit claiming Public Act 101-0610 unconstitutional.

On February 23, 2021, eighteen police and firefighter pension funds, as well as individual active and retired members of these funds, filed a complaint against Governor Pritzker, the two new consolidated pension investment funds, and others in the Kane County Circuit Court. The plaintiffs are seeking to certify the lawsuit as a class action. If successful, the lawsuit’s outcome would apply to every downstate police and firefighter pension fund in Illinois.

The 22-page complaint alleges the consolidation violates three provisions of the Illinois Constitution: (1) the Pension Protection Clause; (2) the Contracts Clause; and (3) the Takings Clause. However, each of these claims revolve around the same general premise. The plaintiffs claim that they “had a contractual and enforceable right to exclusively manage and control their investment expenditures and income, including interest dividends, capital gains, and other distributions on investments,” which the consolidation has infringed upon.

There are hundreds of these local pension boards in this state.

* The judge finally shot it all down today

Traditional Voting Rights Claims are Not at Issue. … The main distinction between the case at bar and the aforementioned cases is that those cases involved traditional “voters rights” claims such as procedural due process, equal protection, constitutional vagueness, improper delegation of legislative authority, and other guarantees found in the United States and Illinois Constitutions. […]

Voting is Not Presently a “Benefit” under the Pension Clause. … In this case, the Court finds that it cannot extend the term “benefits” beyond the reach of prior Illinois Supreme Court cases (that this Court is aware of) to find the challenged legislation unconstitutional against the Pension Clause’s protections. […]

The Takings Clause is Not Implicated. … In this case, Plaintiffs Takings Clause claim cannot be tied to real property as required under Illinois’ taking clause jurisprudence. Although, money damages can be sought in a takings clause claim, there are no allegations or evidence presented that Plaintiffs currently drawing their pension benefit have suffered a present or will suffer a future loss in benefit payment. […]

For all the aforementioned reasons, the cross motions for summary judgment are decided in favor of Defendants and against Plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs’ cross motion for summary judgment is denied.

  5 Comments      


Former Rep. Arroyo sentenced to 57 months in prison

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Click here for a very good thread on today’s hearing…


  7 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Democrats in Illinois delegation press for answers from Census Bureau

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

DURBIN, DUCKWORTH, DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF ILLINOIS DELEGATION URGE CENSUS BUREAU TO INCORPORATE INCREASED POPULATION COUNT IN FEDERAL DATA AND FUNDING DECISIONS

The Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey shows that Illinois likely was undercounted at a rate of 1.97 percent in the 2020 Census, potentially negatively impacting federal funding over the next decade

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today led 13 Democratic members of the Illinois delegation in sending a letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert L. Santos urging him to incorporate the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) data into the 2020 Decennial Census after Illinois was shown likely to have been undercounted at a rate of 1.97 percent. The 2020 Census is projected to have undercounted Illinois by 250,000, which inaccurately reflects Illinois’ roughly 13 million residents – the highest the state has ever recorded. In addition to today’s letter, Durbin is working to convene the Illinois delegation for a meeting with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Director Santos in the near future to discuss the delegation’s asks and the correction of the Census’ miscount of Illinois.

“We are writing in regard to the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey (PES), which found that Illinois likely was undercounted at a rate of 1.97% in the 2020 Decennial Census. With this knowledge comes the striking fact that Illinois did not lose residents, but rather, the State’s population is now at its largest in history with about 13 million residents. We are concerned about how this undercount may affect the people of Illinois,” wrote the lawmakers.

As a result of the error, Illinois is in danger of losing valuable federal funding over the next ten years. The Census is used to allocate roughly $1.5 trillion, through about 100 programs including Medicaid, SNAP, Medicare Part B, Highway Planning and Construction, and Pell grants.

“As such, we would like to learn how the findings within the PES will be used going forward, in both allocation of federal funding and in preparation for the next Decennial Census. As you know, Census Bureau data determines how $1.5 trillion of federal funding will be allocated over the course of a decade. Illinoisans rely on roughly 100 programs that use this data to allocate funding, particularly for health care, nutrition assistance, and education programs, among others,” the lawmakers continued.

The lawmakers went on to ask Director Santos what corrective actions the Census Bureau will take to ensure that Illinois receives equitable federal funding based on its true population.

The lawmakers asked, “Any federal entities disregarding Illinois’ revised population estimate in determining these funding allocations could have grave consequences for those affected by such underfunding. As such, we request a response to the following questions no later than June 15.

    1. How does the Census Bureau plan to incorporate the PES findings into data products that inform federal funding allocations?
    a. What the timeline is for doing so?

    2. Will the Bureau commit to ensuring that all of its federal partners understand any errors that may have occurred during the Decennial Census, including Illinois’ estimated undercount, so that they may have full knowledge to inform their funding allocation decisions?

    3. Will the Bureau commit to taking into account the PES projections in its yearly Population Estimates following the Decennial Census?
    a. Further, how will the Bureau ensure Illinois does not receive anything less than its fair and full share of federal funding over the next decade?”

House members joining Durbin and Duckworth on the letter include Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Sean Casten (D-IL-6), Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL-1), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL-4), Bradley Schneider (D-IL-10), Marie Newman (D-IL-3), Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), and Robin L. Kelly (D-IL-2).

No Republicans?

Anyway, the letter is here.

*** UPDATE *** I asked Sen. Durbin’s spokesperson if the Republican members were asked to join the letter…

Hi, Rich! Yes – IL Republicans were asked if they’d like to join the letter. They declined.

Oh, for crying out loud.

  18 Comments      


Today’s numbers: 213 and 14

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* NPR

Today is Day 145 of the year, and the country has already experienced 213 mass shootings so far. Two hundred and thirteen such attacks in 21 weeks. This averages out to about 10 a week.

The tally comes from the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, excluding the shooter. The full list of mass shootings in 2022 can be found here.

14 of those mass shootings this year were in Illinois. Of those, 10 were in Chicago. The non-Chicago shootings were in Elgin (April 10), Joliet (Feb. 15), Romeoville (Feb. 6) and Peoria (Jan. 1). Illinois has about 4 percent of the US population, yet we had 6.6 percent of the mass shootings. Chicago has 0.8 percent of the US population and had 4.7 percent of the nation’s mass shootings so far this year.

  32 Comments      


Campaign notebook

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Dan Proft’s People Who Play By The Rules PAC reported another contribution from Dick Uihlein last night. This one’s for $3.27 million. That brings Uihlein’s total to just a hair under $8.1 million.

* Politico

Gov. JB Pritzker has been working behind the scenes to get allies on the Democratic State Central Committee, and now he’s going public with a full endorsement, backing longtime lobbyist Liz Brown-Reeves of Springfield for the 15th Congressional District seat on the committee. “Liz Brown-Reeves has decades of experience working with Illinois Democrats and is committed to fighting for our shared values,” Pritzker said in a statement. Brown-Reeves faces Democrat Katherine Daniels of Quincy.

Not mentioned is that Bill Houlihan is supporting Daniels. Houlihan and Sen. Dick Durbin helped engineer the election of Robin Kelly as party chair. It’s all one thing. Click here for Brown-Reeves’ first mailer, which features Pritzker. She’s raised about $19K so far, but this is from her press release…

Senator Doris Turner, former State Representative Julie Curry and former Senator Andy Manar are hosting a fundraiser in support of Liz’s campaign on May 25th from 5:00-7:00 pm at Stonegate Farm (4491 Old Chatham Road) in Springfield

Expect a check from the governor soonish. Daniels has reported raising $2,600.

* From Mike Miletich

A concerned Chicago resident filed a complaint against Aurora mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign for governor Thursday, citing a violation of the Campaign Disclosure Act. William Cook submitted documents to the Illinois State Board of Elections stating Irvin has repeatedly failed to identify billionaire Ken Griffin as a sponsoring entity for his campaign.

Under the law, a sponsoring entity is any person, organization, corporation or association contributing at least 33% of a political committee’s total funding during a quarterly reporting period. Cook explained that the law also states political committees must amend the statement of organization documents to identify a sponsoring entity if they pass the 33% threshold. […]

He also explained that the law states candidates could be liable for a penalty of up to $5,000 for filing a false statement of organization. In fact, the penalty for violating Article 9 of the Illinois election code is between $1,000 to $5,000 and could be subject to criminal liability. Cook noted that it could also lead to Irvin being found guilty of a business offense under the state’s unified code of corrections. […]

Board spokesperson Matt Dietrich said members could determine the complaint was filed on justifiable grounds and order Irvin’s committee to file an amended D-1. Although, the board could also order the campaign to ensure that they properly identify any sponsoring entities in the future.

Irvin reported raising $22.8 million, and $20 million of that was from Ken Griffin, or 88 percent, which is well above the threshold.

* Richard Irvin talked about his pension reform plan last night

What we have to do is look at forming, like every other corporation throughout this country, look at doing a 401K pension hybrid. So, as more folks go into the pension system, they don’t create the burden that continues to dig this $130 billion hole that we’re in today

* This is a good piece

Thirty-five years ago, 17-year-old Richard Irvin pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and trespassing for his involvement in stealing a tire from an auto wrecker’s yard to fix a flat.

Now mayor of Aurora and a Republican candidate for governor, Irvin on Tuesday called the experience a life-changing one. “I knew I had to create a different outcome for myself,” he said.

A central theme of Irvin’s campaign has been his evolution from a hardscrabble childhood living in high-crime Section 8 housing with his single mom in Aurora to serving in Operation Desert Storm with the U.S. Army and earning a law degree.

The tire theft “was the first time I directly had a brush with the law,” Irvin said Tuesday. He disclosed the charges in an answer to a candidate questionnaire from the Daily Herald, which also reviewed court records.

* CD6…

Today, U.S. Congressman Sean Casten’s campaign issued a statement once again calling on Congresswoman Marie Newman to publicly release the details of her settlement with Iymen Chehade, after Newman’s campaign posted a deceptive webpage misleading voters on the facts surrounding her bipartisan ethics investigation in her first detailed public statement about the investigation to date.

Casten for Congress Spokesman Jacob Vurpillat released the following statement:
“In her first detailed public statement about her bipartisan ethics investigation, Rep. Newman has repeatedly misled voters – no less than seven times in just a few short paragraphs. Instead of providing voters and the press with the transparency and honesty they deserve, Rep. Newman has attempted to deceive the people of the 6th District in hopes of downplaying the severity of her bribery scandal.

“For months, Rep. Newman has claimed that information will emerge that will discredit her bipartisan federal ethics investigation. Yet, with voting already underway in the Illinois 6th Congressional District primary, she has continued to mislead the public.

“Rep. Newman can and should clear this all up today. Her voters deserve to know: How much of the money entrusted to her by her campaign donors has she promised to pay Iymen Chehade? Has she made any additional promises to pay him with taxpayer-provided funds? Does the settlement provide Mr. Chehade with any input on her policy positions or impact on her votes, as suggested may be the case based on her email exchanges with Mr. Chehade? What did Mr. Chehade commit to provide Congresswoman Newman in exchange for the cash payments?

“Out of respect for voters, Congresswoman Newman should immediately release the details of the secret settlement at the heart of her bribery scandal.”

* From an interview of GOP secretary of state candidate Rep. Dan Brady

Brady said he also hears concerns from voters about election integrity. That’s an issue Republicans are trying to seize on in Secretary of State races across the country. Brady said in Illinois, the Secretary of State has little power over elections, except for motor voter registration.

Brady said he would like to offload that to local election authorities. “I don’t know that the documentation, the registration process is as thorough as it should be. I would like to see the emphasis shifted to organ and tissue donation and try to improve our numbers there,” Brady said.

The original idea of motor voter was to make it easier to register to vote and offering that service at Secretary of State offices provides broader access to registration because most adults use those facilities. Republicans in many states have tried to limit motor voter. Brady said he could be open to a partnership with local election authorities.

Not sure how Motor Voter would be handled by locals. If Brady does win the primary, he’s just opened himself up to criticism in the general.

* LBG…

Lake County Democrats Chair and Democratic State Central Committeewoman Lauren Beth Gash released the following statement in response to the Lake Villa Township Republican Club’s latest “Gun Raffle” being held as the nation mourns the victims of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas:

“It is stunning that Republicans would hold a raffle that glorifies AR-15 type weapons amid a nationwide gun violence epidemic, let alone after the massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde. Since they refuse to help Democrats pass common sense gun safety reforms, canceling this offensive gun raffle is literally the least Lake County Republicans can do. This raffle is in devastatingly poor taste. They should show compassion and leadership and do the right thing, but it seems that we can always count on Republicans in Lake County to do the wrong thing.

“It appears that these Lake County Republicans only registered this highly irresponsible raffle after concerned citizens informed them of their obligation to do so. Blatant violations of well-established and commonly understood campaign finance regulations might be considered standard impropriety for today’s Republican Party under normal circumstances, but these are not normal circumstances, and this is not a normal raffle. In fact, circumstances have been anything but normal for decades with respect to gun violence in America.

“Preventable gun violence and the horrors it produces for American parents, families, and children should not be accepted as some inevitable, incidental consequence of a constitutional right to bear arms. Mass murders are preventable, and their preventability hinges on curbing inappropriate access to firearms. The Lake Villa GOP’s flippant hand-out of deadly weapons meant for quickly killing people is shocking on multiple grounds—and, if continued, is an active and ongoing threat to the safety and security of Lake Villa’s families and children, as recent tragic events in Texas and Buffalo demonstrate. Firearms—as any responsible gun owner knows and clearly agrees with—should not be distributed in the same manner as stuffed animals at a carnival.”

Last week on Facebook, the Lake Villa Township Republican Club announced their latest “Gun Raffle.” Source: https://www.facebook.com/LVGOP/

* CD17…

Former state representative and 17th District Democratic Congressional Candidate Litesa Wallace on Wednesday called on Republican frontrunner Esther Joy King to join her in supporting a federal ban on the type of military-style assault weapons used in yesterday’s massacre of schoolchildren in Uvalde, Tex.

In a tweet yesterday, King offered nonspecific “prayers” for children slain by a gunman who reportedly used an AR-15-style weapon to murder 19 children.

Wallace also called on King to return and refuse any money from the nation’s gun lobby.

In statement, Wallace said:

    “Whenever there is a mass shooting of the kind we are seeing unfold in Uvalde or in Buffalo, we hear Republicans offer their “thoughts and prayers” and yesterday was no different. I believe in prayer, too. I was on the campus of NIU in 2008 during a mass shooting, and I prayed then. I prayed after my best friend was shot and killed in 2001. But we know thoughts and prayers are hardly enough.

    “Enough empty words. It’s time for action. That’s why I’m calling on Esther Joy King to join me in supporting a total federal ban on assault weapons. There is no historical Constitutional argument for owning these weapons of mass destruction. And every day we see the danger of allowing them in our communities.

    “I’m also calling on Ms. King to refuse and return any contributions from the gun lobby. Guns are now the leading cause of death in children and that owes much to the blood-drenched money of the NRA and their lobby.

    “Please, Ms. King, do more than just think about this problem. Do more than pray for the dead. Join me in supporting action.”

* More…

* Simon Institute research tracks Illinois political shift: “Biden, Trump, Durbin and Taxes: The 2020 Election in Illinois” can be downloaded at https://paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/publications/simon-review.php

  18 Comments      


Protected: *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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ILGOP dumps on Illinois

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* ILGOP…

Crain’s Chicago: Illinois loses again as Samsung chooses Indiana for battery factory

In the least surprising news of the week, it was announced that Illinois has missed out on a new large manufacturing employer that chose to locate just an hour’s drive from the Illinois border in Kokomo, Indiana.

Crain’s

    “…South Korean battery manufacturer Samsung and vehicle producer Stellantis today announced that they’ll build a $2.5 billion factory in Kokomo, Ind., about an hour’s drive east of the Illinois state line.

    The two companies and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said the facility would create 1,500 jobs, with the total cost potentially rising to more than $3 billion.

    Illinois last year had made a run at the plant, which could serve Stellantis’ Belvidere plant. Insiders say the state fell out of the race awhile ago, and the Kokomo facility will be close enough to Belvidere to serve that factory if it is converted to EV production.”

This news comes on the heels of Illinois Democrats crowing about the US Census undercounting Illinois population over the previous decade while ignoring concrete IRS data showing over 100,000 Illinoisans fled the state in 2020 alone.

For Illinois Democrats like Governor JB Pritzker, crafting an alternate reality in which Illinois is actually a healthy state that employers and people want to move to is easier than acknowledging and addressing our highest in the nation taxes, rampant violent crime, and notoriously corrupt state government.

* Meanwhile, from the Economist

For passengers arriving at the rather faded terminals at Chicago O’Hare, it may not feel like it. But as of last year they are landing at America’s most important port, measured by value of trade. In the north-eastern corner of the airport, a stately if ageing Korean Boeing 747 lands and within ten minutes moves into position outside a giant warehouse. On board, bound in plastic and cord, are 115 tonnes of cargo—mostly consumer electronics, but also pharmaceuticals, food and more. In an hour it will be unloaded, and will soon be on trucks heading around the country. If the cargo is worth the average of cargo processed at O’Hare, that one flight will have brought $14m of imports into America. […]

In 2021, reckons usTradenumbers.com, a website, goods worth roughly $305bn passed through O’Hare, about 6.6% of American trade. It is far from being the port that receives most goods by volume (that is Los Angeles) or even the busiest airport (Anchorage’s moves more goods). But the 2.5m tonnes moved through Chicago is made up of far pricier stuff.

Though they are designed in California and assembled in China, it is Chicago where almost all Apple’s products arrive in America. So, too, do aeroplane engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce in Britain, car parts made in Japan and sensitive medicines synthesised in India. Products from midwestern factories, such as two enormous hotel-kitchen ovens destined for Singapore, are loaded up for the journey out (flying things out to Asia costs a tenth of what bringing things in does).

The pandemic has boosted the airport’s freight business. Before covid-19, people said that “bellies [of passenger jets] are taking over the world, we don’t need freighters”, notes Shawn McWhorter, the boss in America of Nippon Cargo Airlines, a Japanese firm. For Chicago, where most flights are domestic, that was not so positive. But when people stopped flying because of the pandemic, the cargo holds of passenger planes were no longer available. Instead, more freight has been flown into specialised cargo terminals, like the one in Chicago. Since 2019 the amount moved through O’Hare has increased by 47% in value, and almost as much in volume.

And because much of Asia is still restricting travel, the boom is continuing.

* Related…

* An eerily prescient 1997 prediction from the US Census Bureau

  78 Comments      


Why was Rotering given “Not Recommended” rating by the state bar?

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I pulled up the Illinois State Bar Association’s judicial evaluations today to check on some things, and I noticed that the “Narrative” section was blank next to the ISBA’s “Not Recommended” rating of Illinois Supreme Court Democratic candidate Nancy Rotering. So, I asked the Bar Association to explain why Rotering received such low marks…

When there is no explanation accompanying a “Not Recommended” rating that means that the candidate did participate in the evaluation process, but that the Committee rated him/her “Not Recommended” based on its investigations and interview. The basis of the Committee’s “Not Recommended” rating is confidential.

Hmm.

Judge Liz Rochford was the only Democratic candidate to receive a “Highly Recommended” rating. Republicans Susan Hutchinson and Daniel B. Shanes also received that rating. The worry among some Democrats is that if Rotering wins the primary, she could have real problems in the general if one of those two highly rated Republicans is victorious.

Rotering has reported raising a bit over $180K this year, with about half of that in loans to herself.

Rochford has raised $137K just since the current quarter began last month. She started this quarter with $246K in the bank, and reported $89K in debt from two 2021 loans. That isn’t a ton of cash for a district which includes DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry counties.

The race has attracted very little news media attention.

* There’s a similar worry in the 3rd Appellate District where Democrat Sonni Choi Williams is rated as “Not Recommended” (and also went through the evaluation process), but the lone Republican candidate, Liam Christopher Brennan, is “Highly Recommended.” Another Democrat, James Murphy, is rated as “Recommended.”

* In the 5th Appellate District, Judge Mike McHaney was rated as “Not Recommended.” McHaney was the judge who gave Darren Bailey a court win back in 2020. He infamously yakked from the bench about his constitutional right to fish. McHaney participated in the evaluation process. Republican Barry Vaughan was the only candidate in the race to receive a “Recommended” rating. Democrat Brian Roberts submitted his information to the ISBA late and received a “Not Recommended” rating. Maybe Roberts can get his act together for the fall campaign, but it not matter, considering the district.

Thoughts?

  28 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Irvin campaign walks back, clarifies debate remarks on eliminating gasoline sales tax

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Last night, Richard Irvin said he would get rid of the sales tax on gasoline

* Transcript

Mary Ann Ahern: Should we get rid of the gas tax altogether? But then how do you fund road improvements? Mr. Irvin?

Richard Irvin: Well, there’s two portions of the gas tax: One that goes straight to road improvements and the other portion that goes to our General Fund. We can get rid of the portion that goes to our General Fund and still allow the road improvements and infrastructure to continue.

Mary Ann Ahern: Get rid of it all together.

Richard Irvin: Absolutely. Give some relief to our residents here in the state of Illinois.

OK, the problem with this idea is that the state sales tax revenues on fuel are being transitioned over time to the Road Fund. In the coming fiscal year, that amounts to about $230 million, according to the governor’s office. That number gets higher every year until all of the state revenues from the sales tax on fuel are sent to the Road Fund. So, if you “get rid” of the non-road portion of sales tax revenues, you’d have to increase the sales tax on fuel every year to make sure the Road Fund got all the money coming to it. Also, a portion will still go to local governments even with this planned revenue switch, so what do you do about them?

* I reached out to Operating Engineers Local 150, which has endorsed Irvin in the primary and has been a stalwart defender of Road Fund revenues…

In his response, Mayor Irvin was quick to defend the importance of Illinois’ motor fuel tax and its critical role in maintaining Illinois’ infrastructure.

Local 150 opposes reducing or eliminating the sales tax on gasoline. Part of the most recent capital improvement plan was the gradual shift of sales tax revenue from the General Revenue Fund to the Road Fund, so reducing or eliminating the sales tax would negatively affect the overall safety of Illinois’ infrastructure.

We will work with Mayor Irvin to ensure that he and his team are familiar with the nuances of Illinois’ infrastructure funding sources and the importance of protecting these investments.

* The Irvin campaign explained today that what the candidate actually meant to say was that he supported a bill sponsored earlier this year by his running mate

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) introduced House Bill 5723, which looks to cap the sales tax on gas at 18 cents per gallon for motor fuel, with 80 percent of that amount for gasohol and biodiesel blends.

Local governments might not like that idea, unless they’re made whole. And that’ll cost money.

And, it likely has the effect of cutting money that is supposed to go to the Road Fund.

*** UPDATE *** From Local 150…

We oppose that legislation and the concept of capping revenue streams set aside for infrastructure improvement. While most inflationary discussions focus on the consumer price index, construction costs are more closely tied to the producer price index, which is rising at more than twice the rate of the CPI. The state’s goal has been to make long-term sustainable investments in the safety of our infrastructure, and the spirit of the last capital spending plan was enabling revenues to keep up with rising costs, which is why the motor fuel tax is now indexed to inflation. Many parties worked tirelessly earlier this spring to find a revenue-neutral way to postpone that inflationary increase in order to provide temporary relief to taxpayers, yet lawmakers determined that keeping revenue in line with costs is a priority, so that inflationary increase will go into effect after the temporary revenue-neutral plan expires. Simply capping revenues without a plan to offset the losses to the Road Fund is not a responsible approach.

So, the walk-back and clarification just led to more problems with Local 150. Notice, however, there’s no mention of Irvin in that statement.

* Related…

* VIDEO: Rep. Batinick Solutions for High Gas Prices

  44 Comments      


Celebrate Illinois Statesmanship

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Advertising Department

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We created the Simon-Edgar Statesmanship Award to shine a spotlight on remarkable public service that is taking place in our state and local communities. Please join us as we celebrate the Prairie State’s best traditions. Nominate an Illinois statesperson by June 1.

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Bailey alleges another Irvin debate setup

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

The split forums occurred even though candidates typically resolve differences over televised debates. But in this case the dueling debates occurred when Bailey, Rabine and Sullivan agreed to appear at WGN, which made its invitation before NBC. Irvin accepted the later NBC offer but Bailey, Rabine and Sullivan kept their commitment to WGN.

But Irvin said Wednesday he would appear at a June 2 League of Women Voters on ABC-Ch. 7. Bailey’s campaign said the downstate senator had a conflict for that date and urged the station to select a new date.

* Politico

Irvin agreed to attend a June 2 League of Women Voters forum on ABC 7, the same day Bailey already committed to a Northwest Suburban GOP Lincoln Day Dinner. Coincidence?

Info on that dinner is here.

* From a Richard Irvin campaign press release…

Unsurprisingly, JB Pritzker’s candidate for governor — tax hiker Darren Bailey — attended the children’s debate with military imposter Jesse Sullivan, to avoid a side-by-side comparison to Irvin’s conservative record of accomplishment.

* Sen. Darren Bailey campaign statement…

What else do you expect from the failed establishment backing a basement Democrat, but downright lies. Irvin knows that our campaign and other campaigns committed to the Northwest Suburban Lincoln Day Dinner over 3 weeks ago and paid to help sponsor and speak on this date. He knows because he declined. The ABC date was presented to us as a tentative date. We have reached out to ABC and would love for them to move the date so we can further expose Irvin for the corrupt, lying mini-Mike Madigan he is. Darren Bailey is the true conservative to take on Pritzker and win in November and we proved that last night during the main card debate.

* Roundup…

* Debate showdown: Illinois GOP candidates for governor split up during competing debates: Meanwhile, Bailey said Critical Race Theory and sexual education for young children have no place in Illinois schools. Bailey noted that he stood up against both while serving in Springfield and he would fire the state superintendent of schools if elected as governor. “They have failed our children egregiously. CRT was written into the rules. CRT can be written out of the rules,” Bailey said. “Government needs to be pulled out of our schools. Get the unfunded mandates out of the way and let local school boards and parents come together and decide how they want to educate their children in their schools.” Although, the Illinois State Board of Education and countless lawmakers have confirmed Illinois is not teaching Critical Race Theory.

* Illinois’ Republican gubernatorial candidates face off in debates: “You’ve got to stop by addressing it it head on- what I call the “3 Cs”, children, cops, community. Focus on getting kids in a more positive program and off the streets, because kids are the ones committing most of the crimes,” candidate Richard Irvin said. “We need mentorship and fatherhood programs that we need to be funding in the way Ron Desantis did down in Florida. What I see constantly on the crime side is a lack of enforcement of our laws and our lack of enforcement of police,” Jesse Sullivan added. Many said Illinois’ recent police and criminal justice reform are part of the problem. “We have to have a restore authority to police. It’s proven that crime is curbed with more active police force. And crime is out of control in the state of Illinois,” Darren Bailey said Tuesday night.

* GOP gubernatorial debates: Irvin more elusive than lesser known rivals Schimpf and Solomon: During a rapid-fire “yes or no,” segment, Max Solomon and Paul Schimpf agreed that the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 were not an “insurrection.” But Richard Irvin touted his credentials as a lawyer and said, “I don’t think it’s a ‘yes or no’ question.” … Ahern tried again, “So if you vote for a Republican, why did you vote for Trump?” “As I said, as I drive around the state,” Irvin continued, prompting Ahern to interject, “I guess you didn’t.”

* Illinois GOP governor candidates address gun violence and crime in competing debates following Texas mass shooting: State Sen. Darren Bailey of downstate Xenia called Chicago “a crime-ridden, corrupt, dysfunctional hellhole” when asked about gun violence. “Let’s just call it what it is,” said Bailey, who once co-sponsored legislation to split Chicago from the rest of the state. “And no one knows that better than the friends and the people that live in Chicago. Something’s wrong. City leaders, they hate the police.”

* Three GOP Candidates Vying for Illinois Governor Weigh in on Gun Control: Mayor Irvin: “I can’t imagine, as a father, what those parents are going through today, as they have to mourn the these young lives that that hadn’t lived yet. And I couldn’t help but to think when I sat at my office on that cold day, in February, when I my Chief of Staff walked in and said there had been a mass shooting in the city of Aurora where five workers had been killed. And five police officers shot many of the police officers shot very seriously. And remember going to the funerals and seeing the pain on the parents face at the loss of their adult children. And I can’t imagine, after seeing that pain of those parents, what the pain of the of these children, these little kids must feel this horrific act of violence. We need a governor who’s going to stand up and fight against these acts. We need a governor who’s going to stand strong, and make sure that not only we heal after this, these events that seem to be happening so much throughout our country day in and day out, where we’re comparing one violent act to another, we have to make sure that we support our police and, and we support our neighbors and our families and our friends and these these school children that we don’t allow, we don’t allow weapons to get into the hands of criminals and those with mental illnesses. And as governor, I will take a strong stance to ensure that we do what’s necessary to protect ourselves. We’ve got to do what we need to do to bring our community together to show that we’re not going to allow senseless acts of violence to define who we are as Americans. Our Illinois.”

* Republican candidates for Illinois governor face off in 2 forums, attacks focus on Richard Irvin: “People in Illinois right now are ready for somebody that is not beholden to insiders, somebody that does not have a billionaire benefactor,” Schimpf said. … “The fact is we’ve got to address crime head on,” Irvin said. “You don’t simply address it by coming up with kneejerk rules; let’s have a curfew, that’s not gonna stop crime.”

* GOP gubernatorial debate: Bailey, Sullivan, Rabine rip Chicago in WGN debate: “Electing Richard Irvin into this seat would be no different than allowing Mike Madigan to serve as governor,” Bailey said. “Richard Irvin is a mini Mike Madigan.” Rabine said he wasn’t surprised Irvin declined. “I think this is tough, for a person that’s a Democrat, to actually be debating in a Republican atmosphere,” Rabine said, referring to questions over Irvin’s past voting record. Sullivan hammered Irvin for past statements supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. “He was someone who stood proudly and strongly for Black Lives Matter. That’s trying to disintegrate the family unit in our state. I hold the exact opposite views,” Sullivan said, quickly following up by saying he supports “the principle of Black Lives Matter, of course,” but not the political organization.

  30 Comments      


Today’s quotable

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* WTTW

[Cynthia Buckley a sociologist at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and a self-described census nerd who uses her demographer skills to dig into the data] said any claim that residents are flocking in or out of Illinois based on a particular administration or policy is “balderdash.”

“The Midwest as a whole is not growing as fast as the Sunbelt. And so unless either the Democrats or the independents can do something about preventing the next polar vortex, I have a real strong suspicion that these claims of ‘we’re doing it right so people are moving in, we’re doing it wrong so people are moving out’ are quite overblown,” Buckley said.

  38 Comments      


Open thread

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Have at it, but please try to keep your comments to Illinois topics. Thanks.

  36 Comments      


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