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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is calling for an end to the Consent Calendar which enables the House leadership to pass hundreds of bills with a single roll call vote.

The Consent Calendar is a list of bills bundled together and voted on in one roll call vote. The list of bills includes ceremonial legislation such as measures to change the name of roads to honor members of the community, but the list also includes substantive legislation. The Illinois Freedom Caucus is issuing the following statement on the need to end the Consent Calendar.

“Any bills that come out of committee with no opposition end up on the Consent Calendar. While a single member can object and have any piece of legislation removed from the Consent Calendar at any time, the truth is the process to remove a bill is unwieldly and it is easy to miss some of the bills because the list of legislation is so long.

There is nothing wrong with voting on ceremonial legislation on a single roll call, but substantive bills need to be stricken from the Consent Calendar. It is certainly easier to vote on hundreds of bills on one roll call vote, but this process is not in the best interest of the people of Illinois. Substantive bills deserve individual roll calls so that members are completely aware of the full implication of their votes. The people of Illinois expect legislators to do their jobs and debating and voting on legislation is part of the job. It is time to stop taking the easy way out. It is time to end the Consent Calendar for substantive legislation.”

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) and Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.

Very on-brand.

* Center Square

One bill in the cue includes amendments. State Sen. Celina Villanueva told a Senate committee earlier this month it has four components.

“The first one being a student loan forgiveness income tax exemption,” she said. “So this is to make sure that the Illinois income taxpayers that are exempt from student loan forgiveness or are getting student loan forgiveness are exempt in case the federal government does not exempt those federal income taxes for that loan forgiveness.” […]

Villanueva’s bill at the Illinois statehouse also allows people with disabilities to be exempt for Illinois income taxes for up to $10,000 in contributions to Achieving a Better Life Experience savings accounts.

Another provision gives $2 million in tax credits for touring Broadway productions.

“As a lover of musicals, this is a good one, because who doesn’t love ‘Wicked’ or ‘Hamilton’ or any of the other wonderful shows that are touring in our state,” she said.

Also included in her bill, Cook County taxpayers get an additional month to pay property taxes without accruing interest.

Subscribers know more.

* The Pantagraph

Last month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined 17 other attorneys general in arguing that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit should affirm a ruling that a North Carolina health care plan violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying gender-confirming care.

Earlier this year, Raoul also joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in opposition to an Alabama law that criminalized gender-confirming care for transgender youth.

While Illinois is not immune to anti-trans proposals — Rep. David Friess, R-Red Bud, filed a trans sports ban bill in 2021 — such bills are not only rare but also nearly impossible to pass considering Democratic supermajorities in both chambers.

In contrast to its neighbors, though, a bill was filed in Illinois’ House earlier this year, known as Health Care Cultural Competency or House Bill 4654. It would “establish cultural competency requirements as part of continuing medical education for a range of health care professionals.”

The bill, which is not expected to be taken to vote during the current session, aims to better equip providers to care for communities that have been historically excluded, including LGBTQ people, people living with HIV, people with disabilities and people of color.

* Crain’s

Illinois Sen. Laura Murphy is leading the way. She introduced legislation that would establish a “recycling refund” program, also known as a beverage container deposit return system. These programs place a fully refundable deposit on beverage containers made from different materials like aluminum, glass, plastic and others. Consumers pay that deposit at the time of purchase, and when they are done with their empty beverage containers, they can return them to convenient redemption locations to obtain their refund. In short, consumers buy the beverage and borrow the container.

At Ardagh Metal Packaging, a leading global supplier of sustainable metal beverage cans with North American headquarters in Chicago, we are supporting such legislation. In fact, we were pleased to recently welcome Murphy and several other state lawmakers to our Chicago beverage can plant to see firsthand how these products are produced and to discuss the importance of capturing the value of beverage cans and increasing the recycling rate in Illinois.

Undoubtedly, it’s time for Illinois to walk the talk on achieving environmental objectives and implementing proven and valuable recycling legislation. Ten states and many countries throughout the world already have recycling refund programs and enjoy consistently high recycling rates. In fact, the Container Recycling Institute found that aluminum beverage cans sold in the U.S. with a deposit are recycled on average at a 77% rate, while aluminum beverage cans sold without a deposit only averaged a 36% rate. The gap calculated for other packaging materials, like plastic and glass bottles, is even greater.

Beyond the increase in recycling rates and the accompanying economic boost and lower greenhouse gas emissions, a recycling refund program would also benefit taxpayers. Consider the potential savings from the need for less litter cleanups. Illinois spends more than $6 million a year on highway litter cleanup, and the Chicago Park District spends another $4.7 million each year picking up trash.

* WICS

Members of the state’s Native American community partnered with state lawmakers to address issues impacting indigenous people.

Plans to introduce legislation to guarantee that native youth can wear cultural regalia during their high school graduation were announced.

This comes after an Evanston Township student was denied his graduation after refusing to take his regalia off. […]

Illinois is home to over 200,000 people who identify as Native American and 150 tribal nations.

* Lame duck legislator files bill in waning days of her term

An Illinois House Democrat has filed a proposal that could prohibit people from using false or misleading statements to affect the outcomes of political campaigns. Rep. Denyse Wang Stoneback (D-Skokie) said Monday that people are exhausted from the misinformation and divisiveness they have seen in recent elections.

She hopes to combat misleading statements and mudslinging by updating the prohibitions and penalties article of the Illinois Election Code. Under her plan, people could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for knowingly and recklessly making, publishing, broadcasting, or circulating false or misleading statements about candidates or elected officials. Anyone violating the change could also be sued civilly.

“All of this disinformation and hateful language is really resulting in disgusted and frustrated voters, that I think we’ve all seen, and it’s causing the public to become distrustful of government and politics in general,” Stoneback said. “This is a dangerous thing for our democracy.”

Stoneback said there are similar laws blocking misinformation and false campaign statements in 27 states. Illinois has a Code of Fair Campaign Practices in place, but it is voluntary. Stoneback noted that her bill would make that ethical practice mandatory for anyone running for office.

I’m guessing it’s voluntary here because the Illinois Constitution sets out the qualifications for running for office. Also

No person shall knowingly and with intent to affect a outcome of a campaign for political office do any of the following: … make a false or misleading statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official

Who’s gonna decide what’s “misleading”?

Sounds like sour grapes.

       

29 Comments
  1. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    ==This comes after an Evanston Township student was denied his graduation after refusing to take his regalia off==

    I’m convinced that one of the required classes for individuals who go to school to train to be school administrators is a class in forgetting common sense.


  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    ===While a single member can object and have any piece of legislation removed from the Consent Calendar at any time,…===

    So any of these Eastern Bloc reps can object to any substantive bills in the Consent Calendar right now? Then why do they want a bill? To solve what problem exactly?

    Oh, but then these freedom caucus types would actually have to read some bills and do some work. Now I see the problem.


  3. - vern - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:41 am:

    === Any bills that come out of committee with no opposition end up on the Consent Calendar. While a single member can object and have any piece of legislation removed from the Consent Calendar at any time, the truth is the process to remove a bill is unwieldly and it is easy to miss some of the bills because the list of legislation is so long.===

    This sheds some light on why they’re always complaining that bills are too long. Legislators are in the reading and writing business. Literacy is kind of necessary. If they can’t even read a list of bill titles, how are they reading actual bills?


  4. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    Freedom Caucus against efficient, streamlined government.


  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    –it is easy to miss some of the bills because the list of legislation is so long.–

    Reading is hard.

    I’m not sure “I’m lazy” is a very good justification for this request.


  6. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    =I’m convinced that one of the required classes for individuals who go to school to train to be school administrators is a class in forgetting common sense.=

    Same for teachers, because there are bad teachers. Same for parents, because there are bad parents.

    So there must be a class or something.


  7. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    Michigan has had a deposit system for decades and it seems to work pretty well. Those metals are becoming precious and there is no reason they should take up landfill space. Also a great way for kids to earn candy money.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:55 am:

    ===The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) and Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.===

    “They’re your problem now, Tony”

    - Jim Durkin, likely

    The theme of this whole post is seemingly…

    “The aggrieved need their moments”

    Winners make policy.

    Winners.


  9. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 9:56 am:

    Iowa has a deposit system. We always rinse our cans and bottles and give them to PAWS (a no-kill animal shelter in the town). They get a lot of cans from people who either don’t want to be bothered with redemption or just want to do a good thing with them.


  10. - Dave Stoner - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    Denyse Stoneback is mad that her voting record was accurately described by the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and that it was revealed that she hired Jennifer Lin despite it being well-known in Evanston (where her husband was public works director) that she had been terminated as HR director for ignoring allegations of rampant sex harassment among city staff.


  11. - Aaron B - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    I would definitely support a system of deposits and refunds to increase recycling. Most people do not care about recycling things until they see a financial incentive to do so.


  12. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    Another provision gives $2 million in tax credits for touring Broadway productions.

    “As a lover of musicals, this is a good one, because who doesn’t love ‘Wicked’ or ‘Hamilton’ or any of the other wonderful shows that are touring in our state,” she said.

    Me for one.

    And personal preference aside, this isn’t Wyoming.

    Illinois has plenty of home-grown theater of all kinds and sizes that I would be much happier to support with $2M in tax credits.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but subsidizing NYC mega-productions which come here and compete for a very limited number of theater patrons’ dollars (”Wicked” tix start at $59; “Hamilton” started at $79) strikes me as unnecessary at best and counterproductive at worst.

    – MrJM


  13. - Jerry - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:13 am:

    Is the Illinois Freedom Caucus the same “caucas” that believes Individuals have the Freedom to make their own healthcare decisions, marry whomever they choose, be free from the violence of guns?


  14. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:16 am:

    What part of consent does the Freedom Caucus (what a misnomer) not understand? I guess a group of whiners can be expected to whine about everything.


  15. - twowaystreet - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:20 am:

    Every Freedom Caucus press release reminds me of a certain monty python character that does things in people’s general direction.

    “Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.”


  16. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    Spare us the beer tax please - Aluminum recycling is currently a huge success. Nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today - Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


  17. - froganon - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    Illinois “Freedom (for some)” Caucus - we need an easier path to slow things down. We’ve lost the masking drama thing. We have nothing of substance to offer. Sub-literacy is hard.


  18. - Teacher Lady - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:48 am:

    No, no, no.
    It’s “queue”
    How are we supposed to take anything they publish seriously if they can’t even spell simple words?


  19. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    “Who’s gonna decide what’s ‘misleading’?”

    [sighs]

    Fine.

    I’ll do it.

    – MrJM


  20. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    =the Illinois Freedom Caucus=

    Cognitive dissonance at it worst. More like Insurrection Caucus.


  21. - Product of the '60's - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    Think until the early ’70’s one paid a deposit on soda bottles, and redeemed them at the local grocery store..don’t think aluminum cans had same deposit requirement. I am all for it again, but where would one take back the bottles/cans? I’m sure grocery stores don’t want to deal with that. Where do they take the empties in Michigan and Iowa?


  22. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    “Think until the early ’70 one paid a deposit on soda bottles”

    until the mid 80’s Liquor stores used to pass along a returnable deposit fee required by brewers on long necks sold in large rectangular 24-pack cases. Same for Pepsi bottles in the 6 packs - heck we used to collect those for boy scouts - take them back to Dominick’s. We would keep the deposit refunds for jamboree.


  23. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:55 am:

    ===Where do they take the empties in Michigan and Iowa?

    Iowa has the stores do it. There are redemption centers, but most stores that sell the cans/bottles have to take them back.


  24. - Aaron B - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===Donnie Elgin

    I notice you say that 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use but you say nothing about recycling aluminum cans. From what I can find only like 45% of the aluminum cans were recycled in the US in 2019 and we can do better than that. Also a deposit is not a tax since you get the money back when you return your cans. Do you complain about the “Aldi tax” too since you need to deposit a quarter in the cart which you get back when you return the cart.


  25. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    ==Who’s going to decide what’s “misleading”?==

    Looks like Rep. Ford’s comment decrying laws that are “gray or blurry” hits the nail on the head in this instance.


  26. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==who doesn’t love ‘Wicked’ or ‘Hamilton’==

    Count me in as a musical lover, but when I see that matinee tickets for the production of ‘Wicked’ in Chicago start at $225 for a balcony seat on the far house right portion of the theater (I just checked), I’m in no mood to support tax breaks for a touring Broadway production.


  27. - Facts Matter - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 3:04 pm:

    The provision of the Senator’s bill that provides that student loan forgiveness is not subject to Illinois income taxation is unnecessary. Federal law already provides that the student loan forgiveness is not subject to federal income taxation. Because Illinois conforms to the current version of the Internal Revenue Code and the proposed Biden student loan forgiveness would not be included in federal adjusted gross income - the starting point for determining Illinois income taxation - it is not included in net income for Illinois income tax purposes. The only way the Illinois provision would have any applicability would be if the federal exclusion was repealed - an unlikely possibility.

    Cynical me thinks it was included in the bill because people who may not favor the $2 million in tax breaks to theaters would not want to vote against giving tax relief to folks who owe student loans and are receiving debt forgiveness.


  28. - Cosgrove - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 4:46 pm:

    The Honorable Kathleen Sances Truth in Politics bill.


  29. - JoanP - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 5:06 pm:

    = Illinois has plenty of home-grown theater of all kinds and sizes that I would be much happier to support with $2M in tax credits. =

    Having been on the board of a small local theatre company, I second this.


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