Our Miss Brooks.
John Stewart famously called state government the meth lab of democracy.
Yesterday the Illinois General Assembly acted more like my old high school pal who spent our senior year and most of his freshman year at UC Berkeley stoned on reefer and on the couch watching day-time reruns of Our Miss Brooks.
This was less about class warfare than it was about cutting class.
It’s early in the morning as I write this. I have fed and let Ulysses out. Anne is not up yet. I’ve made my morning coffee and watched the Youtube of Ken Davis’ show with Ben Joravsky, Mick Dumke and Matt Farmer.
Funny guys. But why doesn’t Ken invite me on anymore? Even Joan Rivers has finally been asked back on The Tonight Show.
I mention about it being early because I am not exactly sure all of what happened in Springfield yesterday.
I was not feeling all that well the last 24 hours, so I decided not to take the bus or drive down for the Better Illinois Lobby Day for a graduated income tax.
Apparently my failure to get on a bus to Springfield led to the Illinois House killing the Fair Tax bill. At least the IEA leadership won’t blame me, as they blamed me for the Dillard loss in the Republican primary.
Senator Don Harmon’s version of a fair tax is still alive in the Senate. Since the House version didn’t pass, Harmon’s Senate version is not expected to survive a vote in the House even if it passes the Senate.
Mike Madigan’s Millionaire’s Tax did get voted out of committee. This proposal appears to be more of a gift to Quinn’s election campaign than a real proposal, and seemed to provide a handful of House Dems a reason to vote against an actual Fair Tax.
But maybe I’m just cynical.
Although it is hard to be cynical when I talk about Madman Madigan.
My cynicism is his reality.
The GA adjourned at noon yesterday at about the same time as the Fair Tax lobbying folks were filling the Capitol Rotunda for a rally. Legislators don’t return until April Fool’s Day.
As for the Charter Commission and the bills to do away with it, or at least its powers to over-rule local school board power to authorize or not authorize them?
Jim Broadway writes this morning even earlier than me:
Even though the House and Senate had been scheduled to be in session today – and even though today is the “deadline day” for committee action on chamber-of-origin bills on both sides of the rotunda – the legislators passed HJR 88 on Thursday and headed for the highways. They won’t be back at work until Tuesday (April Fool’s Day).
What that means is that most bills remaining in House committees, as well as most still in Senate committees, can be considered almost dead – and “almost” only because bills never die for sure until the General Assembly comes to an end. (For the 98th General Assembly, that magical day will arrive on January 13, 2015.)
So if you liked any of the bills that have not yet reached the floor of the House or Senate, you have our condolences. If you didn’t like a bill that is still in committee, congratulations – it’s most likely dead.
As of yesterday I was told that the Charter Commission bills were being held up by Democratic Senators Dan Biss and my own Senator Iris Martinez.
I was also told that our efforts to contact Senator Martinez resulted in her secretary answering a lot of phone calls yesterday.
Thanks for that.
I guess I will find out later in the day what happened to the charter bills.
UPDATE: Senator Iris Martinez has told constituents that she supports the Charter Commission bills and is working to keep them from being watered down. It is still in committee.