Posts tagged ‘legislation’

When did it become acceptable to take money from old people?

by , posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Pat Herrmann I first heard Pat Herrmann, a retired art teacher from Wheaton, Illinois, ask the question, “when did it become acceptable to take money from old people?” during a public pension discussion hosted by the DuPage Coffeehouse.  Herrmann is a deep-thinking activist.  The multiple messages on her signs reflect her ability to conduct careful research and see the bigger picture.  Her question about taking money from old people reflects her ability to see the human impact; something lawmakers don’t see.

As the Illinois General Assembly debates how much money they will strip from Illinois teachers’ pensions and President Obama puts deep cuts to Social Security on the table, I was reminded of Hermman’s important question.  If you have not signed the petition to tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off of the table, now would be a good time to do it by following this link.

Of course those reaching into the pockets of old people don’t want to talk about how this will impact living, breathing human beings.  They want to talk about numbers, budgets and other inhuman things.  Consider Tom Cross’s recent letter to the Chicago Tribune that makes this all sound like a tragic math problem.  Cross, after 20 years in Springfield, takes no responsibility for the state’s past 40+ years of delinquency.  I am not giving Democrats a free pass on this either.  The primary drivers of pension reform in Springfield are Mike Madigan, Pat Quinn, Elaine Nekritz and Dan Biss (all Democrats).  All of them, Democrats and Republicans, are singing from the same sheet of music.  Watch the video of Bernie Sanders below the fold.


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Money Grab: Heather Steans, Chicago School Closings and K12 Inc.

by , posted on Friday, March 29th, 2013 at 9:16 pm

State Senator Heather Steans and Stand for Children are ultimately responsible for Chicago school closings and the recent increase of charter school applications like the 18-district virtual charter initiated by K12 Inc. in the Chicago suburbs.

Rahm Emanuel, Barb Byrd-Bennett, Heather Steans, Jonah Edelman

Rahm Emanuel, Barb Byrd-Bennett, Heather Steans, Jonah Edelman

I started researching SB79 and HB 5825, the legislation that created and gave the Illinois Charter Commission super “override powers” and autonomy from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  If SB7 gave education activists concern, SB79 and HB 5825 should have started a five-alarm fire.

Because of SB79, K12 Inc., a for-profit, Wall Street-traded company applied for a virtual charter scam in 18 suburban school districts.  Why are they doing this?  K12 Inc. anticipates that the state charter commission will override local rejections of their taxpayer rip-off scheme and approve the charter despite overwhelming local opposition.


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Austerity Chicken

by , posted on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 at 6:23 pm

In the maneuvering to affix blame for the mess that is sequestration, the Republicans in Congress would have us believe this was all the President’s idea to begin with, while the Obama Administration would have us believe that it was a deal that was never supposed to take effect. Not really. And yet, both sides voted for it. Both sides agreed to play this dangerous game.

And that’s the problem. The debate has never been a question of whether or not we should even be pursuing a politics of austerity in the first place, it has merely been a question of the precise balance of pain that was to be exacted upon those less fortunate than those who will determine our fate.


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Jakobsson and Chapa LaVia Sponsor Graduated Income Tax

by , posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Updated Monday, January 28th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

On Jan 9th, State Representative Naomi Jakobsson filed a bill that would give Illinois voters an opportunity to amend Illinois’ tax code and pave the way for a graduated income tax. House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment HC0002 On Jan 23rd, State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia added her name as a co-sponsor to the bill.

The bill, HJRCA 0002 would amend the Illinois Constitution and allow for a graduated income tax. Please take a minute to sign our petition to Representatives Jakobsson and Chapa LaVia.

The language of the bill reads:

Proposes to amend the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. Provides that individual income taxes may be at a graduated or a non-graduated rate. Provides that any such tax imposed on corporations shall be at a non-graduated rate, not to exceed the average of the lowest and highest individual rates by more than a ratio of 8 to 5. Effective upon being declared adopted.

If the bill passes the general assembly, Illinois voters would have to approve of the measure by voting “yes” on the November 2014 ballot before it went into law.


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NIJWJ Forum: Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and Rep. Elaine Nekritz

by , posted on Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 12:16 am

from Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice

Illinois State Representatives Linda Chapa LaVia and Elaine Nekritz address the Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice forum, “Funding Strong Schools and Fair Pensions,” East Aurora High School, Aurora, Illinois, January 2, 2013.

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NIJWJ Forum: Fred Klonsky, “The Politics of Pension Reform”

by , posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2013 at 7:21 pm

from Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice

Retired teacher Fred Klonsky address on “The Politics of Pension Reform,” at the Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice forum “Funding Strong Schools and Fair Pensions”, East Aurora High School, Aurora, Illinois, January 2nd, 2013.

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Gerald Epstein: Rich Should Be Happy with Cliff Deal

by , posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 at 7:32 pm

from The Real News Network

President Obama did not have to make this deal. It’s a debacle being called a win.

Gerald Epstein is Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute, and Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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The United States of ALEC: Bill Moyers on the Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws

by , posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

from Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! premieres “The United States of ALEC”, a special report by legendary journalist Bill Moyers on how the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council has helped corporate America propose and even draft legislation for states across the country. ALEC brings together major U.S. corporations and right-wing legislators to craft and vote on “model” bills behind closed doors. It has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in promoting “Stand Your Ground” gun laws, voter suppression bills, union-busting policies and other controversial legislation. Although billing itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership,” ALEC is actually a national network of state politicians and powerful corporations principally concerned with increasing corporate profits without public scrutiny. Moyers’ special will air this weekend on Moyers & Company, but first airs on Democracy Now! today. “The United States of ALEC” is a collaboration between Okapi Productions, LLC and the Schumann Media Center.

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PDA-IL: Ed Yohnka (ACLU-IL) on Voter Suppression

by , posted on Sunday, September 16th, 2012 at 9:17 am

from PDA-IL

Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy for ACLU-IL (American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois) speaks on voter suppression and the Republican electoral strategy to stop poor and the elderly from voting.

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Hanging in the Balance: A Head Start for Low-Income Kids

by , posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

from the Center for American Progress

Head Start is a program of the Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. With sequestration pending, funding for Head Start hangs in the balance.

This video spotlights what’s at stake if Congress fails to act to avert the automatic cuts to the area of the budget that funds many human needs programs, including Head Start. As many as 80,000 children could lose access to Head Start’s comprehensive services and more than 30,000 teachers, administrators, and support staff could lose their jobs. At a time when one in four children under age 5 are living in poverty, we need a strong Head Start program now more than ever.

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