Springfield

Illinois House Adopts ‘Zombie Preparedness Month’ Resolution, Schedules ‘2nd Amendment Preservation Act’ Hearing

While bills related to the ongoing budget impasse are drawing the bulk of attention these days, there has been activity in the Illinois House of Representatives on two other pieces of legislation that may interest Survival And Prosperity readers.

First, there’s House Bill 413, which seeks to create the “2nd Amendment Preservation Act.” From the Illinois General Assembly website:

Short Description: 2ND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION

House Sponsors
Rep. David B. Reis

Hearings
Judiciary- Criminal Committee Hearing Feb 15 2017 3:00PM Capitol Building Room 114 Springfield, IL

Synopsis As Introduced
Creates the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Provides that other than in compliance with an order of a court, notwithstanding any law, regulation, rule, or order to the contrary, no agency of this State, political subdivision of this State, or employee of an agency or political subdivision of the State acting in his or her official capacity shall: (1) knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal Act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after the effective date of the Act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition; or (2) utilize any assets, State funds, or funds allocated by the State to local entities on or after the effective date of the Act, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation under the enforcement of any federal Act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after the effective date of the Act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Some might ask if this pro-2A legislation is even necessary considering the Republican-controlled Congress and an NRA-backed President who seems to support gun rights.

From what I understand, its purpose is to have something in place to combat some future Oval Office that’s made gun control and civilian disarmament a priority.

As indicated above, a “Judiciary-Criminal Committee Hearing” on Illinois HB0413 has been scheduled for next Wednesday, February 15.

Moving on to Illinois House Resolution 30, seeking to designate October 2017 as “Zombie Preparedness Month” in the state. From the Illinois General Assembly site:

Short Description: ZOMBIE PREPAREDNESS MONTH

House Sponsors
Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch- Grant Wehrli and Tim Butler

Synopsis As Introduced
Designates October 2017 as “Zombie Preparedness Month” in the State of Illinois, and urges all Illinoisans to educate themselves about natural disasters and take steps to create a stockpile of food, water, and other emergency supplies that can last up to 72 hours…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I just learned this morning that Illinois HR0030 was adopted by the House Thursday.

Now, prior to the adoption of this legislation and even as recent as Friday morning, some are criticizing this resolution as being a distraction from more pressing matters facing the state, like the budget/debt crisis.

I don’t know. While this part of the country is generally thought to be less disaster-prone than other regions, major emergencies and man-made/natural disasters can strike anyplace at anytime. Besides the significant earthquake danger posed to southern Illinois (just blogged about Tuesday), other threats to the state include severe weather, terrorism, nuclear power plant accidents, and economic collapse, among others. And I’m guessing the majority of Illinoisans probably aren’t prepared to deal with any of these.

Since the zombie fad is still “hot” these days, why shouldn’t Springfield capitalize on it NOW and use the Zombie Apocalypse as the vehicle to get Illinois residents prepared for future emergencies/disasters?

Plus, did any critics take a moment to consider it’s possible (likely?) Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside, Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), and Tim Butler (R-Springfield) were shrewd enough to figure out that introducing this resolution and getting it adopted when they did- in the middle of a raging budget battle- would generate significant publicity about Zombie Preparedness Month?

Query the event in a search engine and you’ll see what kind of attention their action is getting.

All for a good cause, if you ask me.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Friday, February 10th, 2017 Ammunition, Debt Crisis, Emergencies, Firearms, Food, Government, Gun Rights, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Political Parties, Preparedness, Public Safety, Supplies, Terrorism, Water, Weather Comments Off on Illinois House Adopts ‘Zombie Preparedness Month’ Resolution, Schedules ‘2nd Amendment Preservation Act’ Hearing

Illinois Politicians Must Be Held Accountable For ‘Doorgate’

Illinois readers of this blog should be ticked off at our state politicians who supported the multi-billion dollar Statehouse renovation project down in Springfield and who also claim they are trying to reign in spending.

Why’s that?

Enter “Doorgate.” Dave Bakke reported on The State Journal-Register (Springfield) website last Thursday:

A gripe I heard at a restaurant in Carlinville led to spending a week chasing my tail.

The complaint was that part of the $50 million renovation project at the Illinois Statehouse involves the replacement of exterior doors on the west side of the Capitol building. Each door, I was told, cost $240,000. Other people have heard the same rumor, so it’s getting around.

I decided to find out if this is just coffee-shop talk or whether the state of Illinois spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars on three doors.

You know what Bakke found? From his article:

The total for the doors is $669,608. But, technically, it’s six doors, two for each of three doorways on the west end of the Capitol. So it’s more like $223,000 each for three doorways, not three doors. Just the cost of installation is $78,000, which is included in the total.

$669,608 for six doors. At a time when the State of Illinois is a financial basket-case. How bad are the state’s finances these days? Dave McKinney reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

The state is nearly $7 billion behind in paying its bills, owes more than $100 billion in pension liabilities and has faced a series of downgrades to its bond rating.

So, who’s responsible for “Doorgate”? McKinney gave the paper’s readers a clue as to where to start digging:

A financial watchdog that raised earlier questions about the renovation’s costs urged [Capitol Architect J. Richard] Alsop Wednesday to divulge the full costs of the work, which is funded through a $31 billion construction program pushed by Gov. Pat Quinn and the Democratic-led General Assembly.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

What the hell were these legislators thinking?

Don’t get me wrong- the doors are stunning. But in my opinion, considering Springfield can’t even pay its bills on time these days, wouldn’t it make better sense to postpone such expenditures until the State of Illinois gets its financial house in order?

That is, if it gets its house in order, as there’s a good chance the State of Illinois will have its “financial reckoning day” before the rest of the nation does.

Maybe those responsible for “Doorgate” have already realized that day is inevitably coming and have regressed into “let’s spend the whole shebang”-mode to benefit them, family, and friends before the funds for such projects dries up.

Sad times.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Bakke, Dave. “Did the new Statehouse doorways really cost that much?” The State Journal-Register. 29 Aug. 2013. (http://www.sj-r.com/bakke/x1837078486/Dave-Bakke-Did-they-really-cost-230-000-each?zc_p=0). 5 Sep. 2013.

McKinney, Dave. “Critics knock $669,608 state Capitol doors: ‘It doesn’t look right.’” Chicago Sun-Times. 4 Sep. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/22360648-761/critics-knock-669608-state-capitol-doors-it-doesnt-look-right.html). 5 Sep. 2013.

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‘FIBS’ Get An Earful From Wisconsin Governor Walker

Not too many people outside of Wisconsin know what the term “FIBS” stands for.

It’s a derogatory term used by Wisconsin residents to describe their neighbors to the south, as in “f—ing Illinois bastards.”

Blessed with being able to split my time between both Wisconsin and Illinois over the years, I learned about the term a long time ago as I can be considered one.

Anyway, on Tuesday Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came to Springfield, Illinois, the state capital and seat of state government in the “Land of Lincoln.” From Andrew Maloney on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

Walker addressed his own precarious political position in the “Badger State” while patronizing Illinois’ elected officials, including Gov. Pat Quinn, for passing personal and corporate income tax increases last year that were meant to bolster the state’s financial health.

“With all due respect, and I think Gov. Quinn and others are trying to do their best, but it is a clear choice in Wisconsin come June 5th,” Walker told reporters after his speech in front of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, referring to the date when Wisconsin voters will decide whether to recall him.

“If voters in our state want to know the difference between going forward or backwards, they need only look at the mess that you have in state government here in Springfield to know what it would be like if ultimately the recall would prevail,” he told reporters.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Ouch.

The Republican governor of Wisconsin pointed out those massive tax hikes in Illinois where personal income taxes jumped by 67 percent and corporate income taxes rose 46 percent back in January 2011. The tax increases were pushed through the Democrat-controlled Illinois General Assembly and signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn without any significant streamlining of state operations at the time.

Not surprisingly, revenue collections are up in Illinois. Abdon Pallasch wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday afternoon:

Illinois income tax collections jumped 31.9 percent in 2011 — the second-highest jump in the nation — thanks largely to a hike in the state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent, new numbers from the Census Bureau show.

Only North Dakota saw a bigger jump: 42.6 percent.

Sales taxes and corporate income tax collections are also up, said Sue Hofer, spokeswoman for the Illinois Dept. of Revenue.

Perhaps the State of Illinois might now want to tackle that $9 billion backlog in unpaid bills it has, and start setting aside more funds for the $83 billion in unfunded pensions and $54 billion in health liabilities owed to its employees/retirees down the road? Just a thought.

Sources:

Maloney, Andrew. “Wis. Gov. Walker visits Illinois, blasts ‘mess’ in government.” Chicago Sun-Times. 17 Apr. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/11966761-418/wis-gov-walker-visits-springfield-blasts-mess-in-ill-government.html). 18 Apr. 2012.

Pallasch, Abdon M. “Illinois income taxes jump nearly 32%, second-highest in nation.” Chicago Sun-Times. 17 Apr. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/11961044-420/illinois-income-taxes-jump-nearly-32-second-highest-in-nation.html). 18 Apr. 2012.

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Spending, Taxes Comments Off on ‘FIBS’ Get An Earful From Wisconsin Governor Walker

Springfield, Illinois, Named America’s 3rd Most Dangerous City

Back in the late nineties I travelled between Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, on official business. Even though I’d attended college only 86 miles away in Champaign, I had never visited the state capital before. While I was very impressed by that area of Springfield where the various government buildings are located, I remember driving past some shady areas of town too. So I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised when I read the following tonight by John Giuffo of Forbes.com about the second most populated city in the state outside the Chicago metropolitan area:

Here are America’s five most dangerous cities, according to government statistics…

#3 Springfield, IL
Population: 206,601

The capital city of Illinois, Springfield ranks third on our list because it had 855 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010. The city also confounds analysts who try to interpret its relatively high crime rate. The unemployment rate was lower than the national average at 7% as of July, so the economy wouldn’t seem to play a major role in crime. And although meth usage saw a small spike in the mid-2000s, a law passed a few years ago making the necessary pharmaceutical ingredients harder to buy seems to have cut down on abuse. There are also poorer neighborhoods – literally on the other side of the railroad tracks – that tend to have higher rates of poverty and the higher rates of crime that accompany that, which contributes to the city’s overall higher rate of crime. Another factor could be Springfield’s relatively young population – 66% of the city is under the age of 44 – and relatively younger populations are historically correlated with higher rates of crime.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

My state’s capital. Not good. Not good at all.

I actually feel sorry for them in that they now have this dubious distinction.

Beating out Springfield? Memphis was number two, and Detroit took the top spot for 2010.

Source:

Giuffo, John. “America’s Most Dangerous Cities, 2011.” Forbes. 4 Oct. 2011. (http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/americas-most-dangerous-cities-2011.html). 4 Oct. 2011.

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 Crime, Government, Public Safety 9 Comments
Survival And Prosperity
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