SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) -
The circus is in town this week and by all indications the big tent events are more of the same - "We are from the government and we are here to help!"
At some point we are going to finally say enough is enough and when that happens I'm afraid it's going to be so bad that we are not going to even recognize our government anymore.
In yet another fine example of over-reach, the Senate is pushing for more control and expanded bureaucracy. This time through the Illinois State Police by forming yet another public body, as if close to 7,000 of them wasn't enough.
Even more amazing is what started in the House of Representatives as a transportation related bill mysteriously gets highjacked and morphed into a 911 bill that was pushed from none other than Chicago Mayor Raum Emanual, according to our sources in Springfield to include a lobbyist for one of the major phone companies.
It went from this - Amends the Regional Transportation Authority Act. Requires both the Mass Transit Committee in the House of Representatives and the Transportation Committee in the Senate to hold a public hearing regarding any increase in the revenue recovery ratio or any increase in fares or charges for public transportation. Provides notification requirements for both. Effective immediately.
To This -Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Department of State Police Law. Creates a Division of the Statewide 9-1-1 Administrator to develop, implement, and oversee a uniform statewide 9-1-1 system for all areas of the State outside of municipalities having a population of more than 500,000. Amends the Emergency Telephone System Act. Permits the corporate authorities of a municipality with a population of 500,000 or more to impose a monthly surcharge until July 1, 2015, but not greater than the highest monthly surcharge imposed as of January 1, 2014 by a county or municipality. Amends the Wireless Emergency Telephone Safety Act. Sets forth surcharge collection amounts and distribution procedures. Requires the Illinois Commerce Commission to create uniform accounting procedures that any emergency telephone system board, qualified governmental entity, or unit of local government imposing a wireless carrier surcharge must follow. Contains forfeiture provisions if such accounting procedures are not followed. Allows the corporate authorities of a municipality with a population in excess of 500,000 to impose by ordinance a monthly surcharge per commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) connection or in-service telephone number until July 1, 2015 that does not exceed the highest monthly surcharge imposed as of January 1, 2014 by a county or municipality. Modifies the membership of the Services Advisory Board. Requires the Board to submit to the General Assembly a plan for a statewide shared 9-1-1 network for all areas of the state outside of municipalities having a population of more than 500,000 by April 1, 2015. Contains recommendations for what such a plan should address. Amends the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act. Provides that from the effective date of the amendatory Act until July 1, 2015, a home rule municipality having a population in excess of 500,000 may impose a prepaid wireless 9-1-1 surcharge not to exceed 9% per retail transaction until July 1, 2015. Effective immediately.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 3
Increases the composition of the Services Advisory Board from 16 to 18 members. Adds one member representing the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and one member representing the Illinois Sheriffs' Association.
Where do I start?
For starters, how on earth does a mass transit bill get morphed into a 911 bill? Why is that even allowed?
"Increases the composition of the Services Advisory Board from 16 to 18 members. Adds one member representing the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and one member representing the Illinois Sheriffs' Association."
I find it amazing that now they are legislating advisory seat assignments to private associations that have a primary interest of making money! Sadly, these appointed Association seats only focus on the "Police" side of things. Where is the representation for the Emergecy Care such as Ambulance agencies or Fire? I guess since its all being controlled by the State Police they are once again going to protect their own and the heck with the other agencies.
"Allows the corporate authorities of a municipality with a population in excess of 500,000 to impose by ordinance a monthly surcharge per commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) connection"
Any idea how many municipalities in the State of Illinois have an excess of 500,000 people? ONE! Chicago! This entire section is about putting cash in the pockets of Chicago, all while taking local control away for the rest of the State!
"Beginning on July, 1, 2015, there shall be the Division of the Statewide 9-1-1 Administrator within the Department of State Police"
How many additional union jobs does this new Division create that we don't need?
"By October 1, 2014, each emergency telephone system board, qualified governmental entity, or unit of local government described in Section 15 of this Act and Section 15.4 of the Emergency Telephone System Act or any entity imposing a wireless surcharge pursuant to Section 45 of this Act shall report to the Illinois Commerce Commission audited financial statements showing total revenue and expenditures for each of the last two of its fiscal years in a form and manner as prescribed by the Illinois Commerce Commission's Manager of Accounting. Such financial information shall include: (1) a detailed summary of revenue from all sources including, but not limited to, local, State, federal, and private revenues, and any other funds received; (2) operating expenses, capital expenditures, and cash balances; and (3) such other financial information that is relevant to the provision of 9-1-1 services as determined by the Illinois Commerce Commission's Manager of Accounting."
Any guess what additional expense just got placed on every county in this state with no funding provided? The expense of an audited financial statements, which we all know means nothing if it's not a forensic audit!
"The emergency telephone system board, qualified governmental entity, or unit of local government is responsible for any costs associated with auditing such financial statements."
Not sick to your stomach yet? Hey Chicago, page 27 of this legislative amendment now allows your "leaders" to go from a 1.5% surcharge clear up to a 9% surcharge on every wireless retail transaction! Any bets that this buried little piece of legislation is the very fix they were looking for their pension crisis? (click here to read it for yourself! Underlined sections are additions to the current law)
Chapin Rose initially accidentally voted yes, but later told me he went back and correected the vote to a NO vote. (Click here for voting record-does not reflect the NO vote at this time)
Thank you to the four Senators that voted NO!
The other sad note with this bill is it was rammed through on the last day of session and is yet another screwing to the people of this state!
We will keep you updated on the final votes as we understand it's going to the floor for a vote tonight.
Stay tuned for another whopper story from the traveling circus in Springfield as now they are working on another bill to allow people to register and/or change there voter information the day of an election!