Durbin, Obama and Clean Cars

Cross-posted from www.thereisaway.us
There are a few news items about fuel economy that I've been meaning to write about. The Star Tribune has a good editorial about legislation that passed the Senate to improve fuel efficiency. Also, if you missed coverage of the Senate energy bill, check out this New York Times article. The Senate's support for better fuel standards is encouraging but pro-pollution Republicans managed to block legislation that would have encouraged a responsible course on clean energy generation.

Ethics Reform in Illinois Now!

Eight Forty-Eight reported that Ethics Reform Legislation had passed the Illinois State House and now was headed for the Senate. (Actually I think it was Lieu. Gov. Pat Quinn who said this in the course of an interview.)

The Headline from the Sun-Times from a couple of days ago says it best: "Don't let crunchtime smash ethics reforms"!

Contact your State Senator to get this thing passed finally! Tell them to get "HB1" moving. More info here...

Dem Day at the Illinois State Fair

08/15/2007 - 11:00am
08/15/2007 - 4:00pm

New TV Ad 'Our Fight' for Universal Healthcare in Illinois

This one's from the good guys. It's an ad from the Campaign for Better Health Care that's running in Springfield to remind State Legislators how important it is to support the Illinois Covered Plan for universal health care in Illinois.

UPDATE: Okay, here's the live version of the ad in all its glory (now on YouTube):

'Limited-Growth' Budget in Illinois

From the State Journal-Register:

Members of the Illinois House and Senate are shying away from raising taxes this spring, increasing the chances they will approve only a limited-growth budget that focuses on education and construction projects....

Read the rest: "Big Budget Plans May Be Fading".

Speaker Madigan to State Reps: Name Your Favorite Tax

Isn't this what 'Smoke-filled rooms' are made for? From today's Tribune:

House Speaker Michael Madigan and fellow Democrats talked privately Monday about options for raising potentially billions of dollars in new state revenue, ranging from increasing the income or sales taxes to expanding gambling.

Without embracing a clear preference, Madigan gave members of his majority caucus a survey asking them to say what type and what size of tax they would support to pass a budget.

Democratic State Legislators against the GRT

Democrats in the Illinois State House supporting the resolution against the Gross Receipts Tax. In case you were wondering (courtesy of ilga.gov):

Picket the Illinois Chamber of Commerce (Springfield)

04/18/2007 - 10:00am
04/18/2007 - 10:45am

Springfield Hilton (700 E. Adams): in front of hotel on the sidewalk

Campaign for Better Health Care (CBHC)



On April 18, over a hundred consumers and Illinois businesses will be holding an informational picket in Springfield protesting the backwards, short-sighted and regressive economic position that the Illinois Chamber has taken regarding health care reform, education reform and the investment mechanism to move Illinois forward. Join us in Springfield as we take direct action to protest the Illinois Chamber's efforts to divert public attention from our broken health care system.

Picket to protest the Illinois Chamber's backwards and short-sided position opposing funding for health care and education reform. A wide range of businesses will speak out in favor of the proposed reforms, including many individual business testimonials.

The one thing I don't procrastinate

[promoted by leo]

I voted early today at the Sangamon County Clerk's office. I saw a story about it on TV 20 News last week but I don't think early voting will catch on in Sangamon County until there are additional voting locations besides the County Courthouse and there's a bigger effort to promote it. I imagine that will take a little more money and a commitment on the county board's part.

I've been keeping up on the election but I was still surprised at how many different offices there are to vote for this year besides Alderman and Mayor, including the Park Board, LLCC Board, SMEAA Board, and School Board. I also voted on the resolutions about city council term limits and instant run-off voting for military ballots. So, remember to know who's running for the boards that get less attention before you go to vote.

Way to Go, Lisa!

From the NY Times:

Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's, the big credit ratings agencies, appear to be manipulating their reports to help the largest electric utilities in Illinois charge higher prices for power, the state’s attorney general asserted in papers filed yesterday.

In a motion seeking disclosure of the drafts of reports to determine whether the utilities had a hand in editing them, the attorney general, Lisa Madigan, said that Moody's and S.& P. had "issued warnings and downgrades seemingly right on cue to promote the interests of the utilities and their parent companies."

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