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Daily Herald: Want transparency? Get rid of 'shell' bills


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#1 InterestedBystander

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 09:53 AM

full story at link

https://www.dailyher...cuss/190219513/

...A headline making the rounds a few months ago focused on the thousands of bills left to die in the House Rules Committee every year in Springfield and invoked the name of Mike Madigan, Illinois' version of Nancy Pelosi.

It's true as far as it goes, but it turns out many of those bills were born to die. In fact, 911 of the 5,077 bills that failed to get out of committee in the Illinois House last year were introduced by Speaker Madigan, as our Jake Griffin pointed out.


They were shell bills. As placeholders that wait in limbo until something substantive is amended onto them, shell bills exist to get around rules that establish a deliberative and transparent process for making new laws. They're not just used for minor or parochial matters. Shell bills are the vehicles that have allowed quick passage of income tax hikes and state budgets, sometimes within a single day.

That flies in the face of good government and the Illinois Constitution, which requires "a bill shall be read by title on three different days in each house."

The process is designed to invite airing of various viewpoints and to ensure interested parties see a proposal before it gets a final vote. It's often said the wheels of government turn slowly, and in this case that's how it should be. Passing a bill in a few days or even weeks, in a manner that allows for democratic debate, seems fast enough to us in all but dire emergencies.

Shell bills get around all that by going most of the way through the process with content that is sparse and laughably minute, like a series of bills introduced by Madigan Dec. 10 that appropriate $2 from the General Revenue Fund to each of several state agencies.

Later, lawmakers can amend the bill to make it something new and big and get it passed in a matter of hours, in some cases. It's obviously unethical, and not made any more palatable by the fact Illinois is not alone in this particular charade....

Edited by InterestedBystander, 17 February 2019 - 09:53 AM.

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#2 soundguy

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 10:19 AM

It's obviously unethical, and not made any more palatable by the fact Illinois is not alone in this particular charade....

 

I've been thinking the same thing for decades.

Shell bills should be abolished.

Only clean bills should be allowed.


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#3 TRJ

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:49 AM

Can we get some of our Twitter warriors to push this around please?

#4 lilguy

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 12:21 PM

This is Illinois, we elect the crooks that govern us. It’s our collective fault. We doubled down last election. Our problem my friend is in the mirror.

#5 Lou

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 12:44 PM

It's obviously unethical, and not made any more palatable by the fact Illinois is not alone in this particular charade....
 
I've been thinking the same thing for decades.
Shell bills should be abolished.
Only clean bills should be allowed.

Hawaii does the same thing. It was recently taken to court and it was declared legal.

They call them gut and replace.
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#6 BobPistol

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 03:58 PM

Shell bills shall be abolished.

Any bill that's longer than 10 pages is unconstitutional.   

 

Imagine if those two things were in the US Constitution.   


The Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the rest.

#7 JTHunter

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 04:34 PM

Shell bills shall be abolished.

 

Any bill that's longer than 10 pages is unconstitutional.

 

Imagine if those two things were in the US Constitution.   

 

As Putrid Pelosi said: "We have to pass this bill (P.o.S. "DumboCare") to find out what's in it."  And we saw where THAT got us !!


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#8 cybermgk

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 12:49 PM

Can we get some of our Twitter warriors to push this around please?

Done to mere few thousand followers.


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#9 AlphaKoncepts aka CGS

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:13 AM

It's obviously unethical, and not made any more palatable by the fact Illinois is not alone in this particular charade....

 

I've been thinking the same thing for decades.

Shell bills should be abolished.

Only clean bills should be allowed.

Yup, for as long as I've been watching, which isn't quite decades yet, I've thought to myself, "How is this even legal?!" But I guess when law makers write the laws to favor themselves, everything is legal.


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#10 soylentgreen

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:41 AM

This is a great suggestion....but it's about as close to becoming reality as term limits. The reality is, not enough people care about reforming this state. If they did, they'd stop voting for the same criminals over and over again.



#11 TRJ

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 04:43 AM

This is a great suggestion....but it's about as close to becoming reality as term limits. The reality is, not enough people care about reforming this state. If they did, they'd stop voting for the same criminals over and over again.

I don't think it's about people not caring. It's about people being busy going to work to pay their taxes and blindly trusting their state officials to act in good faith. If people knew and understood what was going on, it would surely stop going on as outrage would surely reach critical mass. Ignorance to this is the real problem in my opinion. That the Herald (a publication that caters to the left) picked up the torch tells me this isn't an us/them issue so much as a right /wrong issue.



#12 BobPistol

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 06:38 AM

I don't think it's about people not caring. It's about people being busy going to work to pay their taxes and blindly trusting their state officials to act in good faith. If people knew and understood what was going on, it would surely stop going on as outrage would surely reach critical mass. Ignorance to this is the real problem in my opinion. That the Herald (a publication that caters to the left) picked up the torch tells me this isn't an us/them issue so much as a right /wrong issue.

 

 

 

 

It is not people blindly trusting their elected officials, it is more like organizing an effective resistance via non-violent means takes a huge amount of time and resources that they don't have, and most people don't want to pull a Battle of Athens when that doesn't work.   So people do nothing while things get worse. 

 

It is just boiling frogs. 


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