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Archive → February 5th, 2016

We believe people should have a say in how much they are taxed

The Taxpayers Can Win if We Vote March 15th   To early vote Call Will County Clerk 815-740-4626 and ask for a ballot to be mailed or online at  http://www.thewillcountyclerk.com/elections/voter-services/vote-by-mail/

me Dec 2014

My name is Steve Balich. I have been advocating for elected officials to treat taxpayer money as it was their own for many years without many positive results. I hear people on Boards say their  tax increase is just a little money or people won’t mind because we are giving them something. They forget these Boards are giving you something using your money without asking you if you want it. In our Representative Democracy citizens are elected to represent the “people”. The “will” of the people is reinforced when there is a vote by referendum on a specific issue.

The Homer Township Tax Referendum on the March 15th 2015 Ballot says we believe people in Homer Township should have a say in how much they are taxed. (The Question on the Ballot: Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No). This is not a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian issue. It is a citizen and Business issue.

Although this is an Advisory Referendum, meaning the taxing Bodies can ignore the will of the people, it is the strongest statement citizens can make to elected officials, clearly stating what the citizen’s want.  This is your opportunity to make a difference and make your voice heard. If a person on a Board goes contrary to the will of the people, that person needs to be voted out. Names of those defying the will of the people need to be made Public in Newspapers and Social Media at the time of their vote and when they are up for election or appointment.

The point is; in this time of hopelessness when people feel helpless in getting a voice in their government, taking back some control can be accomplished.  In a time when many people don’t vote because they feel their vote doesn’t matter; they will see, when enough people work together, what seemed impossible can be grasped.

Once this is approved by the voters this March, other Townships will take up the call to get control their Property Taxes. We in Homer Township which includes Homer Glen and half the City of Lockport will need to hold our elected officials accountable to the will of the people. We need to demand this directive by the voters be obeyed. If elected officials do contrary, our Representative Democracy demands they be voted out of office. This is the strongest statement we voters can make.

This is your opportunity to make a difference. Please Vote!

Steve Balich  815 557-7196

Source: Will County News

Life after Speaker Madigan

When the alpha dog leaves the House: Life after Speaker Madigan

House Speaker Michael Madigan and his defenders often bristle at the suggestion that he is responsible for the condition of Illinois. They dispute the notion thatMadigan is the superpower of state government.

With the election season squarely upon us, Madigan’s members who are running for re-election tiptoe on slabs of shifting ice. They don’t want to acknowledge his power. They don’t want to offend him. They don’t want to defend him. They want to appear independent.

They can’t have it all ways.

Besides, his superpowers are in writing.

To fully grasp the influence of one person over state government, look no further than the 129 pages of House rules — the day-to-day rules that govern how and when bills get introduced and passed.

I’ll sum it up for you: Everything is up to the speaker.

Over the years, the House rules have been tweaked and massaged to accommodate his top-down approach toward governing. The House rules are now Madigan’s personal handbook on how to control the process.

Every bill, including spending and borrowing legislation, goes straight to Madigan’s Rules Committee. It’s nearly impossible to discharge a bill unless he agrees. If a bill gets assigned to a committee, it’s a committee Madigan has chosen. He picks the majority of members, committee chairmen and vice chairmen. And he’ll often swap out committee members if he wants to manipulate an outcome. He also approves if and when committees should meet.

“Subject to approval by the Speaker” is a phrase sprinkled throughout the rules book, along with accommodations for the speaker to suspend the rules or change the order of business at virtually any time. There’s little opportunity, if any, for members of the minority party to fight back with bills of their own.

New additions to House rules include a provision allowing the House to rebuke gubernatorial executive orders. Gee, I wonder where that came from.

The Senate’s rules are half as long, and Senate President John Cullerton’s leadership style is to collaborate more with his members anyway.

So how much is Madigan to blame for the state’s dismal condition? Based on House rules alone, a lot. Nothing gets to the governor’s desk in this state without his imprint. Nothing.

If the speakership changed hands, rewriting House rules would be one of the first orders of business. It happened in 2002 when Republicans revolted against their leader, Lee Daniels, and it would most assuredly be part of the process if Democrats did the same. Life after Madigan would be more inclusive.

Of course, Madigan has no intention of leaving — at least not until the next gubernatorial election, when his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, might jump in the race. She said in 2013 she would not run for governor unless her father retired from office. The only other avenue for a post-Madigan General Assembly would be if he loses his House race in the 22nd District. He has a real opponent this time, Jason Gonzales.

Madigan is drenched in power and his members tolerate it, even to their own detriment. The stringent House rules have allowed Madigan to block popular, progressive legislation that would qualify as “core Democratic principles,” the phrase he often cites as justification for blocking Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda. Madigan has ignored legislation to raise the minimum wage, pass a progressive income tax, institute term limits, reform the redistricting process, allow for an elected school board in Chicago and end the city’s red-light camera program.

He recently announced a task force to explore the unjust school funding formula after years of downplaying that problem, too. Madigan once told me he stopped reading Phil Kadner’s column in the Daily Southtown because Kadner wrote repeatedly about the unfairness of the formula. More recently, Madigan couldn’t be bothered to appoint House members to a school funding task force that, under Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, did yeoman’s work trying to recalibrate the $30 billion spent on public schools annually.

Now, suddenly, the speaker is interested in school funding.

Democratic lawmakers and Springfield insiders try to spread the blame for the state’s condition. Complacent Republicans are to blame. The Great Recession that ended in June 2009 is to blame. Rauner is to blame. It’s not the longtime speaker’s fault, they say.

But that’s malarkey. It’s in writing.

Source: Will County News

When voluntary is no longer voluntary/Wellness Programs

Man talking with female doctoEmployers can now force employees to take work-sponsored health assessments and biometric screenings against their will, a federal judge in Madison, Wisconsin has ruled.

The ruling in the case of Dale Arnold, an employee for plastics maker Flambeau, overturned a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which had previously determined Flambeau’s wellness program did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s just the latest in a series of losses in federal court by employees who can now be penalized under the color of law for desiring to keep their privacy and individual sovereignty and for what they choose to do on their own time.

Language in the ADA limits companies from requiring medical exams or personal health information from workers. But in a fascist and oligarchic system where government controls the insurance and medical cartels and seeks to control all aspect of the people’s lives, the “law” is of little consequence when the government sees an opportunity to grasp more power.

Arnold took his case to the EEOC after Flambeau revoked his health insurance coverage when he refused to participated in the company’s “voluntary” work-sponsored health assessment and biometric screen. Flambeau uses its “voluntary” employee wellness program to cut insurance costs by encouraging healthy employee habits. To participate, employees submitted to on-site tests of blood pressure, body mass and cholesterol. That information was then stored in a database used by the insurance company and employer.

Companies are devising wellness programs in a self-defense move designed at curbing rising health insurance costs. Obamacare requires an extensive database of health information to be collected to be used to determine what treatments and drugs it will approve and the payment schedule it will use. Obamacare and other federal and state regulations on health coverage have driven insurance premiums and deductibles through the roof.

And with Obamacare regulations requiring everyone to carry some type of insurance, employees who are dropped from their employer-based coverage are forced into hyper-expensive COBRA plans or onto expensive, inadequate and/or limited choice Obamacare plans.

That government control of health insurance is destroying privacy rights and individual liberty is no surprise to many of us. In fact, I warned this was coming three years ago in “CVS demonstrates your future under Obamacare.” I wrote:

Now, legal drug pusher CVS Caremark pharmacy is telling its employees they must report specific personal health information or pay an extra $600 per year for their health insurance coverage.

Among the measures employees are required to report are their weight, body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Employees must also be tobacco-free or enroll in an addiction program.

“These changes aren’t just about costs, they’re about us, each of us taking personal accountability for our own health,” said Lisa Bissacia, CVS senior vice president and chief human resources officer, in a recorded video released by the company.

The irony that a company that peddles to an unsuspecting public pharmaceuticals with a list of side effects as long as your arm and responsible for millions of adverse reaction events and 106,000 deaths annually would actually be concerned about their employees’ health is no doubt lost on Bissacia. On top of that, such a policy is an egregious violation of the employees’ rights.

Employment lawyers predicted that CVS’s wellness program would not stand legal scrutiny. But at the time I wrote:

With government running healthcare, expect programs like this to expand and the information to be used to force behavior modifications for everyone forced to buy into Obamacare.

Now we are there. Next step is a corporate/government mandate to “treat” all diseases and conditions found through the “voluntary” wellness screening with drugs and surgeries under penalties of loss of insurance, loss of work, fines and/or imprisonment. Never mind that orthodox medicine in the U.S. kills more than 200,000 people each year.

Health insurance is and always has been a scam anyway, and Big Insurance and government interference in the medical market combined to drive the prices of health insurance and health services up to stratospheric levels.

None of this would be a problem without government meddling. People should be buying medical services they need straight from doctors and hospitals at market prices, not through a third party insurer or — especially — through government.

If health insurance is necessary, it should be sold in a free market, across state lines, without onerous government coverage mandates, and insurers should be free to tailor plans for individuals and families.

Source: Will County News