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Archive → January 3rd, 2018

Batinick introduces legislation to save taxpayer dollars on state vehicle maintenance

News From

State Representative Mark Batinick

For Immediate Release

January 3, 2018

Contact: Debbie Kraulidis

(815) 254-0000

Batinick introduces legislation to save taxpayer dollars on state vehicle maintenance

PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) today introduced legislation that would save taxpayer money by changing state policy governing the maintenance schedules of state-owned vehicles.

 

“Newer automobiles are designed to go five or even ten thousand miles between oil changes,” Batinick said. “But current policy requires that state-owned vehicles undergo an oil change as frequently as every 3000 miles, whether it is necessary or not. This procedure is stuck in the past and needs to be updated in order to cut down on wasteful spending.”

 

Batinick’s bill would require the Department of Central Management Services, which oversees the state’s fleet of vehicles, to consider the individual vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for oil change intervals and adjust policies where applicable.

 

“In our efforts to find a solution to our large budget deficit in Illinois we should not overlook small, common-sense ways to save taxpayer dollars,” Batinick said. “Updating our out-of-date vehicle maintenance policies is a good place to start.”

 

The legislation is House Bill 4213.

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Mark Batinick

State Representative 97th District

815-254-0000

repbatinick.com

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Source: Will County News

IL. Governor Candidate Ives Responds To California Becoming A Sanctuary State

For Immediate Release

Ives Responds To California Becoming A Sanctuary State

 

“Governors Jerry Brown and Bruce Rauner believe they are above the law, and, therefore, can decide who has to follow it and who does not. I will lead the charge against the pandering political class.”

January 3, 2018 – California Governor Jerry Brown, one of the most liberal Governors in the nation, has found a political role model in Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Brown recently followed Rauner’s lead, allowing a sanctuary state law to take effect in California this week.

In an interview with Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto, Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan called the choice “a political decision. Not a law enforcement decision.” Homan said Brown “knowingly and intentionally put law enforcement at risk. It put American communities at risk.” Homan went on to say, “If [Brown] thinks he is protecting the immigrant community, he is doing quite the opposite.  If he thinks ICE is going away, we’re not. As a matter of fact, we’re going to significantly increase our presence… If politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, ICE will.”

State Representative Jeanne Ives, a Republican Candidate for Governor, released the following statement in response:

“Mr. Homan’s comments could very easily apply to Illinois, which Governor Rauner made a sanctuary state by signing SB31 last year. Sanctuary policies make all of us less safe. Liberal elites, like Jerry Brown and Bruce Rauner, are very cavalier with the lives of other people. They use people as the means to their political ends. Brown and Rauner believe they are above the law. And, therefore, believe they can decide who has to follow it and who does not. I will lead the charge against the pandering political class.

“2017 ended with nearly 3,400 shootings and almost 650 homicides in the city of Chicago alone. As leaders, we should be focused on protecting families, not criminals. Governor Rauner betrayed law-abiding families in favor of political pandering.

“I’m a pro-legal-immigration conservative. America as a beacon of freedom and opportunity for people the world over is a good thing and should be maintained. But we cannot be without the rule of law.

“Sanctuary state protects those who violate the law at the expense of those who follow the law. It pits law enforcement agencies against one another rather than encouraging cooperation in the interests of making communities safer. Governor Rauner’s sanctuary state policy should be repealed. As Gov, I won’t pretend not to be in charge. I will lead this charge to protect our citizens. With Republican colleagues like John Cabello, who has introduced a repeal of the inanely named Trust Act, and downstate Democrats, we will repeal this extreme and dangerous policy.

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For more information or to book Jeanne Ives, contact Kathleen Murphy at 630-329-4680 or kathleenemurphy26@gmail.com.

Source: Will County News

As Its Population Drops, Illinois Has Highest Pension Burden in Nation

As Its Population Drops, Illinois Has Highest Pension Burden in Nation
As Its Population Drops, Illinois Has Highest Pension Burden in Nation
Written By John Biver   |

As Illinois continues to lose population (we are now the sixth largest state, not the fifth), our politicians in both parties continue to run up debt and unfunded liabilities.

Here is Meaghan Kilroy writing at Pensions & Investments (www.pionline.com):

Illinois has the highest pension burden among all 50 states, said Fitch Ratings’ 2017 state pension report released Tuesday.

According to the report, Illinois’ unfunded pension liabilities amounted to 22.8% of residents’ personal income at the end of fiscal year 2016, compared to a median 3.1% for all states and 1% for Florida, the least burdened state.

Since it is the Christmas season, I chose not to title this article “The Dumbest People in America.” But how else do you describe a state that has 25 percent of its budget going to pay government employee pensions and its voters who continue electing the same people who won’t do a thing about it? And “[u]nder Fitch’s calculations, Illinois’ net pension liabilities totaled $151.5 billion at the end of fiscal year 2016.” Please know that other sources calculate that number as substantially higher.

The Wall Street Journal recently featured a related article titled “Illinois Drives People Away: The taxpayer migration continues from the Land of Ever Higher Taxes.”

Makes you proud, doesn’t it?

From the Journal article:

The Prairie State lost a record $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states in the 2015 tax year, according to recently IRS released data. That’s up from $3.4 billion in the prior year. Many of the migrants were retirees who often flock to balmier climes. But millennials accounted for more than a third of the net outflow in tax returns.

. . .

Too much for us to distill in one editorial, but suffice to say that exorbitant property and business taxes have retarded economic growth. Illinois’s corporate tax rate is 9.5%, and pass-through business owners pay 6.45%. Though Illinois’s flat 4.95% income tax rate is relatively low compared to its neighbors, Democrats have found other ways to clobber their citizens.

You can let your eyes glaze over at these numbers if you want, but understand that you will be paying more every year if you do.

To paraphrase one radio talk show philosopher — we should all be able to tie half of our brain behind our back and still realize something is amiss.

This helps explain why Illinois’s economy has been stagnant, growing a meager 0.9% on an inflation-adjusted annual basis since 2012—the slowest in the Great Lakes and half as fast as the U.S. overall. This year nearly 100,000 individuals have left the Illinois labor force. The University of Illinois Flash Economic Index, which measures corporate earnings and investment as well as personal income, hit a five-year low in October.

Merry Christmas! Feeling poor yet? Well, at least we know our retired government employees will be enjoying the holidays.

In a recent op ed, Illinois policy experts Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner put it rather simply when referring to what Illinois politicians are increasingly good at: “they offer government worker retirement benefits that are no longer affordable to the residents that pay for them.”

Illinois News Network recently quoted State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods:

Whether it’s through their property taxes or because of the recent income tax increase, they just can’t afford to [stay here].… This day of reckoning is fast approaching us. I don’t think we want to wait until the absolute last minute to try and do everything we can to really right the ship.

Allow me to define reckoning: It is time to stop talking about “reforming” the government employee pension systems in Illinois. You cannot reform what is purposefully corrupt and completely insolvent.

The Illinois Constitution’s line prohibiting the lowering of government employee benefits should be ignored if it’s not repealed. No clause in a constitution can make this math work. The systems should be cut off from the taxpayers and sent into bankruptcy.

Any candidate suggesting that the pension systems can be reformed is not telling you the truth.

Happy New Year!

Source: Will County News

Six Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide

Six Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide
Six Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide
Written By Nancy Valko   |

It has been twenty years since Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide law took effect after a public referendum. Since then, four other states have legalized physician-assisted suicide.

Polls seem to show strong public support for physician-assisted suicide. They ask questions like this one from a 2017 Gallup poll: “When a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed by law to assist the patient to commit suicide if the patient requests it?”

Unfortunately, most people have only a vague idea about what such laws actually say and do. Here are six things you must know before you decide whether to support or oppose physician-assisted suicide.

1. Pain or any other suffering is not a requirement for a person seeking assisted suicide; “a disease that cannot be cured” can include manageable conditions like diabetes as well as terminal illnesses like cancer.

None of the US laws are restricted to patients experiencing pain, which can be addressed in ways that do not deliberately kill the patient. In 2016, for example, almost half of patients using assisted suicide in Oregon cited their reason for seeking death as “Burden on family, friends/caregivers” while just 35 percent cited “Inadequate pain control or concern about it.”

2. Medical professionals participating in physician-assisted suicide are immune from accountability and standards of due care.

“No person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action for participating in good faith compliance with” Oregon’s law. Thus any licensed doctor (or other healthcare provider), with or without experience and regardless of his or her medical specialty, can write a lethal overdose prescription for a patient as long as he or she claims to be in “good faith compliance.” As a legal standard, this test is effectively meaningless, because it relies only on the physician’s word.

The physician is not required to be—and often is not—the patient’s primary care doctor. Many physicians do not want to be involved in this process, according to “Compassion & Choices,” an organization that promotes the legalization of physician-assisted suicide throughout the United States. When one doctor (or many) conclude that it would be irresponsible to give a lethal overdose to a patient, such organizations encourage patients to find a doctor with lower standards.

No other medical intervention has such immunity protection from lawsuits or criminal investigation. In addition, no other medical intervention is so devoid of standards for the clinical expertise or education required of the physician involved.

3. Physician-assisted suicide does not involve the stringent documentation and oversight required for other medical interventions.

In all jurisdictions where physician-assisted suicide is allowed, to prescribe a lethal overdose the doctor need only fill out the required state forms that include a consultation with a second physician who agrees. Neither doctor is required to have a professional relationship with the patient before the physician-assisted suicide request.

Documentation of physician-assisted suicides relies on doctors’ self-reporting. There is no requirement that the actual taking of the lethal overdose be witnessed by a medical professional or anyone else. This means that there is no safeguard against medical complications, coercion by family members, or other problems.

The Oregon law also specifies that, “Except as otherwise required by law, the information collected shall not be a public record and may not be made available for inspection by the public.” Only “an annual statistical report of information” is made public, after which the original forms are destroyed.

Unfortunately, the immunity protections and secrecy surrounding even the minimal self-reporting in state-level assisted-suicide laws eliminate the possibility of future potential lawsuits or prosecutions for abuse. They keep alive the myth that there are strong safeguards in the law that eliminate problems like coercion or elder abuse.

4. The cause of death must be falsified.

States with physician-assisted suicide laws require that the cause of death is reported as death from an underlying condition rather than the lethal overdose, supposedly to ensure the patient’s privacy. But this clearly violates the standards set for coroners and medical examiners by the Centers for Disease Control. Those standards require accuracy in determination of death because “The death certificate is the source for State and national mortality and is used to determine which medical conditions receive research and development funding, to set public health goals, and to measure health status at local, State, national, and international levels.”

Falsified death certificates also quietly function to smooth over any problems with life insurance policies that have suicide clauses denying death benefits if the insured commits suicide within two years of taking out a policy. And since doctors are only required to “recommend that the patient notify next of kin” about the plan for assisted suicide, the rest of the patient’s family may never know the real cause of death. This means that they are also deprived of the chance to reassure their loved ones of their support and willingness to help take care of them until their natural death.

5. Assisted suicide laws promote discrimination against suicidal people.

The usual standards for caring for a suicidal person include intensive management to prevent suicide attempts. These are changed in physician-assisted suicide: “If, in the opinion of the attending physician or the consulting physician, a patient may be suffering from a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired judgment, either physician shall refer the patient for counseling.” Only the evaluation of a patient’s competence, not the diagnosable mental disorders that afflict more than 90 percent of people who die by suicide, is required. It is shocking that only 3.8 percent of those seeking physician-assisted suicide in Oregon were referred for psychiatric evaluation in 2016. Patients with dementia and with clinical depression that had existed for years before they contracted a physical illness have died under the Oregon law.

6. Suicide is contagious.

A 2015 article in the Southern Medical Journal titled “How Does Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide Affect Rates of Suicide?” studied Oregon’s and Washington’s rates of non-assisted suicide after assisted suicide laws were passed. Despite claims that assisted suicide laws would reduce other suicides or only substitute for them, the authors reached the disturbing conclusion that “Rather, the introduction of PAS (physician assisted suicide) seemingly induces more self-inflicted deaths than it inhibits.”

This does not surprise me. In 2009 my thirty-year-old, physically healthy daughter Marie died by suicide. She killed herself using a technique she learned after visiting assisted suicide/suicide websites and reading Final Exit (1991) by Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society (an organization that merged with another group to form Compassion & Choices). The medical examiner called her suicide “textbook Final Exit.”

Adding to our family’s pain, at least two people close to Marie became suicidal not long after her suicide. Luckily, they were saved, but suicide contagion, better known as “copycat suicide,” is a well-documented phenomenon. Often media coverage or publicity around one death can encourage other vulnerable people to commit suicide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have been increasing since 2000 after decades of decline. Suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 44,000 people dying by suicide every year. Suicide costs society over $56 billion a year in combined medical- and work-loss costs, not to mention the enormous toll suicide takes on family and friends. Oregon’s suicide rate is more than 40 percent higher than the national average.

Is the real healthcare crisis not enough physician-assisted suicide laws? Or is it the staggering and increasing number of people losing their battles with mental illness and committing suicide?

No matter what Compassion & Choices says, physician-assisted suicide is not a civil right or just one of an assortment of morally neutral end-of-life options. It’s time to stand up and fight to keep the medical profession from abandoning its most fundamental ethical principles.


This article was originally posted at The Public Discourse

Source: Will County News

Where Do Corporations Stand on Issues We Care About?

Where Do Corporations Stand on Issues We Care About?

Written by Andrew Willis

There’s an App for That!

It’s no secret that social liberals have been winning the publicity battle in recent years. Whether it be the life or marriage issue, conservatives have been routinely out-spent, out-marketed, and out-publicized. Why? A substantial part of the reason is that we’re being out-funded—miserably out-funded.

For example, the Humans Rights Campaign, the powerful force advancing the homosexual agenda, has an annual budget of over fifty million dollars, an amount that pro-family groups such as IFI only dream about.

The more alarming aspect, however, is that a significant portion of these monster budgets comes from our own pockets. I am not just referring to government funding of half a billion tax payer dollars to abortion providers annually. But the money that we voluntarily give to morally decadent organizations.

I’m referring to businesses that we regularly patronize who contribute to the other side’s rainbow and blood stained coffers with their big corporate dollars. Starbucks for example has been funding Planned Parenthood for years. American Airlines is a platinum sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign. Also consider the numerous corporations who signed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to unilaterally redefine marriage in the Obergefell decision. Do they deserve your hard earned money?

This is not to say we are all sentenced to a life of eating Chick-fil-A sandwiches and entertaining ourselves with Hobby Lobby crafts. There is a plethora of well-known businesses that have remained neutral on the culture war and in some cases have even contributed to conservative causes.

But how do we distinguish between the good and the bad?

You need to learn about 2ndVote.com, a non-profit website and free mobile app, that allows users to view which brands align with their values.

2ndVote tracks contributions from corporations on issues for which you and I have strong beliefs, such as pro-life, marriage, gun rights and even environmental issues.  Their goal is to help you make better decisions when you cast your 2nd Vote every day by letting you know where your money really goes when you’re buying a product, eating at a restaurant, or supporting an organization.

Admittedly, it can be scary to uncover the contributions of your favorite brands. However, I am not saying we must go on a witch hunt to purge our shopping lists to the point of absolute purity. But if there are two competitors that have a similar product or service yet one supports causes that violate your beliefs and the other does not, let us embrace the opportunity that we have to support family values.

We’re not out to simply take vengeance on those who sustain the opposition, but to support those who have refused to cave into the pressure from the Left and have remained neutral. By downloading the app and using the website, we have yet another avenue to affect the culture for the better.

Download the 2ndVote App HERE

 

Source: Will County News