Republican week in review
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[June 22, 2007]
SPRINGFIELD -- Bickering between Gov.
Rod Blagojevich and his legislative leaders continued as it became
increasingly clear that Illinois is unlikely to complete a state
budget before the current fiscal year ends June 30. Although the end
of fiscal year is unlikely to cause an immediate shutdown of state
government, the state comptroller has warned that such a shutdown
could quickly occur if the budget impasse spills into July,
according to state Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield.
On Wednesday, Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago, sent the
latest volley across the Capitol with a resolution (SR258)
to reject a budget measure passed by fellow Democrats in the House
of Representatives. The move was seen as an effort to discredit the
document, and House Speaker Michael Madigan in the process.
Bomke said Illinois citizens would be better served if the
chamber passed its own budget and advanced its own agenda, rather
than passing nonbinding resolutions criticizing the House's actions.
In one bit of good news, cable television customers across
Illinois scored a win this week with a cable competition bill that
passed the Illinois General Assembly.
Senate Bill 678 will allow telecommunications companies to use
their existing technological capabilities to enter into the cable
television business. Currently, cable companies enter into
agreements with municipalities to provide exclusive service, thus
eliminating competition. Television customers were forced to remain
with the single-provider system, rely on traditional antennas or use
a satellite system. But the alternatives are often limited by
geography and availability. The legislation also provides several
consumer protection provisions that were endorsed by the Citizens
Meanwhile, budget talks continued to show no progress. Three of
the legislative leaders participating in the talks criticized of the
lack of leadership.
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Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson said, "I just don't see
where the realism has sunk in yet with the governor."
House Speaker Madigan described one session as "another
And, House Republican Leader Tom Cross said: "It's getting to the
point it's rather embarrassing and actually a bit disgusting."
Illinois has now officially moved up its primary election for the
2008 presidential cycle. The governor signed
House Bill 426, changing the primary to Feb. 5, 2008. In
addition to moving up the presidential primary, the move also
affects local, state, county and congressional races.
Other measures approved by the Senate and sent to the governor:
Liquor control (SB 1625) -- Legislation that bans the
advertising, promotion, marketing, and sales of "alcopop" beverages
to children within 500 feet of a school, amusement or public park,
and places of worship. It targets fruity alcoholic beverages that
are flavored like juices or sodas.
Latino Family Commission (SB 1746) -- Establishes a commission to
study family preservation within the Latino community.
[Text from news release sent on
Larry Bomke by Illinois
Senate Republican staff]