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From the Gonzo

. . . somewhere near the event horizon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More on the ILGA

A few thoughts to investigate, if you care to endure the genesis of this story.

First, 70th District State Rep. Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley) is not the chief sponsor of a single current bill labeled with the infamous "TECH" after its description on the Web site for the General Assembly (see the sidebar for the link).

However, Public Act 094-0535 started as a technical change bill and Pritchard was the chief house sponsor of this bill, which orginated in the Illinois Senate. The thing about this law is that it was not substanceless regardless of your opinion of it, (the law creates the Intercity Passenger Rail Fund, you can see more in its text.)

There were amendments in both the Senate and House which amounted to more than changing a word to the exact same word, they were substantial and consequential.

Then, there is 90th District State Rep. Jerry Mitchell (R-Rock Falls). The chief sponsor of only 10 bills, but 30 percent of them involve technical changes. HB1113 is another one of those bills similar to what Munson saw fit to propose. HB2920 is a bit different, substituting the word 'heard' for 'filed' and adding in an 'after filing,' if you really check out HB2920, by linking to the full text here and then linking to House Amendment 001 you will notice the amendment 001 is the only thing that altered the bill at all. This bill became law on July 8, 2005 as Public Act 094-0147. Mitchell is also the chief sponsor of HB2946. This bill, as introduced, included a technical change which made a 'the' once again a 'the.' However, after it was introduced it was amended three times and they were all substantial whether you agree with them or not.

What does this mean?

Well, it's hard to interpret but I have a guess. Perhaps it's part of the game played on the floor of the General Assembly. "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." In other words if one representative proposes a bill which makes only a simple techinical "change" may later recieve amendments that contain more controversial points. So if a rep. or senator proposes a bill that changes nothing in the present then in the future their name is still attached to the bill after the more controversial provisions are added. It equals good press.

Whether this is correct or not remains to be seen.

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