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Illinois Legislative Stupidity

As everyone is very well aware, the State of Illinois, due to the intransigency of Governor Rauner and Speaker of the House Madigan, has been without a budget for over twenty (20) months. Both Governor Rauner and Speaker of the House Madigan are acting like two (2) little children playing in the sandbox who cannot agree and both of them have decided to "take their ball home". If only it were that easy to get rid of both of them!

This budget roadblock is further complicated by Attorney General Madigan's "push" to shut down Illinois Government by stopping the pay of Illinois Government Employees. She lost in St. Clair County and now wants to "bypass" the Illinois Appellate Court System and go directly to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Author must wonder if the "sandbox of Rauner/Madigan" is not being sledgehammered by this move. Certainly, Attorney General Madigan would not be attempting to help Speaker of the House Madigan "get his way"!

Even though this Budgetary Crisis marches on, a number of the Members of the House (and the Senate as well) of the State of Illinois are trying to pass Legislation that bears little, if any, logic. There is currently pending a Bill, sponsored by Representatives Wheeler and Burke, to allow children under the age of twenty-one (21) to drink alcoholic beverages in restaurants in the presence of their parents. The "justification" for this Bill is that there is similar companion Legislation in the State of Wisconsin and it doesn't seem to create a problem there. Certainly, this is "extremely important Legislation".

Additionally, Representative Currie wants to create a Wage Lien Act to allow for the attachment of an Employer's personal property for the lack of payment of wages due to an Employee. House Bill 2351 is clearly sending a message to Illinois Employers that the Illinois General Assembly would rather increase liability on Employers and their ability to create jobs than to deal with the Budget Crisis.

Unfortunately, the extremely important Legislation does not stop. Representative Moeller is pushing to have passage of House Bill 2462 that would add penalties for Employer Inquiries regarding salary or wage history. These penalties would create unlimited compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief and "special damages" not to exceed $10,000. This Legislation is unnecessary because Illinois Law already prohibits Wage Discrimination, but the band marches on. Even though Federal Action on creating a new Wage Structure for bonafide Executive, Administrative and Professional Employees has been enjoined by the Federal Courts since the latter part of 2016, Representative Guzzardi is pushing House Bill 2749 that clearly follows/mimics the Federal Legislation which is now enjoined.

The Founding Fathers of our Country and all common sense thinking Citizens would be and should be incensed that Illinois Legislators concern themselves with Legislation of little to no value while an ever-growing Financial Crisis impacts the State. The Author is reminded of the Roman Fable that "Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned". The Author doubts that Rauner, Madigan and many of the Representatives in the House could even play a fiddle!


Questions? Please contact Walter Liszka of Wessels Sherman's Chicago, Illinois office at (312) 629-9300 or via email at waliszka@wesselssherman.com.

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