Illinois Members; Constitutional Convention?


PDA






Jeff White
June 9, 2007, 07:46 PM
I've been thinking for a long time that this might be the only solution to our problems. A constitutional convention would give us the chance to remove the Subject to the police powers clause in our state RKBA and it most likely would be the only way (through changing how state senate districts are marked) to break the stranglehold Chicago has on the rest of the state.

It's coming up on the ballot in November 2008. It could be a double edged sword, but I think it's our best chance to change things. Apparently the legislature thinks so too:
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/illinoisnews/story/5B8ADD190DB7D814862572F400118B19?OpenDocument
Illinois lawmakers call for overhaul of state constitution
By Kevin McDermott
POST-DISPATCH SPRINGFIELD BUREAU
06/08/2007

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Frustrated Illinois lawmakers on Thursday approved a resolution slamming their own stewardship of government and calling on citizens to intervene by overhauling the state constitution.

"For reasons known and unknown, the General Assembly has been unwilling or unable to tackle some of the most significant problems facing the State of Illinois," reads the self-flagellating House resolution, which passed by a 48-47 vote.

The nonbinding resolution goes on to list a litany of issues the Legislature has failed for years to address: education funding, campaign ethics reform, the state's property assessment system. It suggests that, "given the inability of the Legislature to achieve results on these and other worthwhile issues," Illinoisans should take the state constitution apart and start from scratch.

"All you have to do is read any newspaper throughout the state to understand public frustration with state government right now," the sponsor of the measure, Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, said after the vote.

He suggested that lawmakers might never have the will to take on some of the long-unresolved issues. "Perhaps (constitutional) delegates, who are not worried about their re-election, would be more willing or able to do so," Fritchey said.

The November 2008 statewide ballot in Illinois already will offer a referendum to voters asking whether the state should conduct a constitutional convention to overhaul Illinois' core structural document, something that was last done in 1970. The resolution that the House passed Thursday merely encourages voters to support the measure on the ballot.

The biggest issue for many proponents is education funding. Illinois' current constitution says the state government has "the primary responsibility'' for funding public education, but courts have since ruled that that vague language isn't a mandate.

As a result, the state actually funds less than half the statewide cost of education, leaving the rest to local property tax payers — a situation that critics say has made property taxes outrageous in some parts of the state and has created vast inequities between different areas. Among likely goals of a new constitution would be to more specifically require that more than 50 percent of funding come from the state.

Nonetheless, almost half the House voted against the resolution, led by some of its highest-ranking members in both parties.

"I don't fear the people. But I do think that our constitution, the 1970 Illinois Constitution, is a good strong statement of principles that were good in 1970 and they're good in 2007," said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, the House majority leader and its second-highest ranking member. "I think there's a big risk in saying let's throw the whole thing open, let's start from scratch. We don't need to start from scratch. We have a good, sound framework."

Among other "no" votes were Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, the assistant majority leader, who called the idea of a constitutional convention "dangerous for this General Assembly." Many members of the House Republican minority also opposed the measure, including Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego.

The vote came as lawmakers ended their first week in overtime session, after the Legislature failed to pass a new state budget and adjourn for the summer by its regular May 31 deadline.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and legislative leaders have been unable to agree on a budget plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, raising the specter of a government shutdown next month if something isn't agreed upon in the next few weeks.

The leaders emerged Thursday from an afternoon meeting and indicated that no new progress had been made on issues that include how much to spend on education and health care, and whether to raise that money by expanding casino gambling in the state.

The resolution calling on citizens to support a constitutional convention is HR25.

Erik Potter of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

kmcdermott@post-dispatch.com | 217-782-4912

If you enjoyed reading about "Illinois Members; Constitutional Convention?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Kentak
June 9, 2007, 07:52 PM
I've always heard that Constitutional Conventions are a risky venture. One might advocate having one to fine tune or "improve" RKBA, but there is no guarantee that the anti-gunners won't use the opportunity to get even more restrictions etched in constitutional stone. Not to mention, all the other issues that are thrown open to tinkering.

As they say, be careful what you wish for.

K

Jeff White
June 9, 2007, 07:59 PM
Kentak,
The only way that RKBA in the Illinois State Constitution could get worse is to eliminate it entirely. The clause about subject to the police power pretty much makes any restriction constitutional.

Public attitudes have changed a lot since the last concon in 1970. All but two states have some form of concealed carry. The gun banners haven't been able to force any greater restrictions through the legislature in the last serveral years despite having a democratic majority in both chambers of the state house and an avowed anti as governor. I think we could only gain.

Jeff

ilbob
June 9, 2007, 08:34 PM
You are a brave man Jeff.

All kinds of mischief could happen at a CC.

You could easily end up with some constitutionally driven funding system for all kinds of social programs that would basically be even worse sinkholes for tax money than they are now.

You really want to see state and local tax rates decided by how much money the public employee unions and other leeches want to suck out of taxpayers?

Jeff White
June 9, 2007, 08:45 PM
I don't see things getting any better with the current system. The democrats are hopelessly deadlocked between Chicago and the rest of the state, the governor wants to spend like Imelda Marcos in a new shoe store, and the republicans have marginalized themselves so they are insignificant.

The state will be bankrupt soon, unable to borrow money to fund all the social programs the Chicago democrats want. I'd rather take my chances on a constitutional convention then sit back and watch the state self destruct.

Jeff

ilbob
June 9, 2007, 09:08 PM
Maybe the self destruct idea is a better one. Might wake up the citizenry.

You can bet your bottom dollar that if a CC was called, that Daley and his cronies will stuff it full of people who will rewrite the state constitution to his satisfaction.

I don't know how delegates are selected, but the last CC was a disaster for Illinois. I can't imagine another one would improve things any.

Autolycus
June 9, 2007, 10:15 PM
I like the idea. It sounds like an interesting approach to tackle some of the major issues in Illinois. I would definately support the idea.

I find it interesting that the government may "shut down" if the budget issues are not resolved by July 1st. So if the government is not meeting their deadline, or honoring their social contract with the people (so to speak), shouldn't they be fired and a new state government installed?

Either way I would like to see the RKBA rewritten in the Illinois State Constitution in a way that we are allowed to keep and bear arms without question.

gc70
June 9, 2007, 11:44 PM
A new constitution can cause all sorts of mischief. Since the 'leaders' of state government are so pleased with the current constitution, that should say a lot about the desirability of change.

Don Gwinn
June 10, 2007, 12:03 AM
It would be interesting to see. RKBA can't get any worse, as it essentially does not exist in the current wording. But everything else will be up for grabs as well! They could put in an inalienable civil right to high-speed trains and a minimum number of casino boats per town if they can find the votes.

But as Jeff says, a real RKBA in the state constitution would wreak havoc on this state's gun laws.

sctman800
June 10, 2007, 12:37 AM
To me the most importaint question is how are the CC delegates chosen? If the selection process gives any weight to people like Daley and his boy the Gov I could see things getting worse with all kinds of social entitlements. Just concerning RKBA I also think things could not get any worse than that "subject to police power" wording. Jim.

DKSuddeth
June 10, 2007, 03:21 AM
For Illinois, I think a concon would be the best thing for it. It would certainly clear the air once and for all and you could either retain the rkba or lose it. no more of the ambiguity.

ilbob
June 10, 2007, 09:20 AM
I am not even all that worried about the RTKBA. I doubt they would even change the wording any, since the current wording suits them quite well.

You can bet any new constitution put in by the Daley machine would include at a minimum:

- unrestricted abortion
- gay marriage
- unlimited taxes to support whatever money wasting schemes the politicians and their accomplices in the public employee unions want
- support for illegals
- mandatory unionism
- increased social programs

There is a long list of radical left wing ideas that could get into the state constitution.

I find it interesting that the government may "shut down" if the budget issues are not resolved by July 1st.
It will no more shutdown than the federal government shuts down when congress fails to come up with a budget. All that will happen is a few government offices that we didn't need in the first place will shut down for a day or two. The employees will be paid after the fact, so the only harm comes to us taxpayers.

Hk91 Fan
June 10, 2007, 09:25 AM
I have to agree with Don and Jeff. This provision is an all encompassing green light for the restriction of RKBA. Fight it. Moreover, not even Dick Durbin will say that the 2nd does not apply. The wording can only get better or stay the same.

We now have 6 counties openly opposing any new firearms regulation, and some saying they will ignore any new laws completely. The people are getting tired of Chicago forcing their anti-freedom agenda on the rest of the state. Fight it.

CDignition
June 10, 2007, 10:50 AM
you cant change the state constitution with voted in amendments?? Here in Florida we can, it seems to work well, but sometimes stupid ass things get voted for,lol..

Rocketman56
June 10, 2007, 12:24 PM
Can someone point me at which counties?? I know of Pike and Brown, but
I was not aware of the others..

viva la revolution!! :D

Part of the reason I'm interested is that we are looking at property
north of the St. Louis Metro Area.. (Time to leave Wally World behind!!)
(Also, looking at Central and Northeastern Missouri..)

THANKS!
Steve

eric_t12
June 10, 2007, 01:03 PM
I'm more in favor of changing through amending the current.

I'm definately in favor of illinois changing SOMETHING, because did you read that quote from that one D-Representative?

Among other "no" votes were Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, the assistant majority leader, who called the idea of a constitutional convention "dangerous for this General Assembly." Many members of the House Republican minority also opposed the measure, including Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego

Dangerous for the general assembly? what about dangers to the rights of the people, or how their lives will be affected? maybe it was just poor word choice, but that's how i read into THAT one...

Soybomb
June 10, 2007, 04:06 PM
The nonbinding resolution
So if I'm reading this right they voted 48-47 to put a nonbinding referendum on the ballot asking if a constitutional convention should be held? Assuming the referendum passed, we're going to get 3/5th of the members of the assembly to vote for actually having it and not just voting to allow the public to voice their opinion? I'm skeptical to say the least but maybe I've missed something.

you cant change the state constitution with voted in amendments?? Here in Florida we can, it seems to work well, but sometimes stupid ass things get voted for,lol..
You can, but if you can't pass a bill what are the odds that you can pass the amendment?

I find it interesting that the government may "shut down" if the budget issues are not resolved by July 1st.
If only :D

lee n. field
June 10, 2007, 05:14 PM
It's coming up on the ballot in November 2008. It could be a double edged sword, but I think it's our best chance to change things. Apparently the legislature thinks so too:

So how do we keep Daley and his thralls and vassals from dominating the convention, and writing it the way they want?

CDignition
June 10, 2007, 05:50 PM
Quote:
you cant change the state constitution with voted in amendments?? Here in Florida we can, it seems to work well, but sometimes stupid ass things get voted for,lol..
You can, but if you can't pass a bill what are the odds that you can pass the amendment?


Well, here in Florida, it is a Public vote, not done by Lawmakers. This is where Grassroots pays off...Lawmakers don't do what you want, theres another avenue.

Jeff White
June 10, 2007, 06:20 PM
Soybomb said;
So if I'm reading this right they voted 48-47 to put a nonbinding referendum on the ballot asking if a constitutional convention should be held? Assuming the referendum passed, we're going to get 3/5th of the members of the assembly to vote for actually having it and not just voting to allow the public to voice their opinion? I'm skeptical to say the least but maybe I've missed something.

Yes, you missed the part about the vote on the concon already being on the ballot in Nov 08. The non-binding resolution is urging the citizens to vote for having the constitutional convention.

What the legislature is saying is that they are spineless politicians and we aren't statesmen enough to handle the tough decisions, so why don't you citizens change the constitution so that we don't have to deal with the tough decisions and we can continue to be spineless politicians and keep our $62,500 a year part time phony baloney jobs and kiss babies and inflate our egos by telling ourselves how popular we are.

So how do we keep Daley and his thralls and vassals from dominating the convention, and writing it the way they want?

I don't know how the delegates would be chosen. But I'm not as concerned as some of you about there suddenly being a constitutional right to medicade if your family income was less then $95,000 or a right to free higher education up through PHD. I think that we are more likely to end up with some actual constitutional limits on government and spending like they have in other states.

The current budget impasse is a great example. The governor wants to spend like a drunken sailor on leave in Hong Kong on payday but the legislature knows the economy in the state won't support it. But they are so beholden to their socialist base that they can't come out and tell the emperor he left his clothes in the closet this morning. They so want to be a socialist state, but somewhere in the back of their little pea brains, basic economics is nagging at them. So what are they doing, they are saying save us from ourselves. We aren't able to speak the truth because the special interest groups that elected us will drop us like a live grenade and elect someone else, then all the graft money and good salary for a part time job will stop and, oh my we might actually have to produce something to maintain our standard of living and quite frankly, few of us are capable of doing that in the real world, so give us the out by having a constitutional convention and making it against the law for us to do what our base is demanding.

It's the new way of politics in America. Constitutional conventions and commissions to make all the hard decisions so the political class doesn't have to face the fall out from them.

Jeff

Cellar Dweller
June 10, 2007, 07:25 PM
I once read that Illinois has the greatest # of taxing authorities of any state, and was roughly equal to states 3-5 combined, but I can't find the cite. Bureaucrats are running the asylum, financed by the promises from legislators.

How about redrawing the county boundaries by population with no increase in the number of counties? Cook would then be marginalized, and the tax burden would be a bit more equalized. 102 counties, 12.4-12.8 million population, about 123k per county...Cook would be splintered into ~42 counties by itself! The 41 redrawn counties, of course, would have none of the Chicago socialists in power, nor would they have Chicago socialist programs in place...yet. Progress could be made at the ballot box. The "new" Cook would collapse instantly - I propose that it centers on Bridgeport. :evil:

Zundfolge
June 10, 2007, 07:27 PM
IMNSHO, Constitutional Conventions make Constitutions less Constitutional (pardon the alliteration).

Constitutional Conventions should be held in once, everything carved in stone and that's that (be they state or national).

Once you decide every few years to start tinkering with the basic laws of the state you cease to be a "State of Laws" and you become a "State of Men" because the solidity of the law is not guaranteed.

Yeah, it could be made to work in the favor of RKBA, but it seems to be a bad idea overall. Makes politicritters think in terms of changing the Constitution at the next convention instead of learning to live within its restrictions.

Don Gwinn
June 11, 2007, 09:03 PM
Maybe we could put in a provision that congressional districts must have straight sides, 90 degree corners, and a maximum of four sides.

That purple one is mine. See the little razor's edge that connects Sangamon County to Macoupin County? That's where I live.

http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/images/illinoiscongressionaldistricts_map.bmp

Rocketman56
June 11, 2007, 11:12 PM
Lord almighty.. Who draws such crazy contours!!!!!! :what: Sigh..
Steve

Nanook
June 12, 2007, 05:20 PM
While at first glance it seems like the only way to concealed carry, it didn't work out so well in '68 did it?

And this current Daley is even more entrenched than his father. If only the Feds would do something right for once and lock this little fascist up. It would make me so happy, and would take the pressure off of gun owners in this state.

Now, the way it stands, he's probably grooming his son, you know, the batsman, to take his place. Enough already.

scout26
June 13, 2007, 11:00 AM
And this current Daley is even more entrenched than his father. If only the Feds would do something right for once and lock this little fascist up. It would make me so happy, and would take the pressure off of gun owners in this state

No chance. If (or when) Daley does the perp-walk, which 2A/RKBA friendly pol takes power: Jesse, Jr ??? Luis Gutierrez ??? Rahm Emanuel ??? Please..... The only hope for RBKA/2A in Chicago is at the grass roots level and breaking the power hold Chicago/Cook county has on Springfield.

What I really like to see at the concon is a change in the way that State Senators are elected. Currently there are 59 and the districts are "drawn" by population, which is why Chicago/Cook county has 20 State Senators (http://www.isgs.uiuc.edu/nsdihome/browse/statewide/senate91b.gif)

How about reducing that number to 51 and have one Senator from every 2 counties ??? http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/illinois_map.html Or have 102 senators, one from every county. Downstate would quickly be the equal of Chicago/Cook county. I think this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they decided that the US Senate would consist of of two Senators from each state, so that large (population and size) wouldn't be able to bully the smaller states which is what we currently have in Illinois, the large (Chicago/Cook) bullying the small (downstate, et al).

But back to the OP and the potential impact of a concon on RKBA/2A here in Illinois. It can't get any worse (well, it always can) and the possibility of getting rid of those four words "subject to police power" makes it a very tempting. It's even more tempting if we get a favorable USC decision on Parker .

The only drawback would be how it's made up and who are the delegates.

I'll vote for it.

Autolycus
June 13, 2007, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by Scout26:
How about reducing that number to 51 and have one Senator from every 2 counties ??? http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/illinois_map.html Or have 102 senators, one from every county. Downstate would quickly be the equal of Chicago/Cook county. I think this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they decided that the US Senate would consist of of two Senators from each state, so that large (population and size) wouldn't be able to bully the smaller states which is what we currently have in Illinois, the large(Chicago/Cook) bullying the small (downstate, et al).

They did have that in mind but they also felt that states with a smaller population should not necessarily be equal to the big states so they also created the house of represenatives. Should smaller populations which produce less get as much as a larger population that produces more was their reasoning as well. So the idea that laws must be passed in both the senate and the house was the only logical answer.

Autolycus
June 13, 2007, 02:37 PM
I for one am up for the idea that Scout26 describes but at the same time it is not fair for Cook County residents since they make up the majority of the population. Redistricting is not a bad idea in my opinion though and creating a fair way to do that.

Look at the history of the districts in Georgia and you will see there was a lot of it done on racial lines as well as economic lines. I believe the Georgia state politicians had to change things so that they made more sense and we did not get these crazy lines and districts.

Jim K
June 13, 2007, 02:43 PM
Jeff White wrote, "The only way that RKBA in the Illinois State Constitution could get worse is to eliminate it entirely."

Nope. Eliminating it would only leave things up in the air. If the liberals stack a convention, you could end up with a statement to the effect that "No person other than an agent of the state or federal goverment on official business shall possess any kind of weapon" or words to that effect.

Jim

scout26
June 14, 2007, 12:47 PM
My proposal would only change the Senate districts to either one or two counties, it would still leave the State House of Representatives districts to be drawn based on population.

IllHunter
June 14, 2007, 01:08 PM
First off, to spend like a drunken sailor on leave in Hong Kong on payday, I resemble that remark! And it reeks of a certain ...familiarity?

Second, the latest counties to rebel...Today at the June meeting of the White County Board, members voted unanimously to approve a resolution in support of the Second Amendment rights of White County citizens. By passing the resolution White County joins Brown, Hancock, Pike, Johnson, Schuyler, and Randolph counties which have passed similar resolutions. Many more counties are considering the proposed resolution.

The county-to-county movement to recognize and voice support for the Second Amendment was sparked by the extremely restrictive firearms legislation continuously being introduced at the State Capitol by legislators from Chicago and Cook County. The city of Chicago has banned the possession of handguns for decades and in November of '06 the Cook County board expanded their "assault weapons" ban to include large numbers of rifles and shotguns.

Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley vowed during his most recent inaugural speech to "rid the state of guns" and he makes no distinction between lawfully owned firearms and those used by criminals. Daley's form of gun control has not been received well by Illinois gun owners who own firearms for hunting, sport, and self-defense. Many White County gun owners have taken exception to Cook County politicians exerting their legislation on the rest of the state.

Around 1,500 Illinois gun owners made the trip to the State Capitol in Springfield this last March to lobby against any legislation that would infringe on their Second Amendment rights. The County Board resolution is another step in reinforcing that opposition.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Anyone interested in presenting the resolution to their county board can contact Mike Rowe at rowe54@hamiltoncom.net or Mark Mountain at m5mountain@yahoo.com.

Third, I can live with the vagaries for the RTKB if a con con is held but I would put all my resources into pushing term limits. Madigan is as much of a problem as Daley.

FTA84
June 14, 2007, 02:49 PM
How is the Ill constitution even legal? If I am correct in my history, no state constitution can overwrite our national constitution.

We have the right to keep and bear arms, and it shall not be infringed.

The state constitution of Ill says you have the right to keep and bear arms, subject to infringement (by the police)? (If I am reading your post correctly)

I just don't get it...seems like if you combine both it reads you have the right to keep and bear arms, uninfringed, but subject to infringement.....stupid...perhaps this is why I do mathematics for a living....no arguments about 'meaning', everything is either right or wrong.

sctman800
June 14, 2007, 03:01 PM
From things I have read on another site, one of the issues on the con con is taxes and property tax relief, but when it is opened I assume everything is possible. I also like scout26's idea.

"How about reducing that number to 51 and have one Senator from every 2 counties ??? http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/illinois_map.html Or have 102 senators, one from every county. Downstate would quickly be the equal of Chicago/Cook county. I think this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they decided that the US Senate would consist of of two Senators from each state, so that large (population and size) wouldn't be able to bully the smaller states which is what we currently have in Illinois, the large (Chicago/Cook) bullying the small (downstate, et al)."

As importaint as RKBA is to me this would probably save RKBA and many other things by removing the Chicago lock on legislation. It also does seem to be in line with the founders of our country, Jim.

geekWithA.45
June 14, 2007, 04:02 PM
Good luck, IL.

If I were you, I would seriously consider ejecting CHI from your state.

The civil war settled whether regions could forcibly leave the union, but it did not comment on whether regions could be forcibly thrown out. :evil:

Jeff White
June 14, 2007, 05:09 PM
I agree that changing the senate districts is the best way to stop the tyranny of the majority, even if Tecumseh thinks that it's not fair.

Jeff

Brett Bellmore
June 14, 2007, 06:05 PM
How about reducing that number to 51 and have one Senator from every 2 counties ???

I think you'll find that the Supreme court has already ruled that sort of arrangement to be unconstitutional. Somehow the exact same legislative system the Constitution mandates for the federal government is supposed to violate the Constitution if the states use it. :rolleyes:

Your first priority for a concon has to be, I think, getting a solid system of ballot proposals and initiatives in place. Once you've got a way to work around the elected politicians, everything else can be fixed in time.

illini52
June 14, 2007, 06:14 PM
Good luck, IL.

If I were you, I would seriously consider ejecting CHI from your state.

Illinois is a nice place if you were to get rid of Chicago and its suburbs. Someone mentioned it earlier, but I would think the only way that there will be any change would be if a) the normal part of Illinois separated from Chicago or b) the state gov't makes such a big foul up (bankruptcy leading to things such as shut down roads, reduced police force) that actually affects the voters of this state. If it's just a story in the newspaper, it will not change the masses, but if something were to affect each person, it would be a good wakeup.

If you enjoyed reading about "Illinois Members; Constitutional Convention?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!