Tag Archives: Illinois

The Case for an Illinois Constitutional Convention

Governor Rod Blagojevich has done something remarkable in Illinois. He has managed to unite people across the political spectrum to create consensus that he absolutely stinks as a governor. Illinois deserves better than Rod Blagojevich.

Because of his low approval in both parties and the budget fiasco of last year, legislators (even those in his own party) are talking about amending the constitution to allow recall votes of sitting politicians. The timing for such talk is opportune because on the November ballot this year there will be a question on whether to have a constitutional convention for Illinois to rewrite or amend the state constitution.

The ability to throw a politician out of office after he or she has be shown unwilling or unable to govern according to the public interest is popular among the voters and is growing popular among politicians who want to take revenge against Blagojevich. Yet a convention should include more than just recalls. While throwing public officials out of office that has shown themselves to be a complete failure is a good start, revising the constitution should produce an overall solid framework for good governance.

There are many good reforms that should be considered and factor into a complete rewriting of the Illinois Constitution. The practice of gerrymandering needs to be eliminated. There are disturbingly few uncompetitive races throughout the state. Democrats have their seats, Republicans have theirs and often they do not even try to compete for the other party’s turf. Politicians should not be able to choose their voters; it should be the other way around. Take a look at the map of Illinois Congressional District 4 to see how ridiculous gerrymandered maps can be.

Along with gerrymandering, it is time to consider term limits for every elected and appointed office in the state. Far too many politicians rule “for life” without any real means for the voters to make them responsive to their needs. Every elected office on all levels should be limited to a maximum of 2 terms or 8 years. Likewise, appointed officials who hold a great amount of party who are not directly accountable to the people need to have their terms of office limited as well.

Open ballot access should be implemented. Every person should have equal ballot access regardless of political affiliation or non-affiliation and a true democracy requires nothing less. The freedom to vote does not mean much if there is no real choice. Independents and third-parties often have to get over 10 times the amount of signatures as established parties do. This system has led the federal courts to repeatedly rule against our election system.

Citizens should be allowed to put binding referenda on the ballot. When state lawmakers refuse or are unable to come up with solutions to problems, the citizens should have a means to bring them up directly. Such referenda, to be effective, need to be binding and not subject to overturning except in rare circumstances.

There are those who are against a constitutional convention because they think the current constitution is fine. To show how the current constitution is not “good enough”, take a look at Article VIII Section 2 of the Illinois Constitution which requires that the budget for the state be balanced.

Yet, according to the Commercial Club of Chicago, a prominent business group, the State of Illinois is in about $ 106 billion worth of debt. Being thoroughly disabused of the notion that a balanced budget requirement in the Illinois Constitution has produced a balanced budget, we can go forward with discussing rewriting the document.

This November, the citizens of Illinois have a great opportunity to take bake their government from the corrupt and entrenched politicians who rule with their “pay-to-play” politics. A convention, however, should not touch on solitary reforms but to reform the entire constitution to create a foundation and framework for good governance in Illinois. Illinois deserves better than this.

John Bambenek [http://bambenek.pentex-net.com] is a columnist and writer who blogs at Part-Time Pundit [http://www.parttimepundit.com] and is co-founder of the Illinois Citizens Coalition.

AM Edition – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

AM Edition – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports
PREGNANCY-CHEMICALS: From mercury to pesticides, Americans are exposed to environmental chemicals that can harm reproductive health, the nation's largest group of obstetricians and fertility specialists declare in a new report. … After Okla. court …
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Illinois Marriage Records Online Check

Tracing family history which in the process requires digging into old marriage records now need not be the proverbial search of needle in a haystack. In the past, gathering the information that is found in those marriage records was not an easy task to do in the state of Illinois. But many individuals still want to dig out these files no matter how it is difficult. Now motley of websites offers tools with promises of instantly finding such records which in the pre-computer era could be dug only at dust-filled archives.

These old marriage records of Illinois have been put online. Online marriage records include also those of post-1900 period up to the current with the Statewide Marriage Index. Marriage Records Ohio is now being searched by many for various purposes. One reason is That is useful for family history and genealogical research. The other reason is that it can conduct a background check on your future spouse to make sure that before giving your lifetime commitment to someone. Apart from those two reasons, these old marriage records can also be utilized in any legal proceedings.

Having these old marriage records open to the public basically means that anyone has been given the right to freely view someone else’s marriage records provided he or she follows the procedures and rules that the state government is implementing. Internet search of old marriage records could be tedious and taxing and needs a lot of patience. A Free Marriage Records Search is given to all individuals. Thus, you don’t need to worry over that need to check on someone’s marriage record or probably check your own marriage record because these are now ready to be accessed either through your state government office or online.

Locating People’s Old Marriage Records Has Never Been Easier.

Our databases and resources offer the most complete, comprehensive, and user friendly public record databases on the internet. Search anyone, starting in the next 2 minutes!

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Expanding Broadband in Illinois

Officials in Illinois have the good problem of trying figure out how to spend more than $ 351 million in federal, state and private funds in order to fully build out broadband coverage throughout the state.  Many of these officials came together recently in one meeting to celebrate and figure out their next move.  Over the last decade, many of these same officials have been working tirelessly to advance broadband, but now that their work has gotten an extra monetary boost, the work can go much further. 

One of those steps that had been taken over the last several years was the creation of the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council.  This council came up with several initiatives including the Connect Southern Illinois Collaborative which supported broadband expansion in 20 counties.  Another initiative was the Illinois Main Street Program which supported the creation of wireless networks throughout the state. 

Currently work is being done on how to divide the millions of dollars in order to make sure that the money is being spent wisely.  For example some of the money is already earmarked for the University of Illinois UC2B fiber to home build.  This one project alone is getting $ 23 million.  Another $ 12 million is headed to DeKalb County for help with their infrastructure build out for more broadband services.  The city of Chicago is set to receive $ 7 million for “smart cities” and another $ 9 million for public computing centers. 

Another company that is working to expand broadband services throughout the state of Illinois is AT&T.  The investment comes in the wake of an update to a 25-year-old telecommunications law that will help attract money being funneled into new technologies.  AT&T is also working with lawmakers in order to support a national broadband expansion that will allow fast internet access to all Americans by the year 2014.  This follows with President Obama’s hope that 98% of Americans will have access to broadband services within the next five years. 

As work continues to build out broadband services throughout the state of Illinois, officials see this progress as the key to economic stability as well as advancements in the classroom and medical field.  This money is also vital to so called “anchor institutions” such as libraries and schools.  The funds will allow for those without home computers to better be able to get online at places such as libraries and other community centers.  This will allow for greater education and in turn a stronger workforce as the public will be able to find jobs a little easier.  Broadband service is also vital to education as it will allow students to learn about regions and topics that they have never had access to before. 

Illinois is, of course, just one of many states in the union to benefit from the federal recovery act and put to use millions of dollars toward broadband expansion.  So far, several billion dollars have been spent on broadband construction projects in more than 30 states and one Unites States’ territory. 

http://www.mybluedish.com“>MyBlueDish is an informative website on Satellite Internet and High Speed Internet Service.

Escape to Naperville, Illinois

If you are looking for a great small home town to live in, Naperville, Illinois is the place for you. This city took second place on the annual list of America’s best small cities to live in. This city has a population of approximately 150,000 residents. Although the city is the fifth largest city in the state of Illinois, when you are in the city itself, it sure doesn’t feel that populous. Naperville is great for a family with small children, someone who likes city life, or even for retiring to. There is also plenty of Kankakee County healthcare nearby. Much of the population that lives in Naperville can be attributed to the massive migration of professionals that took place in the 1990s. These people were seeking good paying jobs as well as renowned school districts. The schools in Naperville are ranked in the top three percent of the entire country.

Naperville boasts several popular tourist attractions. One of the most spectacular sites in Naperville is the Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon. The tower is 14 stories high. This means that it is ten feet taller than the Statue of Liberty! If you are feeling up to the task, you can climb to the top of the tower May to November. If you don’t feel like walking all of those stories, there is an elevator that will take you up, but only halfway. From the top you can get a birds eye view of the Momence hospital. The Moser Tower houses the Millennium Carillon. A carillon is a musical instrument that is usually housed in towers and consist of at least 23 bronze cup-shaped bells. Some of these instruments can weigh up to 100 tons. The bells are played by a carillonneur who plays a keyboard with their fists and a pedal keyboard for the feet.

The Millennium Carillon is noted as a grand carillon due to the 72 bells that make up the instrument. One of the bells, Big Joe, weighs 6 tons on its own. Each Tuesday night during the summer months the carillonneur plays a special concert for the people of Naperville. If you are looking to visit other carillon’s, the world’s largest is housed in New York City’s Riverside Church.

Another great outdoor activity in Naperville is the Riverwalk. This Riverwalk is a four mile long walkway along the west branch of the DuPage River. The winding paths spread through the downtown area and other primarily residential areas. The Riverwalk also has fountains, benches, scenic bridges and an amphitheater along its paths. This is great for those who need to takes leisure strolls as instructed by their physicians at the local Illinois hospital.

Naperville is a lovely place for everyone to visit. Even if you just went to Riverside Medical Center and are recovering from your Kankakee County healthcare stay, you will still find yourself at ease here. Riverside Medical Center can provide you with information you need regarding your Illinois hospital stays. If you are planning on visiting the Carillon, make sure you consult with your physician at the Momence hospital for approval first. Riverside Medical Center can help you with finding a local physician.

Illinois Department of Public Health expands area's resources for STD screening

Illinois Department of Public Health expands area's resources for STD screening
The Illinois Department of Public Health has implemented its first sexually transmitted disease clinic in Adams County. This partnership between IDPH and Family … Family Planning and the STD clinic are two separate entities housed in the same …
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