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Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 03:30 pm

Letters to the Editor 10/27/11


Legislators are due to consider state subsidies for the proposed Tenaska power plant at Taylorville.

Illinoisans should not be forced to buy overpriced, dirty coal power for the next 30 years.

Unfortunately, when the legislature reconvenes for its veto session, they will consider the Tenaska Bill (SB 1653), which would do just that, by building a new plant in Taylorville. A generation from now, our children will still be paying above-market prices, while Tenaska takes profits out of state for its dirty energy.

The proposed plant will cause pollution comparable to an old-fashioned coal plant (equivalent to putting almost a million more cars on the road), and, according to a report by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), cost Illinois ratepayers almost an added $300 million in energy costs each year.

When our legislators return to Springfield, they will have a choice – to lock Illinois into three more decades of expensive, dirty power, or to keep us moving towards a clean energy future.

Mallory Mattimore-Malan
Environment Illinois

While members of both parties and people across the political spectrum respect Speaker Michael J. Madigan, he is dead wrong in using form over substance to block Gov. Pat Quinn’s use of his amendatory veto to eliminate legislative scholarships.

Legislative scholarships, which each state legislator is authorized to give to anyone who lives in their district, is an anachronism from the days when political patronage was king. That is reason enough to eliminate this relic, but reports have surfaced of wholesale abuse of this program.

Gov. Quinn submitted his amendatory veto to HB 1350, which would ban lawmakers from awarding the scholarships to family members. The amendatory veto would eliminate the legislative scholarship program entirely.

Madigan’s spokesman asserted that the governor’s amendatory veto doesn’t comply with our constitution. “The amendatory veto...was put in place to make minor technical changes,” Steve Brown said.

But the state constitution doesn’t say that. “The governor may return a bill together with specific recommendations for changes to the house in which it originated,” is what Article IV, Section 9(e) of our state constitution says. The constitution doesn’t limit those changes in any way.

 The elimination of legislative scholarships and the open primary have broad public support. It is time for the House leadership to put substance over form and allow a  vote on these matters.

Sam Cahnman
Alderman, Ward 5

Regarding the Guestwork by Nick Capo, “Who are the poor?” [Oct. 13]: This article is superb and might be the best article I have read in a really long time in Illinois Times.
Time has passed since Dickens introduced the world to Oliver Twist. Since the same problems in greater number still exist, perhaps it is time to look back upon the British “New Poor Law,” really study the assertions of Malthus, Ricardo and Bentham, and study facts. Then we could write a better recipe to help the disadvantaged.

As a single mother I have worked for the Illinois legislature for more than a decade. At one point I worked overtime hours through the session and still maintained a full-time schedule earning a bachelor’s degree. Back then I had high hopes of becoming respected and successful. More often than not, I found myself dealing with offensive comments regarding my disability.

Through all this I came to the conclusion that I would not file for disability and sit at home collecting an even lesser paycheck, to only be looked down upon further.  Instead I decided I could only ask to assume new duties and more responsibilities in continued hopes that one day my hard work would be noticed. Finally, I was given a chance and my complaint against unfair attacks was heard. My hope is restored and I do believe that if you give someone a chance they will rise to the occasion. 

Name withheld by request


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Wednesday Sept. 26th