By: Mark Glennon*
Illinois Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) is a sponsor of HB3004. It would extend borrowing authority for the Regional Transportation Authority and Chicago Transit Authority.
However, the bill would also ease the way for a state bailout of those authorities through purchase of their bonds by the Illinois Treasurer. If those authorities default on any note the Treasurer buys, the bill directs the Illinois Comptroller to offset bond payments from state aid that otherwise flows to the defaulting authority. Both the Illinois Policy Institute and I wrote earlier about concerns over the bill. It would prioritize bond payments, if a default occurred, over taxpayers dependent on transportation services.
Watch as Sen. Dale Righter (R-Matoon) asked on Tuesday some simple questions about the bill. Sandoval has no idea what his bill is about.
Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) later briefly and politely stated his reasons for opposing the bill.
Sandoval responds, “I know that the senator from Mattoon enjoys getting his jollies off my bills. I understand your approach to life, maybe because I’m a Mexican. … Generally, on my bills, you like to get up and you like to joust and like to make me fizzle in my chair…because you’re such a nice guy.”
“Senator Oberweiss, Sandoval says, “I hope to never see you again in my committee.”
Watch it yourself:
Most of the rest of the General Assembly surely doesn’t know what the bill means, either, which is true of much of what it rushed through this week. The bill passed both houses so it’s now up to Governor Rauner whether it becomes law.
*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.