Nobody likes taxes – but everyone wants a qualified air traffic controller.
At tax time we complain. But it’s important to remember why we pay taxes. We want our garbage hauled away. We want the fire department and the police nearby. We hate potholes. We want clean water, fresh air and beautiful parks. We want someone to make sure the medicines we use are safe. We want qualified air traffic controllers. We know these things are not free, but we still complain about taxes.
The State of Oklahoma just passed a “loser pays” rule for all civil suits. This is how it happened: there was a bill with strong bi-partisan support to establish a statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases.
Top 5 Reasons to Oppose the Protecting Access to Care Act
1. H.R. 1215 is a Wrecking Ball to States’ Rights and State Tort Systems.
H.R. 1215, the so-called “Protecting Access to Care Act,” broadly preempts both state medical malpractice law and state products liability laws, violating the 10th Amendment and States’ Rights. Under the U.S. tradition of federalism, tort law is an area of law exclusively left to state governments. In other words, there is no federal tort law. The bill would preempt the decisions of state legislatures and state courts, mandating a new federal tort law. It would even preempt 18 state constitutions.
While the bill has provisions regarding “State Flexibility” these provision are in-fact preemption clauses, mandating a strict federal regime that contradicts the decisions of state legislatures and state courts.
Sometimes it is hard to know what ITLA is doing for you. Most of it goes on in Springfield and out of our view. But it involves knowing who is doing what to take away the rights of injured people and making sure we are there to bring the fight.
On Wednesday I testified in Springfield in front of the House Judiciary Committee. The topic was the “Public Duty Rule.” This rule is a holdover from the common law which has been the source of much confusion since the passage of the tort immunity act in 1965. The Public Duty Rule is this: local governments have no duty to provide services to any individual but only to the public as a whole. This rule is a form of sovereign immunity which originated in England and essentially means that the King is not liable no matter what he does to you. Sovereign immunity was eliminated by the 1970 Illinois Constitution with the caveat that the legislature can pass laws granting immunities. That was done previously with the Tort Immunity Act in 1965.
Gov. Rauner Missed an Opportunity in his Budget Address to Focus on the Real Problem with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System: Insurance Company Profiteering
In his budget address, Gov. Bruce Rauner once again called for changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system, but missed an opportunity to spotlight the real problem with that system: insurance company profiteering. The insurance companies have exploited insufficient oversight and, since a 2011 rewrite of state law, have taken most of the savings for themselves as profits, rather than passing along their reduced cost of doing business to employers.
Rauner’s argument ignores fact
The following letter to the editor by ITLA President Christopher T. Hurley was published in Crain’s Chicago Business on January 23, 2017.
Gov. Bruce Rauner disingenuously claims that he’d like a balanced approach to improving workers’ compensation (“Bruce Rauner: My case for workers’ comp reform”), but demands that workers, especially those nearing retirement age, bear the financial brunt of his proposed changes.
In truth, Illinoisans already forfeited longstanding rights as part of the 2011 changes to Illinois workers comp’ laws – the same legislation that prompted a steep jump in insurance companies’ profits without a concurrent fall in the cost to employers, due to the state’s lax regulation of workers’ comp insurers.
The Amazing Randi
When you have some time try to watch the documentary film: An Honest Liar. It tells the life story of The Amazing Randi. Randi was a brilliant escape artist and magician until he became fed up with the scourge of charlatans and faith healers in the 70’s. These con men like, Uri Geller, were using tricks and lies to con the public into believing that they possessed supernatural powers. You can watch Randi debunk one con man after another. But the most disturbing thing is that despite clear evidence proving the lies, many people still believed. As Randi says: “People just believe what they want to believe.”
Workers comp reform should target the insurance industry
The following letter to the editor by ITLA President Christopher T. Hurley was published in The State Journal-Register on Monday, October 3, 2016.
Fewer men and women would have access to workers’ compensation benefits when injured on the job and insurance companies would make even more money. That’s the brand of so-called “reform” promoted by Gov. Bruce Rauner and his insurance industry friends.
Never mind that workers sacrificed longstanding rights as part of 2011 changes to the state’s workers’ comp law – legislation sought by the business community – and that insurance company profits, since passage of those changes, have ballooned.
Tragedy of the Commons
In 1833 a Victorian economist named William Forster Lloyd first wrote about the “Tragedy of the Commons.” The concept is now well recognized and applicable to many circumstances beyond those first envisioned by Lloyd. The concept is this: a small village has a commonly owned area that the local farmers use to graze their cows. If the grazing is done fairly, with the common good in mind, then all will prosper and the common remains a resource for all time. But if some farmers take more than their fair share, then others will see this and do the same – thinking that there will be none left for their herd if they don’t get their share now. Tragically this thinking leads to the total depletion of the grazing area until it has no benefit for anyone.
I believe we are in the fight of our lives. We live in a time when a nominee for president can make the charge that a man appointed to the federal bench is not fit to preside over his case because the judge’s parents were from Mexico. This judge is a former federal prosecutor who was forced to go into hiding early in his career because Mexican drug lords put a contract out on his life.
Has the man that made this charge been dismissed as a half–wit? To the contrary, his supporters are calling the judge’s chambers to demand that the judge recuse himself. He is one election away from the most powerful job in the world. This man wants to be the head of the executive branch. Would we really expect him to respect the separation of powers and the checks and balances that are the cornerstone of our republic?