Jack Franks Introduces 84 Bills; 5 Set for Passage

Yesterday, I took a look at what legislation State Rep. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) had managed to move toward passage. He has nine bills that will pass, if called for a vote.

Today, let’s take a look at State Rep. Jack Franks’ bills. The Marengo Democrat has five on track toward passage.

House Bill 22 amends the Line of Duty Compensation Act requiring earlier payment of whatever the minimum amount would be. No one has voted “No” yet.

HB 272, which requires that the Illinois High School Association shall require that each athletic coach complete an educational program on the prevention of abuse of performance-enhancing substances developed by the association and complete an exam, is in the Senate ready for passage. . Athletes not passing the test would be fined $50. Only “Yes” votes on this one.

HB 338 reduces the eligible size of a renewable energy plant to receive state grants from 30 million to 5 million gallons per day. This is the third completely non-controversial bill for Franks.

HB 366 legislatively shifts the Circuit Breaker program from the Revenue Department to the Department of Aging. It loosens the definition of household income, allowing a second eligible person’s income to be ignored in the formula. It also increases the cut-off level from $14,000 to $23, 218 for a one-person household for this tax year and $27,610 for next year. The law allows, but does not require the Aging Department to adjust the income levels to keep up with increases in the cost of living. The maximum grant for those earning over $14,000 still seems to be $70. If so, that means the bill will have little benefit, as far as property tax relief goes. It appears to have more impact as far as assistance in buying pharmaceutical drugs. Applications may be made over the internet and appeals are allowed to benefit decisions.

HB 3859 may turn out to be a bill that Franks concludes he should not have sponsored. As the Federal Environmental Protection Agency rachets air quality standards higher and higher, the areas along the edge of the currently mandated emission testing area, which end at Crystal Lake and McHenry, but exclude populated areas like Huntley, end up being in the Feds’ sights. The Illinois General Assembly held off expansion of the boundaries in the 1990’s, but, reading this bill makes me think the heat has gotten so hot and the penalties so high (probably no Federal road money) that a fast-tracking of areas where people must get their vehicles tested is the purpose of this bill. If so, we’ll see if Franks’ catches political heat for sponsoring this bill. I remember the boundaries made no sense whatsoever when my then-intern Pete Castillo put together a nationwide coalition to fight what the Bill Clinton Administration proposed.

HB 4078 is his highly publicized bill to prohibit Rod Blagojevich from benefiting financially from his attempts to cash in on his notoriety.

Maybe House Speaker Mike Madigan imposed a five bill limit on his Democrats.

You can find out how other state representatives are doing on their bills here.

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