The Chicago Tribune Editorial on Monday endorsed the continued relaxation of rules waived during the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of them was making it easier to get a document notarized:
That brought my mind back to 1973. my freshman year in the Illinois House.
I spent a fair amount of time looking at the bills that had been introduced and, funding ones I like, then asking the sponsor if I could co-sponsor them.
One was sponsored by Harold Katz, a liberal Democrat from Glencoe.
It would end the requirement that auto license plate applications be notarized.
I couldn’t think of any reason a notary should be involved and Harold agreed I could be a co-sponsor.
I ended up as the only one.
The committee I did not request to be placed on by House Speaker W. Robert Blair was Motor Vehicles.
It was just a place-filler. I had gotten Revenue, Counties & Townships, the two where I thought property tax bills might show up.
Motor Vehicles Committee Chairman was Pete Pappas, a Republican from the Quad Cities area.
He hosted a breakfast for committee members in the basement dining room of the Mansion View Motel (formerly owned by Secretary of State Paul Powell at which SoS employees coming to Springfield were told to room).
Pappas explained to the committee members that bills were screened by the Motor Vehicle Laws Commission and that bills approval by the Commission should be approved by the Committee.
I raised my hand to ask about the Katz notarization elimination bill.
I told him I was a co-sponsor.
“I’m not going to tell you how to vote” Pappas said, “but if they are sponsored by the members of the Motor Vehicle Laws Commission, they’re OK to vote for.”
Because I sponsored so many bills my first session (passing twelve), I sometimes had to be in another room presenting a bill while one of my committees was meeting.
That happened the day the Katz bill was being considered.
As I walked into Motor Vehicles, the rollcall was being taken on the notarization bill.
I voted, “Yes.”
The bill passed by one vote.
Pappas was not a happy Chairman.
He subsequently wore a wire.
Five out of the six members of the Motor Vehicle Laws Commission were indicted.
The only one who was not was Republican Clarence Neff, a wealthy man who started a farm implement business in his Western Illinois county, started a bank and bought the closed movie theater to store his collection of antique cars.