Our friends in the Illinois General Assembly must be virtuosos by now, with all the fiddlin’ they’ve been doing.
We start 2018 with more than 200 shiny new state laws. State lawmakers are fiddlin’ with letting drivers younger than 18 donate their organs, with getting stickers off car windows before new owners drive away from the dealership, with pet custody during divorce, with beauty salon and dry cleaner pricing, with military personnel canceling their cable TV contracts and getting a service dog for depression, with scattering a loved one’s ashes in a state park, with prohibiting elephant acts in circuses, with protecting your right to make negative online reviews, with finding homes for former research animals, with preventing expulsions from preschool, and with designating Aug. 4 as Barack Obama Day.
When common sense is in short supply, there is certainly a state law that can fix it. If not for the wisdom of the sages of Springfield, we might have thought it was perfectly fine to drive with large pieces of paper stuck all over our car windows.
Two years of impasse wrecked state finances until there were $16.675 billion in unpaid bills, yet lawmakers found time to draft, hold hearings and pass more than 200 efforts to fiddle. They played Big Brother without ever looking at the Big Picture of uncontrolled spending, of a $251 billion public pension deficit threatening to cost every Illinois family $52,269, and of creating a bloated, tax-hungry wasteland that young professionals are fleeing before Mike Madigan can stick them with the bill.
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Too bad they couldn’t reach impasse on fiddlin’ with how everyone else in Illinois conducts their business and lives. Too bad they fiddled and never felt the heat.