Rich Miller: Black Caucus lands significant economic wins

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Last week, Gov. Pritzker signed into law the Black Caucus’ huge package of bills dealing with economic reform. Among them was SB1792, a bill that basically applied the military’s simple but seemingly effective interest rate cap on payday and other personal loans. The payday loan folks expressed outrage at how they’d been cut out of the process and predicted their industry’s imminent demise.

We’ll see if the industry’s dire predictions turn out to be true, but it’s as plain as day that massive change is happening, not just in the types of bills that have passed, but in how they’ve passed.

The question now is whether January’s session was a super-intense brushfire that will burn itself out and/or be extinguished by more moderate Democrats, or whether the path the General Assembly is on will be sustained.

Case in point, Rep. Curtis Tarver’s (D-Chicago) bill to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers advanced out of committee last week.

The Black Caucus’ criminal justice reform bill originally contained that qualified immunity provision, as well as limits on collective bargaining rights for police unions. But their bill was only able to gain enough votes when they agreed to strip out those items at the request of some moderate Democrats.

Tarver’s bill could put more heat on those same moderates and create tension within the party. So, this bill could be one to watch.

Rich Miller publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

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March 26, 2021 at 05:10PM

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