Citizen Bulletin: Governor Rauner Proposes Reinstating Death Penalty

Keep track of your elected officials with this week’s Citizen Bulletin!


Capitol Ministries

Last week, Governor Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to add a provision legalizing the death penalty to gun control legislation passed by the state legislature, sending the whole package back to the legislature for approval.

By Citizen Bulletin, Maroon Partner Organization

Citizen Bulletin for the Week of May 14-20      

Our highlights from this week include: Alderman Leslie Hairston argued in favor of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) before the Chicago Plan Commission, which unanimously approved the building plans; next, the OPC must obtain approval from the Zoning Committee and the City Council; Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged the Illinois state legislature to pass a controversial bill to increase carjacking penalties; Governor Bruce Rauner proposed reinstating the death penalty in Illinois.


Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) ~ call your alderman! (773) 324-5555

  • May 17—Argued in favor of the OPC before the Chicago Plan Commission, which unanimously approved the building plans; next, the OPC must obtain approval from the Zoning Committee and the City Council

Alderman Willie Cochran (20th Ward) ~ call your alderman! (773) 955-5610    

  • May 18—Cited as an example of a fraudulent public official in a University of Illinois at Chicago report declaring Chicago the nation’s most corrupt city

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) ~ call your mayor! (312) 744-3300

  • May 15—Criticized the lawsuit against the OPC as “frivolous”

  • May 16—Faced criticism from the policemen’s union for supporting a proposal that it claims would give “anti-police groups a role in police oversight”

  • May 17—Urged state lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase carjacking penalties; the bill would make it a felony to be in a stolen car, regardless of whether the defendant is aware that the car had been stolen



President Toni Preckwinkle ~ call your Cook County board president! (312) 603-6400

  • May 16—Claimed that the Cook County Health and Hospital System’s finances were in order while acknowledging problems with billing procedures at certain hospitals; an Inspector General’s report found $165 million in revenue losses over the past three years

  • May 18—Delivered an address at UNESCO’s Child and Family Center in Ireland to describe her work reforming the Cook County juvenile criminal justice system



Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D–District 25) ~ call your state rep! (773)-667-0550

  • May 14—Criticized Governor Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty as “a terrible idea”

  • May 16—Sponsored a package of legislation that would provide some relief to Illinois debtors

Senator Kwame Raoul (D–District 13) ~ call your state senator! (773) 363-1996

  • May 16—Criticized Governor Rauner’s proposal to reinstate the death penalty; the death penalty was repealed in 2011 by a bill Raoul sponsored

  • May 17—Sponsored a bill that would greatly expand the powers of the Illinois Attorney General, an office for which Raoul has received the 2018 Democratic nomination; Governor Rauner’s veto of the bill was overridden by the state senate, and now must be overridden by the state house in order to become law

Governor Bruce Rauner (R–IL) ~ call your governor! (312)-814-2121

  • May 14—Exercised his amendatory veto powers in order to add a provision legalizing the death penalty to gun control legislation that had been passed by the general assembly, sending the entire legislative package back to the general assembly for approval

  • May 18—Appointed Ken Dunkin, a close ally in the state legislature, to a paid position on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago



Representative Bobby Rush (D–IL1) ~ call your representative! (773) 779-2400

  • May 18—Joined an effort by House Democrats to pass legislation requiring the White House to disclose how much the federal government spends at Trump properties

  • May 18—Co-signed a discharge petition to force the Dream Act to the House floor for a vote

  • May 18—Penned a letter to Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, and several other companies requesting information on their privacy and data use practices

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D–IL) ~ call your senator! (312) 886-3506

  • May 14—Penned an article condemning Trump’s nominee for CIA chief, Gina Haspel, for her role in “running a CIA black site” where detainees were tortured

  • May 16—Voted, along with Senator Durbin and 50 other senators, in favor of a Congressional Review Act measure repealing the FCC’s decision to end Net Neutrality; the measure must also pass the U.S. House in order to become law

  • May 17—Co-sponsored legislation to make attacking a rail employee a federal crime

Senator Richard Durbin (D–IL) ~ call your senator! (312) 353-4952

  • May 15—Expressed openness to the idea of imposing work requirements for certain categories of food stamp recipients, but advised caution

  • May 17—Joined several influential Democrats in declaring opposition to a bipartisan prison reform bill

  • May 19—Co-signed a letter, along with 46 other Senators, urging President Trump to propose a nominee for the Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism, a position that has been vacant for 15 months

President Donald Trump (R) ~ call your president! (202) 456-1414

  • May 16—Tweeted that he would take measures to make sure Chinese company ZTE was not hurt by U.S. trade sanctions

  • May 18—Proposed pulling all federal funds for services unrelated to abortions at clinics that provide abortions or provide referrals to abortion clinics

  • May 19—Urged AG Jeff Sessions to investigate Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff for warning residents about an immigration raid

  • May 19—Urged the Postmaster General, in personal conversations, to double the shipping rates charged on packages; the Postmaster General has resisted the President’s entreaties on the grounds that shipping rates are contractually determined and can only be altered through a regulatory review process


*Our research process involves searching for press releases from the elected representatives, Google News stories, and any Twitter and Facebook posts. If no information is displayed in the Citizen Bulletin, then our research process turned up nothing new from this past week.


The Citizen Bulletin is a product of the University of Chicago Democracy Initiative (UCDI). UCDI is proudly supported by Andrew Goodman Foundation’s nonpartisan Vote Everywhere project. In addition to the UCDI website, you can find past versions of the bulletin here. For news closer to campus, subscribe to the twice weekly newsletter produced by our partners at the Chicago Maroon.


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