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    Thumbs down Governor Blagojevich Vetoes Survivor Pension Bill; Illinois Legislature overrides

    So does Associated Firefighters of Illinois say that Governor Blagojevich is against firefighters like you would hear if it was a Republican Governor or if it was President Bush. NO. They say it's "because of the tax cap exemption, but he did not interfere with a legislative override." [in the bill] This is an extremely lame excuse by President Dave Foreman. Question. Is the AFFI for firefighter legislation or Democrats? When President Bush wouldn't sign the Homeland Security Bill because of what the Democrats attatch to legislation and continue to do so with every fire legislation, he and others like him are labled anti-firefighter or anti-union. Where is the uproar? Is it too much to ask for equal treatment of any government offical no matter what the party?

    "This action and the timing of the veto made it possible for us to override the veto immediately, which we did," said AFFI President Dave Foreman. How convienent. Governor Blagojevich is such a nice friend of firefighters that he did us a favor by vetoing it so quickly. Instead of asking why didn't Governor Blagojevich sign the legislation and not force the override we get excuses. Nice try AFFI, we're not all as dumb as you would hope.

    Shades of John Kerry. I guess Governor Blagojevich can now say "I actually voted for the bill before I voted against it".
    Last edited by viking73; 07-04-2004 at 12:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Governor Blagojevich Vetoes Survivor Pension Bill; Illinois Legislature overrides

    Originally posted by viking73
    So does Associated Firefighters of Illinois say that Governor Blagojevich is against firefighters like you would hear if it was a Republican Governor or if it was President Bush. NO.
    Can't speak for the IL brothers. Before Gov Davis was recalled he signed over 60 pieces of legislation supporting firefighters. He vetoed about a half dozen.

    I don't know the numbers in IL. But would a percentage like the one I just quoted make Davis pro or anti firefighter?

    It's all relative.
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    Default doesn't matter

    What, we're counting now? All it takes is one piece of legislation and a Republican is permanently anti firefighter. You've never gone on percentages in Bush's signed or unsigned bills.

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    I wonder how you would react if you died in the line of duty and then your widow/survivors would not get any of your pension benefits....

    oh that''s right... you're dead.. who gives a fat rat's rump?

    Say what you will about Massachusetts... but we have a State line of duty death benefit that pays the survivors $100,000 for a line of duty death. There is also a wonderful organization called the "The Hundred Club" that helps the survivors of police, fire and EMS personnel who make the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man.

    PS: What would be the per tax bill or per capita cost for the benefit statewide? Are you that cheap?
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    Default Well Viking

    Instead of asking people from different States about this, why dont you call Bruce Billman or Jim Schrepfer or even Dave himself? I looked at the legislative roll call and the override was made possible by BOTH sides of the aisle. We did pretty well with the pension bill with Blago. Even after he was not the democratic candidate originally endorsed by the AFFI. Blago has been having quite the time in Springfield even within his own party and has been a disapointment as far as I am concerned. BUT Dave and the AFFI legislatative crew do a good job. I have heard it personally from both Democrats and Republicans that they do a fine job of lobbying for us. So why dont you sit back and relax instead of muckraking.
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    Well Viking, I don't know where you are from but I just spent 3 days at the AFFI convention and President Foreman has done a tremendus job fighting for us in Springfield. If you know what this union will due for you when you need help you would not put post's like you did on the forums!!!!!!!!!!

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    Or at least put it in the Illinois forums where we could, as a group of Illinois fire service advocates take a look at it.
    Gonzo and others have been known to make the trip to Illinois to give us a hand from time to time.
    Put your business wherever you want, but if it's an Illinois fire service issue, I will discuss it in the Illinois thread.
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    Smile Chief R?.....................

    I humbly and respectfully disagree. If we put everything in State Forums, the one we're debating on now would go down the tubes. With much more diverted to local/regionsl forums, the "National" participation would fold their hands, collect their winnings, and leave the game. Some State forums are dead, for all practical purposes, because of nothing more than a lack of interest in that State's happenings. (or lack thereof) Illinois is an exception, one to be proud of, but don't keep everything bottled up over there.
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    Harve:
    And under most circumstances, I wouldn't care where it was posted, but in this case, it was specific to Illinois and the on-going problem between the Illinois governor and the state fire service.
    Had viking asked the question: "hey, do other states have a problem with their governor fulfilling their campaign promises" or "what are other states' survivor benefits program", then the national forum would be very appropriate.
    But as I said, viking wants to be more specific, so Illinois is where it should have gone.
    It doesn't matter now. Our little secret is out. Our disgrace is a national disgrace. I guess we should consider shutting the Illinois thread down if no one is going to use it.
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    Normally I just do a lot of reading and browsing in these forums but this one definitely caught my attention as I have a very personal interest in what happened with the veto override, which was very bi-partisan I am told. My father just passed away 2 weeks ago, he was a retired career Fire Chief from the Chicago burbs. If this veto would not have been overridden my dad's pension benefits would have been severely reduced for my mother. It also would have had a profound financial effect on many other families of retired firefighers in Illinois I'm sure. The bottom line is she keeps recieving what he was getting prior to retirement without the annual increases now.Fortunately for once it sounds like common sense (if there is such a thing in politics) prevailed on this one. Also as aside someone mentioned the LODD death benefit, Illinois matches the Federal benefit if I remember correctly.

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    Default clarification

    First of all, I had forgotten about the state by state forums. I did restle about it after I posted this, and came to the conclusion that this would be the correct forum after all because it relates to the general Democrat/union relationship. I never stated that AFFI or even IAFF for that matter does a terrible job with legislators. It wouldn't make much sense to say that about people who devote their time for this work. I think that any of the thousands of union firefighters across the nation should be able to raise questions or suggestions without members getting so defensive. Are you saying we can't ask questions? We should be able to bring it up in forums for others to think about. People say, "hey don't you know what they do for us or what you get"? Yes, all firefighters appreciate their work. I'm just expressing what is being said in the stations. By what I'm seeing in responses, I'd like to ask what do you think forums are for? I'd be glad to bring it up to my local or anyone working with AFFI.

    I am amazed at how it's all or nothing with some of you when it comes to supporting our union leadership. I take it then that no one in your union meetings ever raise a hand and ask a question. Some of you can't comprehend the arguement. It's laughable that a "quick veto" is support for firefighters. Why a veto at all? Like I said, when Bush did the same thing on Homelande Security, did the IAFF say "oh he vetoed it quick so the garbage would be taken out?" or did they label him as not friendly to firefighters. I'm just asking don't make excuses when we get rebuffed by Democrats. I'm pointing out the hipocracy.

    PS, anything stated by AFFI people was taken off their website.

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    Default Viking states

    PS, anything stated by AFFI people was taken off their website.


    Could you explain what you mean?
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    Default If I may...

    This is a report from the AFFI about the legislation. it is interesting to note that many fire service leaders, INCLUDING the Illinois Fire Chiefs SUPPORTED this bill.Survivors - Orphans Pension Bill Becomes Law July 1, 2004

    July 2, 2004

    House Bill 599, the AFFI Survivors/Orphans pension bill passed the Illinois House and Senate on May 31 and June 1 respectively. We have told you about the contents of this agreed bill with the Illinois Municipal League in previous legislative updates (see link below).

    No action was taken on the bill until June 29, 2004. During the negotiations, the AFFI had numerous discussions with the Governor's office on the process and the contents of the items being negotiated. One part of the law is the IMLís request for a tax-cap exemption to help offset the costs of the benefit package. Governor Blagojevich has historically refused to sign into law any bill allowing a piercing of the tax-caps.

    On June 29, Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan, the chief sponsor of HB 599, discussed this issue on our behalf, personally with the Governor. Knowing the Governorís position on tax-caps, he asked the Governor to veto the bill now (while the General Assembly was still in Springfield negotiating a State budget) as opposed to later on, so that a timely override of the veto could be accomplished, and the bill could become law immediately afterward. The Governor agreed, and he vetoed the bill June 30.

    Your three legislative representatives, Bruce Billman, Dave DeFraties, Eddy Crews, and your state president, Dave Foreman, immediately rushed to the Capital in Springfield. The Illinois House overrode the veto first, about 90 minutes later. The next day, July 1st, the Illinois Senate did the same, and our bill became law and effective immediately.

    Governor Blagojevich was very supportive and cooperative, knowing the importance of this historic piece of legislation. At the same time, he was able to maintain his position of his support for property tax-caps.

    There are some important people who deserve our deepest thanks and praise for helping the AFFI accomplish this legislative feat.

    In the House, Speaker Madigan, whose efforts went way above and beyond. The Speakerís staff, Steve Brown, Rob Uhe, Mike Thompson, and Andrew Bodewes. Heartfelt thanks to House Republican leader Tom Cross, Representatives Mike McAuliffe, Tim Schmitz, Dan Reitz, Rich Bradley, Eddie Washington, Bill Black, Mike Bost, Jack McGuire, Don Moffitt and Willie Delgado.

    In the Senate, our chief sponsor, Senator George Shadid, who took this issue on personally, was fostering its every move in the Senate. Thank you Senator Shadid!!!

    Our deepest thanks to Senators Denny Jacobs, Larry Walsh, Lou Viverito, Iris Martinez, Bill Peterson, Adeline Geo-Karis, Mattie Hunter, Barack Obama, and Ray Soden. Thanks to Senate President Emil Jones and his staff Dave Gross, and Jill Rock.

    Special thanks go to Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson, a long time friend of the AFFI, for all his support through this long, winding road.

    The bill is now the law of the Land of Lincoln. Please do not pay attention to the roll calls on all the votes on this bill during the process. It is an election year, and with a tax-cap exemption attached, it became a political hot potato. The AFFI Legislative Committee worked with the four legislative leaders on a very careful and strict roll call to ensure the success of our bill. Please call the AFFI to speak with anyone of the Legislative Committee members with any questions you may have on the benefits, the process for its passage, or the votes. The next step for implementation of the new benefits is up to our local pension boards.

    Finally, the AFFI would like to thank YOU, our members, for helping us to help you. Your contributions to the AFFI PAC program, your participation in the election process of our friends down here in Springfield and in Washington DC, your building of professional relationships with local, state and national politicians and leaders, and your traveling to Springfield each spring at our Legislative Conference, is helping to make the AFFI and itís over 13,000 member firefighters and paramedics in 171 locals throughout Illinois a successful and powerful force.

    Have a safe and happy summer.

    Fraternally,

    Dave Foreman, President

    Eddy Crews, Northern District Legislative Rep., PAC Treasurer.

    Bruce Billman, Central District Legislative Rep. and Legislative Committee Chairman

    Dave DeFraties, Southern District Legislative Rep.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    In the press release posted by MIKEY, many of those who were thanked on behalf of the AFFI are good friends of mine; people that I have known for many years. Some of those who were mentioned in the press release posted by MIKEY I have had the privilege of serving with on state committees.
    Viking; I am a little confused. Are you upset because the governor vetoed the bill so it could become law or are you upset because it BECAME law? Are you trying to draw comparisons along a party line-i.e. if this had been done by Republicans, they would have been railed for it? I am a little stymied.
    First of all, there were no shenanigans here. It was obvious to me that many strong political players had their hand on this very important bill. The scrutiny of this bill was such that, one way or another, it was going to pass. The governor may be many things, but he is no fool.
    With the exception of his attempt to gut the Fire Prevention fund and to hire James Lee Witt to investigate the Cook County building fire, Blago has kept his word to the fire service in this state.
    And even if he were to entertain the idea for ever so briefly of using the fire service for his own leverage, people like Denny Jacobs and Don Moffitt and George Shadid and others will make certain that he pays a dear price for it.
    There will be NOTHING in Illinois that affects the fire service that will come as a surprise to any of us. Just recently, Don Moffitt got the call from Springfield that the DPH was attempting to require national certification for all EMTs in the state by disguising it as an emergency, thereby side stepping the hearing process, and Moffitt was in his car and in Springfield and BLOCKED it.
    Thanks to our state reps, the IAFPD, IFCA, IFSA, AFFI, IFA, IAFF and the state MABAS organizations, the information is very accessible, the dialogue is very active, our advocates are very vocal and there isn't a piece of legislation that goes to committee that I don't know about in advance. This is a two way street; my state rep appreciates my input and I appreciate that he is keeping me in the loop.
    If you are concerned about a piece of legislation, all's you have to do most of the time is to ask about it.
    If you are concerned about the state of the union, MIKEY is plugged in.
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    Default re:Mikey and Chief

    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    Viking I am a little confused. Are you upset because the governor vetoed the bill so it could become law or are you upset because it BECAME law?
    Of course I'm all for the law. I am saying that you would probably not be seeing this type of kind explanation by AFFI if it was a Republican Governor or at the national level to President Bush. If not now, during the next election you would be hearing how terrible of a friend to firefighters the Republican was/is because he vetoed the bill, even while knowing how it all came about. You are seeing this now with Bush even though IAFF guys knows how things work.

    Thank you posting the report,Mikey. I wholeheartly agree that there was a tremendous amount of work by legislators and AFFI. I am not taking an ounce of that away. Big win? You bet! (Don't confuse my admiration for their work with their response to the Governor's actions.) But, much of it wouldn't have been needed if Governor Blagojevich had been as supportive of firefighters as the legislators were. What I am saying is that legislators of both parties, some who may not have been backed by firefighters during their election, knew the importance of this and went above and beyond as stated. The Governor, the man we backed, did not. Since it was known he would veto it, he was asked to do it immediately. A political compromise. He would be able to say he wanted to hold taxes and he knew that he would still have support of firefighters. The game of politics. Now change Springfield for Washington and Bush for Blagojevich. Same response? Same heartfelt thanks. Not a chance. Maybe they're being kind to the Governor because they want continued support later. Fine. Understandable. But do the same for Bush. Realize he has to look at the whole picture also. Realize that he only wants funds for who he asks it for, firefighters. Not some political issue. Realize that while he wants to help the responders here, he wants to have the fight over in the terrorist's land. But no, we'll back our Democrat friend Kerry even though he didn't vote for many of our items. And if he becomes President then we can say "he vetoed it quickly so it could be overriden by Congress." Then he can say he actually was for it before he vetoed it. Same BS that Blagojevich will be allowed to say. Nationally, as much as we want it, it makes no sense to put a bunch of money into "after disaster" funds and not in preventing it in the first place. With all love for our brothers, I fear it would just mean more than 343 fallen. Do we need more firefighters, yes. But from our cities. We have a much more logical fight against money spent on libraries and local political waste than we do the U.S. Military especially in a time of war. But, the fight for federal money is the start of another topic.

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    Just recently, Don Moffitt got the call from Springfield that the DPH was attempting to require national certification for all EMTs in the state by disguising it as an emergency, thereby side stepping the hearing process, and Moffitt was in his car and in Springfield and BLOCKED it.
    This ain't dead yet, Art. But I'll take it where it belongs.....

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