Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rauner: Going Postal In Illinois

Rauner: Going Postal in Illinois

My good friend at work the other day announced that she had discovered a $100 ticket for not having the appropriate license renewal sticker on her automobile license plates while she was in a store at a local shopping center.  In fact, she reported, “The entire lot was loaded with fluttering tickets on windshields under the wiper blades.” 

“At first I thought it was some flyer or sales pitch,” she lamented, “but then I realized it was a ticket for an expired license plate.  How was I to know?”

How indeed?  But ignorance of the law, even a new one announced without fanfare in September of 2015 by Secretary of State Jesse White, is no excuse.

 Evidently postage costs have become an issue in our State of Illinois as we trundle on to another month-after-month of budget impasse.

“Secretary of State Jesse White’s office said Monday it would no longer send out vehicle registration renewal reminder notices because of the state’s budget impasse.  White is scrambling to cut usually ordinary costs of his office in order to maintain services for as long as possible under Governor Rauner’s refusal to work toward a budget with0ut the General Assembly’s adoption of his political agenda. 

“White’s office said the move will save about $450,000 a month in postage costs. By suspending the renewal notices, the office said it will be able to stretch out the remaining postage account ‘for a few months longer,’ which will enable the office to continue mailing the license renewal stickers themselves along with titles and license plates to vehicle owners.”

I noticed an expired sticker on my neighbor’s automobile the other day, and I warned him as we stood together talking in his driveway. 

“You need to go to Cyberdriveillinois.com,” I suggested helpfully, “and get yourself registered so they can give you an email when you’re due for a license sticker change.”

“You need to go to $@#!,” he replied crustily, “because I pay for those &^%#@%$# to let me know when I need to do something.  Not the other waysround.”

Then again, maybe this is another dazzling scheme by our CEO governor to achieve funds by penalizing people for not knowing when they were expired or even what was going on.

On the other hand, I noted to myself, whenever I write to the governor regarding another disagreement I have had with his decision-making, I get back a nice stamped form letter from his office headed by Lance Trover, his communications officer.  I’ve quite a few of them. 

I send one there; they send one back.

It would seem the Governor’s Office of Communications postal account is not as limited as the Office of the Secretary of State.

And, It is always the same old form letter:

”The Governor wishes to thank you for your opinions…”   OR  “The Governor’s Agenda is an important element in making…”   OR   “The Governor welcomes your input and…”

I wonder sometimes if I sent 5000 of my own form letters to Lance if I’d receive the same return?  But, I can’t afford that any more than Jesse White.

Now I read that we will no longer be informed that our cars need emissions testing.  No more mailings there either.

As a people, we have been striving to amend and enforce the benefits of the original Clean Air Act of the 1970’s and the legislative offspring of subsequent decades.
What began as an elimination of lead pollutants, evolved into the advent of the catalytic convertors, the use of oxygen sensors, the attempts to limit dangerous nitrogen oxides. 

When we were kids, I remember the snow along the streets turning black after a few days.  Not so anymore.  Efforts by our government have reduced emissions of lead and other pollutants greatly, but the additional miles we drive have, according to the EPA, has not made overall pollutant measurements take a nose-dive.  It disturbingly  remains about the same.  Lead aggregate emissions, on the other hand, have dropped nearly 95%. 

And do not forget that this careful monitoring has included the scrutiny of emissions once considered harmless (carbon dioxide) and now thought to be seriously contributing to our global warming. 

By the way, our Governor Rauner supports fiscally and vocally those groups that refuse to believe in global warming.

So, here’s where we are now.  No more mailings for emissions testing in Illinois.  Instead, the state will try to filter those needing testing when we apply for our license plate renewals.

Wait, did you just read that?

That’s enough.  I’m gonna sit right down and write a letter…

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