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Campaign Notebook: Rep. McCombie's DCFS bill shot down

Quad City Times

Monday, April 16, 2018  |  Article  |  Sarah Hayden

DCFS (30) McCombie, Tony M.--State House, 71

Two bills sponsored by State Rep.Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, meant to bolster protections for DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) workers were not allowed to be heard or voted on. Democratic representatives on April 9 refused to vote on House bill 4588 and House bill 4586, saying an increase in penalties hurts the party’s effort to enact criminal justice reform.

One of the bills would increase a battery charge to felony aggravated battery punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison if the batterer, using anything other than a firearm, knowingly attacks a DCFS worker who’s performing his or her official duties. The idea is to give DCFS and Adult Protective Services workers the same protections that are in place for firefighters and police officers. The bills are inspired by DCFS worker Pamela Knight, 59, of Dixon, who was brutally beaten last fall when she tried to take a child into protective custody. She died of her injuries in February.


In a speech to the General Assembly, Rep. McCombie said Ms. Knight gave her life to protect another. “Reform by definition means to improve, not ignore,” Rep. McCombie said.

“We need to bring real reform to the floor and stop trying to hurt each other politically. We can do better.”


State Rep.

Mike Halpin


, D-Rock Island, is backing legislation that protects survivors of domestic abuse and stalking by allowing them to legally change their name without leaving a paper trail that can be followed by an abuser. Current law requires notice of filing of a name change must be published in the newspaper for three weeks. Senate Bill 2330 will allow the publishing requirement to be waived if the individual wishing to change his or her name is a survivor of domestic violence.

“The publishing requirement is intended to prevent people from changing their name for fraudulent purposes, but it has the unintended consequence of jeopardizing the safety of survivors of domestic abuse,” Rep. Halpin said.



Bruce Rauner


is using a survey to poll Illinois residents on hot-button issues in the gubernatorial election, while taking jabs at Democratic opponent

J.B. Pritzker


. In a 14-question survey posted on his website, brucerauner.com, Gov. Rauner asks, “how likely do you think it is that a Democratic governor will raise your taxes?” and “how good of a job do you think Bruce Rauner is doing as Governor of Illinois?” In an attempt to tie Mr. Pritzker to the unpopular, but powerful, House Speaker

Mike Madigan


, the survey asks, “Would you rather your governor be a Republican who stands up to Mike Madigan or a Democrat who works for Mike Madigan?” The site does not state when or if survey results will be shared. To take the survey, visit www.brucerauner.com/illinois-priorities-survey.

Mr. Pritzker’s campaign trolled the governor by releasing its own version of a survey. One of the questions asks, “what is your favorite Bruce Rauner costume? Carhartt jacket-clad average Joe, Harley-riding man of the people, or Governor? Another question asks, “On November 6, 2018 Bruce Rauner will ... “ but only allows one choice for an answer—“book flights to Italy.”


The Associated Press reports the Campaign Workers Guild ratified a union contract for campaign workers for Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cathy Glasson last week. The new national guild says it’s the first electoral campaign in Iowa history to unionize.