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Our View: Democrats help defeat Madigan tax

Published: Saturday, April 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:

Thumbs up: To Democratic state Reps. Jack Franks and Scott Drury, for doing the right thing by standing up to powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan and effectively killing the speaker’s jobs-killing “millionaire tax.” In the wake of self-made millionaire Bruce Rauner winning the Republican nomination for governor, Madigan, a Democrat, proposed changing the state Constitution to allow for a 3 percent tax on incomes greater than $1 million. To get the proposal on the November ballot, Madigan needed all 71 House Democrats to back it. When Franks, from Marengo, and Drury, from Highwood, told him they were voting against, Madigan withdrew it.

Thumbs down: To the plight of Mary Fetzer and her husband, former Cary Deputy Police Chief Ed Fetzer. Mary Fetzer slipped on a slick surface at the Crystal Lake Walmart last year and suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the fall. Ed Fetzer had to take an early retirement to care for his wife full time because of the severity of the injuries. Since the injury, Mary Fetzer has dealt with speech impediments, vision loss, balance loss, personality disorders and other challenges. She can no longer work. The couple is now suing Wal-Mart, claiming no warning signage was displayed and precautions were not taken by the store to warn customers of the slick surface.

Thumbs up: To the Illinois House for voting 55-51 this week to approve HR 895, which will look into the oversight and actions of the IHSA. While the organization does plenty of good for schools across the state, it also has a history of showing poor judgment on issues such as photography and disabled competitors while hiding the contracts it signs involving public schools’ athletic competitions. We applaud any formal discussion on improving transparency and oversight of Illinois high school athletic competition.

Thumbs down: To news that thieves defrauded the IRS of $4 billion in bogus tax refunds in 2013 by using stolen identities. Someone even attempted to use U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s social security number and date of birth on tax forms as part of the scheme. It’s not going to be easy to catch these criminals, but it’s a huge some of money and more safeguards would be a much better use of IRS time than auditing innocent people and political organizations.

Thumbs up: To Scott Larimer and the National Compassion Fund. The group is raising money for victims of the latest Fort Hood tragedy, with an added focus on making sure the money donated goes directly to those affected, rather than administrative costs. The fundraiser will continue for another three to four months, executive director Mai Fernandez said.

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