WBEZ | kirk dillard http://www.wbez.org/tags/kirk-dillard Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Writer recalls early tragedies of AIDS epidemic http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-03-12/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-aids <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Cover Flickr savonnee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Republican State Senator Kirk Dillard tells us why he should be Illinois&#39; next governor. Also, writer and activist Sean Strub talks about his new memoir about the early days of the AIDS epidemic. And, music from singer songwriter Kate Adams.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-of-th/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-of-th.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-of-th" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Writer recalls early tragedies of AIDS epidemic" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-03-12/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-aids Dillard questions Rutherford about sexual advance allegations at GOP debate http://www.wbez.org/news/dillard-questions-rutherford-about-sexual-advance-allegations-gop-debate-109684 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP842471106851.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and misconduct against Republican Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford was brought up in a debate between the candidates for governor Monday evening.</p><p>During the debate in Northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, candidates were allowed to ask each other questions. State Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, asked Rutherford if more accusations are going to be raised. Dillard was referring to a federal lawsuit filed Monday by a former employee of Rutherford&rsquo;s, Ed Michalowski, who said he was the victim of sexual advances by Rutherford.</p><p>The Treasurer has denied any wrongdoing.</p><p>Hear Rutherford&rsquo;s full response to that question in the audio above.</p></p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 12:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/dillard-questions-rutherford-about-sexual-advance-allegations-gop-debate-109684 Morning Shift: Fatherly advice http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-16/morning-shift-fatherly-advice-108063 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/black father and son-Flickr- Mousse66.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Racial profiling is making black parents rethink how they teach their sons to behave in public. What does this safety precaution say about our culture? Also, the Morning Shift gets political.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-feeding-your-child-knowledge.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-feeding-your-child-knowledge" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Fatherly advice " on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-16/morning-shift-fatherly-advice-108063 Illinois Republicans start bickering in potentially crowded field for governor http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-republicans-start-bickering-potentially-crowded-field-governor-105136 <p><p>Republican primary voters might see a long list of candidates next year for Illinois governor.</p><p>Several potential candidates are already explaining why they would be the ideal candidate. But ask each one what the ideal GOP candidate looks like, and you&rsquo;re likely to get a different answer from each.</p><p>&ldquo;The perfect template of a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor needs to be a suburbanite with strong downstate roots,&rdquo; said Kirk Dillard, a state senator who represents parts of Chicago&rsquo;s Western suburbs in Springfield.</p><p>&ldquo;I think some people that are looking at running again are going to have trouble getting that necessary support to run,&rdquo; said U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.</p><p>The Peoria Republican held a 20-minute <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-rep-aaron-schock-considering-run-governor-105128" target="_blank">news conference</a> with Chicago reporters Thursday about the race for governor.</p><p>&ldquo;I see the Republican primary voter as going to be looking at who has the best shot at winning the governor&rsquo;s office,&rdquo; said Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford.</p><p>State Sen. Bill Brady and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner are also considered potential candidates.</p><p>But despite the high level of interest, the chairman of the Illinois GOP, Pat Brady, said he wants to avoid a crowded primary. He said it&rsquo;s premature to talk about the possibility of the party slating a candidate before the primary. But that process worked out for Wisconsin Republicans in the election of Scott Walker as governor.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s out of the conversation like it was four years ago,&rdquo; Pat Brady said, who&rsquo;s not related to Sen. Bill Brady.</p><p>Pat Brady said the Republican nominee has to perform better north of I-80 around Chicago than in 2010, when Democrat Pat Quinn won election.</p><p>Meanwhile, Rep. Schock had some harsh words for his fellow Republicans who are also interested in becoming governor.</p><p>Schock criticized both Democrats and Republicans who, like him, have expressed an interest in running but haven&rsquo;t yet announced.</p><p>&ldquo;As a Republican in this state, I&rsquo;ve watched cycle after cycle a lot of the same horses trot out on the track that have proven nothing more than they can lose an election,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Schock later said he was referring to State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, both of whom ran for governor in 2010 and lost.</p><p>In response, Dillard said the 31-year-old Schock is young and &ldquo;has a bright future in politics.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little early for these political shenanigans and posturing like this and, you know, I think may show a little bit of immaturity,&rdquo; Dillard said of Schock&rsquo;s comments.</p><p>Schock has also been in an ongoing public battle with Rauner. <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/opinions/x1665862994/Bernard-Schoenburg-Schock-Rauner-already-at-odds-in-possible-governor-race?zc_p=0">Rauner recently told the Peoria Journal Star</a> Schock isn&rsquo;t qualified to be governor.</p><p>Schock on Thursday all but directly accused Rauner of funding <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_6V3DxEJsY&amp;feature=youtu.be">ads running in his home district</a> criticizing the representative for voting in favor of the so-called fiscal cliff bill in the House of Representatives.</p><p>&ldquo;Any time someone spends the lion&rsquo;s share of their time, energy and money attacking someone as opposed to talking about themselves, I think says a lot about that person,&rdquo; Schock said.</p><p>The infighting among the possible gubernatorial candidates comes as some GOP committeemen have been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/facing-rebellion-state-gop-chair-rejects-calls-resign-over-gay-marriage-support-104807" target="_blank">criticizing</a> chairman Pat Brady for supporting gay marriage.</p><p>Brady said that debate within the party will be resolved by the time the primary comes around in March of 2014.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s still early and we&rsquo;ll see what happens, but we&rsquo;re prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure we have a good, strong, well-funded, well-supported candidate,&rdquo; Brady said.</p><p>On the Democratic side, incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn has said he wants to keep his job. Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=8961303">told ABC 7 Chicago</a> she&#39;s interested in the job. And former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-daley-considering-run-illinois-governor-104511">has also said </a>he&#39;s considering challenging Quinn in a Democratic primary.</p></p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-republicans-start-bickering-potentially-crowded-field-governor-105136 Veteran Illinois lawmakers try to hang on against ambitious primary challengers http://www.wbez.org/story/veteran-illinois-lawmakers-try-hang-against-ambitious-primary-challengers-97226 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-12/IMG_1293.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Just over a week to go before Illinois' primary election day. Candidates for all sorts of offices are knuckling down and knocking on doors.</p><p>That includes the multitudes running for the 177 seats that're up in the Illinois House and Senate. We looked at a pair of those elections, which couldn't be more different.</p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><strong>DISCUSSION: </strong>More on Monday's <em>Afternoon Shift with Steve Edwards</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332752351-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-march/2012-03-12/leg-races.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></div></div><p>Last year when Democratic leaders drew new boundaries for state legislative districts, they manufactured some match-ups that otherwise would not have been. Take the 24th state Senate District in the Western suburbs: held by Republican Kirk Dillard, a senator since 1993.</p><p>"You know, essentially I went Northward, very much like a glacier would move," said Dillard on Sunday in his campaign office, looking at a map of his new district. "You know I think [Democratic leaders] did it because they needed to take care of some senators on the south suburban area."</p><p>Dillard could be governor right now if he'd managed to swing a couple hundred votes in 2010. In the GOP primary, he fell just short of beating fellow state Senator Bill Brady, who later fell just short of beating Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.</p><p><strong>Dillard v. Nybo</strong></p><p>But instead of ruling the state, Dillard is going door to door to fend off a Senate challenge. His campaign is buying no TV ads, no radio. Just mail - and lots of it.</p><p>"It is amazing how fast when you really focus on it, you can get mail out the door. But literally in the last weeks, you could be talking upwards to 800,000 to a million pieces of mail," Dillard said.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-12/IMG_1299.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 263px;" title="State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale"></p><p>And that's to a district with about 217,000 residents, by the last Census count.</p><p>Most of Dillard's mailings are positive, he says, but one this week will knock his opponent, state Rep. Chris Nybo.</p><p>"You know, if you put a sign up, you just mark it down 'Yes,' you know, 'YS" for yard sign, and the notation that you placed it. But it should be a good day out there. I mean the weather's nice so people should be in a good mood," Nybo said in a pep talk Sunday to about a dozen volunteers wearing his green campaign T-shirts.</p><p>He's a state representative with little more than a year of House experience. But he's running for Senate against Dillard in part because Democrats drew him into a district with another Republican House member. Nybo chose instead to go for the promotion, against Dillard.</p><p>"You know, I mean, Kirk is a nice guy, but he's been down there a long time," Nybo said. "And I think we need some new energy down there. I don't think anybody should be making careers of this stuff."</p><p>And with all those votes in Dillard's career, Nybo's found quite a few to criticize. Dillard's campaign, meanwhile, put up an attack website featuring "The Chris Nybo Report Card."</p><p>Oddly enough, both these Republicans have ties to the Democratic president. Dillard appeared in a TV commercial for then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama during the Democratic primary for president, praising him for bipartisan work. Nybo volunteered on the congressional campaign of Mr. Obama, who was his law professor at the time.</p><p>As you can imagine, both men are quick to deflect blame for their cracks in party loyalty.</p><p>"I don't think he should say anything about my 15 nice words about President Obama about an ethics bill he sponsored with me when he was walking precincts and a student coordinator at the University of Chicago," Dillard said.</p><p>"Kirk Dillard is criticizing what I did as a 22-year-old college student with what he did as a 50-something-year-old party - acknowledged - party leader," Nybo said.</p><p>This is one of four Illinois Senate primaries statewide that feature two current Republican members of the General Assembly. Not an uncommon occurrence in elections following redistricting.</p><p>Boundaries changed all over the state, though not all that much in one Chicago Senate district that nonetheless is seeing a big Democratic primary fight. The 5th District is entirely within Chicago - a bit of the North Side, but mostly on the West.</p><p><strong>Collins v. Watkins</strong></p><p>"How you doing? God bless you," Patricia Van Pelt Watins greeted potential voters in the entranceway of a charter school in the Lawndale neighborhood.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-12/IMG_1283.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 263px;" title="Patricia Van Pelt Watkins of Chicago"></p><p>Some parents tell Watkins they voted for her last year when she ran for Chicago mayor. Watkins hears that a lot, but doesn't always believe it.</p><p>"Right. Because there's too many of them," Watkins said. "Wait a minute. I only got [9,704] votes. How in the world did all these people vote for me? I guess they wanted to in their hearts."</p><p>The state Senate, some voters tell Watkins, is where she ought to be.</p><p>"Yeah, because they think this position fits me better," she said.</p><p>The seat used to be held by the outspoken Rickey Hendon, until he resigned - suddenly and without much explanation - early last year. Watkins applied for the vacancy, but Democratic leaders chose Annazette Collins, who'd served a decade in the state House.</p><p>"Well, if I win [a full term], people will have recognized that we've done a good job," Collins said in an interview last week at her office.</p><p>Collins talked of her efforts to overhaul the state's youth prison system. She boasted of bringing lots of state money home to the district, a positive symptom of seniority she said Watkins would be without.</p><p>"If I lose, it means that there are people who want change, and they want something different. And our community is upset. People are mad. They're mad at the president because things aren't changing fast enough. They're mad at everybody, except themselves," Collins said.</p><p>A loss could also mean that voters gave weight to some of the negatives lobbed Collins' way in recent months. Media reports have questioned whether she really lives in the district, as required by law. Last week the<em> Sun-Times</em> reported she gave university scholarships to people who live outside her district.</p><p>"I don't know that [this election is] so much tougher [than in the past], but it's very nasty," Collins said.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-12/IMG_1288.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 263px;" title="State Sen. Annazette Collins of Chicago"></p><p>Collins had a public showdown recently with Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, a Watkins supporter who compared Collins to former Governor Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>But with turnout expected to be brutally low, Collins is counting on a strong get-out-the-vote game. Helping lead those efforts as a paid member of her campaign team: Rickey Hendon, the onetime politician whose abrupt resignation a year ago put this seat in play.</p></p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 19:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/veteran-illinois-lawmakers-try-hang-against-ambitious-primary-challengers-97226 Key Republican applauds Quinn's rejection of gambling bill http://www.wbez.org/story/key-republican-applauds-quinns-rejection-gambling-bill-93216 <p><p>Illinois lawmakers are reacting to Gov. Pat Quinn's call to rewrite a proposed gambling expansion.</p><p>On Monday, Quinn outlined his objections to a gambling bill that was approved earlier this year, saying it would "over-saturate" the state's market.</p><p>State Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, applauds Quinn for rejecting the current proposal. The west suburban lawmaker says the bill tried to do too much.</p><p>"When it comes to riverboat gambling and gambling, sometimes these packages get so big that they sink on their own weight," Dillard said. "And this one's so big, it has sunk on its own weight, and they're going to have to bail some water here and see if it still floats."</p><p>Quinn said he'll veto the current bill if lawmakers move it to his desk. The proposal would create five state casinos and bring slot machines to horse racing tracks and both Chicago airports.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 23:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/key-republican-applauds-quinns-rejection-gambling-bill-93216 Facing new map, some DuPage GOP infighting ahead of primary http://www.wbez.org/story/facing-new-map-some-dupage-gop-infighting-ahead-primary-92409 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-26/IL-congressional-maps-3_WBEZ_file.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some tough Republican primaries are shaping up in a few Illinois state Senate districts in DuPage County, the result of new political boundaries drawn by Democrats.</p><p>State Rep. Randy Ramey, chair of the DuPage County GOP, said that for the past few months, he's tried to figure out ways to avoid difficult primaries for sitting lawmakers. That's a tall order given that the new map lumps incumbents into the same districts.</p><p>"We've had various meetings throughout the county, talking with fellow legislators," Ramey said. "We thought we had a good plan in place, but then again, it's always up to the individual to decide if they're going to do it or not."</p><p>Ramey's plan had him taking over the state Senate seat now held by fellow Republican Carole Pankau. Ramey said he wanted her to retire, with her pension and a potential appointment to a government board. But Pankau has so far declined.</p><p>"There were many things discussed, but discussions are not necessarily reality," Pankau said. "So I am dealing with what is here and now, and I am running again."</p><p>There's another contested GOP primary in a neighboring state Senate district. Sen. Kirk Dillard is facing a challenge from Rep. Chris Nybo.</p><p>Republican leaders have challenged the new legislative map in a federal lawsuit, alleging it discriminates against minorities. They also said it discriminates against Republicans by putting the party's incumbents together.</p><p>Ramey said he does not expect the courts to make things easier for DuPage Republicans, because he doubts the suit will succeed.</p><p>"The legislative lawsuit, and you have to look at the past history, has never moved forward," Ramey said.</p><p>Ramey adds that if that suit - now in federal court - is bumped to state court, it would face a system dominated by Democrats.</p><p>"If it goes through the Democratic courts and gets to the Democratic Supreme Court in Illinois, I don't see how they change it," he said.</p></p> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/facing-new-map-some-dupage-gop-infighting-ahead-primary-92409 Mayor Daley's optional $1.1 million retirement fund http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor-daleys-optional-11-million-retirement-fund-86417 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-12/Daley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has more than a million dollars in his campaign account. When he retires, he can take all of it with him for personal use. The mayor is not saying if he will, but it would be perfectly legal if he does. Many other Illinois politicians have exercised that right.</p><p>Daley last month reported more than $1.1 million in his campaign account. Under Illinois law, he can close it out whenever he wants, and take all that cash with him into retirement. But when I asked Daley last week if he plans to do that, he had no interest in answering.</p><p>"I don't know yet," Daley said.</p><p>The mayor may not know yet, but it's not like this possibility has crept up on him. In fact, prior to a 1998 state law, all politicians in Illinois could use their political accounts as personal ATMs.</p><p>"It was the Wild West before this ethical change in Illinois campaign spending," said state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Republican from Hinsdale. "One could convert their campaign fund for personal use if they...income tax [on it]."</p><p>Dillard sponsored the 1998 law along with then-state Sen. Barack Obama.</p><p>"We came along with a major, major piece of legislation. But one of the sticking points was the personal use exemption of campaign funds," Dillard said.</p><p>Dillard said he had hoped to ban all personal use of campaign cash. But some powerful members of the General Assembly, Dillard said, had no interest in giving up what they'd assumed would be a retirement account. So a compromise was needed - a loophole, if you will.</p><p>"When they passed this legislation, they grand-fathered all of the candidates in, so that the money that they had as of June 30th, [19]98, could be converted for personal use," explained Rupert Borgsmiller, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.</p><p>And that is why Mayor Daley is allowed to take that million-plus dollars.</p><p>"If he wants to, he can," Borgsmiller said.</p><p>And quite a few politicians have written themselves checks from their campaign accounts. They aren't too interested in talking about it, though, whether they took $10,000 like state representative-turned lobbyist Vince Persico, or close to $600,000, like former Rep. Ralph Capparelli.</p><p>Former state Sen. Walter Dudycz took more than $130,000. He refused to comment for this story because, he said, he's just trying to enjoy his retirement. Many other former politicians just didn't return my calls.</p><p>"I'm shocked. Frankly, I'm shocked," Cindi Canary said sacastically, after laughing.</p><p>Canary heads the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, an activist group that tries to track political spending. Canary noted that it is hard to get a good idea of the total amount withdrawn by politicians for personal use, because there's no uniform way they are required to report such expenses to the state election board.</p><p>A search on the board's website does find more than $2 million in personal draws, but there's no question the real total is much higher than that.</p><p>Some politicians - current and retired - keep their political accounts open, and use them to pay for cell phone bills, airplane tickets and dinner meetings. Canary said the somewhat blurry distinction between political and personal expenses actually came up during the 1998 General Assembly debate over these rules.</p><p>"One of the legislators said, 'Well, what if I buy a red, white and blue shirt to march in the Fourth of July parade, that would be for a political purpose,'" Canary recalled, paraphrasing an issue brought up by Persico on the House floor. "'But then I get home, and it's hot and I drink a beer but I forget to take off my red, white and blue shirt, then it's personal use.'"</p><p>For her part, Canary does not think politicians should take the money for personal use, whether they're entitled to or not.</p><p>"I believe that people have given candidates campaign contributions to further their political careers, their ideas, their philosophies, and not necessarily to buy a retirement condo," Canary said.</p><p>Mayor Daley probably does not need the $1.1 million from his campaign account to buy a retirement condo. He's earned a healthy salary over the years, and will soon start getting a pension of about $180,000 a year. Add to that the income he may collect for giving speeches, and Daley can likely afford to put his campaign cash to other uses.</p><p>"I could very well see the mayor dedicating money to a bike path," Canary said.</p><p>The mayor could also keep his campaign account open for as long as he wants, and continue to dole it out to candidates he supports: an easy way for a retired politician to make sure current politicians return his calls.</p></p> Thu, 12 May 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor-daleys-optional-11-million-retirement-fund-86417 Bill abolishing death penalty passes legislature http://www.wbez.org/story/dave-syverson/bill-abolishing-death-penalty-passes-legislature <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//AP03012105006.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A bill abolishing Illinois' death penalty will soon be sent to Governor Pat Quinn. That's after the repeal passed the state Senate Tuesday afternoon in a 32-to-25 vote.</p><p>Quinn has not said whether he will sign the bill into law. His press secretary, Annie Thompson, said in an email that Quinn &quot;plans to review the bill when it lands on his desk.&quot;<span style="font-size: 11pt; color: rgb(31, 73, 125); font-family: 'Calibri','sans-serif';"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p>During the Senate debate, some lawmakers speaking out against abolishing the death penalty shared stories of vicious murders, many in which a child was killed. They said those situations warrant capital punishment.</p><p>&quot;In these most serious cases, we need this tool on behalf of the citizens and behalf of the people of Illinois,&quot; said state Sen. Dave Syverson, a Republican from Rockford.</p><p>&quot;You can name all of these horrific crimes. It's not about those. What about the ones who didn't do it?&quot; asked state Sen. Rickey Hendon, a Democrat from Chicago who has long supported abolishing the death penalty. &quot;Because when you put someone to death, it's too late.&quot;<br /> <br /> Illinois has had a moratorium on executions for the past eleven years, after more than a dozen death row inmates were exonerated. The measure passed Tuesday would eliminate the state's death penalty altogether.</p><p>Some opponents said the moratorium meant there was no reason to rush. Republican state Sens. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale&nbsp; and Linda Holmes of Aurora called for the issue to be decided directly by voters.</p><p>&quot;I would like to give the people of Illinois the opportunity to make this decision themselves,&quot; Holmes said on the Senate floor. &quot;Let's have them weigh-in on this. This could be put to referendum. Let's find out how they feel on this issue before we go ahead and make this decision for them.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We are a representative democracy. We have a responsibility,&quot; Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago told his colleagues.</p><p>&quot;If you don't want to take responsibility in making these hard decisions, resign,&quot; said Raoul, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate.</p><p>The bill narrowly passed the Illinois House last week.</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 21:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/dave-syverson/bill-abolishing-death-penalty-passes-legislature Death penalty abolition could soon land on Quinn's desk http://www.wbez.org/story/death-penalty/death-penalty-abolishment-could-soon-land-quinns-desk <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//statehouse-Flickr_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Senate this week could send a bill to the Gov. Pat Quinn's desk to abolish the state's death penalty.</p><p>For the past 11 years, Illinois has had a death penalty moratorium: People can be sentenced to death, but they haven't been put to death. A bill abolishing it for good narrowly passed the state House last week, and awaits action by the Senate.</p><p>Senator Kirk Dillard has worked on death penalty reforms in the past, but as of Friday, the Hinsdale Republican was not on board with the bill.</p><p>&quot;I clearly see problems with the death penalty. I've moved a great deal in the way I think about the issue,&quot; Dillard said. &quot;But I'm not sure I'm quite there yet to abolishing the entire death penalty system.&quot;</p><p>Dillard said he would rather limit capital punishment to those convicted of mass-murders, and police or child killings. He also said he believes the issue should go before voters in a statewide referendum.</p><p>The sponsor of the death penalty abolishment, Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago, claimed Friday that enough senators have told him they support the bill to get it passed. It would still need the governor's signature, though. A spokeswoman for Quinn said the governor would take a &quot;careful look&quot; at the legislation.</p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/death-penalty/death-penalty-abolishment-could-soon-land-quinns-desk