Friday, February 14, 2014

Sen. Rick Murphy challenging Sen. Steve Yarbrough for the gold medal in the "Brazen Chutzpah" competition

By now, everyone in the lege-watcher universe knows about Sen. Steve Yarbrough and his penchant for pushing self-enriching tuition tax credit measures in the lege, measures that add to his personal wealth.

And even though his activities have been public knowledge for years now, every year, Yarbrough pushes more self-serving measures through the lege.

Why shouldn't he?  Other than the news stories, he hasn't faced any pushback for his actions - he keeps getting reelected and this state's prosecutors won't touch him.

Now, one of his Senate colleagues, Rick Murphy, has apparently taken the lesson from Yarbrough's situation to heart - go ahead and use the lege as a conduit for self-serving agendas.

Last summer, Murphy was caught up in a scandal when there were allegations the he abused some of the children placed in his care as a foster parent.

After an investigation by Peoria PD and CPS found insufficient evidence to support criminal charges, the matter was dropped.

Well, the police and CPS dropped the matter, but Murphy most assuredly has not.

Apparently, Murphy is still pissed off to no end that they dared to investigate him.

So he has proposed a series of bills to "remedy" the situation.

- SB1405, holding a public employee personally liable for any damages that someone else may suffer as a result of the employee's actions, even those conducted in the normal course of the employee's duties, if the actions were "grossly negligent", "malicious", or show a "reckless disregard of damages that could occur".

On the agenda for the Senate Government and Environment meeting on Monday.

- SB1406, reducing the admissibility of police reports is domestic violence-related court proceedings.

On the agenda for the Senate Public Safety meeting on Wednesday.

- SB1407, affecting the grounds under which a parent-child relationship may be terminated.

On the agenda for the Senate Health and Human Services meeting on Wednesday.

- SB1410, requiring the police to arrest any party involved in a domestic violence dispute if there is evidence that the party engaged in any sort of act that could be construed as domestic violence (i.e. - if a man assaults his girlfriend and the girlfriend tries to push him away, both would be subject to arrest).  Also contains a clause that would expand the definition of "domestic violence" to include if someone "knowingly making a false statement to a government entity against another person".

On the agenda for the Senate Public Safety meeting on Wednesday.

- SB1411, a rather punitive proposal making life even more difficult for people seeking orders of protection, including raising the burden of proof required for the issuance of such orders.

On the agenda for the Senate Public Safety meeting on Wednesday.

The bills, as proposed by Murphy, would forestall investigation of all but the most brazen domestic violence and child abuse cases.

And given the current CPS scandal involving allegations of child abuse that went uninvestigated, Murphy's move to hamstring such investigations in order to protect himself from future investigations qualifies him as more brazen than Yarbrough.

Note: OK.  Upon examination of the bills that Murphy has proposed, I think the statement "Apparently, Murphy is still pissed off to no end that they dared to investigate him" should be amended.

By dropping "Apparently". 

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