Obama’s Legislative Record.

I’ve decided to do a little research and clarify, for everyone, Barak (The Nazarine) Obama’s record of authoring legislation.  Now, it took me a couple of hours to compile this information, but I’m reasonably sure it’s accurate.  Consequently, most (if not all) of this stuff can be found online.

It can be said that The Nazarinewas no slouch while he was a State Senator.  And as a senator in Congress, he has authored many pieces of legislation…of which NONE of them have been passed into law.  However, there are a couple of pieces of legislation that have The Nazarine’s name designated as part of the title.  One of them – Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 – is pretty obvious that Obama is there in title only.  Obama was a co-sponsor of the legislation, but then again so was John McCain.  So whatever credit Obama takes away from this is essentially null-and-void.  Furthermore, according to the Library of Congress, Tom Coburn was the main sponsor (author), not Barak Obama.

The other piece of legislation, namely the Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, it’s real clear that when you look at the history of the legislation (an expansion of the Nunn-Lugar act that was used to part Russia with its nuclear stockpiles by paying them to keep these items off the black market) was written by Lugar, and not Obama.  Lugar had the history and expertise on this thing, and it’s obvious that The Nazarine was along for the ride.

Other bills being attributed to The Nazarine, such as the 2007 Government Ethics Bill and the Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, were never authored or co-sponsored by him in any significant way.  Any attribution of these bills to Barak Obama would be an outright falsehood.

As for Obama’s state record, there are numerous bills that he has authored/sponsored while he was in the state senate.  I’ve compiled a list of each bill that I’ve found where Obama was the main sponsor, and originated out of the Illinois Senate.  When designating bills in Illinois, there are numerous classifications: Main Sponsor, Main Co-sponsor, Co-Sponsor, and such.  I only focused on the “main sponsor” classification, as I noticed that, in some instances, the “main co-sponsor” title was attributed to bills that originated in the Illinois House. So, that classification got chucked right away.

Here’s the list:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/pubact91/acts/91-0759.html
Public Act 91-0759

An amendment to Illinois Public Aid Code that sets up domestic violence training and planning.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/pubact91/acts/91-0624.html
Public Act 91-0624

An amendment to the Illinois Public Aid Code that creates a pilot program for a job skills “enhancement” program.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/pubact91/acts/91-0354.html
Public Act 91-0354

An amendment to the Limited Liability Company Act that defined and regulated the use of the term “limited liability  company” (or LLC).
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/pubact92/acts/92-0649.html
Public Act 92-0649

An amendment to the The  Department of Human Services Act that mandated the state distribution of a postpartum depression pamphlet. 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/pubact92/acts/92-0087.html
Public Act 92-0087

A amendment of the Illinois Employment Security Law  of the  Civil  Administrative  Code that mandated the state to notify employers (for those with 100 or more employees) that they may be subject to the federal  Worker  Adjustment  and  Retraining Notification Act.

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0534
Public Act 93-0534

Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Removes language that terminates the earned income tax credit with taxable years ending on or before December 31, 2002. Exempts the credit from the sunset requirements.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=3&GA=93&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=0015&GAID=3&LegID=96&SpecSess=&Session=
Public Act 93-0517

Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. Exempts from an eavesdropping violation, electronic recordings made of a custodial interrogation of an individual by a law enforcement officer at a police station or other place of detention in investigations for homicide and certain sex offenses. Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 and the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Provides that the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board must conduct a training program for police officers on the methods and technical aspects of electronic recording of interrogations.

Provides that statements made by a suspect at a custodial interrogation at a police station or other place of detention in investigations for homicide and certain sex offenses are presumed inadmissible unless electronically recorded.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0209
Public Act 93-0209

Amends the Department of State Police Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois; also amends the Illinois Police Training Act, the State Mandates Act, and the Illinois Vehicle Code. Requires the Department of State Police to provide training to State Police officers concerning sensitivity toward racial and ethnic differences. Requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to provide for similar training for probationary police officers.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0563
Public Act 093-0563

Creates the Hospital Report Card Act. Provides requirements for staffing levels. Requires hospitals to prepare a quarterly report detailing specified information as a condition of licensure. Requires the Department of Public Health to submit a report summarizing the quarterly reports by region to the General Assembly and publish that report on its website. Provides protection for whistleblowers. Provides a private right of action to whistleblowers against their employers.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0063
Public Act 93-0063

Amends the Children’s Health Insurance Program Act to extend the sunset date for the Act from July 1, 2003 to July 1, 2006.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0319
Public Act 93-0319

Amends the Hospice Program Licensing Act.  Changes the definition of terminally ill to include a patient that has a life expectancy of one year or less (rather than 6 months or less). Makes changes in the definition of “hospice service plan”.

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0566
Public Act 93-0566

Creates the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act. Provides that every health care provider in this State that provides prenatal care or labor or delivery services to a pregnant woman must ensure that the woman is provided with HIV counseling and is offered HIV testing. Requires that the counseling be provided and the testing be offered as early in the woman’s pregnancy as possible.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/93/093-0622.htm
Public Act 93-0622

An amendment to the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan Act that changes the functionality of a state-run health insurance plan in accordance to federal requirements.

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0406
Public Act 93-0406

Amends the School Code. Requires every public elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of Asian History, including South Asia and the Pacific Islands. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0471
Public Act 93-0471

Amends the Teacher Certification Article of the School Code.  In provisions concerning a special certification designation for foreign language, specifically includes Asian languages.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0599
Public Act 093-0599

Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that under the Medicaid program, the Department of Public Aid may offer, to children with developmental disabilities and severely mentally ill or emotionally disturbed children who otherwise would not qualify for Medicaid due to family income, home-based and community-based services instead of institutional placement.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0391
Public Act 93-0391

Permits the clerk of the circuit court to accept credit card payments over the Internet for fines, penalties, or costs from offenders on voluntary electronic pleas of guilty in minor traffic and conservation offenses.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0185
Public Act 093-0185

Creates the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Transportation Act. Creates the Illinois Coordinating Committee on Transportation to foster the coordination of public and private transportation services and establishes its membership, duties, and powers.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0293
Public Act 93-0293

Provides that local emergency energy plans must include information concerning blood banks.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=3&GA=93&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=1412&GAID=3&LegID=4431&SpecSess=&Session=
Public Act 93-0794

Renames the Act the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act. Defines “close friend”, “federally designated organ procurement agency”, “not available”, “organ”, “tissue”, and “tissue bank”. Adds the guardian of the decedent’s person at the time of death, the decedent’s surrogate decision maker identified by the attending physician in accordance with the Health Care Surrogate Act, and a close friend of the decedent to the list of persons who may give consent for organ donation after or before the death of the person.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0492
Public Act 93-0492

Amends the Hospital Licensing Act. Makes changes in provisions concerning the confidentiality of medical records and information. Removes provisions exempting persons from civil or criminal liability or professional discipline who act in good faith concerning the dissemination of information.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?GA=93&DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=1417&GAID=3&SessionID=3&LegID=4436
Public Act 93-0568

Amends the Illinois Insurance Code with respect to colorectal cancer examinations. Provides that insurance coverage must provide coverage for colorectal cancer examinations according to the most recently published guidelines of the American Cancer Society.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?GA=93&DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=1418&GAID=3&SessionID=3&LegID=4437
Public Act 93-0008

Creates the Ephedra Prohibition Act. Prohibits the sale of any dietary supplement containing any quantity of ephedra or ephedrine alkaloids. Exempts from that prohibition the sale of any product that receives explicit approval by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as safe and effective for its intended use or is lawfully marketed under an over-the-counter monograph issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0551
Public Act 93-0551

Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the short title. Amends the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the short title. 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0523
Public Act 93-0523

Amends the Open Meetings Act. Requires public bodies to make and maintain audio or video recordings of their closed meetings. Provides procedures for (i) protecting privileged communication during a meeting between the public body and its attorney and (ii) summarizing and destroying the recordings. Extends the statute of limitations on meetings in violation of the Act to 180 days.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0672
Public Act 093-0672

Amends the Minimum Wage Law. Makes a stylistic change in provisions concerning the Director of Labor.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=093-0653
Public Act 93-0653

Amends the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act. Makes technical changes in a Section concerning the short title.

 

A sum total of 27 pieces of legislation that got passed into law, the bulk of which are of debatable significance.  Mandating the distribution of postpartum depression pamphlets?  As if doctors and healthcare professionals can’t diagnose this?  When my kids were born, the hospital staff informed us of what to look for concerning postpartum depression, and they didn’t need the State of Michigan to make sure they gave us a pamphlet.  Technical changes to the short titles of legislation?  Unfunded mandates for schools to provide Asian history classes?  Pffth!

The following pieces of legislation, in my estimation, were of some significance:

  • Public Act 93-0517 (Videotaped Interrogations)
  • Public Act 093-0563 (Hospital Report Card Act)
  • Public Act 93-0566 (Perinatal HIV Prevention Act)
  • Public Act 93-0568 (Colorectal examinations)
  • Public Act 93-0008 (Ephedra Prohibition Act)
  • Public Act 93-0523 (amendment the Open Meetings Act)

Of these, only three are brand-new pieces of legislation, and not an amendment to existing law or codes.  The Ephedra Prohibition Act looks, on its face, to be a decent law restricting the sale of Ephedra products unless FDA recommended.  So, that’s one.

The Perinatal HIV Prevention Act looks to be innocuous, providing HIV testing and counseling to pregnant women.  The significance of this in preventing the spread of HIV or HIV-infected children is debatable, especially if the woman is HIV-positive in the first place.  Secondly, if she IS HIV-positive, nearly all healthcare providers will offer counseling as part of the hospital procedure.  Mandating this seem to be of little significance.

The Hospital Report Card Act not only expands the government bureaucracy, but it also imposes a huge, unfunded accounting liability on the hospitals, thereby increasing the overall cost of healthcare.  If a hospital doesn’t do well on its “report card” the hospital can be punished by having their licence revoked or suspended.  This can be a real problematic.

Why?

Well, let’s say you’re a hospital in a depressed economic area, and providing a lot of free care in your emergency room (which is mandated by federal law).  Not only is the State of Illinois pounding you financially for excessive funding requirements, they’re basically mandating how many doctors, nurses, etc. you MUST have per patient…that’s part of the reporting requirement.  So, let’s say the state decides that you don’t have enough nurses for patients that don’t essentially pay, and you get a “failing” mark on your report card.  The end result is that you lose your license to operate in the State of Illinois.

So, there goes all the free care the hospital is giving away for people who don’t or can’t pay.  And there goes the nearest large healthcare facility in an area that’s economically depressed.  And look as I did, I found no exceptions in the law for these types of conditions.

So, Obama just ratcheted up the cost of healthcare, and could potentially deny healthcare to depressed economic areas (read: inner city neighborhoods).

The next piece of legislation – the one concerning colorectal examinations – only affects how Illinois medical insurance agencies (state-run) accept billing for examinations recommended by the American Cancer Society.  At first blush, this looks to be good legislation, albeit relatively small in scope.

The amendment to the Open Meetings Act looks like a better push for transparency in close-door “secret” governmental meetings, which I take away as a good thing.  So, I’ll give The Nazarine kudos for this bill.  Politicians, like cockroaches, like to hide in the dark.  Making sure light is always available to keep the cockroaches in line I consider a good thing.

The last one of that list – the bill requiring videotaped interrogations – is perhaps the most insidious of them all.  Looking at if from the thousand-mile view, it looks like a good piece of legislation: requiring interrogations to be videotaped.  Sounds good, right?

Notice the section from the legislative synopsis that I included in the brief description of the act:

Provides that statements made by a suspect at a custodial interrogation at a police station or other place of detention in investigations for homicide and certain sex offenses are presumed inadmissible unless electronically recorded.

Makes omissions for homicide and sex offenses inadmissible unless electronically recorded?  So, if they arrest the guy, and he’s admitting to an officer personally that he killed someone, then recants that admission during interrogation when it’s recorded, it’s inadmissible?

Granted, there is a “preponderance of evidence” clause, but what the legislation effectively does is undercut the credibility of law enforcement officials.  Furthermore, it a minor provides a confession, it is inadmissible unless electronically recorded.

Nice.

Other notable bills simply expand the Illinois state bureaucracy, such as the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Transportation, and a job skills “enhancement” program (as if community colleges were not sufficient).

The final analysis?  Out of a legislative career that spans about ten years, Barak (The Nazarine) Obama has about two to four pieces of legislation that actually have some worth.  That’s one bill every two to three years, none of which could be seen as major legislation.

Of course, depending on your political viewpoint, your mileage may vary.

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