THE BLOG
12/09/2014 02:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lessons From Ferguson, Applied in Illinois

Four years after Illinois' fiasco with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment and trial, Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association says the state has learned from the ordeal. Reforms have been implemented to limit conflicts of interest, stop contract abuses and combat a general culture of corruption.

Shaw says the lessons learned in the national conversations surrounding race after Ferguson can be applied in the same way:

Protests are continuing, along with an examination of police protocols in threatening situations: When should cops use batons, stun guns and other non-lethal weapons to control suspects and protect themselves, and when is a potential kill shot appropriate?

Should there be video recorders in all police cars, and body cameras on every officer, to document confrontations?

And the justice system: Do current laws fairly and adequately protect both parties -- police and victims?

Should the same prosecutors who work side-by-side with police on criminal cases be managing grand jury proceedings that involve deaths at the hands of officers?

And, of course, the overarching issue: What role does race and racism continue to play in these volatile situations?

See the rest of his thoughts on how to learn from Ferguson at Reboot Illinois.

Another national conversation with Illinois implications is the debate over a minimum wage hike. While it looked like the General Assembly might pass an increase during the veto session, it's now clear any changes will have to wait until at least January. Capitol Fax's Rich Miller blames Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan for the delay.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does indeed have a lot of explaining to do. His decision to move up a vote to pass a $13 an hour minimum wage for his city completely undercut Springfield's efforts to pass a statewide minimum wage capped everywhere at $11 an hour.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does indeed have a lot of explaining to do. His decision to move up a vote to pass a $13 an hour minimum wage for his city completely undercut Springfield's efforts to pass a statewide minimum wage capped everywhere at $11 an hour...

Even so, Speaker Madigan himself shares in the blame here. Yes, he's not all-powerful, but he probably could've passed a minimum wage bill during the spring session. Instead, he didn't want to rile up business groups before an election and believed he could use the issue to fire up his party's base and the unions in the November election.

See the rest at Reboot Illinois.

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NEXT ARTICLE: Cartoon illustrates the national race discussion, post-Ferguson