Saturday Brought the Fire and the Feels
Original Legislation moves on to the House with bipartisan support
by: Luisa Sanchez
SBOL 1201 introduced by Senator Geoffrey Diver has been triumphant in both the Republican and Democratic parties of the senate, passing on to the house by a 17/5 majority.
The synopsis of this original legislation is as follows:
Requires the Department of Corrections to provide contraception and menstrual products to individuals incarcerated in state correctional facilities. Access to contraception and menstrual products must also be easily available.
This original legislation has support from both sides of the Senate even though the priorities of both parties still remained loyal to the values of their respective parties. Senator Callie Oxford (R)) agreed with the intent to focus on the wellbeing of prisoners in regards to the statistics provided by the left side on the high rates of Toxic Shock Syndrome that female inmates face when menstrual products are not available as needed. The Republicans also bring the funding into question as they would much rather have private funding and fundraising to pay for these products instead of being a burden for taxpayers.
The Democratic Party who are in total favor of this bill bring up the argument of supporting this bill as a way of defending women of color who not only face economic disparities that make it hard to be able to independently purchase such products in prisons, there is also the possibility that these women have not yet faced trial and therefore should not be treated as guilty until proven so. In their argument for funding, they state that providing women with menstrual products is a far lesser expense than treating these women for medical problems that could arise if they are not able to have basic sanitary and hygienic needs met.
Both parties have raised compelling arguments, both with an intent to put the safety and wellbeing of prisoners as a top priority, within the argument of where funding comes from both parties also seem to have an understanding that funding could come from fundraising and donations to lessen the burden on taxpayers. This original bill is set to pass onto the House and is being met with enthusiasm as both sides have passionate opinions on the matter.
Original Legislation Protecting Migrants Passes the Senate
by: Kelly Kupris
One of the most well written Original Legislation that came about this weekend was Senator Joshua Baker’s (D-Southeastern Illinois College), SBOL1104. During committee, Senators on both sides of the aisle came together to pass the bill unanimously. His impassioned debates on the Senate floor shared the story of his mother Blanca who was deported after being reported by her immigration attorney. The Senator describes seeing his mother crying while handcuffed to a table and how the family’s pleas to the law enforcement officers fell on deaf ears. He mused on remembering begging his father to do something leading to his father crying while saying there was nothing to do. Baker described his mental, physical, and social struggles from that resulted from the splitting up of his family including experiencing a stress-induced seizure that landed him in the hospital.
In addition to his emotional floor session debates, he shared his feelings about the migrant community describing them as, “Caring, humble, determined, thoughtful, and courageous.” He shared stories of being friends with another migrant family and feeling always at home with them. He shared how the mother of the family taught Spanish to students and that speaks to the well roundedness and capability of migrants. Baker spoke of how migrants fear applying for citizenship because of predatory practices of immigration attorneys and other migration enforcement agencies. These dangerous practices are what his OL fights to change.
Baker’s mother Blanca was separated from her family for twenty years after being exposed to deportation officials by her attorney. Baker was only four-years-old when his mother was torn away from him. He recollects asking himself, “Why me, out of everyone in the world, why me? Why anyone?” Even though as a young child, he felt targeted. The horrible feelings that came with the awful situation is what expanded Baker’s empathy and drove his desire to be a voice for migrants. His desires for including limitations to this bill, such as requiring the undocumented migrants have a clean criminal record and keep up to date paperwork, was to make sure it received bipartisan support which it did just that. The bill passed committee unanimously and passed by a wide-margin. Blanca’s story, whom Baker describes as being a well-respected member of the community before her deportation, touched all the hearts on both sides of the aisle. This bill was written to ensure attorney-client privilege from the time of filing to citizenship granting, or between filing, citizenship rejection, and filing again in five-years time. Senators like Assistant Minority Leader Gillian Jones echoed her support of this protection of families and encouraged her delegates to be bipartisan.
While this bill has been passing with flying colors in the Senate floor session, Baker still wanted to emphasize why it is important to honor migrants. One reason is that migrants have contributed nearly $300 million to the social security trust fund. This has ensured Americans will receive the benefits for many years to come. He also spoke on the sacrifice that migrants give to get a piece of the American Dream, something promised to all in this country. Baker spoke about a story of someone he knows who was held at gunpoint when trying to enter the nation. The story speaks to how it isn’t easy for any migrant and they deserve our respect and sympathy.
Immigration bills rarely get bipartisan support in Model Illinois Government. With Senator Baker's brilliant bill writing and Senator Jones' encouragement to work together, this bill received major support. We would like to commend Senator Baker and his proving of the fact that politics is personal, and when personal, anything can be achieved. Governor Moore accepted and passed the bill.
Millikin Takes Finals In Moot Court
by: Elijah England
Moot Court final rounds will include Team Two (Funke Odufuwa and Chris Hoving) vs. Team Four (Hanna Prochnow and Reena Riley) with both teams hailing from Millikin University. Team Four will be acting as the petitioner in this case and Team Two will act as the respondent. Discussions and debate in the semifinals included the topic of the Facebook algorithm designed to flag unsupported speech. Offline consequences were also discussed as the client could have acted on what is inferred from his statements.
The overall suggestion gathered from parts of the semi-final round is that statements pointed at state employees or actors for the state should be avoided. There were also good conversations on editing a comment before submission in order to not directly incite violence. The final round is currently in session and should be a well developed conversation between the petitioners and the respondents as well as quality discussions on the issues provided by the judges.
Inflammatory FOID Card Bill Stokes The Flames of Debate
by: Tamas DiLorenzo
The synopsis of HB 0913 is short, perhaps disarmingly so. It reads: “Repeals the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Amends various Acts to make conforming changes. Effective immediately.” For years, the bill has been brought up again and again to the same conclusion: Denial. Until 2021. Now, the bill has passed the House and will be debated in the Senate. If passed there, MIG will have repealed FOID cards for the first time.
Minority Leader Christian Murray (R-Southeastern Illinois University) said that the FOID Act was unconstitutional, and that the reported months long waiting list was much longer than the claimed 30 days. Majority Leader Mackenzi Matthews (D-UoI Springfield) suggested that if Republicans really thought the FOID Act was unconstitutional, they should take it to the Supreme Court.
When Majority Sophie Hills (D-Principia College) asked what the rush was on obtaining a FOID card, she was met with two examples from the Minority. Minority Leader Murray (R-Southeastern Illinois University) posited that young women may be attempting to obtain a FOID card because they fear for their safety, and Minority O’Daniel pointed out that waiting months for a FOID card would mean someone applying for recreational purposes may completely miss the season for outdoor sports like hunting, a sport which many people, including himself, use to feed their families.
When the Majority questioned the motivation of the Minority party, who they saw as caring more about guns than human life, the Minority pointed out that despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Illinois has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the nation. Because of this, the Minority doubts the effectiveness of the FOID Act as a viable method of stopping gun violence.
Finally, the Minority argued that the $10 registration fee for a FOID card was unconstitutional. Assistant Minority Leader Jacob Cacioppo (R-University of Illinois Springfield) pointed out that American citizens do not need to pay $10 for the 1st, 3rd, or 4th amendment, and that the payment required to exercise the 2nd amendment set a dangerous precedent. Majority speakers pointed out that guns usually cost considerable sums of money, and that $10 is not a large sum.
The Majority and Minority voted and were tied until the MIG Speaker Kallie Matthews (UIS) voted Yes, sending the bill to the senate.
Moot Court Ends With A Bang
by: Elijah England
Moot Court ran into some minor inconveniences this weekend but managed to keep it going and successful. Chief Justice Elizabeth Stephens stated, “I thought everything went well! The Moot Court students were beyond patient with me getting them all the necessary links and great with coming to me with questions. I felt our communication on the Moot Court side was great for being virtual, which was what I was trying to strive for. Overall, we had some great arguments, and a big kudos to the students since they were competing back-to-back on Friday with almost 10 minutes between each round so we could stay afloat and on time.” Although, there were some issues with connection and keeping the rooms going, the Moot Court team did an exceptional job of keeping things moving and keeping their team and participants up to date.
Finalist Funke Odufuwa brought some heat in the final stating that, “They didn’t restrict the comment section of this post and therefore left it open for discussion with the public. Since the other comments were not removed, it suggests the area is open to the public.” Odufuwa also mentions the Perry case for reference of case law. Odufuwa’s partner, Christina Hoving, stated that the client's actions were, “A call for accountability and not a direct call for action against the sheriff's department." Hoving did exceptionally well at answering the judges questions and standing on what their team had previously stated. Overall, discussions in this final round were intriguing and well focused on the issues provided.
Governor Moore Honors Delegates by Passing (Most of) Original Legislation
by: Kelly Kupris
Governor Moore, as a way of honoring the hard work of delegates this year, passed all Original Legislation except for one bill. The governing ruler of Model Illinois Government 2021 passed OL 1103 by Senator Nash Oldenettel, OL 1104 by Senator Joshua Baker, OL 1201 by Senator Geoffrey Diver, and OL by Representative Gabby Watson and Senator Rhys Deiter. The only OL that did not pass was bill 2205 authored by Representative Mackenzi Matthews. Governor Moore commended the excellent work of Representative Matthews but simply did not agree with the bill's necessity.
Governor Moore served an excellent year as Governor right after serving as President of the Senate in 2020. Moore has given five years of hard work, dedication, and tears to Model Illinois Government. He has made the organization smarter, stronger, and brought lots to the table. With the friendships he's built, the tenacity he fought with, and the welcoming environment he sustained, his legacy will be permanent within this organization.
Governor Moore Addresses The Press and the Soul of Model Illinois Government
by: Tamas DiLorenzo
While delegates took their lunch break, Governor Isaiah Moore sat down for a Q&A session with Journalists, E-board members, and the Press Secretary to discuss Model Illinois Government 2021, his memories of past MIGs, and the future. The event was streamed on Facebook.
In his opening remarks, Governor Moore remarked that although the online format wasn’t what anyone had expected MIG 2021 would look like, he thought this year was “wholesome” and “[is] working”.
“Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of the organization and how we move forward from this […] With that in the forefront of my mind, I’ve been planning and sending out messaging that progresses us into the future. The one word of the year that I want all of you to think about right now is ‘perseverance’. I could have very well said ‘This is too much. I think we should scale back and maybe wait another year.’ But no, I was like ‘I love challenges. So I am going to take on this challenge.’ [...] I worked collaboratively with the board, as well as all of the faculty advisors.”
“I had to do research on what platforms would be best,” Continued Governor Moore “[...] It was a tough decision. Zoom ultimately prevailed. Despite a few minor setbacks, we’ve relatively had a really good year with Zoom.” Speaking about the simulation, Moore said “[So far] These past few days have been amazing. Debate has been fiery, and people have been engaged. They genuinely feel that this is a nice break from regular instruction that they get from their different schools. I think that that is just absolutely phenomenal.”
When asked if there was anything Moore wished he’d done differently, the Governor was candid. “That’s a great question. I talked earlier about platform searching. Zoom. to me, was the obvious choice. But I did think about other platforms, and had finances worked out there was another platform that I had gotten really excited about. [...] I think going forward we need to prioritize fundraising, and lessening the burden of delegations and delegates. If I had to do the virtual thing all over again, I would have punched fundraising a little bit harder.”
One audience member asked “Regarding the lessons you’ve learned, which lesson do you think will stick with you for years to come?” Immediately, Governor Moore knows the answer. “Patience. Patience and having love for people regardless of how they treat you.”
Another audience member wanted to know what advice Governor Moore would offer the next Governor. “I would say that the next Governor has to focus on unity of the board. One of the things I’m proud of was that I managed to get everybody on the same page when it came to a virtual simulation. Unity doesn’t always mean that people won’t disagree. Unity, what it truly means, is that through dissension and through disagreement come productivity and creativity together.”