Marching Orders - 12/19/2017

*Marching Orders is an occasional update of news related to the lawmakers, candidates, and districts we have profiled here.

Daniel Biss

Biss, our endorsed candidate for Illinois Governor, released an ambitious plan to overhaul the criminal justice system in his state yesterday, including language of particular interest to us. From CBS Chicago:

Democratic candidate for governor Daniel Biss has outlined some of his ideas for reforming the state’s criminal justice system.
Biss says he is proposing reforms that go beyond the usual “comfort zone” of many such plans, including legalizing marijuana, helping raise tax revenue, and getting rid of cash bond and racial sensitivity training for all workers — not just police.
Biss says his plans also encompass adequate funding for the justice system, holding police accountable for their actions as well as improved training. There are also measures to license gun dealers, ban assault weapons and bump stocks, and reform sentencing.

Biss expanded on all these ideas in a press release that accompanied the announcement:

Daniel and Litesa’s FAIR approach to criminal justice reform also includes tackling the root causes of gun violence, a problem that plagues communities across Illinois. Here’s how they will work to curb this issue:
  • Treat gun violence as a public health issue by funding violence prevention programs and intervention services, and fighting for universal healthcare, which includes mental health treatment.
  • Restrict the number of guns that can be purchased within a set time span.
  • Ban bump stocks, assault weapons, and expanded magazines.
  • Pass the Gun Dealer Licensing Act to stem the flow of illegal guns into our communities.
  • Enact a Lethal Violence Order of Protection, disqualifying domestic abusers from owning firearms, and implementing a system to report and track domestic violence incidents.


There is a crowded field on both sides to replace Rep. Todd Rokita in Indiana. LEAP Forward is currently researching an endorsement in the Democratic Primary in the 4th district race, and it seems our job is now somewhat easier. From Dave Bangert at the Journal & Courier:

Shipley told [party leaders] she would pull out of the congressional race. Instead, Shipley would run against Lafayette Republican Ron Alting, who has held the Indiana Senate District 22 seat since 1998.
“I think Ron Alting is a good man, and he’s served his constituents very well for 20-some years,” Shipley said, after her plans started leaking Monday afternoon. “But the supermajority at the state level, I don’t believe, is serving us well, particularly in the areas of public education, pre-school education, workforce training and really so much more. I just think I can make a difference, and I think I can win.”

We have released our grades for the Indiana Senate and found that Alting has one of the worst records in the body on the legislation we tracked. We welcome Shipley's challenge and will consider an endorsement in the 22nd Senate district race when filing closes in Indiana in February.