Yesterday I questioned just how popular the Illinois seatbelt laws are and suggested a repeal effort might have significant support. Someone leaving a comment pointed out that federal highway money is tied to state having seatbelt laws. I vaguely remembered that so I sent the crack TEH research staff out to verify that is true. After an exhausting (for the TEH research staff) 90 second Google search, it was concluded that indeed the state needs seatbelt laws or faces losing federal dollars. This brings a compile of points to my mind:
- Any governor would be an idiot to push for the repeal of the state’s seatbelt law.I stand by my contention that seatbelt laws aren’t necessarily that popular in Illinois but given that we have to have them to get our share of the federal highway cash, it’s really a non-issue and should be treated that way by both candidates for governor.
- This would have been a perfect way for the Topinka camp to dismiss questions about their candidate's past opposition to seatbelt laws. The fact that this wasn’t invoked seems to confirm Jim Leach’s contention that the JTB campaign fumbled this one badly.