Curran withstands ribbing from both sides of the aisle during debate of his first bill
Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) proved he could stand with the best of them.
Before officially passing his first piece of legislation, SB2606, which provides state government agencies give food waste to local nonprofits as well as collect donations, at the April 17 Senate floor debate, Curran had to withstand some freshman heckling.
Sen. Tom Rooney (R-Rolling Meadows) started, asking Curran where any documents related to his bill would be filed.
“One of the many file cabinets in CMS,” Curran said.
“Is that all you can offer, is just some file cabinets?” Rooney joked. “I am quite disappointed that this valuable and sensitive information is going to be kept in file cabinets.”
After suggesting blockchain technology to secure his policy information from foreign government hackers, Rooney asked Curran if his bill only applies to food bought with state-funded money. Curran answered yes above the General Assembly's laughter.
In Curran’s defense, Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) said a legal counsel memo was sent to floor informing that if Rooney fell during debate, he would not be covered by workers' compensation. Joining in the jest, Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) asked the senator if he was a former Illini lineman, and Curran answered yes.
“Since your bill is about food and you were a lineman for Illini and Sen. Neil Anderson was a lineman for Nebraska, which one of you could eat more steak after a game,” Rose asked.
“Back in my 340-pound days, I would put my money on me,” Curran said.
Rose then challenged Curran to a three-point stance contest against Anderson on the Senate floor, and Curran said he was pretty sure he couldn’t even get out of a three-point stance.
Continuing the canard, Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) confirmed his policy referred to food waste and wanted Curran to define what exactly food waste means to him. After answering that it is “food that is not consumed,” Curran was then asked by Fowler to name the state-funded soup kitchens his policy would govern.
“We have a local food shelter in Downtown Downers Grove about a mile from my house that would be an example of an agency that you would sync up with the policy,” Curran said.
Fowler accused Curran of not knowing the names of enough soup kitchens his bill would address.
“I would really think you would be rapid firing the names of soup kitchens, and like my other colleagues, I have a real problem with this bill,” Fowler said.
Ending the debate joking, Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Lombard) said he felt left out.
“To the bill Mr. President, I don’t really have anything to say about this because truth be told I have been tuning out as Senator Curran has been answering these questions, but everybody in my row seems to feel the need to speak up on this bill," Nybo said.
But the joke wasn’t over.
As Link slowly asked “if all voted who wished,” Democrat and GOP lawmakers refrained from pushing green, until they did, passing the bill 53-0.
Curran’s first bill will now move to the House for a vote.