Legislation passed the U.S. Senate that would reduce
the disparity between mandatory sentences for possession of crack
cocaine and powder cocaine. Currently, a person convicted with
possession of crack cocaine faces the same mandatory sentence as an
individual caught with 100 times as much powder cocaine. Sen. Dick
Durbin's bill would reduce that ratio to 18-1.
We were happy to see Congress revamp
the student loan system, zeroing out $94 billion in subsidies and
loan guarantees to huge banks in order to lower loan costs and boost
financial aid for students. Illinois' own Dick Durbin was
pleased with the bill, too. On WTTW's Chicago Tonight yesterday, the state's senior U.S. senator defended the reform effort, calling the old system "corporate welfare at its worst." Watch it:
When some young immigration reform activists demonstrated outside Sen. Dick Durbin's Chicago office earlier this month, they called on him to "take the lead" on comprehensive immigration reform. This week, the Illinois lawmaker issued a clear signal of support, reiterated his interest in swift reform before adding this topper: "[I]f I never do another thing in the rest of my Senatorial career," he said, "I'm going to pass that Dream Act."
Health care wasn't the only winner in last night's historic vote reform vote. In companion legislation, Congress is poised to reform the student loan
industry, which will ultimately free up billions in additional college aid for needy