February 15, 2005 – Madigan

To: The Honorable Speaker of the House Mr. Michael Madigan

From: Mr. John Gordon, Chairman Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors

Date: February 15, 2005

Subject: House Bill 0476


The Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors along with me, wish to express our sincere appreciation for your support in 2004. Employment opportunities for the blind as well as Corporate Sponsorship were the main focus of our efforts this past year. Since my walk from Chicago to Springfield , Illinois in April of 2004, your support has been demonstrated in several ways.


House Bill 0333 that you sponsored was introduced in January, 2005. This Bill contained language that protected Blind Vendors in Illinois and their respective businesses located on state properties. In February, 2005, House Bill 0476 was introduced, which did not include the original language giving us protection as a group. As Chairman I feel the elimination of this language that addresses the Blind Vendors’ concerns will leave our group vulnerable to Corporate Sponsorship. We are respectfully requesting that the original language used in House Bill 0333 also be contained in House Bill 0476. This language reads, “(h) Blind Vendors. The provisions of this Section are subject to, and do not supersede, any of the provisions of the Blind Persons Operating Vending Facilities Act, any other State or federal law granting preferences to blind persons, or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to any of those laws.”


As the one year anniversary of my walk is quickly approaching, the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors is diligently planning a reunion at the State Capitol on April 20, 2005 . It would only be fitting if there would be an opportunity to meet with you again as we did last year.


Thanking you in advance for your attention to these requests. I will be looking forward to your response.