-By Warner Todd Huston
You know things are bad when governments start selling things they "own." The latest is the state of Illinois so over spent and in a budgetary hole that authorities are floating the idea of selling advertising space on its auto license plates.
The Democrat led general assembly has given the Secretary of State's office a directive to begin researching the pros and cons of "corporate plates," or sponsors for license plates (SB1360). The hope is that more money will be brought into the treasury and, perhaps, the state won't have to raise taxes... as much. As it happens, Texas already has sponsored plates. And, as the AP notes, Illinois already has some 70 specialty plates, so what is the addition of corporate sponsors anyway?
Now, I don't see anything necessarily wrong with this idea, of course. But, as I said, you know things are desperate when government starts selling rights to things to private businesses. But if there is any state that is in so bad a condition that they have to sell things it is Illinois. The Land of Lincoln has become that Land That's Sinkin,' for sure.
So, by January 1 of next year the Sec. of State is supposed to hand in its recommendations. We'll see where this all goes.