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Flood of vetoes headed to lawmakers for November veto session

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Expect some wheeling and dealing in the Illinois House from Democrats working to get votes to override the governor’s vetoes of dozens of bills.

After the November midterm elections, the current batch of state lawmakers will head back to Springfield for veto session. They could consider 78 bills the governor vetoed or changed so far this calendar year. Each bill’s chief sponsor would have to motion for an override in the chamber the bill originated.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said that’s a lot of bills for sponsors to consider for override attempts.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had this kind of volume going into veto session,” Cassidy said.

Forty-five of them passed both the House and Senate with supermajorities. Cassidy doesn’t expect many to be contentious.

“I will say this is my first summer of this administration without a veto so I’m kind of excited,” Cassidy said.

Of all the bills that passed both chambers with simple majorities, only 19 had enough votes for an override in the Senate, where Democrats have a supermajority. House Democrats only have a simple majority, not the 71 votes needed for a successful override, so overriding those 19 is uncertain in the House. Overrides must pass both chambers to be successful. If not, the governor’s veto is sustained.

And since veto session follows the election, there will be so-called lame-duck lawmakers who won’t be around for the next session that begins in January.

State Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest, said there will be some calculation, especially after an election. He said individual lawmakers will have to make their case.

“Maybe we might be able to turn, not only some of those lame ducks, but also some of the other members that at least initially didn’t vote for the bill,” Davis said.

One lawmaker who won’t be in the legislature in January, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, said she doesn’t think there will be pressure.

“Certainly nobody’s going to pressure me,” said Ives, R-Wheaton. “I think I’ve proven I’m not one to fall to pressure.”

Ives legally can’t run for office because she ran for a higher office in the Republican primary in March, when she challenged incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, getting within four points of victory.

As to if there’s going to be some drama, Ives said there’s no love-affair between the governor and the 15 Republicans who voted with Democrats in 2017 to override the governor’s veto of tax increases.

State Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, said he counts votes, not lame ducks.

“I think we’re going to lean on people of good will regardless of their political spectrum or geography to vote their conscious on things like equal pay and a minimum wage for teachers to make sure they’re not living in poverty,” said Mitchell, who is also the executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

In previous years, Auditor General reports of the General Assembly show that during Rauner’s first full fiscal year (fiscal 2016), there were 44 vetoes lawmakers either didn’t attempt or failed to override. The second half of that year, Republicans were able to take away the Democrats’ supermajority in the House. The next full fiscal year (fiscal 2017), there were 43 sustained vetoes.

There were 18 overrides of Rauner’s vetoes in all of calendar year 2017. So far this calendar year, there have been 2 overrides.

Veto session begins Nov. 13.

Article by Greg Bishop, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org 

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Illinois News Network, publisher of ILNews.org, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at ILNews.org. Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

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Bustos’ American-made flag bill passes in the House

Thomas Clatterbuck

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In 2015, the Federal government spent $4.4 million on foreign-made American flags. Almost all of these flags, which were used by the Department of Defense, came from China. Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos was appalled when she learned this from a veteran. Under current law, flags only need to be made of 50 percent American-made materials.

Bustos’ bill would require American flags purchased with taxpayer dollars be wholly produced in the United States. Yesterday, that bill passed the House. Bustos has been working on this issue for years; and this is not the first time her measure has made it out of the house.

HR 3121 will now go to the Senate to be voted on there.

You can watch Bustos’ speech in the player. You can read the bill here.

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