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.







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October 1, 2018 at 12:22PM

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