Statehouse Insider: Rauner loses first week of veto session

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Last week wasn’t a good one for soon-to-be former Gov. BRUCE RAUNER.

The House and Senate voted to override his vetoes on more than three dozen bills, which is a lot of overrides at the halfway point of the veto session.

Having said that, it is still only the halfway point of the session. There’s another week to go and Rauner’s record could certainly improve then. Poster child for that is Tobacco 21, which restricts tobacco sales to those 21 and over. The Senate overrode the governor’s veto with no votes to spare. The bill only passed the House with 61 votes, which means supporters need to find another 10 votes to override the veto. That’s going to be a fairly tall order.

We’ll all need to wait a while longer to provide the definitive assessment of Rauner’s last veto session.

 

* Last week, three of the General Assembly’s caucuses (that would be lawmakers from the same party in each chamber) informally elected their leaders for the upcoming two-year session of the legislature.

For the record, it will be the 101st edition of the General Assembly.

Anyway, here’s what’s happened so far. The Senate Republicans have stuck with Sen. BILL BRADY of Bloomington as their leader. The Senate Democrats have decided to retain Sen. JOHN CULLERTON of Chicago as the head of their merry band.

In the House, the GOP caucus will stick with Rep. JIM DURKIN of Western Springs as their leader. That leaves just the House Democrats to make a decision on a leader. They’ll do that in January. Wonder who that will be?

 

* Here’s another way of looking at it: Who will be all of those House Democrats who will challenge MICHAEL MADIGAN to be House Speaker?

You know there just have to be some challengers, right? Remember that excuse peddled by some House Democratic candidates when they were ducking questions about whether they would support Madigan for Speaker again? They wouldn’t answer the question because heavens, who knows who might be running?

 

*The good thing about having rich people run for office is they aren’t doing it for the salary.

Consequently, Gov.-elect J.B. PRITZKER repeated last week that he won’t take the $177,412 state salary that goes with the job.

For a guy who’s worth $3.4 billion, messing with $177,000 is probably just a nuisance, like getting pennies back at the store. Just leave it in the tray by the register.

 

* Of course, Rauner also didn’t take a salary while in office, but judging by the stripped-down tax returns he made public, it didn’t hurt his lifestyle much.

His lot may further improve when he’s out of office and can go back to actively managing his own fortune and not leave it in a blind trust.

 

* ”The only task force I want to see right now is a task force on task forces.” Rep. JEANNE IVES, R-Wheaton, speaking against a bill to create the Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotional Learning Task Force. A veto override motion passed.

 

* Guess you’d call it a split opinion on the decision to have a Lincoln interpreter appear at a House committee hearing on the infamous hat controversy.

Some viewed it as a harmless stunt while others thought it detracted from the seriousness of the issue before lawmakers — namely that if the state doesn’t come up with a chunk of money, a chunk of the collection of Lincoln memorabilia now in the state’s possession could go away. Not many people want to see that, even if it turns out the stovepipe hat in the collection isn’t an authentic Lincoln piece.

And kudos to the Chicago Sun-Times, which came up with the best headline from the hearing: “Lincoln museum officials enlist phony Abe to address phony hat worries.”

Contact Doug Finke: doug.finke@sj-r.com, 788-1527, twitter.com/dougfinkesjr.

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November 17, 2018 at 05:25PM

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