Illinois Veto Session Starts Monday
By Sam Bakken in News on Nov 5, 2004 10:49PM
With the Illinois General Assembly's veto session beginning Monday, quite a bit of important legislation could be passed. Leaders of the State Senate and House met with Gov. Blago Thursday to discuss the agenda.
Legislators will discuss increasing the number of armed security guards at the capitol (in light of the September shooting of security guard William Wozniak), the CTA bail-out, more casinos in Illinois (as one possible source for the CTA bail-out) and one issue that could affect Blago's chances for a reelection in 2006 (and we hadn't heard this rumor yet, Blago for President in 2008?).
That issue is tort reform. A bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. William Haine makes medical malpractice filings more difficult, raises standards for witness credentials and protects some of the personal assets of physicians charged with malpractice. The bill has passed in the State Senate, but House Speaker Michael Madigan has held up a vote in the State House. The vote may still hold over until the spring session, but Blago said he will address every piece of legislation put before him and one "key business leader" says pressure on Democrats (including Blago with his reelection campaign two years away)is rising quickly.
And while a proposal last spring to build casinos in downtown Chicago, southern suburban Chicago and northern Illinois stalled, Senate President Emil Jones said he would work through the weekend to craft a new bill. Assembly leaders seem to agree that they see no way to give CTA the $70 million they say they need to avoid service cuts and gambling may be an answer.
According to the Daily Southtown:
Opponents of the plan say it would cause social problems such as gambling addiction and crime, and would hurt the city's poor who might spend money at the casino instead of on food or clothing, for example.
Are these "opponents" advocates for people in poverty? Because they seem to say that poor people are idiots. "Oooooo, 5 bucks left. A number two at Micky D's to take back to the box or another 20 minutes of slots?" Would these opponents rather have the poor spend their money on alcohol? At least then they'll get a pint for $3.50 and pass out before they can spend the other $1.50. The argument doesn't seem to hold up. Plus, we'd bet the city wouldn't let the riff-raff into their casino.
While we're not sure where we stand on the issue, though this Chicagoist leans Libertarian on social-vice issues, Daley supports the idea and it may be the only answer to the CTA's demands. Anyway, we'll see next week.