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|More Pressure for Senate Ethics Vote
|Pressure is building on the president of the Illinois Senate to call a session soon to override the governor's veto of an ethics bill.
Dozens of senators say they want a chance to override the veto and enact a law that bans political contributions by state contractors. The Illinois House of Representatives overrode the veto last week. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Senate now has 15 days to act, otherwise the bill dies. What is unclear is whether the 15 days are calendar days or session days.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan says neither the Constitution, nor the constitutional convention debates, deal with this issue, and it has never before been litigated. Therefore, proponents of the measure have one option: Act within 15 calendar days of the House action. To wait until the next scheduled Senate session, Nov. 12, would be to invite litigation that will delay implementation of the bill for years, assuming the veto is overridden then, says State Sen. Don Harmon ( D-Oak Park ), the bill's sponsor.
Senate President Emil Jones says he has no plans to call the Senate into session until Nov. 12.
Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) says maybe U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), in the midst of his campaign for president, can say the magic words, since Jones is known as Obama's "political godfather."
Senators from both parties, along with pro-reform state constitutional officers and reform-minded interest groups are urging Jones to change his mind.
The bill passed the General Assembly unanimously in the spring. Gov. Rod Blagojevich applied an amendatory veto that would expand the ban on contributions to include lawmakers and state political parties, neither of which oversee state contracts. The amendatory veto also would prohibit some employees of local governments from serving in the General Assembly.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|09 16 08 by Newsroom
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