Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Pat Quinn's Very Scary Halloween Veto Session

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The governor talks about his veto on the Com Ed bill, and tees up action on the gaming bill.

    Governor Pat Quinn took to the podium Tuesday at Engineered Glass Products to talk about a company that's leading the way in Illinois manufacturing.

    He ended up defending his decision to veto a bill that would have allowed Commonwealth Edison to enact yearly rate hikes to pay for a "smart grid" in Illinois. That veto could become an issue when the legislature convenes Oct. 25 for a six-day fall veto session.

    Quinn, who's vetoed 30 bills during this legislature, sounds confident, despite his continued defense of the ComEd veto.

    "I don't think they're going to override a basic common sense decision by me that if we're going to have a good business climate, a good jobs climate in Illinois, we cannot be allowing Commonwealth Edison to raise electric rates every year for the next 10 years," Quinn said. "We want a good bill. ... I'm very confident that we're going to sustain my veto."

    The ComEd veto will take a quick back seat to gambling legislation should Quinn decide to veto that legislation.  Quinn has yet to receive the bill which would allow for five new casinos in Illinois -- including one in Chicago -- as well as slot machines at horse racing tracks and airports. He's telegraphed hesitation about the legislation, however, saying the current iteration doesn't go far enough in terms of oversight.

    Quinn has said he'll detail proposed changes to the bill before the veto session begins.

    "I haven't seen anything specific or tangible from the legislature," Quinn said. "We cannot have the gambling interests running around our state unregulated and unwatched. ... Obviously they know they have some defects there because they haven't sent it my way."

    The gaming bill is popular with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as well as many legislators, so a Quinn veto would surely raise some resistance.

    That's if it happens.

    The legislature will consider numerous other vetoes, including a budget veto that stripped $11.3 million in funding for the states 44 regional superintendent of schools offices; a legislative scholarship program; and more than $376 million in line by line budget cuts.

    Clearly, Quinn has  issues to worry about this Halloween.