Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn Defends Pay Hikes, Signs Voter Reform Amendatory Veto

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov. Pat Quinn used his amendatory veto power today to "strengthen the power of people" -- under his suggested law, voters in Illinois will not have to declare their party aloud in primary elections. The measure was first recommended by the Illinois Reform Commission. 

    Voters will still choose a party -- but as Quinn put it, they'll do so "in the privacy of the ballot booth." He adds "this has real reform ... some voters won't come out in primaries because they're afraid."

    A majority of lawmakers must approve Quinn's amendatory veto, a feat many consider unlikely. "The general assembly will have that opportunity in November," said Quinn. 

    The open primary already exists in Wisconsin.

    No lawmakers are with Quinn at the signing of today's veto.  "I didn't invite anyone today," the governor said. But he added: "The voters want this, I know they do."     

    The voters -- and the press -- also want to know why Quinn's raised salaries for several of his employees, and asked as much during the press conference.

    "I've cut the budget, I've cut my own pay," Quinn said. "As far as pay goes ... if they get new duties and they get a promotion that's a different  responsibilty. I think pay should go with it." 

    Yet, a few moments later Quinn concedes "it's a tough time for state and local governments."