After nearly a month off, Illinois lawmakers are returning to Springfield, and while Chicago leaders want to see an override of Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of gun legislation, it’s unclear whether it’s possible in an election year.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx have already called upon the General Assembly to come up with the votes to override the veto, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also joined that push.
“Forty percent of the guns recovered come from gun shops and gun dealers here in Illinois,” Emanuel said. “We have a responsibility to police and regulate what happens here.”
A bill that would have ushered in a host of gun reforms was vetoed by the governor just before the March primary, but it’s unclear if Democrats can garner enough votes in an election year to override the veto.
On the GOP side, Rauner has said that he will unveil his own list of reforms, but didn’t specify what those measures could entail.
“We are going to come forward in the next few weeks with very specific proposals on a bipartisan basis,” Rauner said.
To that end, Rauner has called for a meeting of the top legislative leaders of both parties this Thursday, with just seven weeks remaining until the end of the legislative season.
That appeal for bipartisanship may be a tall order for the governor, who has not yet spoken with former GOP primary challenger Jeanne Ives, whom he defeated in the March election.
Ives has returned to Springfield, and she isn’t sure how the governor will achieve his stated goals of a balanced budget and pension reform.
“People are very skeptical on the budget,” she said. “First of all, politically speaking I think House Speaker Mike Madigan wants to make sure Rauner doesn’t have any success, but Rauner needs success if he’s going to do anything in November to get elected.”
Even though Ives has been publicly critical of the governor, GOP Leader Bill Brady believes the representative and her supporters will be in Rauner’s corner by the time the election rolls around.
“They know. They’re smart. They’re activists,” he said. “They know staying home is a vote for JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan and I believe they’re smart enough to know that.”