Quinn Vetoes McPier Bill

Claiming that the McPier reform bill is only "half a step towards reforming" Chicago's beleaguered convention industry, Gov. Quinn today filed an amendatory veto, sending the bill back to the legislature -- where it will likely be passed this afternoon by a simple majority vote.

“The General Assembly has taken only half a step toward reforming our state’s convention industry,” said Governor Quinn in his amendatory veto message to the Legislature, according to a release from Quinn's office. “When it comes to reform, half measures do not suffice. The only real reform is comprehensive reform.”

Quinn's problems with the bill, according to the release:

  • doesn't think it's constitutional to appoint a specific person to be trustee
  • no succession plan for that trustee
  • ambiguity on the Procurement Code
  • "100 percent tax increase on ground transportation services" (the "departure" tax we've mentioned previously)
  • doesn't address multiple union jurisdictions

The Senate intends to override the veto this afternoon.

"Governor Pat Quinn's decision today to veto key elements of the bipartisan McPier Reform Package has the potential to destabilize one of the most productive economic engines in the State of Illinois," read a joint statement from Senate President John Cullerton and Republican Leader Christine Radogno. "The Sneate will begin the override process in committee on Thursday morning."

Mayor Daley, speaking this morning, said he understodd the House intends to override the veto tomorrow morning as well.

The veto is largely considered a political move -- Quinn is suspected of wanting to maintain the power of appoinmtent for McPier and consolidate power among the unions.

Quinn and his challenger, Bill Brady, have also used the bill as a political football: Quinn arguing that Brady voted for the departure tax increase, and Brady saying Quinn's veto hurts the convention industry and thus Chicago's economy.


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