* 6:01 pm - As expected, there’s little more than a gubernatorial press pop on this week’s agenda…
“We are not going to vote for anything this week,” said Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), who has led two failed efforts to find money for the region’s transit agencies.
Though Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued his call for a special session before Christmas, many lawmakers are not expected to show up for Wednesday’s scheduled meeting. Included on that list is Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), who has tickets for the Rose Bowl pitting University of Illinois against the University of Southern California in Pasadena. Jones’ spokeswoman did not return calls. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) also is not expected to turn out Wednesday.
As for the governor, he’s planning on holding a news conference in Chicago Wednesday to talk up the mass transit issue before heading to Springfield. Blagojevich has not yet scheduled any meetings this week with legislative leaders, his spokeswoman said.
“We’re in a position now where it is only going to take a simple majority of Democrats to pass a bill, but it is really going to require Democrats coming together,’’ said Abby Ottenhoff, Blagojevich’s spokeswoman. “That means everyone needs to show up and be prepared to work because this time we’re facing a very real and serious transit crisis if something is not done until Jan. 20.” [Emphasis added]
They can’t come together if they’re not even present. The earliest we can likely expect anything “real” will be next week, and maybe not even then.
* Also today, the governor used his amendatory veto power on SB 120. No veto message was available at 6 o’clock Monday night (when I happened to check my e-mail), but here’s the bill synopsis…
Amends the State Finance Act. Provides that for personnel under the jurisdiction of the State travel control boards, the allowance rate for automobile travel mileage reimbursement, which is the same as the rate set by federal regulations, shall be increased or decreased during the State’s fiscal year as of the effective date of the federal regulations (now, increases do not take effect until the next July 1).
*** UPDATE *** Here’s the veto message…
on page 2, line 10, after “rate.”, by inserting “However, in the event the rate set under federal regulations is an increase of 3% or greater, the effective date of the new rate shall be the July 1 immediately following the change in the federal rate.”