* 11:52 am - Subscribers won’t be surprised by this development…
All senior citizens will continue to get free mass transit bus rides after a plan to restrict the rides to poor seniors was scrapped.
Sen. Rickey Hendon, D-Chicago, said today a bill to restrict the free rides would not be called in the Senate. Without a Senate vote, the plan cannot pass, even though bills to restrict the rides are pending in both the House and Senate. […]
Hendon said lawmakers were “pretty sure” Gov. Pat Quinn planned to reinstate free rides for all seniors even if the restrictions passed the General Assembly. Quinn’s office had no immediate comment.
As I told subscribers this morning, Quinn has been signaling for the past few days that he had changed his mind yet again on free rides. First, he was for free rides for all seniors, then a few weeks ago he said the freebie should be limited to poor seniors, then he signaled this week that he wanted that limitation removed. There was a strong suspicion that Quinn would use his amendatory veto power to kill off the free ride limits - a la Rod Blagojevich.
* Meanwhile, Senate President John Cullerton and Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno got into it a bit this morning…
[Cullerton] dismissed Republican complaints that rank-and-file lawmakers would be controlled by the party bosses who dump big money into their campaigns.
Cullerton cited how Radogno received more than $1 million from former Senate GOP leader James “Pate” Philip when he ruled the chamber. Cullerton said that Radogno was not controlled by Philip when she was a rank-and-file member.
In turn, Radogno said she accepted the money as part of an entire political system that needs changed because it is “flawed.” She said the free-flow of money in politics needs to be curtailed and that party bosses would be empowered under the legislation because the Democrats wanted it that way.
More from the hearing…
Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said Republicans are opposing the campaign finance legislation in an attempt to gain a political advantage. But it will backfire because Democrats will argue that the Republicans opposed reform, he said.
The mail writes itself - for both sides.
* Also, Illinois Review runs down (literally) the “cleanup” bill for gaming expansion…
HB 607 lets the Governor “select” a private manager for the total management of the Lottery. Was this written for one political insider? With all of the scandals in Illinois and Pay to Play politics, this is outrageous.