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This just in… McPier AV complete text & react & video - Quinn claims trade shows are OK with his changes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

[Subscriber password removed because the governor just issued a press release so this is now in the public domain.]

* 12:24 pm - Click here for the complete text of Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of the McCormick Place reform bill. More in a bit.

* 12:26 pm - The governor’s office is officially filing the AV right now at Index.

* The governor claims in the AV that the legislature “has taken only half a step towards reforming” the convention industry. “As long as I have been Governor, my message has been clear: when it comes to reform, half measures do not suffice.” Heh.

* “For the authority to fully fuel the Illinois economy, we must also eliminate tax increases that are counter-productive to the purpose of the bill.” Wow. It’s almost like this is pure snark.

The above passage is, of course, about the “departure” tax on taxicab rides from Chicago’s two airports.

* The governor states that the bill violates Article IV, Section 13 of the Illinois Constitution by specifically naming James Reilly as the new McPier trustee. The Article: “The General Assembly shall pass no special or local law when a general law is or can be made applicable.”

* Quinn also complains in the AV that there is no mechanism to replace Reilly. But that was addressed in a trailer proposal sponsored by Speaker Madigan and which passed Exec this morning.

* As I told subscribers the other day, Quinn’s “real” reason for this veto is to give two of the big McPier unions control over the two smallest unions, the Riggers and the Decorators, by allowing them to absorb the unions. “Reducing the number of the Authority’s work jurisdictions will allow the Authority to continue to offer service superior to that found in other large convention destinations,” Quinn wrote.

* Here’s the official language for that passage on the Riggers and Decorators…

The Authority shall not recognize (l) more than a single bargaining unit for employees engaged in drayage, rigging, and related duties and (ll) more than a single bargaining unit for employees engaged in carpentry, decorating and related duties.

Translation: “Drayage” means Teamsters, so they get the Riggers. The Carpenters Union gets the Decorators.

* Expect a veto override perhaps as early this afternoon by the Senate.

* 12:40 pm - The governor has announced a 1 o’clock Statehouse press conference to discuss the AV. We’ll have video.

* 12:57 pm - The Senate will apparently not take up the AV today. From the Senate Democrats…

Committees will not be scheduled for this evening and there will be no major floor action. Tonight, the Senate we will read in messages from the House, the Governor. Additionally, we will file all concurrence motions and read in any new Senate bills and resolutions.

After a Committee on Assignments meeting, we will make committee announcements. We plan to start committees around 9:30 on Thursday morning.

* 1:06 pm - More from the Senate Democrats…

The Senate intends to override the Governor’s McPier AV. A joint statement from Cullerton and Radogno will be issued shortly.

* 1:45 pm - From a press release…


SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Moments ago, Governor Pat Quinn vetoed Senate Bill 28, the McPier reform legislation that was born out of months-long bipartisan negotiations by key stakeholders and top legislative leaders.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno helped to craft the agreed reforms in Senate Bill 28. As leaders of their caucuses, both worked diligently to earn bipartisan passage of the legislation earlier this month.

Numerous associations, organizations and industries have long complained of the high surcharges and bureaucratic guidelines that have reduced the attractiveness of hosting conventions and trade shows at McCormick Place.

Just this week, the National Restaurant Association held its annual trade show at McCormick Place, bringing with it an estimated $100 million of economic activity to Chicago. After more than six decades of making McCormick Place its annual convention headquarters, officials of the association announced that, unless the reforms in Senate Bill 28 become law, a new home will be chosen for its future events. Additionally, officials of the National Housewares Show issued a similar statement this week.

For this reason Senate leaders expressed disappointment in the governor’s veto decisions:

“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.

After months of public hearings and discussions with stakeholders, members of the Illinois General Assembly passed this reform package to stop the pattern of canceled trade shows and wary convention decision makers who found other venues more attractive, affordable and with less red tape. Democrats and Republicans came to retain and grow tens of thousands of jobs and reaffirm a commitment to investing in tourism for the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.

This proposal cuts bureaucracy, establishes strict ethics standards, and recognizes the importance of attracting new and returning convention business through aggressive promotion. Without providing an alternative funding source, the Governor’s veto decimates a well-thought-out plan to show off our world-class facilities.

By working together, we created a significant reform plan that will bring millions of visitors and billions of dollars in economic investment to our state. Our negotiations lasted for weeks. But, we believe an override of the Governor’s veto is a prudent course of action.”

The Senate will begin the override process in committee on Thursday morning.

*** 2:31 pm *** Gov. Quinn’s press conference, part 1

*** 3:05 pm *** Quinn presser part 2

And part 3

*** 3:30 pm *** The governor’s office claims that the “trade show people” are OK with his changes

“If [Mr. Quinn’s] changes go through it will produce a stronger bill that trade shows would like. If not, the trade show people are satisfied with the current bill….The trade show people are OK with the gov’s action.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - George - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    The General Assembly shall pass no special or local law when a general law is or can be made applicable

    Easy, just make a general law that Reilly is trustee for the whole state…

  2. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    Here I though PQ was for the little guy.

    How do you justify the forcible absorption of union representation?

    I see the fat cats are happy, but the riggers and decorators get the big shaft!

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    I wonder if Quinn has an end game or he’s just going to bat for his union guys? The votes were there before in both chambers to override the veto.

  4. - Are Ya Kiddin' Me? - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    “* As I told subscribers the other day, Quinn’s “real” reason for this veto is to give two of the big McPier unions control over the two smallest unions, the Riggers and the Decorators, by allowing them to absorb the unions. “Reducing the number of the Authority’s work jurisdictions will allow the Authority to continue to offer service superior to that found in other large convention destinations,” Quinn wrote.

    * Here’s the official language for that passage on the Riggers and Decorators…

    The Authority shall not recognize (l) more than a single bargaining unit for employees engaged in drayage, rigging, and related duties and (ll) more than a single bargaining unit for employees engaged in carpentry, decorating and related duties.”

    So why is’t that “Special” Legislation?
    I guess according to Quinn it only violates the Constitution when it’s not your “Special” Legislation?

  5. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    Unless NoTaxBill finds a way to goof this one up — which is probably likely — the Governor comes up huge loser. Too bad becuase NoTaxBill and StateWideTom are still getting socked for blowing their budget play

  6. - former springfield resident - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    Reality check time. Down I-65 in Indianapolis the convention center recognizes only one union for its workers, and its union representative is the Vice President of the City-County Council and another union boss sits on the board overseeing the convention center. Never heard of a law that names a specific individual to be appointed to a government position. Quinn’s on solid legal footing. The tax on out-of-towners is important. Quinn makes a valid point. It cost this out-of-towner $41 in parking and another $10 in tolls just to visit the City recently for one day, not counting the exorbitant sales tax I paid for my meal. You don’t incur those kind of costs in Orlando and Las Vegas and convention planners and exhibitors don’t have all the hassles and extra costs they are hit with at McCormick Place. BTW, Is Reilly still married to Veronica Lynch, who served as Madigan’s Appropriations Staff Director?

  7. - Bubs - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    Not good for LISA either, if Quinn wants to challenge the law in court on constitutional grounds. Another fine Springfield mess.

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    ===Not good for LISA either===

    She can tell him to go find his own lawyer.

  9. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    But this isn’t about including the name of an individual in a bill, it’s about who selects and removes him/her. Quinn is dreaming if for a moment he thinks that the leaders would agree to the Trustee being nominated and appointed by and accountable to HIM, who clearly has a soft spot for, well, everything and everyone. No matter the bungling that may occur. (cough, cough, DOC, cough).

    Under the AV, Quinn could simply not nominate Reilly. Then what? A confirmation process of a series of Quinn-nominated Trustees could take quite some time. And it looks like if the Senate recesses, Quinn gets to appoint whomever he wants until they are back in session. It’s an override all the way.

  10. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    The union thing to me seems strange, forcing one union to join another? Why?

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    OneMan, it’s a consolation prize.

  12. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:49 pm:

    Of course Quinn wants the Trustee to be responsible to him-who do you think he wants to run the show, Daley? Because that’s who will…this is a Chicago money machine first, and then a State revenue machine…Daley can tweak this via Reily as time moves on…

  13. - ugh - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    == Daley can tweak this via Reily as time moves on… ==

    You clearly don’t know Jim Reilly if you think that he will do things to make Daley happy.

  14. - Tomster - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    So Great. Now GES and Freeman only have to screw the exhibitors with two bills now. One for the Teamsters and one for the Carpenters. Who is going to watch them when they keep adding 200% to the exhibitors labor invoice. They were the cause of this whole problem and they go untouched.

  15. - "Old Timer Dem" - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    I am not a Quinn fan but I do not envy his job. No wonder why Lisa is happy as AG.

  16. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    ugh- I’d like to Reilly ignore Daley’s input or “suggestions”…it’s everyone’s job that works for him to make Da Mare happy…I guess you don’t know Daley…

  17. - downstate hack - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    “For the authority to fully fuel the Illinois economy, we must also eliminate tax increases that are counter-productive to the purpose of the bill.” Wow. It’s almost like this is pure snark.

    Wow. It is not almost, it is definitely pure snark.

  18. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:44 pm:

    It’s getting to the point that McCormick Place will just be a big, empty building with a bunch of union payrollers looking for something to do, likely at taxpayer expense.

    Why on earth would someone even want to come to Chicago over Vegas or Orlando any more?

    Weather? Chicago won’t win that one. Attractions? It’s not even close to either of our competitors.

    Add the corruption, featherbedding, extortion, theft, and ridiculously high hotel and food taxes and anyone choosing Chicago would have to have his head examined!

    The only conventions we’ll get is from trade associations that are so bullied by unions in their industry that they’ll come here out of fear instead of choice.

    Less business, lower tax revenues, decreased infrastructure investment and services downtown.

    Talk about cascading failure!

  19. - George - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:45 pm:

    downstate hack, to be fair…

    An income tax increase is not counter-productive to the purpose of the bill.


  20. - ugh - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:04 pm:

    I have lost all respect for Quinn.

  21. - Steve Brown - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:21 pm:

    Sorry for the delay. The Speaker advised the Governor this morning that the House will override the amendatory veto.
    The actual improvements in the legislation were approved in a House committee this morning.

  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:54 pm:

    –Attractions? It’s not even close to either of our competitors.–

    So you prefer the culture of Orlando and Vegas to Chicago? To each his own.

  23. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 4:23 pm:

    I can now see why Mayor Washington was ripping on Quinn during that press interview that Hynes used during the primary.

    I watched the entire press conference that Rich posted. Quinn made fun of the suburban female Democrats who proposed a “top secret” 5% across the board cut among other items, made fun of the legislative leadership by claiming to be the policemen who takes half measures and finishes the job by making them better (?) and then says that he doesn’t want to bring politics into it before bashing Cross and Republicans with the “George Bush economy” and the deficits he “inherited” (?) from the “prior administration” (that he was part of). He positioned himself as one who holds the line on taxes in spite of proposing huge increases himself in personal income taxes and other taxes, he positions himself as a job saver/creator while unemployment continued to go up during his tenure.

    He then concluded that the tax increases he wanted failed due to the democracy in the legislature, all while justifying his amendatory veto of the McPier bill to circumvent (or ‘improve’) democracy? And anyone who complains about the current economic malaise of Illinois and the current bankrupted government that cannot pay its bills is “just running down the state.”

    An opportunist who pretends to be “for the people” for his entire career who just ramped it up. We are still suffering from his populist reduction of the House membership years ago.

    Sorry I wasted over 25 minutes of my time this afternoon watching our governor in action. Maybe not. It just confirmed my worst feelings about this guy.

  24. - Bubs - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 5:36 pm:

    Mind you, Quinn could still win this race somehow (it’s only May), but he just flounders from one mess to another.

    While it may have been dramatic to have the Governor standing on the House floor while the Republican Minority Leader is excoriating him and the Democratic leadership, but Quinn sure did not look good there.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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