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This just in…

Thursday, Jan 3, 2013

* 12:41 pm - From the Senate Democrats…

It is clear that we will need bipartisan support in order to take floor votes on gun safety and marriage equality this week. We will take some time to work on these important issues to advance them in the near future.

The executive committee has been delayed, but we still intend to hold a hearing on marriage equality shortly.

* 12:44 pm - Subscribers knew about this sad development early this morning. From IR

Condolences to State Senator Suzie Schmidt (R-Lake Villa), as her Springfield staff is reporting that Ms. Schmidt’s mother passed away this morning.

Senator Schmidt will not be in Springfield for today’s or tomorrow’s lame duck session. Her absence could affect the outcome of the same sex marriage bill expected to come before the Senate Thursday or Friday.

Schmidt was a “Yes” vote on gay marriage.

* 12:54 pm - I asked the SDem spokesperson if “near future” meant next week at the earliest. Her e-mailed response…


The Senate is not scheduled to return until Tuesday at the earliest. That’s the last full day of the lame duck session.

* 12:59 pm - From what I’m hearing, you can forget about both issues for the rest of the lame duck session. What a mess.

* 1:19 pm - Sun-Times

State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) is in Israel. State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa) is missing because of her mother’s death, and Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne (D-Belleville) had a health issue arise involving a family member, Steans said.

Those absences, coupled with heavy lobbying against the bill from the Archdiocese of Chicago, leave her short of the necessary 30 votes she would need to get her bill out of the Senate before the chamber adjourns for the weekend. […]

Robert Gilligan, director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, said Catholic leaders had discussed the possibility of Cardinal Francis George making direct appeals to legislators with personal phone calls, but Gilligan said it wasn’t clear whether that had happened Thursday. […]

Gun-rights supporters estimated that the legislation banning military-styled guns and the ammunition that feeds them is perhaps three or four votes shy of the necessary 30-vote threshold to pass either one, despite a heavy lobbying push from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn.

But state Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), chief Senate sponsor of the ammunition bill, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Schoenberg’s absence, as well as the absence of state Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago), left him short of the support he needed to pass the ammunition bill on the Senate floor.

Schoenberg was never expected to be in town and Steans knew it. The decision to move forward was ill advised from the get-go if she was counting on that vote.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - sean - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    So does this mean the marriage equality bill is delayed until next week or the next session?

  2. - Served - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    I’ve been looking for a list of which Rs/Ds are fence-sitters, but I’ve come up empty so far. Anyone have any ideas?

  3. - ALS - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    What are the chances of this being taken up and passed after the new legislature is sworn in?

  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    ALS, it’s not clear yet.

  5. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    The new legislature might take it up…during their lame duck session.

  6. - Todd - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    I don’t think they have the votes nor will they

  7. - LathamPlace - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    So has the Senate cancelled tomorrow?

  8. - ChicagoR - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Why the heck would Schoenberg plan to go to Israel during a critical session?

  9. - Raising Kane - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    Schoenberg should just resign and let Biss get sworn in so they can get the vote.

  10. - Because I said so... - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:45 pm:

    Having been raised and educated a Catholic, and doing the same with my children, I have drifted from the Church for various reasons. This year I thought I should make an effort to go back. Thanks Cardinal George for giving me permission to sleep in on Sundays this year.

  11. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    I don’t mean to be harsh or personal, but the marriage equality issue would seem to need another quarterback who understands the process better and can count votes. Disappointing.

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    –It is clear that we will need bipartisan support in order to take floor votes on gun safety and marriage equality this week. We will take some time to work on these important issues to advance them in the near future.–

    No, that doesn’t work anymore.

    Whip your 40-19 majority into line in the next GA on “these important issues” or just admit it’s all about power for power’s sake and not the issues.

    You control the appointments, the agenda and the contributions. You can’t blame the GOP on these two issues.

  13. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    If the Cardinal directly calls and lobbies legislators, how can the church still qualify as a tax exempt entity? Would he have to register as a lobbyist?

  14. - soccermom - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    This is so disappointing.

  15. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Former Downstater is spot on.

    Lobbying? Congrats! Here’s your tax bill.

  16. - Montrose - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    What wordslinger said. Don’t try to play that game. If it is important now, it is important in two weeks. Use your power and get it done early in the session. It would be nice to see them do some real work that first month for a change.

  17. - Five Percenter - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    In other news: The POTUS is finally good as stimulating economic growth for the weapons industry..

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    Steans failed at one of the most important jobs of a bill sponsor - counting noses.

    Well, when the GOP gets Veto-Proofed in a few days, officially, they can start the whole process over, fast track it, and get it signed.

    Bottom line - Steans failed. That is a Fact. Stop blaming others, Sen. Steans… please.

  19. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    -It is clear that we will need bipartisan support in order to take floor votes on gun safety and marriage equality this week. We will take some time to work on these important issues to advance them in the near future.–

    Or, to put it another way: we are not able to overcome the bi-partisan coalition that doesn’t want to see decisions made on these two highly controversial issues in a hasty manner by lame-duck legislators.

  20. - Quinn T. Sential - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    A few comments, questions or observations

    The Cardinal has an exemption from the regulatory requirements applicable to lobbyists.

    Not showing up for this lame duck session may well be the greatest contribution impact that Jeff Schoenberg has had in his legilsative career.

    How will President Obama characterize the leadership of those that may elect to vote present on the marriage equality legislation he is advocating for?

  21. - Rod - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Former Downstater should read the law. 25 ILCS 170/) Lobbyist Registration Act at section 3 (a) (7) exempts full time employees of churches from the lobbyist registration requirements. So neither the Cardinal nor any employee of the Catholic Church is required to register under state law.

  22. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    That’s a bad law. If he’s acting like a lobbyist he ought to have to register as one.

  23. - Joe - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    I assumed Steans and company had some outgoing GOP and conservative Dem members (Maloney, Meeks) lined-up to vote for SSM — otherwise it made no sense to run it during the lame duck session. Suzi Schmidt was it? Don’t see how it gets better on the House side.

    And given the fact Biss is still working his pension bill pretty hard, does he want to leave the House early to take Schoenberg’s spot?

  24. - walkinfool - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Both of these issues have bi-partisan support and bi-partisan opposition. The views might be slowly shifting over time, but are seriously held, and don’t get pressured or traded away easily. At this point, do you want to expend most of your serious ammo on these two, or would you focus on pensions first?

    I didn’t have much hope for gun legislation during lame duck anyway. On marriage equality: What G. Harris is doing is the key. If it happens now, he will have done it properly. If it doesn’t happen now, he will have already prepared a strategy for the new GA.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    As poor of a job Steans did, Greg Harris did an outstanding job. Steans image is going to take a bit of a beating, and considereing her district and blaming others for not knowing how to count, Steans should re-group and focus on the new GA.

    I feel bad for the work Harris did.

    To be perfectly clear;

    I am commenting on the political manuvering.

    Not on agreeing or disagreeing on the bill.

    Politically, and procedurely Steans owes harris a big “sorry”. Quite a big mistake, not knowing your “yes”es. Observers are not going to forget this one quickly.

  26. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    I don’t see blaming Steans because someone’s mother died (my condolences, BTW) and someone else has a sick child/parent/spouse. Things happen.

  27. - advocate - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    **As poor of a job Steans did, Greg Harris did an outstanding job. … I feel bad for the work Harris did.**

    OW- how does the roll call look in the House? From all the talk around the Capitol, the House is MUCH further away from the necessary votes than the Senate is.

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    Should have sailed through. Just goes to show Cullerton’s lack of power and control.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===OW- how does the roll call look in the House? From all the talk around the Capitol, the House is MUCH further away from the necessary votes than the Senate is.===

    Harris wouldn’t have called it …knowing that, Harris has done an outstanding job knowing where he truly stands, and not think falsely where everyone is.

  30. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    - or just admit it’s all about power for power’s sake and not the issues. -

    Agreed. Wholeheartedly.

  31. - advocate - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    OW- but Steans hasn’t called it yet either. And from what I hear, Rep. Harris is directly involved in the current decision making on how to proceed in the Senate.

    Sen. Steans definitely isn’t making decisions in a vacuum here.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    - advocate -,

    Failed on procedure vote. Like good lawyers, younever ask a question, unless you know the answer - don’t call procedure votes, unless you know you got it.

    I know Steans ain’t on this alone. but Steans is blaming things and people Steans knew where they stood or were located at the time of the vote.

    That is the rub.

    Blaming others is a sign of personal blame.

    Just saying.

  33. - L.S. - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    “And from what I hear, Rep. Harris is directly involved in the current decision making on how to proceed in the Senate”

    There are lots of people involved in the strategy here but let’s be clear, the egg is on the face of the Senate sponsor here. She should not have called the bill without the bodies in the room. That’s lawmaking 101. This is not the first time Steans has looked a bit on the amature side.

  34. - Pfft_-_ - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    So is the Chimayor a registered lobbyist? If not, should keep his nose within the Chity limits.

  35. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:36 pm:

    Springfield Bishop is requiring parishes to read this at masses on Sunday.

  36. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:37 pm:

    Can someone educate me here? Isn’t the soon-to-be sworn in legislature starting a new session? Won’t these bills have to be reintroduced?

  37. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    As for the Cardinal — I don’t know what the threshold is for having to register as a lobbyist — but he also doesn’t give up his constitutional rights to weigh-in as a person, simply because he heads a major institution. Other citizens don’t have to register as lobbyists to pick-up the phone and lobby legislators. That being said, I disagree with his position.

  38. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==So is the Chimayor a registered lobbyist? If not, should keep his nose within the Chity limits.==

    Last time I checked, all Chicago residents live in the state of Illinois, giving the mayor of Chicago about 3.5 million reasons to keep his nose in what’s going on in Springfield.

  39. - LawAbidingAmerican - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.” - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764. That was 249 years ago. -Thomas Jefferson

  40. - LawAbidingAmerican - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:11 pm:

    Senator Dianne Feinstein,

    I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

    I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

    I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

    I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

    We, the people, deserve better than you.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Joshua Boston
    United States Marine Corps
    The same stand true for Illinois!

  41. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:23 pm:


    New here? Wrong legislative body. Thanks for playing.

  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:26 pm:

    Wrong thread. Wrong post. Wrong blog. Wrong state. Sorry. Semper Fi.

  43. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    Does this mean the state senate will actually work on something far more important to the majority of taxpayers like pension reform?

  44. - amalia - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    Sen. Steans and Sen. Kotowski, what the what?!?

  45. - Abe the Babe - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 4:55 pm:

    “Senator Dianne Feinstein,

    I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own.”

    So you dont register your car? Dont pay property taxes which requires the government to know where you live and how much your house costs?

  46. - figures - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 5:28 pm:

    guess Heather learned to count in one of the failing Charter Schools she supports????

  47. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    Anonymous @ 4:48 pm:

    Probably not. They still haven’t figured a constitutional way to rob the current employees and retirees of their pensions so they can declare it “fixed” today.

    There are only two proposals on the table that almost everyone agrees would pass constitutional” muster:

    1) Cost-shifting the “normal” pension cost for TRS and the community college portion of SURS. But with a gradual phase-in, this won’t amount to a huge pile of cash freed up immediately. Even after full phase-in after a number of years, it would only approach about $1.5B … which would be all ate up by the increasing “ramp” payments. And I’m not sure the State won’t have to equalize the school formula to the CPS level, which will basically negate the savings.

    2) Once it is freed up in the near future, dedicating the money currently being used to pay pension bond debt to be direct payments to the 5 pension funds. This approach will actually pay down the shortfall if followed for enough years, say 25 or 30, AND the State continues to make both the “normal” payments and the “ramp” payments.

    I think the combination of these two is the best shot the State has to honestly fix the pension underfunding … but it doesn’t fit the “greedy state employee / greedy union” storyline.

  48. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 7:46 pm:

    LawAbiding: Please see

    Jefferson compiled a book. This quote of an Italian essayist - Cesare Beccaria - was among the items in his compilation. He provided no commentary other than “false ideas of utility”, in Italian. Perhaps that is why the site files this under “spurious quotations.”

  49. - Guns4Ever - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 8:49 pm:

    Abe the Babe:

    I’ll explain it to once. Just once. Owning a house or a car is NOT a natural right protected by the Bill of Rights. Maybe you should find another topic to comment on elsewhere.

  50. - circularfiringsquad - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 8:58 pm:

    Always cool to see the2A wing nuts and the bishops argue on the same thread
    Both live to protect the ultra dangerous and strive special loopholes and breaks
    Gotta love the partnership

  51. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 10:05 pm:

    Guns4Ever - The right to peaceably assemble is protected in the Bill of Rights, yet permits may be required and restrictions can be put on the time and place. The point is that the government does have the constitutional authority to regulate the press, assembly, and yes, guns.

  52. - Guns4Ever - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 11:04 pm:

    Pot… indeed, guns are already *well* regulated - what other product do you need an FBI background check for each time you purchase?

    As far as speech is concerned, it is hardly a fair comparison as that applies to an special occurrence/event of a large group of people.

  53. - ChicagoR - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 8:32 am:

    “Owning a house or a car is NOT a natural right protected by the Bill of Rights. ”

    Actually, the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment prevents the government from taking those away with just compensation and for a justified public purpose.

  54. - the Patriot - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 8:58 am:

    The gun bills are just idiodic pandering. They don’t have the votes, and if they get them it will likely cost dems at least the house next eleciion. Regardless of what he really wants, I don’t see Madigan risking giving up control for a bill that will probably get whacked by the Courts. Time for gun control advocates to get quiet for a while. If you want the streets safer in Chicago, elect a competent mayor.

    Kids are still more likely to get killed in a bus accident than in a school schooting. Go protest for better safety standards for buses for a while.

    Emanual can’t get guns out of criminals hands in his city, so he wants to take guns from law abiding citizens hundreds of miles away. I think the Mayor and the Governor should set an example and pledge to have their security details not carry guns. Good for the Goose!

  55. - western illinois - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 9:21 am:

    I roughly count 32 non urban downstate districts and the majority are held by republicans so this vote will at most cost the house a supermajority

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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