* Eric Zorn: Governor can pull rank, but he shouldn’t
Otherwise, Quinlan said, House or Senate leaders could simply schedule the session for the year 2025, rendering the power meaningless.
It’s a fair point, and one Quinlan is making (speaking of 10 years in the future) in a suit filed on Blagojevich’s behalf last week against House Speaker Michael Madigan…
o I played the “3 a.m. Christmas morning” card on top of Quinlan’s “2025″ card.
If, I asked him in a message, the governor’s power to yank the leashes of the legislators and drag them into their respective chambers is truly unlimited under Illinois law, as his suit argues, then does anything stop him from dragging them from their beds at 3 a.m. seven days a week right through all the holidays until they made his priorities their own?
Quinlan didn’t get back to me Wednesday, but Blagojevich’s press office told me no, nothing limits a governor’s power to call special sessions.
* Democrats still at odds over mass transit legislation
If the measure were to find its way to the governor’s desk, however, Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he will veto the proposal because it violates his campaign pledge to not raise taxes.
On Wednesday, in a written statement, the governor reiterated his opposition and again called on lawmakers to support his plan to raise taxes on businesses, which was rejected unanimously in the House last spring.
”I do not support the plan to require people to pay a higher sales tax and real estate transfer tax,” he wrote. “That just ends up hurting the very people who rely on mass transit. We shouldn’t take more money from working people when there are major corporations doing business in Illinois who benefit from a strong mass transit system, but aren’t paying their fair share to help maintain it.”
* House panel OKs plan for CTA
Combined with matching money from the state and funds already in the budget, the new taxes would make the entire package worth about $525 million, said Democratic state Rep. Julie Hamos, chairwoman of the House Mass Transit Committee.
Hamos’ committee approved the bill Wednesday with a bipartisan 15-4 vote. She said the full House will consider it when it meets next Tuesday in Springfield.
* Kadner: Durbin says leaders put us in an ‘awful’ state
When U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) stopped by the Daily Southtown offices for a chat with the editorial board Wednesday. I asked him what he thought of his Democratic colleagues, who control the governor’s mansion, state Senate and state House.
“The situation has deteriorated so badly,” the state’s senior U.S. senator said. “It’s gotten entirely too personal among the leaders. There’s been little effort at compromise or cooperation.
* Let courts decide Madigan-Blago suit, says Lt. Gov. Quinn
* Joe Calomino: State budget process needs reform and transparency