This just in… *** Governor predicts all of his House loyalists will vote for transit bill *** Hoffman claiming to be a “Yes” vote *** HDEMS to see gaming bill tomorrow *** Not looking good ***
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007
* 1:10 pm - I told subscribers about this problem earlier in the week, but Senate President Emil Jones just confirmed that he doesn’t have enough members in town to even bother calling the mass transit bill, if it somehow makes it out of the House…
* 1:27 pm - Republican presidential filing begins today in Illinois. Rudy Guiliani and Ron Paul didn’t file delegates at all, and Fred Thompson only filed delegate slates in five districts: 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 17th and 19th. More from the SJ-R.…
* 1:32 pm - If you’re wondering why session hasn’t started yet, it’s because the leaders are meeting in the governor’s office.
Rep. Jay Hoffman, the governor’s House floor leader, is reportedly at the meeting. Hoffman was telling people yesterday that he would vote “No” on the new transit bill, but the governor’s been putting the arm on him, so he’s now said to be in the “undecided” camp.
As I told subscribers this morning, if Hoffman votes “No,” practically nobody will ever believe that Blagojevich really worked on behalf of this bill.
* 1:36 pm - The House is starting up. Listen or watch here.
*** 1:41 pm *** The governor reportedly told the leaders today that all of his House Democratic loyalists will vote for the transit bill. The House will likely go to caucus soon.
* 1:49 pm - Rep. Gary Hannig, who is sitting in the Speakers chair, was just asked whether the House would conclude business today after caucus and committees, or tomorrow. Said Hannig: “I’m advised that there will be an effort to try and conclude tonight, but that’s not for certain.”
* 1:57 pm - Rep. Mautino just brought up a big issue for Downstate House Democrats: Project reappropriations. Lots of projects didn’t get reappropriated in the final enacted budget this year. It’s just another log to throw on the gigantic pile of what members are demanding for a final solution to this session.
The House has now recessed for caucus and committees.
*** 2:06 pm *** Rep. Jay Hoffman has now confirmed to someone else that he and the governor’s other four ducklings will be voting “Yes” on the transit bill today.
That means all eyes are now on House GOP Leader Cross. If he succecssfully pushes for the bill, then it will likely pass the House and the mess will arrive in the Senate.
*** 3:46 pm *** It looks like we’ll see a gaming bill tomorrow. The House Democrats are planning to caucus on Madigan’s new expansion proposal after the 10 o’clock session.
The plan today, so far, is to run the transit bill after caucus and committees. Right now, it looks like there will be enough HGOP votes to pass this thing, but one can never be certain in this climate, so stay tuned. The Repubs are still caucasing as I write this.
*** 7:25 pm *** Members have been dropping off like flies for the past few hours, and it now appears that not all the governor’s minions are going to be on board as promised, and that several other House members of both parties are turning against the bill. I’ll have more on the “why” in tomorrow’s Capitol Fax.
Leader Cross, who predicted a couple of minutes ago that the transit bailout bill would fail in the House, got an earful in caucus about the absence of a capital bill agreement and has now called for a special session on the topic. Cross’ people say they want the governor to keep members in session as long as it takes until the capital/gaming issue is resolved.