* 3:02 pm - I told subscribers about this development this morning. I still can’t understand how the Chicago media missed the lawsuit’s filing, which was last Friday…
Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s ongoing power struggle with state lawmakers has heated up again with a lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed last week by the governor’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services against Secretary of State Jesse White is aimed at authorizing his health care expansion without legislative approval.
The lawsuit aims to force White to publish rules allowing expansion of the state’s FamilyCare program for Illinois residents who can’t afford private insurance.
The governor has been trying for months without success to persuade lawmakers to pay for the expansion of the program. Twice, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has turned the governor down.
Download the entire lawsuit by clicking here.
* 3:05 pm - The House showed its eagerness to pass an amendment to the state Constitution today on recalling elected officials, but it’s highly doubtful this will ever see the light of day in the Senate….
In an important test vote, the House advanced legislation Wednesday that would allow voters to dump the governor and other statewide office-holders through recall petitions.
Those who want to give the public a chance to recall the governor would have to get signatures from at least 12 percent of the registered voters who cast votes for that office in the prior election. If they got enough signatures, a special election would be held asking voters if the office-holder should be removed and who the successor should be.
State lawmakers also could be removed, but a successful recall would require signatures from at least 20 percent of voters.
Judges were originally included in the proposed constitutional amendment, but they were removed under the amendment that passed Wednesday by a vote of 80-25, with two lawmakers voting present. Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), chief sponsor of the legislation, said he took the judges out to reduce chances that a state judge would someday strike down the amendment as unconstitutional if it becomes law.
* 3:09 pm - Mayor Daley threatened a property tax increase today unless the state comes up with another $100 million for Chicago schools. Gov. Blagojevich has proposed an $80 million hike for the city’s schools…
“We don’t want to raise property taxes, we want to avoid that. I want to make it clear, the Board of Education is forced to raise property taxes this year it will be because Springfield forced them to do that,” Daley said at a news conference.