* House Speaker Michael Madigan just passed a “clean-up” measure for the McCormick Place reform bill out of his Executive Committee. Click here to read it.
Among other things, the proposal requires McCormick Place to follow the state’s procurement code, rather than allowing it to have a “substantially similar” procurement process. It also provides for a means to oust the new trustee, or czar, provides for appointing his replacement in case of a vacancy, subjects him to the governor’s constitutional removal authority, and makes it even more clear that he is subject to the one-year revolving door prohibition.
These appear to be Gov. Quinn’s reforms. The governor has not yet issued any statement on his expected amendatory veto of the original McCormick Place bill. Click here today to see its status.
* As I told you last night, Gov. Quinn’s campaign blasted Sen. Bill Brady for voting to double the taxicab “departure tax” which is included in the McPier reform bill. Here is the Brady campaign’s response…
Governor Quinn is pushing a 33 percent income tax increase on the taxpayers of Illinois, a dozen tax increases on Illinois’s job creators and fee hikes on citizens. Despite the efforts at distraction – that’s the Quinn record. Bill Brady opposes the Quinn tax increases.
The city of Chicago – and people of Illinois – anxiously await his action on the bipartisan solution passed by the legislature to keep as many as 66,000 jobs in the Chicago area convention and trade show industry.
McCormick Place has approximately 3 million visitors a year—most of whom are out-of-town conventioneers who spend their money on everything from airline tickets and taxi rides to hotel rooms and theater tickets. Democrats and Republicans worked together to impose labor work rule reforms, eliminate costly mark-ups and put in place professional management that will make McCormick Place competitive again in the convention industry. At the same time, the cost to the state and its taxpayers will be reduced by more than $300 million in the coming years with stringent ethical standards and sunshine that eliminates backroom deals.
This week the National Restaurant Association – which for 61 years has come to McCormick Place for its annual trade show – announced it will move elsewhere unless the reforms become law. This one trade show brings more than $100 million annually into the city.
Governor Quinn needs to set aside the political rhetoric and sign the McCormick Place reforms into law. If he continues to kowtow to political interests – Chicago stands to lose one its prime economic engines.