* Subscribers already know my take on this, but when Speaker Michael Madigan added several days to the January session, eyebrows went up all over the Statehouse…
Why be in session in January when the veto session is just ahead?
There are a couple of reasons. One, all of the lame ducks in the legislature will still be in office in early January. Those lawmakers can pretty much do what they want, since they won’t be facing the voters again.
The other is changing vote requirements. If you want to pass a bill with an immediate effective date during the veto session, it takes a supermajority. In the House, that means 71 votes to pass a bill rather than the usual 60. After Jan. 1, though, the vote requirements go back to normal.
So if you’ve got a bill that you want to become law right away — say, a tax increase, just for instance — it will be a lot easier to pass after Jan. 1 than during the veto session.
That’s not to say such a bill is looming. Madigan still wants Republicans to put votes on a tax hike, and there’s no indication they are willing to do that, now or in January. But if you’re a lame-duck Republican who believes a tax increase is needed, you could vote for one in January and make a quick exit.
* I’d certainly like to know who sponsored this guy…
Based on a tip, FOX Chicago News asked the Illinois Department of Transportation how longtime mob bookmaker and loan shark Ralph “Curly” Peluso was hired in as supervisor two years ago.
That’s right; you’re paying the $76,000 a year salary of a former associate of the deadly Frank Calabrese Senior street crew.
During that trial Peluso was named in more than two dozen pieces of evidence and was scheduled to be a government witness against Calabrese until he got cold feet. In one tape played for the jury, Calabrese Junior secretly recorded Peluso talking about his long involvement with Calabrese Senior.
Curly was placed on administrative leave in August and “discharged for cause on September 15th.” Odd.
* Abolish the death penalty and save $20 million up front? Interesting…
Death penalty opponents said they will try to get lawmakers to abolish the death penalty during the veto session. Jeremy Schroeder of the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty said $20 million a year could be redirected to other uses if the death penalty and Capital Litigation Trust Fund were abolished. He said public support to abolish the penalty is building as voters hear of death row inmates being exonerated.
* Small-time stupidity can land you in big-time trouble…
A published report says a write-in candidate for President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat is being investigated for allegedly forging signatures in his attempt to get on the ballot as an independent.
Illinois State Police spokesman Scott Compton says authorities are investigating Shon-tiyon “Santiago” Horton of Alton.
The (Alton) Telegraph reports Horton was more than 600 signatures short to get on the ballot.
Horton hasn’t been charged.
He denies forging signatures. He says he signed petitions on behalf of those who were unable to write their names.
Unable to write their names? Hilarious.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has put up a billboard mocking Gov.-elect Scott Walker for his opposition to high-speed rail.
The Milwaukee billboard has a picture of the Republican along with the lines, “Dear Scott Walker, Thanks for the money & jobs! Love, Illinois.”
The message refers to efforts by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to persuade train maker Talgo Inc. to move its Milwaukee plant to Illinois.
I asked the Wisconsin Democrats for a photo of their billboard and here it is…