* From the governor’s press office…
ICYMI: Lawmakers must ensure funding for 911 centers continues
The following is an editorial published in this morning’s State Journal-Register:
The legislation that allows the collection and distribution of fees for the state’s 911 call centers expires June 30. […]
This is the textbook example of a “no-duh” action that must be addressed in the Statehouse. Ensuring responses by police and fire departments in emergency situations is about as essential a service as it gets. But we’re in Illinois, where bitter partisan bickering has left us teetering on the brink of fiscal insolvency.
By overwhelming margins, the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 1839, which would extend the ability to collect and distribute fees to fund 911 services. As proposed, the legislation would raise the 911 surcharge in Chicago from $3.90 to $5, and from 87 cents to $1.50 elsewhere in Illinois. […]
If approved as is, it would be about a 28 percent increase in fee for Chicago residents, and more than 72 percent for everyone else in the state.
And as Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration noted in a memo issued June 22 that declared the hikes “unacceptable,” Chicago has already received two increases in the past four years: From $1.25 to $2.50 in 2013 and from $2.50 to $3.90 in 2014. The memo didn’t offer a suggested amount, but noted a 911 advisory board recommended a $1.05 statewide fee. It also warned of the dire consequences if lawmakers don’t send Rauner a “clean” extension bill before July 1. […]
We urge lawmakers to put SB 1839 to the side for now and explore other avenues to ensure continued operation of 911 centers. Legislators have introduced or amended existing bills to provide other options. The simplest — and one that should fly through the Capitol’s chambers and land on the governor’s desk as soon as humanly possible — is House Bill 4072, which would extend the sunset dates for 911 and similar services from this week to Dec. 31, 2020. […]
HB 4072 would allow 911 services to continue uninterrupted, and Rauner’s office said Wednesday he would support it. Leave the fee increases — and the fighting that accompanies them — to another day, and extend the act.
The emphasis was added by the governor’s office.
One problem: A revamped 911 bill with the fee increases intact overwhelmingly passed the Senate yesterday on a vote of 47-2.
Apparently, the SJ-R editorial board was only paying attention to what the governor’s office told them.
So, let him veto it again. It could turn out to be worse than Pat Quinn’s humiliation on the ComEd “smart grid” veto.
*** UPDATE 1 *** 47 votes in the Senate and the governor still calls it a Democratic tax hike…
*** UPDATE 2 *** The House just passed the revamped bill 86-24. Boom.