* Press release…
State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Buffalo Grove, filed a motion Wednesday to accept Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to Carroll’s legislation limiting access to military-style assault rifles in the wake of the Parkland shooting. While Rauner is insisting on a number of unvetted, last-minute changes to the bipartisan bill, Carroll will seek to move the amended legislation forward and will hold discussions with all stakeholders.
Carroll released the following statement Wednesday:
“I was disturbed to learn through the media—and not from the governor himself—that Governor Rauner had made completely unvetted changes to my bill. While I’m new to this Legislature, I’m shocked that the governor’s approach to an issue that has long divided Republicans and Democrats is to veto bipartisan legislation and substitute his own language at the last minute, without any consultation from the bill’s sponsors, supporters, or even from his own bipartisan gun safety task force.
“But my focus remains on enacting serious gun laws that keep deadly, military-style assault rifles off our streets, and keep our children, our schools and our communities safe. I will not let the governor end debate by forcing a political stalemate, and that is why I filed the motion to accept the governor’s amendatory veto.”
The dance has begun.
* But this bill likely won’t ever make it to the floor for an acceptance motion vote…
“The House has for decades had a process where amendatory vetoes are reviewed to deter whether they comply with the constitution,” said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, Rauner’s political nemesis. “I’m not certain what (the death penalty) necessarily has to do with gun violence or guns.”
Should Madigan determine that Rauner’s plan is too broad, legislators may never have the chance to vote on it – killing both Rauner’s package and the underlying measure to put a hold on gun purchases.
* I can recall just one amendatory veto that was accepted by Madigan’s House…
What [Gov. Rod Blagojevich] did was use his amendatory veto power to change the bill, adding the free [transit] rides for seniors but leaving stand the [CTA sales] tax increase. The Legislature narrowly approved the change.
…Adding… I suppose it’s possible that they could run the floor vote just to put Republicans on record, particularly on the gun control stuff. We’ll see.
* Other bills…
* Illinois lawmakers ask, does research count as work?: The House Labor & Commerce Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to continue discussing a measure allowing all graduate students to collectively bargain. State law says students who work as teaching assistants can unionize but not those who work as research assistants.
* Lawmakers Consider Physician Exemption For Lyme Disease: Illinois lawmakers could give doctors more protection when it comes to prescribing experimental drugs for Lyme disease. Experts say the bloodsucking bugs could be expanding their range this year, spreading the disease and other tick-borne illnesses. … The proposal would exempt doctors from disciplinary action in these cases. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is opposed to the idea. Meghan Kolassa, with the department, said no doctors have been disciplined for treating Lyme disease in Illinois.
* On Local Food Lobby Day, lobbyists ask for leeway to grow hemp in Illinois: Osland said there is potential for Illinois to grow hemp that it now imports from China, Europe, Canada and other states such as Kentucky. Illinois’ hemp bill, which passed in 2014, currently allows only certain universities to apply for permits to grow hemp for research. The Industrial Hemp Farming Bill (SB2298) would allow Illinois farmers to apply for permits to grow hemp as authorized in the 2014 farm bill. … Industrial hemp can outcompete “super weeds” that are herbicide resistant, she said. It can also be a transition crop on the way to organic certification. Part of the opposition is connected with those against legalizing marijuana. Therapeutic hemp is thought to have medicinal benefits but is not a drug by definition, Osland said. There is also some pushback from the medial cannabis industry that wants exclusive rights for therapeutic products.
* Our View: In Illinois, bet on expanded gambling: One local company will surely be watching what happens next – if it hasn’t already begun lobbying to make it so. Effingham-based J&J Ventures owns many of those video gaming terminals across the state. Managing Member Bob Willenborg offered a carefully worded statement on Monday about the potential for widespread gambling on sports.
* Powering Into the Future: Illinois, which passed grid-modernization bills in 2011 and 2016, ranked second in Gridwise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index. The Future Energy Jobs Act, passed in 2016, created incentives for utility efficiency and demand-response investment and builds on previous smart-grid efforts with modern regulatory and pricing approaches. It also removes market barriers to real-time power pricing options. “Illinois is now a leader with New York in helping its grid move forward and evolve in the 21st Century,” says Illinois Senator Sue Rezin (R). “Illinois chose to keep its highly reliable nuclear fleet operating at full speed for the next 10 years while phasing in the energy efficiency programs.”