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Pritzker could be sent gun shop licensing bill from this GA

Monday, Jan 7, 2019

* We have a lot of catching up to do. This Tribune story is from December 28th

A proposal that would give the state more oversight over Illinois gun dealers could be among the first big issues that land on Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker’s desk after he takes over, and an aide says he’d sign it.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the spring vetoed a bill that would have required the state to license and regulate gun shops. Lawmakers approved the plan in the wake of the killing of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer and the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Supporters contended that federal regulators are stretched too thin to regulate all the shops operating in Illinois. Rauner, though, called the proposal “duplicative” because the federal government already licenses firearms retailers. He said adding another layer of oversight would be costly for businesses and “do little to improve public safety.”

Lawmakers didn’t override Rauner’s veto, but they approved a new version. Likely knowing the governor would veto that one, too, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton in May put a procedural hold on the bill, keeping the paperwork off Rauner’s desk.

Now, Cullerton could release it in the coming weeks just before Pritzker is inaugurated Jan. 14, steering the gun dealer licensing proposal into the Democratic governor’s hands instead of Rauner’s. There’s still time, though, for Cullerton to decide to send it to Rauner or it might not work out for procedural reasons.

* As subscribers were told on Friday, the parliamentary maneuver planned for the gun bill will also likely be used on a couple of other proposals. But can one General Assembly hold onto a bill until after the next GA convenes?

State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said it’s an interesting question of whether a previous General Assembly can pass legislation but hold it and then send it to a new governor.

“This is, I know, one of the unusual years where the General Assembly is sworn in before the governor. Just an oddity in the way that the calendar falls,” Harmon said. “I’m going to have to look into that.”

Monday and Tuesday are the final two days of the 100th General Assembly. The 101st General Assembly is seated Wednesday, Jan. 9. Gov.-elect Pritzker is inaugurated Jan. 14.

Longtime statehouse observer and University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield said it’s technically possible for lawmakers to hold a bill that passed in one General Assembly and then pass it onto a new governor. He said it’s an ambiguous area that he’s not aware has been fully litigated.

“Particularly if it’s controversial legislation involving something like gun control measures, something involving taxes, there certainly would be a court challenge,” Redfield said. […]

Per the state constitution, lawmakers are supposed to send measures that passed both chambers to the governor within 30 days of passing. A procedural hold called a motion to reconsider was used on House Bill 40 in 2017 after it passed both chambers. That hold kept the controversial bill allowing more tax dollars for abortions from the governor for a total of four months. The hold was eventually lifted and sent to the governor who signed the bill. A lawsuit challenging that procedure as an abuse of the legislative process has been appealed to the state Supreme Court, but whether the court will hear it is still not known.

The Illinois Constitution is silent on the matter.

…Adding… This has happened before, however. From early 2015

Gov. Bruce Rauner sided with the state’s two largest electric suppliers Friday when he signed legislation giving Ameren Illinois and ComEd two more years to recover costs of upgrading their delivery systems.

The move allows Ameren to continue seeking rate increases via a special formula, rather than going through a longer regulatory process.

The governor’s action came after legislative leaders in December delayed sending the measure to former Gov. Pat Quinn on the belief that he would veto the proposal. The maneuver left it up to Rauner to approve or deny the plan, even though it was approved by a previous General Assembly.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicagonk - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    Good to know Burke will have career options after his stint in prison.

  2. - muon - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    There was a massive number of holdover bills in 2009. Blago was being impeached and removed, and there was no interest in handing him all the lame duck bills to veto or AV with no opportunity to override.

    Quinn came into the Governor’s office with a big stack of legislation to sign. It took the full 60 days for the new staff to process all the bills. It created the unusual situation of bills filed in January 2007 getting signed in March 2009. Sometimes even sine die doesn’t stop a bill.

  3. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    Grab your helmets and duck down low, doing this will create massive fireworks. Evidently the previous example got away without problematic litigation. This one will not. Lawyers have already started salivating.

  4. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    Republicans didn’t mention any constitutional barriers with the bill for ComEd an Amren that Rauner signed in 2015. I bet they will suddenly discover how unconstitutional it would be for JB to follow Rauner’s example in this regard with the gun bill.

  5. - Not It - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    I would prefer this Governor not start his term with a parliamentary maneuver scandal. That is exactly the type of nonsense we need to stop in this State. Just pass the bills again in January.

  6. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    He can just let the 60 day clock run and the bill will become law. His hands could be clean.

  7. - RNUG - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    == I bet they will suddenly discover how unconstitutional it would be for JB to follow Rauner’s example in this regard with the gun bill. ==

    If anybody sues, it will be GSL … not the Republicans per se, although I’m sure a lot of GSL members are conservative.

  8. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Regardless of whether or not they can do it, it is not something they should be able to do. Same with shell bills and spending more than actual revenues year after year. But alas…

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    === I bet they will suddenly discover how unconstitutional it would be===

    The constitution is totally silent. GA gets to make its own rules.

  10. - Duty to Compain - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    I have no idea why the gun bill thingie was even brought up, except to make gun-owners and FFLs reach for the Rolaids. It’s a stunt. Who cares?>

    With a solid lock on both houses, the anti-gun democrats can craft the gun-dealer-punishment bill of their choosing and sail it right on over to JB who will sign it.

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