* Sen. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago) decided not to come to Springfield because he has some health issues that put him at increased risk if he catches the COVID-19 virus. But the Senate just added Martwick to the roll call and he confirmed to me that he is in Springfield.
More in a bit.
…Adding… “I was told they needed one more vote,” Martwick told me. That one vote, he said, was for the gaming bill.
“They’re not making me go to the floor,” Martwick explained. There’s apparently a gentleman’s agreement not to verify the roll call so Martwick doesn’t have to actually push his button.
“We really need that casino,” Martwick said, in order to keep the city’s first responder pension funds from going completely broke.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Martwick tussled during last year’s mayoral campaign. She owes him a big one.
…Adding… The agreement not to verify a medically vulnerable Senator has precedent. Sen. Bill Haine was very ill in 2017 when he came back to Springfield to vote to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the budget and income tax hike. He never left his office.
But this also means 8 Democratic Senators refused to take one for the team to spare Martwick from returning to the Statehouse (40 Senate Democrats minus the three who couldn’t return equals 37 and the rollcall was at 29).
*** UPDATE *** The Senate passed the gaming bill 42-14. That’s final passage. On to the governor’s desk. And they didn’t need Martwick.
…Adding… Roll call…
…Adding… Press release…
Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement after Senate Bill 516 passed the Illinois General Assembly:
“After decades of attempts to build a Chicago casino, I’m proud that by working together this administration and General Assembly has secured its future and paved a path forward for hundreds of millions of dollars annually to repair our schools, hospitals and higher education buildings across the entire state of Illinois. I look forward to signing this legislation that provides a reliable funding stream to our historic $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital program, and I thank the bipartisan members of the legislature as well as Mayor Lightfoot for bringing this bill across the finish line. Together, we are creating jobs and rebuilding our state.”
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ON PASSAGE OF CHICAGO CASINO BILL
“With critical votes this evening, the Illinois state legislature has passed a bill that makes the possibility of a financially viable Chicago casino a reality. This moment is decades in the making, and represents a critical step toward shoring up our city’s pension obligations, as well as driving huge levels of infrastructure funding and fueling thousands of new jobs for all of Illinois. We are grateful to many lawmakers in both chambers, especially Illinois House Representatives Bob Rita, Jay Hoffman and Kelly Cassidy and State Senators Bill Cunningham and Kim Lightford, in addition to the leadership in both houses - Speaker Madigan, President Harmon, Leaders Durkin and Brady in particular - who were instrumental in the passage of this important legislation. Additional thanks are due to our partners in organized labor, particularly the Chicago Federation of Labor, and its President, Bob Reiter. Thank you to members of the Chicago City Council. And thank you to our fellow mayors, the restaurant and hospitality industries, and of course to the Governor for his dogged and public support of the bill, and we look forward to him signing this bill into law in the near future.”