University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
Rich Miller

Rich Miller

This stuff in Springfield needs to stop

By Rich Miller

I’d been hearing since the end of May when the General Assembly adjourned for the summer that there were some problems with the state budget legislation which needed to be fixed. Some effective dates apparently weren’t drafted right. But, silly me, I failed to follow my own rules and didn’t read the bill (SB2800) for myself.

RichMiller 1

Rich Miller

The scope of the problem was worse than I thought, but the most pressing issue was the House did not have nearly enough votes to correct its massive mistakes when the chamber returned to Springfield on June 16. It became a major test of rookie House Speaker Chris Welch’s influence.

The House and Senate got caught up in a heated dispute on the night of May 31 (the last scheduled day of session) over whether to fund legislative pay raises. The House wanted to follow the Illinois Constitution’s clear mandate and fund them, but the Senate refused for political reasons.

So, at almost the last minute, the House cobbled together the state operating budget, including the pay raise appropriations, with the capital budget (which the Senate was supposed to handle) and rammed the bill out of the House and over to the Senate at around 11:30 p.m. The Senate passed the bill not long after midnight. But, apparently, when the House hastily combined the two bills, nobody checked the effective date language at the tail end of the legislation.

The budget bill has 178 different articles, and each appropriation is spelled out in individual sections of those articles. The end of the appropriations bill has a short paragraph listing the effective dates for the articles. But articles 45-128 were not given any effective dates – about 47 percent of all the articles in the appropriations bill. And since the Senate passed the bill after midnight, by law, the appropriations articles without an assigned effective date can’t take effect until June 1 of 2022 – only a month before the end of the coming fiscal year.

Oops.

The mistake means that the entire supplemental appropriation for the current fiscal year couldn’t be spent until almost a year from now. Tons of other programs, from tourism, to natural resources, to corrections, to employment security, to human rights, to, well, you can pretty much name it, wouldn’t legally have access to their appropriations until next June, either.

A plan was developed for Gov. JB Pritzker to issue an amendatory veto to insert the proper effective dates. Accepting an amendatory veto on a budget requires a three-fifths vote in both chambers (36 in the Senate and 71 in the House). No way could Democrats count on Republican help. Republican moneybags Ken Griffin is still said to be angry at legislative Republicans for cooperating on the 2019 capital and budget bills, so if they helped the Democrats correct their massive errors, well, that would be the final straw.

The Senate has a huge Democratic super-majority, and it also has a remote voting rule, so dealing with the issue was no big deal.

The House was another story, however. Five House Democrats out of 73 were saying they couldn’t be in Springfield on Wednesday. Unlike the Senate, the House had no remote floor voting procedure, so it can only afford to lose two members before it fell below the 71-vote threshold required to accept the amendatory veto.

If House Speaker Chris Welch couldn’t get enough members to Springfield to fix this problem, the New York bond houses could have conceivably dinged the state’s credit rating– and the state is only a tick above junk bond status as it is.

Welch’s chamber made the drafting mistakes, and it was on Welch to fix them and, hopefully, never, ever do anything like this again. Last-minute, late-night budget votes have been far too routine in Springfield. It really needs to stop.

In the end, Welch decided to temporarily change the rules to allow for remote floor voting. The Republicans vigorously spoke against it, but two of their own members voted remotely (and against the budget fix, of course).

All but one of Welch’s members were either in Springfield or participated in remote voting.

Welch forced Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) to resign from her leadership position last month and she has since been unapologetic about the controversies which led to her ouster.

Ammons claims she wasn’t aware of the remote voting opportunity, but Speaker Welch said he tried to reach out to her and she never returned his messages.

Again, this is all too important to leave to chance or the whims of a single member. This stuff needs to stop.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

Local News

Mallory Pugh, who has six goals in seven games, will miss three games for the Red Stars in July because she will be playing with the United States in a World Cup qualifier. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars will miss three big guns during World Cup qualifying

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Having world-class players on your team is a blessing. But during times like these, it can also be a curse. World-class players help NWSL teams win games. They also miss chunks of time during the season because of their commitments to playing in international competitions. For much of July, the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Stagg grad Laila Barakat leaves her mark on program

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Laila Barakat entered her freshman year of high school basketball with a plan. She left as one of the most accomplished and successful players in Stagg girls basketball history. “Coming in my freshman year, I knew what goals I wanted to achieve,” said Barakat, who was a four-year varsity player for…

Harper Noren of the Illinois Lightning Track Club shows her form in the long jump on June 25 at Shepard. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Lightning strikes at Shepard

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There was a lot of rain and a little bit of thunder at the Illinois Lightning Track and Field Club’s open track meet, which was held at Shepard on June 25. The meet was open to everyone, from children as young as 4 (one 3-year-old also participated) to adults. More…

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Mallory Pugh, who has six goals in seven games, will miss three games for the Red Stars in July because she will be playing with the United States in a World Cup qualifier. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars will miss three big guns during World Cup qualifying

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Having world-class players on your team is a blessing. But during times like these, it can also be a curse. World-class players help NWSL teams win games. They also miss chunks of time during the season because of their commitments to playing in international competitions. For much of July, the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Stagg grad Laila Barakat leaves her mark on program

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Laila Barakat entered her freshman year of high school basketball with a plan. She left as one of the most accomplished and successful players in Stagg girls basketball history. “Coming in my freshman year, I knew what goals I wanted to achieve,” said Barakat, who was a four-year varsity player for…

Harper Noren of the Illinois Lightning Track Club shows her form in the long jump on June 25 at Shepard. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Lightning strikes at Shepard

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There was a lot of rain and a little bit of thunder at the Illinois Lightning Track and Field Club’s open track meet, which was held at Shepard on June 25. The meet was open to everyone, from children as young as 4 (one 3-year-old also participated) to adults. More…

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

DVN Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church House Ad
DVN First Midwest Bank House Ad