Saturday, July 6, 2013

Quinn pleads for Legislature to support his amendatory veto. Will they listen?

I found it amusing that Gov. Pat Quinn would use the humble abode of one Elwood J. Blues to make his statement in support of the changes he wants to make to a “concealed carry” law now pending before the General Assembly.

QUINN: Will anybody listen?
For Elwood is a fictional character created by actor Dan Aykroyd for The Blues Brothers film and sketches – about as real as the chances that the Illinois Legislature will willingly go along with Quinn’s desires on Friday to uphold his amendatory veto when they convene next week.
TUESDAY IS THE day that the Legislature is supposed to meet in a special session. It was the date that Quinn had set for a deadline to approve something that he could sign into law to address the financial problems caused by inadequate funding of pension programs the state oversees.

But the conference committee that was supposed to be dealing with the issue in recent weeks has done little, and legislators openly say nothing will happen on that issue.

Instead, legislators are expecting the 11 a.m. session at the Statehouse in Springfield to turn into a “concealed carry” session.

And the same legislators who have no political respect for Quinn are likely to use that date to strike him down in some way.

I’M NOT ABOUT to predict what, exactly, the Legislature will do on Tuesday, or what the vote will turn out to be. About the only sense I do get is that our Legislature is hostile enough to want to ignore the governor – and probably resents that he has any say on, or oversight of, what they do!

So whatever it was that Quinn chose to say on Friday while gathering at Clark and Addison streets (he chose the area because of the large number of taverns and clubs in the area around Wrigley Field – meaning that Quinn’s take on “concealed carry” would make it next to impossible to legally carry a firearm in the area) isn’t likely to have much sway.

Even though the sad part is that Quinn’s comments were really so straight-forward that only the hardest-core ideologue could possibly find fault with them. Then again, the problem on this issue is that we’re giving those ideologues too much credibility at the expense of the true majority of our society.

AYKROYD (as BLUES): More credible?
“Public safety should never be negotiated away or compromised, and I will never support a flawed concealed carry bill that puts public safety at risk,” Quinn said, in a prepared statement. “The common-sense changes I outlined this week make this a better law and I encourage people to visit, contact their state legislators and urge them to support these important changes.”

WHAT REALLY IS so radical about that statement!

Except that legislators who feel that this issue is being forced down their throat by a federal appeals court ruling that many don’t truly comprehend probably don’t want to feel that Quinn is also telling them what to do.

Insofar as Tuesday is concerned, the process says that for any kind of law to take effect, the Legislature has to agree, in some way, with Quinn.

Either they have to reach a 60 percent supermajority in favor of a motion to accept Quinn’s changes, or they have to reach that same 60 percent vote level on a motion to reject the changes – in which case, the bill as approved by the Legislature becomes law.

BUT WHAT HAPPENS if they make the motion to reject Quinn, and only get a 57 or 58 percent majority – which is a very real possibility?

Then, we’re in nowhere-land. No law. The whole issue will come tumbling down. Who’s to say what winds up happening if the federal courts wind up resolving the issue? All because this issue has turned our state government officials into nothing more than an ego trip.

The fact that our state government – the same one, in theory, that let the fictional Elwood falsify his driver’s license renewal with a phony home address – has come down to that factor is truly the sad aspect of it all.


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