Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is Ill. equivalent of college student who perpetually asks for extensions?

Thinking back to college, I can recall certain fellow students of mine who never could manage to make a deadline when it came to submitting papers for class. They were the ones who thought nothing of asking for extensions – and thinking that it was their right to have the additional time.

Everything always goes to the last minute
Which has me wondering if Illinois state government shares the same mentality!

I COULDN’T HELP but have that thought pop into my head when I learned Monday about the Illinois attorney general’s office asking for an extension of the June 9 deadline for coming up with a new law that permits certain people to carry pistols on their persons in public for self-defense purposes.

A Chicago-based Court of Appeals for the Midwestern U.S. set a 180-day timeline early this year for the General Assembly to act. But as of now, with just under 40 days remaining, the Illinois Legislature isn’t anywhere close to agreement on what should be done.

That is why the Capitol Fax newsletter in Springfield reported that the attorney general’s office wants something resembling an extension.

The General Assembly would still be expected to do something before the June 9 deadline (actually before the May 31 date that the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the summer).

BUT IT IS pretty certain that no matter what action the General Assembly takes, there will be legal action in response. That is what the attorney general’s office wants to be able to account for in their own filing.

For without an extension (30 days is what the attorney general is asking for), the deadline for the state to file all its petitions in any case would come before the end of session (by three days, to be exact).

So maybe there is some cause to think this might be reason to grant something resembling an extension of time. Although I wonder if the Supreme Court of the United States will view this as some sort of partisan effort and decide to play the role of the hard-assed college professor.

No extension. No quarter! No Mercy!!!

ALL I KNOW about this particular issue is that regardless of what happens (or perhaps if nothing happens and we wind up reaching June 9 with nothing put in place by the General Assembly), there won’t be any serious attempt at movement until the absolute last minute.

Just like the lazy ol’ college student.

I recently spoke to an Illinois House member (who voted for the “may issue” and against the “shall issue” attempts that came up earlier this year) who says he’s convinced nothing will happen until May 31 proper.

It will be one of those notorious last-day deals, perhaps pushed through in the final hours of the 2013 spring session of the Illinois Legislature.

IN FACT, THIS particular legislator says he expects the same fate for gay marriage, expanded casino gambling and approval of a state budget with pension funding reform measures.

“Concealed carry” may well be so controversial that it will be the absolute last vote taken by the Legislature. As though gay marriage or gambling isn’t controversial enough.

A part of me wonders if the hard-liners on firearms issues will be even more hard-headed about wanting to carry a pistol if they feel “forced” to accept anything going along with gay marriage. I’m talking about those individuals who often appear as though the reason they’re pushing for “concealed carry” so vehemently is because they want their view imposed on the majority (the urban part) of Illinois.

As sorry as that might sound, there is a degree to which issues become intertwined with each other when they’re all considered under the Statehouse dome.

WHICH MIGHT MEAN that asking for a few days more time to handle the inevitable legal appeal may be the most rational course of action!

It might also be the only bit of rational action that occurs related to state government this year.


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