Illinois legislators are back in Springfield Tuesday for a few more days of their veto session.
The purpose of the veto session is to give the super-majority of Democrats the opportunity to override Governor Rauner’s vetoes of legislation that they have already passed.
This is the reason they call it a veto session.
The veto session lasts two weeks. The first couple of days were before Thanksgiving. The second week (not really a week) starts tomorrow.
Governor Rauner spent $50 million dollars in the November election attempting to take away the super-majority from the Democrats.
He wasn’t able to do it in the Senate.
He was successful in the House.
When the next session begins in January Michael Madigan will still be Speaker, but he will only have a majority. Not a veto-proof majority.
But the Democratic Party’s veto-proof majority was always a figment of somebody’s imagination.
The (senate) chamber voted to override Rauner vetoes on seven bills, including automatic voter registration and legislation raising the pay of home health care workers from $13 an hour to $15 an hour.
The House, meanwhile, continued to show that Madigan’s supermajority exists mainly on paper. The House tried to override four vetoes that Rauner made on House bills and failed on all of them.
Now the bills where the Senate approved overrides must still be approved by the House. If the House fails to do that, the bills will be dead.
Rauner claims he would be willing to compromise on some of his Turnaround Agenda in order to get a budget passed.
No state has gone this long without a budget since the Great Depression of 1929.
Among the parts of his Agenda he is still pushing are restrictions of workman’s comp, a property tax freeze with no increase in alternative revenue sources and, of course, pension reform.
On this issue he has the support of Democratic Senate President John Cullerton.
Don’t be surprised if the Speaker also ends up supporting bargaining pension benefits with the state’s public employee unions.
The state’s public employee unions would have to agree.
Will the unions say no?
They haven’t before.