Friday, August 10, 2007

Doubters Beware: SB 572 Reemerges

Representative Julie Hamos has filed Amendment #3 to SB 572. This is billed as the real deal, containing all of the pension and governance provisions that thus far have been shrouded in secrecy.

Amendment #3

Bill Summary

Word is that currently there are at best 50 votes in the Illinois House for the SB 572 package. Speaker Madigan, however, has indicated that he is going to push forward with the package:

The Speaker was asked, by State Representative Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), about a mass transit bailout. He said he would take a few days off and then work on rounding up the votes for Hamos' proposed sales tax increase in Chicago and the collar counties to bail out the financially strapped transit agency.

There is more on Speaker Madigan's position in the comments to the previous post as well as a summary of some key bill provisions. (Thanks posters.)

There are some interesting little nuggets in Amendment #3 that will get summarized in a later post.

2 comments:

jackonthebus said...

If the 50 vote projection is correct, he's 20 votes short. He would even be 10 votes short of a simple majority, but that isn't enough anymore. While there are certainly some things added to get votes (like the SW suburbs mandates or things for downstate), for that reason, the thing itself could fall of its own weight. Maybe a legislator will ask how a more bloated RTA board will get anything done, or as previously asked by Anonymous here, why the RTA should be imposing a tax for the collar counties, instead of the counties getting the authority to impose it directly. That now seems bass ackward, given that the city council has to authorize the real estate transfer tax for the CTA.

Let's also now consider the time frame. If Madigan has to round up 20 more votes, then get the bill to the Senate, and then the Gov. (who still is bloviating that there is nothing in the state budget for the CTA, and even mentioned the RTA in a sound bite) has 60 days to act on it, with no assurance of a signature, how does this get done by the CTA's Sept. 16 deadline, or Pace's of about Sept. 29? Does this governor really want a transit meltdown, even if temporary, on his watch?

Rep. Julie Hamos said...

Here's the political landscape in Springfield: Two weeks ago we had 3/5ths vote in both chambers to pass this bill, and to override a possible gubernatorial veto (that's 71 votes, not 50). Legislators were willing to support the comprehensive approach contained in SB 572, including funding for downstate transit. However, currently the Republican leaders are withholding votes in order to combine transit funding with funding for a major capital infrastructure bond program. Hopefully we will get both done by the end of the month.