Procedural Advancement Process of SB 744 – Slots At the Track
Dear Fellow Horsemen,
Who among us could have imagined that the fate of an entire industry could hang on the approval of one man, even if that man is the Governor of our great state of Illinois?
Governor Quinn says that he wants to hear from the people, but my response is that the people have spoken through their elected officials in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
Horsemen across Illinois are overwhelmed at the possibility that the governor could exercise his veto power or even his amendatory veto authority against a bill so well constructed that it will bring such enormous benefits and jobs to our struggling economy.
As your Horsemen’s elected representatives the ITHA Board is aware of how anxious our members are for accurate information and so as President of the ITHA, I want to outline the possible scenarios in regard to the Governor’s handling of SB 744. As of June 10, 2011 SB 744 is on Senate President Cullerton’s desk in a “Motion to Reconsider”.
According to the Senate Rules (specifically senate Rule 7-15), any member that votes “yes” on a bill that receives enough votes for passage by the Senate can file a motion to “reconsider” their vote.
In doing so, the bill cannot be advanced (either to the House or to the Governor – depending on what stage of the process the bill is at) until either:
(a) The motion is considered and another vote is taken on the bill, or
(b) The member who filed the motion tables it and allows the bill to advance on the initial vote that was taken.
Further, there is no time limit as to when the motion to reconsider must be heard – meaning that the member who filed the motion can hold on to the motion for as long as he/she wants. The only time a motion to reconsider can be forced to be heard is if:
(a) The motion was filed during the last 3 days of regular session, special session or veto session, and
(b) Any member of the Senate requests the motion be considered for an immediate vote. This would apply to SB 744,
but would also force the full senate to vote on the bill for a second time.
My understanding of the President’s filing of the motion was to allow additional time to discuss the gaming bill with
Governor Quinn and ensure the bill becomes law.
In the normal process of a bill being passed by both chambers, the House and Senate have up to 30 days in which to certify that a bill went through the entire legislative process in the correct manner. After the bill is certified, then it is sent to the Governor. (Note: the motion to reconsider prevents the 30 day certification process on SB 744 from starting.)
Upon being sent to the Governor, a bill then has a maximum of 60 days to be reviewed by the Governor. If the Governor does nothing prior to the 60 days, the bill automatically becomes law. The Governor has three options during that 60 day timeframe.
(a) Sign the bill earlier
(b) Issue a total veto, or
(c) Issue an amendatory veto.
To override any veto on a substantive bill, a 3/5ths majority in each chamber is required (36”yes” votes in the Senate and 71 “yes” votes in the House). The roll call on SB 744 makes that option very difficult (30 and 65, respectively). Upon a successful override vote in both chambers, the bill would automatically become law over the Governor’s objection.
However, if the Governor issued an amendatory veto and both chambers decided to accept the changes (e.g., the Governor removes the boats for Danville and Rockford – just as an example), then the acceptance would only require simple majorities in both chambers. If both chambers successfully accept the changes, then the bill, as changed by the Governor, would automatically become law.
Typically, any veto issued by the Governor on a bill is addressed during the fall veto session (this year the fall veto session is scheduled to begin on Oct. 25). However, it is possible for the legislature to call a special session to address a gubernatorial veto in the event the issue requires action before the fall veto session.
Serving the Finest Horsemen I know - The Horsemen of Illinois