The first week of Illinois' fall veto session comes to a close. What got accomplished depends on who you ask, but many items have been moved to next week.
Big topics like the budget, pension reform, and gambling in Illinois aren't seeing any action. Pension talks are still at the General Assembly committee level, and overturning Governor Pat Quinn's veto on Illinois gambling is stuck in the General Assembly. 67th District State Representative Chuck Jefferson believes leaders are gaining momentum.
"This is the time we're addressing everything that was not taken care of in the prior General Assembly. It gives us a chance to address those things again and hopefully get some of those things passed through." -says Jefferson.
House bill sponsors are using this session to look for support from their fellow leaders, making sure their items will have enough votes to pass. The two weeks also offer time for discussion. Controversial ideas like giving driver's licenses to people in the country illegally are picking up steam. Jefferson is also hearing arguments for legalizing the sale of medical marijuana.
69th State Representative Joe Sosnowski thinks these topics are distractions from the real problems.
"Where are we talking about pensions and the budget? We're talking about all of these other things that are kind of these ancillary bills." -he says.
Sosnowski can't say whether anything will get accomplished next week on these issues that affect everyone in the state. Other local ideas might not see action until the new year, like Reclaiming First. That project is an idea put together by local leaders to re-vamp Sportscores 1 and 2, and turn downtown Rockford's former Ingersoll building into an indoor sports facility. Funding for most of the project would come from a city and county hotel tax increase, but that needs to be approved by Springfield lawmakers.
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