Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Checks and Balances

My thanks to Eric Zorn for shining some attention on a press conference that I did last week with Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley announcing legislation that I will be filing to reduce the majority vote of the County Board needed to override a presidential veto from the current four-fifths to three-fifths. You can read the entire press release here.

The present four-fifths requirement is the highest in the country and is a throwback from the previous board structure that was designed to keep Chicago commissioners from having too much power on the board. Since the 1994 restructuring of the Board, however, there is no basis for maintaining the four-fifths requirement, and reducing it should serve to enhance the power of the commissioners in an equitable manner.

All other counties in Illinois have a three-fifths override rule as does the General Assembly. Congress and the Chicago City Council both maintain a two-thirds override requirement.

Regardless of who wins the Board presidency in a few weeks, I think that this is an idea whose time is overdue. To his credit, Todd Stroger has already come out in support of this measure. I would hope that Tony Peraica will do the same.


At October 20, 2006 at 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Stroger has a choice but to support Quigley, at least until after the election. He needs his support (and apparently his staff) until then.

At October 20, 2006 at 11:34 PM, Blogger respectful said...

Just wonder why for all those years with Democrat chairman, no attempt was made to change the rule. Now that a Republican has a real chance to become chairman, reform is required.

I agree that 82% is too high to override a chairman. But every two years, John votes for a 100% rule to override the Speaker on getting a bill out of Rules. If 82% is bad, isn't 100% worse?

At October 20, 2006 at 11:41 PM, Blogger respectful said...

Baring a special session before Nov. 7, the vote on this proposal will take place after we know who wins.

If Stroger wins, then there will be no suspicions about partisanship in the timing and everyone can support genuine reform.

If Peraica wins, however, it will inevitably appear as if the Democrat-dominated legislature is suddenly inspired by something other than a pure desire for reform.

If the parties involved were reversed, I have no doubt that Democrats would harbor the same suspicions.

At October 21, 2006 at 5:47 AM, Anonymous Patrick McDonough said...

John, now that a Republican has a chance to win the Presidency of Cook County Board, democrats want to "do the right thing" and reduce the votes needed to override a veto? I am for it but the timing stinks. If Tony Peraica wins, why tie his hands? Cook County has been poorly run for too long. Thanks Patrick

At November 1, 2006 at 9:38 AM, Blogger respectful said...

If Todd wins, this is a no-brainer that will have strong GOP support. We'll see if Chairman-Elect Todd remains supportive.

At November 10, 2006 at 7:16 PM, Blogger respectful said...

Now that Todd won, let's proceed with the reform ASAP. (Unless Democratic ardor has waned along with Peraica's candidacy.) I predict full Republican support.

At February 15, 2007 at 2:16 PM, Blogger respectful said...

Once in awhile, my predictions come true (See my posts from Nov. 1 &10). Now that Stroger has flipflopped on reforming the veto, can it pass?


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