CHICAGO - July 27, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today acted on legislation to increase Illinois citizens’ voice in the Illinois General Assembly and continue the drive to restore the public’s faith in state government.
“Public participation in government is a founding principle of our democracy,” said Governor Quinn. “This amendatory veto will help ensure that the voice of the people of Illinois does not go unnoticed in the General Assembly and at the ballot box.”
Today Governor Quinn issued an amendatory veto of House Bill 5206 to give Illinois citizens the ability to participate in the lawmaking process by voicing their ideas clearly and directly to the legislature. Governor Quinn’s amendatory veto creates the Ethics Initiative, which would allow Illinois citizens to initiate and submit petitions regarding campaign finance and ethics reform measures to the General Assembly.
The initiative would require petitions to have 100,000 signatures to be considered by the General Assembly. If a petition fails to become law, it would be added to the ballot as an advisory referendum during the next general election. The proposed initiative will not alter the General Assembly’s lawmaking authority and no bill can be passed without adhering to constitutional requirements.
As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, House Bill 5206 authorizes election officials to use an electronic reporting system to cancel the voter registration of any person who has passed away during the preceding month. Governor Quinn supports this change to the election code which will strengthen voter confidence in the registration and election system. The amendatory veto maintains all elements of the original bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) and Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale).
From Governor Quinn’s amendatory veto message:
“The Ethics Initiative that I propose gives the people of our state the ultimate power to express and protect their interests: the power to change state law. Too often, issues such as ethics and campaign finance reform get pushed from the forefront. Voters need a safety valve to ensure that ideas, however inconvenient or unpopular for incumbent officeholders, proceed through the legislative process.”
The Governor also signed House Bill 5951, sponsored by Rep. William Burns (D-Chicago) and Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston), which strengthens the state’s ability to fight against fraud and corruption in public contracting by authorizing the Attorney General to pursue false claim investigations. In addition, state law will now mirror federal law to allow the state to qualify to recover additional money in Medicaid false claims cases. The new law passed the General Assembly unanimously and takes effect immediately.