Junior colleges ended up in the fight between Governor Rod Blagojevich and the General Assembly on ethics legislation.
The Illinois legislature has passed legislation that would stop the governor from shaking down state vendors for huge campaign contributions. It was labeled “high priority” legislation by the Illinois Community College Association.
The governor complains that it does nothing to stop the Illinois Democratic Party, run by nemesis House Speaker Mike Madigan from getting similar contributions from state vendors.
Having little to do with the fight except that it carries the label of “ethics legislation” is House Bill 4189.
Community colleges are now classified as state agencies, which means they are subject to the entire Act’s regulation. Most important from a citizen’s viewpoint is that they can now complain to and ask enforcement from the Executive Ethics Commission and the Governor’s Executive Inspector General.
I have dealt with these folks about Blagojevich’s contributions from tollway vendors and, although I never saw what they did, I sense they were more active than are the local governments who are mandated to adopt resolutions regulating the political activities and the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by their officials and employees.
Both bills passed by veto-proof majorities. There wasn’t even a negative vote in the State Sentate. This was the second time that the governor has vetoed this legislation, which is wanted badly by junior colleges.
It was even mentioned at one of McHenry County College’s board meetings.