I guess I should not be surprised that McHenry County Board members don’t want to touch Pam Althoff’s, Karen McConnaughay’s and MikeTryon’s tax hike bill.
After all, as a class, politicians don’t like to put themselves at risk.
Senate Bill 3341, the legislation that would allow the McHenry County Conservation District to borrow money without going to the voters has supporters and opponents.
To get involved, even though Althoff requested such involvement last spring, would disturb either
- those who want to buy or develop more open space or
- those who think our property taxes are too high
Count me among the latter.
And, since we are the 29th highest real estate-taxed county in the United States of American, I think I might have some company.
The County’s Legislative Committee had a chance to consider the issue in December.
But John Jung cancelled the meeting.
The Legislative Committee is under new leadership now.
Nick Provenzano is Chairman.
The original Thursday meeting was cancelled.
But it was then re-scheduled for Friday morning at 8:15.
When I noticed, no agenda had been posted.
Now you can take a look at it here.
You will notice that Senate Bill 3341 is on the agenda, but there is no resolution or support or opposition. Here is what is written:
Discussion on SB 3341
That means the Committee cannot recommend that the full Board ask the Govenror to sign or veto the bill.
They can just talk.
Why the wishy-washiness (“lacking in decisiveness”)?
The argument has been advanced that if Governor Pat Quinn does not act on Senate Bill 3341 that it will automatically become law, that a new governor could not sign or veto the bill.
Learning that no attorney had affixed his or her name to that opinion, I sought advice from the Governor’s Office.
The first reply from Public Information Officer Dave Blanchette merely recited what’s in the State Constitution:
I’m with Governor Quinn’s press office. Once a bill reaches the Governor’s desk, there is a time frame of 60 calendar days in which the Governor has to act on the bill, whether that is the outgoing or incoming Governor. If no action is taken after 60 days, it automatically becomes law.
I realize that is what the constitution says.
My question is whether the new governor has the power to veto or sign a bill ir Gov Quinn takes no action.
That’s when I got this answer:
Yes, the new Governor may act if Quinn takes no action, as long as it is within that 60 day window.
If the County Board wanted to weigh in on this tax hike bill, a petition could be circulated to call a Special Meeting, as was done to reverse the Obamacare Navigator vote.
But, such a special meeting might force County Board members to express whether they favored or opposed giving additional taxing powers to the McHenry County Conservation District.
That would be taking a risk.
Why would those who want the bill to be signed risk being labeled a “tax hiker” in the 2016 or 2018 primary elections?
My guess is that there are not enough tax fighters on the County Board to even call a Special Meeting, despite the fact that a majority of the old Finance Committee took a stand against SB 3341.