Township Abolition by Referendum, Gun Store Licensing and Gas Tax Hike Bills Could Provide Constitutional Test

JB Pritzker at his only announced McHenry County appearance.

With a new Illinois General Assembly being sworn in before a new Governor takes office, it appears that sponsors of legislation current Governor Bruce Rauner might not sign will be tossed to a more favorable Governor JB Pritzker by the next General Assembly.

Consider it a Hail Mary pass by the sponsors.

David McSweeney

Coming to mind first is State Rep. David McSweeney’s House Bill 4637 to allow the abolition of township governments by referendum triggered by a citizen petition drive.

If the January deadline is met for the filing of such petitions, there could be an abolition referendum or two on the ballot in April.

The Illinois State Rifle Association has sent a warning about Senate Bill 337, legislation that would require state licensing of gun dealers.

Richard Pearson wrote on January 3, 2019:

SB 337 could survive the 100th General Assembly even though it is not supposed to.  The reason for this is a flaw in the Illinois Constitution.

The term used is sine die which means all legislation will die upon adjournment of the General Assembly.

That is normally how it works.

The Illinois Constitution provides the new Governor will be sworn in on the 2nd Monday of January and the General Assembly will be sworn in on the 2nd Wednesday of January.

The problem is that this New Year’s fell on Tuesday which means the General Assembly will be sworn in first.

Normally, that is not a big deal but this year it is.

The reason it is going to be a big deal, at least for gun owners, is because of SB 337.

The Constitution requires that a bill must be certified and sent to the Governor in 30 days.

To keep all of this straight in your mind it looks like it could work this way: SB 337 has a hold on it, placed there by John Cullerton, the very anti-gun President of the Illinois Senate.

If the hold is taken off and sent to Governor Rauner, it will be vetoed and that will be that (at least on SB 337).

If the hold is taken off and certified by the new General Assembly, the bill will be sent to newly elected Governor Pritzker and he will sign it.

The question is this:

  • Can the new General Assembly certify a bill it has not passed?

The Illinois Constitution of 1970 does not address that question.

The Illinois Constitution simply says it must be certified by the General Assembly.

The reason is simply that the Framers of the Constitution never foresaw this problem.

The idea of a hold was to work out technical issues in a bill.

In this case the hold was used for political advantage which is not nice but, nevertheless, that is how it was used and there is no prohibition against it.

The courts may have to decide that one.

Allen Skillicorn

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, according to the Illinois News Network, on the other hand, fears that the lame duck legislature will pass a gas tax hike, but, rather than sending it to Governor Rauner, will wait for Pritzker to replace him.

He predicts that Pritzker would sign such a bill.


Township Abolition by Referendum, Gun Store Licensing and Gas Tax Hike Bills Could Provide Constitutional Test — 4 Comments

  1. State Rep. David McSweeney’s House Bill 4637 just d0esn’t give enough credit to the Dem’s Sam and Jack who pushed so hard to create bigger McHenry County Gov.

    Dave might have a R by his name, but who he hangs with is more telling.

  2. HB 4637 can’t take effect until June 1st.

    That is, IF Rauner doesn’t veto it.

    But who knows, maybe Bruce has forgotten how Dave McSweeney #$@@-ed all over him at every opportunity for the past four years…

  3. Finally, some good news!

    I’m sick of hearing about how great townships are.

    They got rid of all of them in Iowa in the 1950’s.

    It’s a great way to give more taxpayer $$$ to illegal aliens claiming township general assistance.

    Don’t they get enough from us w/ welfare, foodstamps, free schools and dental and free phones??!!

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