The outgoing President of the Illinois Senate has used a legislative maneuver to guarantee that lawmakers won’t have an opportunity to override the Governor’s veto of approximately $55 million allocated for historic sites, health facilities, and other state programs, according to Senator Tim Bivins.

Governor Rod Blagojevich partially vetoed $55 million from Senate Bill 1103 on November 20, a measure which initially contained $231 million to keep a variety of state programs and facilities open and operating. As a result, 12 historic sites were forced to indefinitely close, numerous health and human services programs have seen funding slashed, and 85 workers have been laid off.

The General Assembly had already adjourned before receiving notice that the Governor amendatorily vetoed the legislation. Ordinarily, that would have meant that lawmakers would need to wait until the Legislature reconvenes in January to review the Governor’s action. But because Senate President Emil Jones of Chicago convened a “perfunctory” session day on November 21, Senate Bill 1103 was officially accepted into the Senate’s records. According to the state Constitution, that began a 15-day countdown for lawmakers to act. Since Senator Jones won’t call lawmakers back to Springfield until January, the cuts automatically go into effect once the 15 days pass (December 6).

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