Court dumps Quinn's construction plan, including CTA's capital fund $$

An appellate court today ruled that Gov. Quinn's capital construction plan was unconstitutional.

From the Tribune:

The justices ruled the problem with the law is that it violated the
state's basic constitutional tenet that legislation must address a
single subject only. They wrote that wide-ranging issues in one of four
bills passed in 2009 failed to have a "natural and logical connection."

The state had planned to use proceeds from video poker and higher taxes on booze and candy to fund the $31 billion program.

The CTA already was slated to get $253 million this year of a promised $1.3 billion.


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  • I actually read the opinion.

    It seems that in the second set of capital bills, the state claimed it was all about revenue, and it wasn't. While I would have accepted that the bill dealt with capital, there was something in it about truck weight limits, and that killed it.

    One thing of interest, which shows how this f-d up legislature works, is that the court cited this and other examples of how the legislature strips simple, one subject bills, and puts in a last minute amendment of 280 pages of incomprehensible matter. Of course, not only here, but also in the 2008 RTA bill, and the recent tax hike. Maybe, though the latter was only on the subject of revenue.

    I stand on my comment yesterday on what's wrong with transit governance in this state. Now, if guys like Bob S. have some substantive reply to the facts I stated there, state them, instead of just saying block me.

  • In reply to jack:

    What's going on in regard for the block me crap is some people just can't stand the truth & are possibly CTA employees.

  • In reply to jack:

    Golly, those appellate courts sure have been busy lately ruining all of this city's beautiful wickedness.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, Jack, Jack. I'm not arguing your facts. I'm pointing out that you're a long-winded gasbag who can take any interesting topic and suck the life right out of it. Migawd, back on the old Tattler site, I thought Rusty was a wonk, but at least he was a worthwhile conversationalist.

  • In reply to BobS:

    Why don't you then just read this one?

    Bob S, Bob S, Bob S, Bob S, either an employee of the Department of Redundancy Department, or the Ministry of Propaganda at 567 W. Lake, you admit you have nothing of substance to say, so stop the name calling.

  • In reply to jack:

    Does anyone know what the final Capital Cost of the thus completed part of the Block 37 CTA Airport Express Superstation was??

  • In reply to mikep621:

    I won't gasbag it here.

    Approximately $300,000,000.

  • In reply to mikep621:

    I think in the end the Legislature will fix the law and pass another version of this. It passed previously with votes from both side of the aisle. There's too much at stake here, with plenty of construction jobs funded by the law all across the great state of Illinois.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    To this extent, maybe so. However, it looks like it would take about 25 laws to get this whole bundle. As the Tribune Editorial pointed out, the real pig in the poke is the Video Gambling bill, and if the Gov. relied on that to fund the program, and it has to be voted on separately, it is going down. Then Quinn will have to come up with the money elsewhere.

    Also, it appears that was already distributed was 96-4 money, and the opinion does not indicate that that PA was attacked. So, some money has come through. However, don't be surprised if the 96-35 money is scaled way back.

    I saw on Fox that the construction workers said they would boycott the Black Hawks because Rocky brought the suit, but I am sure that they won't boycott his adult beverages.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, given the price of Hawks tickets compared to alcoholic beverages, I'm sure they're bigger patrons of Rocky's booze than his team. Then again, drinking a beer usually doesn't come with media coverage, while a professional hockey game does, so maybe a Hawks boycott *would* have some effect.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, the State Supreme Court just stayed the Appellate Court decision, so for now the capital program stands.

  • In reply to jack:

    Since some of the capital is to refurbish roads, and since truck weight limits affect how often the roads need to be refurbished, it sounds like a single subject to me: infrastructure; what needs to be built or fixed, how often it needs to be fixed, and how to pay for it.

  • In reply to jbredin:

    I can see your point.

    In that the preamble of PA 96-35 is "AN ACT making appropriations" it doesn't appear that the court went beyond that, or the revenue aspect. If perhaps, the preamble was "An Act to provide for infrastructure," maybe the d- a- legislators might have avoided this trap.

  • In reply to jbredin:

    Quinn was just on the tube, and he said that the single subject was "jobs." If that's the case, he (actually Atty Gen. Byrnes) will have a harder time making the argument than you would by saying that the single subject was infrastructure.

    Something like that is going to tie up the program in the courts for a long time, and unlike the Emanuel situation, there is no clear deadline, like the start of early voting.

  • In reply to jack:

    I agree that "jobs" is too mushy to be a real single subject. Hopefully, that was just a sound-bite for the *political* side of things and the AG will make a somewhat different *legal* argument based on infrastructure or the like.

    And while there's no formal deadline looming, I'm sure the Supremes understand the urgency of resolving this one way (reversing the Appellate Court and affirming the capital plan) OR the other (affirming, thus kicking the matter to the Assembly to fix or not fix as the votes can or can't be mustered) as quickly as reasonably possible. This has already wound its way through the lower courts, and it can't go higher than the State Supremes because (IIRC) the challenges were based on the State constitution only. They could rule quickly -- not AS quickly as in Emmanuel's case, but pretty quick -- if they want.

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