Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quinn wants voters to present reforms

By Jamey Dunn

Gov. Pat Quinn issued another amendatory veto today that drastically changes the content of the original bill.

House Bill 5206 allows election officials to electronically remove deceased voters from registration rolls. Quinn left the content of the bill intact but tacked on provisions that would create a citizens' initiative process for ideas pertaining to “ethical conduct and campaign finance reform.”

Earlier this month, Quinn plugged an open primary provision into a bill that originally required the State Board of Elections to post voter guides with candidate information on its website.

Under the new version of HB 5206, proposals that receive 100,000 petition signatures would be drafted into a bill and voted on by the General Assembly. If the legislation failed to become law, it would go onto the ballot as an advisory referendum, which does not have any binding legal power.

Quinn floated the idea of allowing voter initiatives for ethics measures last year while the legislature was fighting it out over campaign finance reform, and proposals from his Illinois Reform Commission were largely failing to gain traction. Quinn's amendatory veto could raise questions of constitutionality. Check back tomorrow for more analysis.

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