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Illinois Policy Institute
The failure of almost all potential veto overrides in 2016 is a victory for Illinois taxpayers.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed more than 30 bills in 2016, but state politicians failed to override any of his bill overrides except for two.

That’s significant given that the Democrats held 71 seats in the Illinois House of Representatives – the same number of votes needed to override a gubernatorial veto.

The 100th General Assembly will be inaugurated on Jan. 12, 2017, and with Republicans having gained a net 4 seats in the House in November’s election, Democrats will have a much harder time in the future collecting the votes necessary to override Rauner vetoes.

The failure of almost all potential veto overrides in 2016 is a victory for Illinois taxpayers. Illinois Policy Action was in Springfield throughout the veto session, which ended Dec. 1, working to prevent any override attempts that would have passed bad bills into law.

This included bills that would have legislated taxpayer funded union-recruitment opportunities masked as employee training, expanded entitlements far beyond the state’s ability to pay endangering those who need them most, and would have changed the rules of prevailing wage and state contracting into blatant labor giveaways at the expense of everyone else.

Fortunately, none of these bills will now become law.

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Lame-duck session begins in January

Before inauguration, the 99th General Assembly will meet for two more days of session, known as “lame duck” session, on January 9 and 10, a time that is usually at high risk of controversial decisions to be passed when fewer votes are required to do so.

This is the same environment responsible for the 2011 tax hike that passed in the late hours of the night. 20 percent of those who voted for the 2011 tax hike were on their way out the door and would never have to own up to that vote in future elections.

There’s good reason to hope history won’t repeat itself in the upcoming lame-duck session, however. On Nov. 30, the House passed by overwhelming margins a resolution opposing the consideration or passage of any income tax hike in the lame duck session, and on Dec. 1, the House voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that put legislators on the record against lame duck tax hikes and closed the loopholes that have made them easier to pass in the past.

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