Springfield leaders meet to hash out differences

Gambling, closures on table

October 27, 2011

Kristen McQueary

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(AP/M. Spencer Green)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called a meeting Thursday morning of top leaders in Springfield. After a bruising start to the fall veto session, Quinn hopes to set a clearer path for November.

The veto session has been bumpy so far for Gov. Quinn. Lawmakers didn’t listen to his concerns about a bill that will raise electricity costs for consumers. They voted to override his veto Wednesday despite warnings from Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, consumer watchdogs and the American Association of Retired Persons that the bill will raise consumer electricity costs.

A Senate committee also moved forward on a gambling bill that Quinn says didn’t have enough input from him.

Senator Terry Link, the sponsor of the bill, disputed that.

"We took his concept and put it into bill form. Our staff person worked with their staff person together on this bill," Link said.

But Quinn clearly was not happy with the Senate’s action. His spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson, called the bill and the Senate Executive Committee's hearing on it a “charade.”

So Quinn invited House and Senate leaders of both parties to the governor’s mansion Thursday morning for a breakfast meeting, hoping to clear the air. Gambling, the closures of seven state facilities and the state budget are expected to be on the table for discussion.

They have one more week to get on the same page. Lawmakers head back to their districts Thursday afternoon and return for a second week of veto session Nov. 3.