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Lawmakers must act quickly to override veto

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 9:58 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — It’s wearisome to watch the wheels of government continually grind yet manage to produce little more than frustration and futility.

The latest exercise came last week when Gov. Pat Quinn issued an amendatory veto to the concealed-carry plan approved by the General Assembly. Quinn’s objections to the bill have been well known and while he has been eager to share his views, he has been slow to act.

Unfortunately, he was not much of a factor in helping legislators find a compromise that could pass muster in the General Assembly. He waited to act just days before a court-imposed deadline to enact concealed-carry legislation approached.

Among the changes Quinn wants are banning guns from any establishment that serves alcohol, requiring businesses to display signs that concealed carry is allowed in them and limiting a person to carrying only one concealed weapon at a time and only one ammunition magazine limited to 10 rounds.

Towns also would have the right to enact their own assault weapons bans, beyond a 10-day window that was part of the bill.

The decision by Quinn to veto the measure is somewhat perplexing.

The governor was virtually absent from the negotiations between the House and Senate that produced the bill. It is rare when the two bodies can get together, compromise and craft legislation that has things in it that make each side happy along with a few things that make each side unhappy.

That is how legislation is made in most places. For that accomplishment, the General Assembly deserves some credit.

But the most maddening thing is that Quinn knows the bill passed with a large enough margin to make it certain the veto will be overridden by a three-fifths majority.

The machinery to do that was in motion almost before the ink was dry on Quinn’s veto message. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown said the House will convene in regular session Tuesday to consider Quinn’s veto. Senate President John Cullerton’s spokeswoman said senators will join them.

Both parties were critical of Quinn’s actions.

Quinn would have better served his state by signing the bill while still outlining his objections to the legislation and perhaps vowing to work with the legislature to further modify gun regulations. Now, he is forcing them all back to Springfield — presumably, at taxpayer expense — to finish the job. The members of the General Assembly need to act quickly to override his veto.

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This editorial first appeared in The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

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©2013 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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