SPRINGFIELD — House Speaker Michael Madigan today dismissed any concern that Gov. Pat Quinn may veto the delicately negotiated concealed weapons legislation passed last month, saying he expected that lawmakers would overwhelmingly reject an attempt to block or change the bill.
But the Southwest Side powerhouse, whose daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan may challenge Quinn for governor in next year's Democratic primary, also said he expected Quinn to take action “designed to advance his campaign for re-election.”
The irony there is that Speaker Madigan has been accused by some of holding up a solution on pension reform to make Quinn look weak as Attorney General Madigan weighs a possible run for governor.
A longtime proponent of gun control, Quinn supported Illinois’ position as the last state in the nation to have a ban on concealed weapons even after a federal appeals court struck down the law late last year and called on the state to craft a new that allowed citizens to carry guns in public.
Quinn has urged the attorney general to appeal the gun ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, and she has asked the courts for more time to consider what action to take once the governor decides to sign, veto or recommend changes to lawmakers. The bill is on Quinn's desk awaiting action.
The speaker pointed out that both chambers passed the concealed carry legislation with more than the three-fifths vote that would be needed to override Quinn if he should veto the bill or used his amendatory authority to offer changes for legislators to consider.
“At the end of the day,” Speaker Madigan said, “if the governor were to veto or to offer an amendatory veto, he’ll be overridden. “
The compromise bill that passed both houses spelled out who can carry concealed guns and where they can be carried. The speaker himself participated in the final negotiations.
The bill would ban guns from numerous places, including CTA and Metra buses, casinos, stadiums, schools, bars and parks. A $150 concealed weapons permit would be valid for five years and issued by the Illinois State Police to applicants 21 and older. Law enforcement could object, and those denied could appeal to a seven-person board designed to have members with credentials such as former judge or FBI agent. A person would have to complete 16 hours of training before getting a concealed carry permit.
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