June 30, 2017
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
100th General Assembly:
Today I return Senate Bill 1839, an amendment to Department of State Police Law of the Civil Administrative Code, Emergency Telephone System Act and the Public Utilities Act, with specific recommendations to ensure that critical 9-1-1 services continue without a massive tax hike on Illinois families and businesses.
9-1-1 dispatch centers are the backbone of our public safety system. Our dispatchers are dedicated public servants who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help our citizens in times of crisis. Essential 9-1-1 services are set to expire on July 1, 2017 under the current provisions of the Emergency Telephone System Act and Article XIII (Telecommunications) and Article XXI (Cable and Video) of the Public Utilities Act. This sunset process on important services has been used extensively by politicians in Illinois as a way to exert periodic pressure to extract benefits for political insiders. The majority in the General Assembly waited until the last moment to send this 9-1-1 service reauthorization bill to my desk. Unfortunately, those lawmakers also inserted a major tax hike into this bill, a tax that’s both excessive and unwarranted, and that I strongly oppose. The tax hike is large for the people of Illinois, but it’s particularly massive for the people of Chicago. Chicago 9-1-1 fees are already the highest in America. This extreme increase is unfair and indefensible. But the majority in the General Assembly is using the threat of cancellation of 9-1-1 services on Saturday as leverage to force this tax hike through over my opposition.
This mean-spirited strategy has been employed by the majority repeatedly over the years, most prominently in the current budget impasse: holding innocent people, our most vulnerable residents and essential services hostage as leverage to force excessive, unwarranted tax hikes onto the people of Illinois. This practice must stop.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(e) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 1839, entitled “AN ACT concerning regulation”, with the following specific recommendations for change:
On Page 1, by deleting lines 4 through 23; and
By deleting pages 2 through 8; and
On page 9, by deleting lines 1 through 5; and
On page 9, by replacing lines 6 through 9 with the following:
“(50 ILCS 750/99 rep.)
Section 5. The Emergency Telephone System Act is amended by repealing Section 99.”; and
On page 9, by deleting lines 10 through 24; and
By deleting pages 10 through 79; and
On page 80, by deleting lines 1 through 21; and
On page 80, by replacing lines 22 through 25 with the following:
“(220 ILCS 5/13-1200 rep.)
(220 ILCS 5/21-1601 rep.)
Section 10. The Public Utilities Act is amended by repealing Sections 13-1200 and 21-1601.”; and
By deleting pages 81 through 119; and
On page 120, by deleting lines 1 through 22.
With these changes, Senate Bill 1839 will have my approval. I respectfully request your concurrence.