(Chicago, IL) – July 30, 2010. Without fanfare, horns or trumpets, Governor Pat Quinn yesterday quietly signed a bill to reform the DuPage water board and ditch its tax without apparently securing support from the legislation’s sponsor to back a state pension bond bill.
Quinn penned his approval of the measure, Senate Bill 580, that terminates the DuPage Water Commission’s current commissioners in 2011and requires new board appointments with stack of minor bills.
Additionally, the new law abolishes the commission’s current 0.25 percent tax in 2016 unless continued by referendum.
The controversial legislation became ensnarled in Illinois budget politics at the end of the spring legislative session when a $4.1 billion pension borrowing fell short of passage by two votes.
Eyes turned to the likes of departing State Senator Dan Cronin (R-Lombard) and soon-to-be DuPage County Board Chairman for one of the two missing votes. The water board bill was dangled before his eyes as incentive to vote in behalf of the borrowing, according to informed sources.
While Cronin appeared to waiver, DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference president and Bloomingdale Village President Robert Iden sent a letter to Quinn criticizing the “horse-trading.”
Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) was unable to find the two votes and scuttled the final pension bill vote until November.
Cronin yesterday got his water board reform board law.
A lobbyist close to Cronin last night said there is no deal in place.
“Dan promised Quinn nothing. The end-of-day bill-dump is proof of that. Quinn wasn’t going to give Dan a pr bump if he was getting no pension vote in return,” said the lobbyist who requested anonymity in order to speak frankly.
We’ll see if Quinn gets a bond vote from Cronin in the November veto session or if he gets squat.
Our betting is on squat.