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Topspin 

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Tuesday with a variety of topics on the agenda, from nearly 40 bills vetoed over the summer by Gov. Bruce Rauner to a ban on assault weapons following the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Also on the radar is legislation that would prevent counties from imposing taxes on sugary drinks after Cook County commissioners repealed the short-lived soda pop tax earlier this month.

Hearings on the pop tax proposal and assault weapons ban are scheduled for Tuesday in the House, though both proposals face a number of hurdles before they would become law. Sponsors of both say they are hoping to capitalize on political momentum surrounding them.

Changing gun laws typically is a a tough sell in Illinois. The state is fractured along geographical lines, with city and some suburban lawmakers calling for tighter restrictions as those from Downstate push back.

Under legislation introduced by state Rep. Martin Moylan, D-Des Plaines, the possession, delivery, sale or purchase of assault weapons and large-caliber rifles would be banned. Magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition would also be outlawed, along with trigger modification devices known as “bump stocks” that can dramatically speed up the rate of fire.

“These are reasonable regulations,” said Moylan, who has repeatedly tried to pass tougher gun laws. “You don’t need assault rifles and .50 caliber rifles to go hunting.”

In a bulletin to gun owners, the Illinois State Rifle Association called Moylan a “political opportunist” who is using the Las Vegas shooting as an “excuse to justify larceny of your gun collection.” The group called on members to call their lawmakers and “politely remind them that you are a law-abiding firearm owner who resents being vilified.”

When it comes to bills Rauner vetoed, a showdown is expected this week over a measure designed to provide more transparency about spending in state agencies.

Backed by Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the bill would require agencies under Rauner’s control to make monthly reports about the amount of bills that have yet to be submitted to her office for payment. It also would make agencies estimate the amount of interest penalties the state may be responsible for because Illinois is so far behind in paying bills. Unpaid bills can accrue as much as 12 percent interest a year, and the state recently borrowed billions of dollars to help refinance some of that debt.

In issuing his veto, Rauner argued agencies already have to report that data once a year and said the tougher standards would be time-consuming. The Republican governor said the effort was an attempt by Mendoza to “micromanage executive agencies.”

The bill originally passed the House with 70 votes, just one vote shy of what is needed to override Rauner’s veto. Sponsoring Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, said he plans to call for an override vote on Wednesday, adding he has been working to build additional support.

The legislation has the backing of several Republicans and may serve as a way for once-loyal conservatives angry with Rauner’s decision over his signature on a law expanding taxpayer funding of abortion to take a stand against him by voting to override him.

“The governor had no good reason for vetoing it. He is trying to hide his failed fiscal record,” said Rep. David McSweeney, a Republican from Barrington Hills who is a frequent critic of Rauner. (Monique Garcia)

 

What’s on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will break ground on The Hatchery Chicago in the morning. In the afternoon, he’ll be at the Greater Chicago Food Depository to make an announcement about a company moving its headquarters to Chicago.

*Gov. Rauner has no public events scheduled.

*Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will speak at the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues at the Bilandic Building in the morning. Later, she’ll preside over the board’s consent agenda.

*City Hall and Cook County budget hearings continue.

 

From the notebook

*Stay tuned: Other measures Rauner vetoed that could come up this week include a bill backed by Treasurer Mike Frerichs to search  electronic databases for death benefits dating to 2000 that should have been paid out to families, as well as legislation that would prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s prior wage history unless it’s already public information or the person is moving within the company.

Additional bills Rauner vetoed include one that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2022, another that requires public schools to teach cursive and a measure that would provide additional consumer protections to students who take out loans to attend college. (Monique Garcia)

*17 seconds: Chicago Blackhawks fans are familiar with the phrase “17 seconds” to describe how the team defeated the Boston Bruins in come-from-behind fashion to capture the Stanley Cup in Game 6 of the 2013 finals.

But there’s another “17 seconds” in political circles. That’s the painful-to-watch amount of time that 2010 Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jason Plummer spent stammering about where he would cut the state budget during a WTTW-Ch. 11 interview, seen here.

Plummer, the youthful heir of the family’s Metro East-based lumber and real estate development business, ran with state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington in losing to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010. That’s before governor candidates got to pick their running mates.

Two years later, Plummer was back running for office, making an unsuccessful bid for Congress in southwestern Illinois.

Now, Plummer’s back again. The Belleville News-Democrat reported Plummer took to Facebook to announce his candidacy for the Illinois Senate seat that Republican state Sen. Kyle McCarter of Lebanon is giving up by not seeking re-election.

The Downstate newspaper reports Plummer is the fourth candidate to enter the March GOP primary contest. He has gotten an early endorsement in state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican considering a primary challenge to GOP Gov. Rauner.

She posted on her Facebook page that Plummer would be a “great choice for Senate in Illinois.” (Rick Pearson)

*Kennedy gets civil rights leader’s backing: Democratic governor candidate Chris Kennedy has gotten the backing of Dolores Huerta, a civil rights and labor leader who joined with Cesar Chavez to found the United Farm Workers union.

“I am supporting and endorsing Christopher Kennedy for the governor of Illinois because he is the one person who is going to continue that very great legacy of the Kennedy family to bring justice and opportunities to all of the people in Illinois,” Huerta says in a video.

The Kennedy campaign said the candidate’s mother, Ethel Kennedy, and her children, including Chris Kennedy, fasted in solidarity with Chavez in 1988. Chavez had embarked on a 36-day fast to highlight the impact of pesticides on farmworkers. Chris Kennedy fasted three days, the campaign said.

Huerta, president of her own foundation on grassroots organizing, is perhaps best known to younger voters for her slogan “Si se puede,” which became emblematic of the farm workers’ union movement. The term, translated to “Yes, we can” was adopted by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. (Rick Pearson)

*Biss gets state Rep. Ann Williams’ support: Democratic governor candidate Daniel Biss has gotten the backing of state Rep. Ann Williams, a North Side Chicago Democrat.

“I’m proud to endorse Daniel Biss for governor of Illinois,” Williams said in a statement about the state senator from Evanston.

“During our time in the legislature, Daniel has been a leader and engaged partner in so many critical fights: protecting our environment, advocating for equality for the LGBTQ community and securing the economic and reproductive rights of women,” she said.

Williams is serving her sixth year in the General Assembly. (Rick Pearson)

 

What we’re writing

*Harley-riding Rauner kicks off re-election bid with new video, Madigan criticism.

*Illinois, Chicago letter to Amazon: $2 billion in tax breaks, and maybe more.

*Uber, Lyft still cheaper than a cab, even after Emanuel’s proposed ride-share fee hike.

*Emanuel wants more weekend parking tickets.

*Child deaths spike after DCFS privatizes “intact family services.”

*County officials spar over budget cuts in wake of pop tax repeal.

*Illinois AG: Veterans defrauded in VA pension scam.

 

What we’re reading

*Ex-Hometown police chief gets probation after pleading guilty to stealing $65,000 in tow fees.

*Four Wheaton College football players accused of hazing plead not guilty.

*Why Halloween TV is the best TV.

 

Follow the money 

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here. 

 

Beyond Chicago

*Trump against 401(k) change in tax bill.

*New York AG launches Weinstein investigation.

*Protesters criticize EPA move to prevent scientists from presenting climate-change research.

*Top U.S. general says families deserve answers on attack in Niger.

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