This year, Gov. Quinn vetoed just 11 of the 243 Senate Bills and 268 House Bills sent to the Governor’s desk for consideration. Notably, the Governor vetoed bills that would have established regulations for ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar and brought uniformity to speed limits on Interstates and toll highways.
On the ridesharing issue, vetoes were issued on two bills, House Bill 4075 and House Bill 5331. Both dealt with the competition between traditional taxi companies and new startups, like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, which offer rides to customers who connect through smart phone applications.
House Bill 4075 imposed new statewide regulations on the companies. Proponents argued that the requirements were needed to assure customer safety by establishing insurance requirements and banning agreements that exempt the companies from liability.
Opponents argued that the legislation was a thinly-veiled effort by traditional taxi companies to protect their business and shut out competition from the ridesharing companies.
While the original measure imposed greater restrictions on drivers who worked more than 18 hours a week, the companion bill, House Bill 5331, allowed drivers to “bank” that time, so that they could work more hours during weeks when special events occurred without triggering the higher restrictions.
Gov. Quinn vetoed both measures, claiming regulation of these types of services needs to remain at the local level. He stated that statewide regulation should be initiated only when it becomes evident that the issues cannot be properly address by local governments.
Speed Limit Veto
Also vetoed was Senate Bill 2015, a follow-up measure to legislation that raised the speed limit on Interstate highways in Illinois to 70 mph in January, which is consistent with most other states, including almost all Midwestern states.
Senate Bill 2015 would have brought the state’s Toll Highway system in the Chicago region up to the same 70 mph standard.
In vetoing the measure, the Governor argued that studies show more than 90 percent of tollway drivers exceed the speed limit by 11-15 miles per hour during non-rush hour times. However, proponents of the increase said that the statistics cited by the Governor actually make the case that the existing speed limit is too low and said it would make more sense to bring the speed limit up to a more reasonable level and enforce that higher speed limit.
The following bills were also vetoed by the Governor:
Travel Insurance (SB 2590 – Governor Vetoed): Allows “travel insurance” to be sold by a licensed business enterprise or travel retailer subject to certain conditions.
The amendatory veto was issued citing technical issues that need to be resolved, noting relevant parties need additional time to work on the legislation.
Voluminous Requests (HB 3796 – Amendatory Veto): Amends the Freedom of Information Act to provide a process for handling "voluminous requests," to allow for recovery of personnel costs to review documents for redactions of a commercial request, and to allow a public body to refer a requester to their website if the information is posted on the public body's website.
The legislation was vetoed by the Governor, who contended it reduces government transparency by limiting the ability of citizens to seek public records, and it would make it more difficult for citizens to obtain a large volume of records, slowing the process for individuals who lack electronic means to request or obtain information.
Construction Debris (HB 4606 – Amendatory Veto): Clarifies that facilities that accept only general construction or demolition or demolition debris and operate in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act are not considered a "pollution control facility." Identical to SB 2944 which passed unanimously.
The amendatory veto provides that the new demolition debris waste facility applicant must notify the local county newspapers about the site. Further, the EPA must accept written comments concerning the permit application for the site.
Anatomic Pathology (SB 1630 – Amendatory Veto): Spells out billing practices of “anatomic pathology services.” Clarifies exemptions and specifies there is no prohibition against a referring physician, who takes a patient specimen, from charging a patient or a payer an acquisition or processing charge. Anatomic pathology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the gross, microscopic, chemical, immunologic and molecular examination of organs, tissues, and whole bodies.
The amendatory veto adds language regarding enforcement of markups by physicians, giving the Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation the explicit authority to discipline a physician for improper markup of a bill including: license revocation, suspension or non-renewal. Also adds language to stipulate physician choice in lab services be made clear in billing.
Condominium Non-Payments (SB 2664 – Amendatory Veto): Creates a “clear and fair” formula/calculation for how much a person who purchases a distressed condo (or condos) owes in backdated assessments. Limits the amount of time that a purchaser must pay in fees/liens to no more than nine months.
The amendatory veto requires the real-estate owned lender to pay for any special assessments that have been previously assessed and attorney’s fees that have been incurred because of the prior owner’s default.
Water/Sewer Connections (SB 3507 – Amendatory Veto): Limits connection fees charged by township and municipal waterworks and sewage systems to 1/6 of the annual rate of the estimated annual charges for that class of service.
The amendatory veto removes municipalities from the bill.
Capitol Building Upgrades (HB 3793 – Item Veto): Fiscal Year 2015 budget measure that includes capitol construction appropriations.
The only veto of the FY15 budget, the Governor used his power to line item veto a $250 million “Other Funds” appropriations for Capitol building upgrades.