The first is a controversial proposal pushed by State Representative Esther Golar (D-Chicago). The bill (SB 1531) would give the Local Liquor Control Commission in Chicago the blanket authority to shut down any establishment that it deemed to pose, “an excessive risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the community.”
Clearly this new law would come in handy when the patrons of an unruly establishment are causing damage to neighboring homes and putting residents at risk. Industry insiders, however, tell us they’re nervous that power would be abused.
The second piece of legislation (SB 3456) would create a streamlined special use permit for use at events like farmers markets.
That bill passed the Senate in March but got held up in the House. On Friday House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), number two in the House to Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), took over chief sponsorship. That likely signals that either (a) the House is serious about passing the legislation or (b) the bill is being amended to address something totally unrelated.
The fall veto session is traditionally the last chance for leftover legislation and bills the governor has vetoed to be addressed before the end of the calendar year. However, the clock doesn’t officially reset on this General Assembly until January 9th, 2013, when new members are sworn in.
Lawmakers will be in Springfield in the days leading up to that date to take up issues both big and small. And with 36 of the 177 members of the legislature not returning on the 9th there is likely plenty of room for negotiation.