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Show Stroger he's not king

Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Chicago Sun-Times
by Sun Times editorial staff

It's good to be the king, or nearly so. That's what Cook County Board President Todd Stroger essentially is, thanks to a rule that requires a four-fifths majority of county commissioners -- 14 of 17 votes -- to override his veto.

To put this in perspective, the state's General Assembly needs only a three-fifths majority to override Gov. Quinn's veto.

Same with Congress and President Obama.

But not for Stroger.

His veto is a legislative death knell.

Look no further than the vote last week that attempted to roll back the much-hated sales tax increase.

Supporters needed 14 votes. They got 13 and lost. So did the taxpayers.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) is reviving a measure to make it easier to override Stroger's veto. His bill would lower the number of votes on the County Board necessary for a veto override from a four-fifths majority to a three-fifths majority, which is more in line with other legislative bodies.

"It's just an issue of fairness; it's an issue of checks and balances," Kotowski argues.

We couldn't agree more, no matter who the County Board president is.

The same measure easily passed in the state Senate earlier this year but died in the House.

If House Speaker Mike Madigan is serious about reform, as he says, he'll work to pass it this October.



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