Special interests, be gone

October 21, 2013 

FEW BILLS PASS in Springfield with nearly unanimous, bipartisan support. Last spring, a township-supported bill received that type of support, but Gov. Pat Quinn unfortunately vetoed the measure. As the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, I am writing to encourage the General Assembly to overturn the governor's veto of H.B. 2454 during the upcoming veto session.

As Illinois law currently reads, residents attending annual township meetings can propose advisory questions to be placed on Election Day ballots. By taking advantage of a loophole in the current law, activist groups are easily able to place superfluous questions, unrelated to township government, on ballots. But H.B. 2454, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Fortner and state Sen. Pam Althoff, successfully reined in ballot abuse, allowing only advisory questions of public policy directly related to township matters on the ballot.

We fully encourage our residents to have the opportunity to address concerns; however, relevant township matters are being ignored for state and national issues over which we at the townships have no control.

H.B. 2454 is common sense legislation that provides an open forum for residents to address township matters, and Gov. Quinn's veto of the legislation simply does not allow for this. Ultimately, residents across the state are burdened by special interest groups' manipulation of the system. Please override this veto.

Bryan E. Smith

Executive director

Township Officials of Illinois

Springfield

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