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Area lawmakers try to make it easier to override Stroger
By Dan Carden | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/12/2009 5:10 PM | Updated: 5/12/2009 5:48 PM

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SPRINGFIELD - Two suburban Democratic state lawmakers wants to make it easier for county commissioners to override future vetoes by the county board president.

A plan pending in the Illinois House would reduce the number of commissioners needed for an override from an almost impossible four-fifths to just three-fifths.

That means only 11 commissioners on the 17-member board would be needed for an override, down from 14.

State Rep. Paul Froehlich, a Schaumburg Democrat, is the House sponsor. The idea was first filed in the Senate by state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat. The Senate approved it in April.

The proposal would not affect Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's veto of the county board's rollback of a controversial sales tax. As written, the law wouldn't take effect until 2011.

Kotowski said Tuesday he wants to change the plan to have an immediate effective date. Doing so would give commissioners a chance to bring forth another repeal and, if Stroger again vetoes it, have an easier time casting that veto aside.

A four-fifths requirement is almost unheard of in American government. The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in Congress to override a president's veto. In Springfield, state lawmakers only need a three-fifths majority to override a governor's veto.