SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is facing backlash on the controversial school funding bill he amendatory vetoed Tuesday. But while the media is focused on that particular hot potato, another one is cooking on the governor's desk, as well.
Will the governor sign into law a bill making every school, hospital, DMV center and nursing home a location where persons illegally residing in America can harbor from law enforcement officials?
SB 31's description says simply stepping onto the grounds or into these Illinois facilities would keep anyone in these facilities from asking whether the persons are in the country legally:
… State-funded schools, including licensed day care centers, pre-schools, and other early learning programs; elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; State-funded medical treatment and health care facilities, including hospitals, health clinics, emergency or urgent care facilities, nursing homes, group homes for persons with developmental disabilities, community-integrated living arrangements, and State mental health facilities; facilities operated by the Office of the Secretary of State; and circuit courts, State appellate courts, or the Supreme Court …
Signing SB 31 into law would make Illinois the state most open to illegal aliens besides California, the communications director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform told Illinois Review Tuesday.
"Not only would it make Illinois open to those in the country illegally, it could create dangerous situations for the public and add more financial burdens to the state," Dave Ray said. "And isn't the state of Illinois already having financial difficulties?"
Governor Rauner has until the end of August to decide whether to sign SB 31 into law, veto it or not move on it at all. If he does not move on it, it will become law. He has not indicated yet what he intends to do.
The issue was not black and white as it proceeded through the Illinois legislature. Republicans crossed the aisle to join Democrats in both the Illinois House and Senate when considering whether to send the measure to Governor Rauner.
Three downstate House Democrats: Jerry Costello, Michael Halpin and Katie Stuart opposed SB 31 and Democrat Frances Hurley chose not to vote. While the Republican House caucus held together in opposition for the most part, four Republicans chose not to vote at all: Mark Batinick, David Harris, Sheri Jesiel and Grant Wehrli. GOP State Rep. Bob Pritchard voted in support of the measure.
In the Senate's final vote, Republicans helped SB31 obtain a vote indicating the Senate could override a gubernatorial veto. Then-Minority Leader Christine Radogno supported the sanctuary measure, joined by GOP state senators Althoff, McConnaughay, McConchie and Nybo.
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