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Veto Session So Far: Nothing Happening

Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield Tuesday for their fall veto session. Guns, gay marriage and corporate tax breaks are on the agenda. But nothing is moving yet.

Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage are rallying in the Capitol this week, but the sponsor of marriage legislation won't say when or if he'll call it for a vote.

Meanwhile, OfficeMax and Archer Daniels Midland are among the companies seeking millions of dollars in tax breaks to keep their corporate headquarters in Illinois, but those proposals are still being negotiated.

Then there's Chicago's push to impose a mandatory three-year prison sentences for gun crimes.

Sponsoring Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside, had planned to push it through a committee Tuesday afternoon. Now he says he's negotiating with the National Rifle Association.

"We've tried to make it clear through language we are not after those who simply make a mistake," Zalewski says.

This is to make sure new concealed-carry permit holders who, for example, inadvertently take a shortcut across a school playground don't end up with three years hard time.

The House canceled its session for Thursday, but it and the Senate will be back the week after next.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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