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Illinois proposed recall amendment waits on Senate decision
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: State legislators hoped to have a decision by the Illinois State Senate on a proposed constitutional amendment, also known as House Joint Constitutional Amendment 31, at the end of the 2009 legislative session but lawmakers ran out of time. They are scheduled to return to session in the Fall but according to state officials, legislators might be called to session earlier to vote on the proposed amendment. The proposal would allow voters to recall the governor and require that at least 20 state representatives and 10 state senators sign the same recall petition that voters would. The proposal developed after the highly publicized scandals surrounding former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and impeachment on January 29, 2009. Even before Blagojevich's impeachment, this has been one of current Gov. Pat Quinn's top priorities.
Rep. Jack Franks said, "This really is the nuclear option. This gives citizens a right they do not have, a right they so desperately need to keep our government honest and to take their government back." Despite the wide-spread support in the legislature, state Rep. William Black said he worries that the recall could become "a politically influenced decision." But Black added, "It's better than what we had a year ago," referring to the lack of a recall provision during Blagojevich's tenure.
If Illinois lawmakers approve the recall, voters will make the final decision on the issue in November 2010.