PI Original Progress Illinois Wednesday May 6th, 2009, 9:15am

Stroger "May Or May Not" Veto Sales Tax Repeal (UPDATED)

Appearing on WLS Radio's Don Wade & Roma this morning, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was asked: a) whether he plans to veto yesterday's sales tax repeal, and b) whether the commissioners have the 14 (out of 17) votes necessary to override his veto.  His answer ...

Appearing on WLS Radio's Don Wade & Roma this morning, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was asked: a) whether he plans to veto yesterday's sales tax repeal, and b) whether the commissioners have the 14 (out of 17) votes necessary to override his veto.  His answer to both questions: "I don't know."

This suggests that Stroger may not have the support of the two commissioners who missed yesterday's repeal vote: Earleen Collins and Deborah Sims, both of whom have traditionally backed him.  In addition to the three commissioners who voted against repeal yesterday, he would need one more to sustain a veto.

Listen to Stroger's comments:

Internal mp3

ROMA: Will you veto?

STROGER:  You know what, I don't know.  I may veto it.  I may not.  There may not be the votes for it.  I'l tell you what I'm going to do.  I'm going to talk to the other elected officials -- the ones whose offices this really affects -- and ask them, "What do you want me to do?" [...]

DON WADE: They need 14 to override your veto.  Are they going to get 14?

STROGER: I don't know. My first step is to talk to the other elected officials -- the treasurer, the sheriff -- and see what's on their mind.

DON WADE: So you're not sure you're going to veto?

STROGER: Why do an exercise in futility [or does he say "fertility"] if they don't really care about what happens?  If they don't think they need the money, then say nothing and we'll just let it happen.  But somebody's gotta do something. 

Additionally, CBS 2 has posted the full 20-minute video of the repeal roll call yesterday.  As far as county board proceedings go, it's pretty interesting stuff.

UPDATE: Via Greg Hinz, a typo for the ages:

The statement [from Stroger] says the repeal would cost the county $245 million this year and roughly twice that next year. The "quarter-of-a-billion disaster" is occurring only because its advocates "have once again chosen to put their political opportunism ahead of the public well-being," the statement says.

"Their dangerously responsible (sic) position threatens health care for hundreds of thousands of our patients, and will force the layoff of thousands of union workers at a time when the economy is facing its deepest crisis in 60 years," it states.

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