This week Senate Republican legislators brought evidence to light that Gov. Quinn has been abusing his executive privilege to circumvent the Illinois Constitution, utilizing a loophole to get his appointments confirmed without Senate scrutiny. Senator Brady explained that when the Governor nominates an individual for a position, the Illinois Constitution sets a clock of 60 session days for action by the Senate or the person is automatically confirmed.
Recently, facing an April 4 deadline for two of his agency directors, Quinn withdrew their names from nomination on March 27. He then resubmitted their names on March 28, thereby restarting the 60-day period again, which in effect gives them another year before they have to face Senate scrutiny. Senate Republican say setting aside any concerns they may have about the appointees, they believe the Governor is abusing the integrity of the executive appointment process.
The two directors currently up for reappointment are Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and Manuel Flores, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
An amendment to Senate Bill 2014 has been filed that will close the loophole and prevent the 60-day clock from restarting by simply withdrawing an appointee and reappointing them.
Senate Republicans are also sponsoring a resolution calling for the modification of Senate Rules so the 60-day clock will not be allowed to be reset. The Caucus will also be asking the Attorney General to give an opinion on the meaning of the 60-day clock, and to clarify the legal effect of any actions taken by these appointees during the time period the original appointment messages were pending.