Veto Primer

Veto season is getting underway, Governor Rauner has thus far vetoed 21 House Bills and amended through his veto power another 10. Here's some helpful information on the process 

The Illinois Constitution provides the Governor with four possible veto alternatives, below is a brief description of each:

Total Veto
The Governor can veto an entire bill by returning it with his objections to the chamber in which it originated. The General Assembly can override this veto by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each chamber.


Item Veto
The Governor can veto any item of appropriations in a bill by returning it to the chamber in which it originated. The General Assembly can override this veto by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each chamber. 

Reduction Veto
The Governor can reduce any item of appropriations in a bill by returning it to the chamber in which it originated.  An item reduced in amount can be restored to its original amount by the General Assembly by a vote of a majority of the members elected to each chamber. The portions of a bill not vetoed become law, and if a reduced item is not restored, it will become law in the reduced amount. The Governor may use both his line item and reduction veto power on different parts of the same bill.

Amendatory Veto
The Governor can return a bill with his specific recommendations for change to the chamber of origin. The specific recommendations may be accepted by the General Assembly by a vote of a majority of the members elected to each chamber, if an early effective date is not desired, or with a three-fifths vote of the members elected to each chamber, if the bill is to become effective prior to the next June 1.

The bill is presented to the Governor in its amended form, and if he certifies that the amendment conforms to his specific recommendations, the bill becomes law. If the Governor does not certify the bill, the bill is returned to the General Assembly as a vetoed bill and procedures described under total veto prevail. The General Assembly has the second option of overriding the Governor’s amendatory veto by a three-fifths vote of the members elected to each chamber. If the General Assembly fails to either accept or override an amendatory veto, the bill dies.

Second Chamber

The second chamber’s action on a veto is limited by the action taken in the first chamber. If, for example the House votes to override an amendatory veto of a House bill, the Senate cannot vote to accept the amendatory veto but can only vote to override. Similarly, if the first chamber sustains a governor’s total veto, the second chamber does not have the opportunity to vote on the issue.