Republicans in the Senate – the body charged with confirming Gov. Pat Quinn’s appointees – want him to stop playing games. They are upset that he effectively re-set a sixty-day confirmation clock by withdrawing, then immediately re-appointing, two agency chiefs.
“For me,” said State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), “I get a little hyper about constitutional issues. My background was 32 years in law enforcement.”
Bivins, a former Lee County sheriff, is the top Republican – the “minority spokesman” – on the Senate Executive Appointments Committee. He and other Senate Republicans want to change the law such that the legal maneuvering Quinn’s using would not be available to him or to future governors.
An e-mail from a Quinn spokesperson said the president of the Senate asked for the delay.
The senators holding a Capitol news conference pointed out Quinn has abused this discretion before, both in last-minute withdrawal of appointments – such as that of an arguably underqualified State Police director – and in creating programs such as the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, derided by an auditor’s report and by Republicans as an election-year waste.
The appointments in question here are for the designees for directors of Healthcare and Family Services – Julie Hamos – and Financial and Professional Regulation – Manuel Flores.