ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Since taking office, Governor Bruce Rauner hasn’t been shy about using his veto power. This weekend was no different.
In just three days, he unleashed a series of controversial vetoes on matters of immigration, spending and healthcare. Some say it’s a bold move with Election Day just around the corner.
Rauner vetoed many bills, but there are a few high-profile ones causing an uproar, mostly among Democrats.
Friday, he struck down a plan which would have raised the age to buy tobacco to 21.
Groups like the American Lung Association championed the fight, but many lawmakers pushed back saying the bill violated the rights of legal adults and gave government too much power.
Rauner also stopped a plan which would have increased payouts to people who sue the state. Currently, the most anyone can win in a civil suit is $10,000. It would have jumped to $2 million.
Democrats pitched the idea to give more money to families of victims of the Quincy Veterans Home scandal.
Rauner also struck three immigration bills designed to give undocumented immigrants added protections.
Rauner’s immigration vetoes are a sharp contrast to last year when he signed the Trust Act. It was a controversial immigration bill which landed him in the hot seat among conservatives.
According to an NBC/Marist Poll, Rauner trails Pritzker 16 points.
In each veto message, Rauner validated his decisions. He says the $2 million cap on payouts leaves the state vulnerable.
It’s unclear if lawmakers will fight the governor on his decisions.
It wasn’t all bad news coming from the governor’s desk. Rauner signed a landmark bill which will legalize the growing and selling of hemp. It’s a sister-crop to marijuana, but doesn’t contain THC. Hemp can be used for hundreds of products and is projected to be a multi-billion dollar industry.