IL Appellate Court Strikes Down State’s $31 Billion Capital Construction Program

Springfield, IL–(ENEWSPF)–January 26, 2011.  The Illinois 1st District Appellate Court unanimously decided today to strike down the state’s $31 billion construction program. The Court opined that the expansion of Public Act 96-34 violated the Illinois Constitution’s prohibition on bills that deal with more than one subject.

Justice Patrick J. Quinn wrote in the decision that “Public Act 96-34 began as a five-page bill addressing the narrow subject of amending the Illinois estate and generation-skipping transfer tax.  As enacted on July 13, 2009, Public Act 96-34 grew to 280 pages covering a variety of subjects.”

Included in the amended bill were the legalization of video poker’ partial privatization of the lottery’ in increase in sales tax on candy, beverages, grooming products, wine, beer and hard liquor.  

The lawsuit was brought by Chicago Blackhawks owner J. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz and his family’s liquor distributorship, Wirtz Beverages Illinois LLC.  Julia Sznewajs, Wirtz spokesperson said “This lawsuit was always about how the legislature passed this bill and the discriminatory tax on wine and spirits.  This decision affirms that and we are gratified by it.”

Governor Quinn said he will appeal today’s decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.