CHICAGO (CBS) – The office of Gov. Pat Quinn has filed a motion to block a ruling by the Illinois Appellate Court that would undo the state’s $31 billion capital construction program.
The governor’s office filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court for a stay in enforcing the ruling. State officials hope the Supreme Court will ultimately review and overturn the lower court ruling.
The $31 billion capital construction plan was approved in 2009. In addition to legalizing video poker, it also allowed for privatization of the Illinois Lottery and raised taxes on liquor, soft drinks, candy and various hygiene products.
An appeals court panel ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the Capital Projects violated the state constitution’s “single subject rule.” The legislation violated the rule that a bill appropriating funds must be confined to one subject, and that public funds must only be used for public purposes, the appellate court said.
The taxes and fees outlined in the legislation were to fund a variety of construction projects, from everything from bicycle trails and university buildings and a major overhaul of Illinois highways.
In October 2009, the Wirtz family, which is in the liquor distribution business and also owns the Chicago Blackhawks, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the construction plan.