Governor Quinn vetoed bobcat legislation in final hours
Illinois will not join the other 42 states with a bobcat hunting season, as Governor Quinn vetoed legislation on his last day in office that would have created a bobcat hunting season in Illinois.
Sponsored by State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Carlinville), House Bill 4226 aimed to address the overpopulation of bobcats in the state of Illinois by allowing the Director of the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to set the bobcat season between Nov. 1 and Feb. 15. The bill also sets a limit of one bobcat per hunter per year.
Sen. McCann argued, “This legislation was a win for Illinois. It helps preserve our state’s natural resources, empowers our agricultural community, and will likely spur economic development.”
Despite IDNR’s report that the state’s bobcat population is now growing 4-9% per year, Governor Quinn cited that “Illinois should not reverse its 40-year-old prohibition on bobcat hunting” because it would threaten the ecosystem that relies on a thriving bobcat population.
Under the Rauner Administration, it is possible similar legislation could be proposed during the 2015 spring session.
Failure to Act on Medical Marijuana Licenses
A Jan. 13 press conference highlighted what medical marijuana proponents say could be a roadblock in the implementation of the state’s medical cannabis pilot program. Proponents say Quinn’s failure to act may have doomed the fledgling program, which was advanced as a four-year pilot program.
In fall of 2014, the state received hundreds of applications from those seeking licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana. While it was widely speculated that former Governor Quinn would issue the licenses for dispensaries and cultivation centers prior to January 1, Quinn left office without acting on the licenses.
Advocates for the medical marijuana program said they intend to meet with Governor Rauner and his administration to discuss the future of the program, which a Rauner spokesman said is “under review.” However, Rauner previously stated he most likely would have vetoed the medical marijuana bill.
To date it has been reported that the state has accepted nearly $5 million in fees for applications from those hoping to obtain a license to grow or sell medical marijuana through the program.