Illinois House allows Rauner’s veto of student trustee bill


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By Bill Lukitsch, @Bill_LukitschDE

The Illinois House of Representatives voted to allow Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of House Bill 4113 Wednesday, among other pieces of legislation.

The motion to override the amendatory veto was introduced by Illinois State Rep. Jerry F Costello II (D-Smithton) and lost on the House floor 54-49. A minimum of 71 votes were needed to put the bill before the Illinois Senate.

“I can’t begin to explain how disappointed I am that the bill did not pass,” said former SIUC student trustee Adrian Miller.


Miller worked with Illinois state legislators and lobbied in Springfield for more than two years to grant student trustees from SIUC and SIU-Edwardsville voting privileges on the SIU Board of Trustees by amending the Southern Illinois University Management Act. He said he counts the inaction of state legislators as a failure, which directly affects the university’s student body.

“I think the votes today are just a sign of politics at its finest,” Miller said.

Miller said the first draft of the bill received bipartisan support and passed favorably in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate before the governor vetoed the legislation on Aug. 25.

“I don’t think we would be having these issues if the ‘grown-ups’ in Springfield and the governor’s office would have appointed a vote two years ago,” Miller said.

In an email response, Costello said enabling both student trustees to vote would better address important issues at each campus. 

“Unfortunately,” he wrote, “many of my colleagues chose to ignore these simple facts in voting to sustain the governor’s veto.”

At this point, Miller said he hopes the governor grants one of the student trustees with a vote, but is doubtful it will happen this year.

“We’re going into three years now that students have not had a voice on the Board of Trustees,” he said. “The idea that we don’t have a voice on the board is … highly disrespectful to students and the families across Illinois that have students that attend SIU.”

Bill Lukitsch can be contacted at [email protected]com or on Twitter @Bill_LukitschDE.