From left, State Representative Daniel Biss, Jonathan Perman and Steve Hagerty of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, State Representative Robyn Gabel, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Paul LaSchiazza of AT&T and State Senator Jeff Schoenberg at the legislative breakfast sponsored by the Chamber. Photo by Evanston Photographic Studios

Presiding over his last legislative breakfast as executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan Perman sought the views of State Senator Jeff Schoenberg, State Representatives Daniel Biss and Robyn Gabel and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin on how some state- and county-wide issues affect Evanston. Referring to the recent finding by a state appellate court that the State’s chock-a-block capital improvement bill was unconstitutional, Sen. Schoenberg said he thought there would be “parallel tracks” in seeking a remedy: “Governor [Pat] Quinn has appealed to the Supreme Court. … I think we should also fast-track [legislative] reconstruction of the bill.”

Rep. Gabel said she supported an appeal to the Supreme Court, because she thought it would be “very difficult” to reconstruct the bill.

On the tax increase – which was approved before Rep. Biss was sworn in – Rep. Biss said, “It alleviates the immediate pressure but does not finish the job. We still need quite substantial cuts.” (See page 8 for Sen. Schoenberg’s comments on his votes and the Jan. 19 issue of the RoundTable for Rep. Gabel’s.)

The Cook County budget “will include the repeal of the last portion of the Cook County sales tax, Commissioner Suffredin told the audience of some 100 business and civic leaders. The Skokie Court House is on the chopping block, he said, which would have a significant impact on Evanstonians, as they would instead have to use the court house in Rolling Meadows. He urged residents of Evanston to attend a public hearing on the budget on Feb. 10 at the court house.