CHICAGO - August 17th, Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a bill that would have allowed the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to not hire any workers who smoke or use other types of tobacco.
SB 2945 passed the Illinois Senate 50 to 1 in March and the Illinois House 65 to 48 in May. The legislation was introduced to affect almost specifically the hiring practices at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America by Republicans State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Barrington) and State Rep. Mike Connelly (R-Naperville).
UPDATE: Rep. Connelly filled Illinois Review in on his reasons for sponsoring the legislation.
"Illinois law already allows not-for-profits who, as part of their mission, fight cancer the discretion to consider tobacco usage in personnel decisions. Today, the American Cancer Society and Heart Association have that ability," he responded. "This Bill simply and NARROWLY extended that to one oncology care-only hospital that happens to be for-profit."
"Sadly, [smoker discrimination] objections are verbatim from the AFL-CIO talking points in opposition. The Illinois Chamber were proponents and championed the Bill. Many states (mostly run by Republicans) have similar laws," Connelly wrote. "The Bill sailed out of the Judiciary I Committee 11-0. Many of those 11 switched to NO votes because they said they 'have to stick with the AFL-CIO.'"
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, based in Schaumburg with a facility in Zion, has been generous to the Lake County Republican Federation over the years, as well as GOP candidate for State House David McSweeney and recently, State Senator Dan Duffy. No listing is shown for Rep. Connelly.