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Benjamin v. Devon Bank





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Raymond K. Berg, Judge, presiding.


The Director of the Department of Labor and the Director of the Department of General Services of the State of Illinois appealed from the order of the circuit court of Cook County preliminarily enjoining them and the Comptroller from expending any funds, under appropriation bill Public Act 79-1267, for the leasing and operation of an unemployment insurance office at 6220 North California Avenue in Chicago. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 302(b) we allowed defendants' motion for direct appeal.

On April 13, 1976, defendant Director of the Department of General Services, on behalf of the State, entered into a lease with defendant Devon Bank as trustee, under its Trust No. 2734, of a one-story building and 50-car parking lot for the use of the Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Security, as an unemployment insurance office. The lease was to become effective August 1, 1976. Subsequent to the execution of the lease, the General Assembly enacted Public Act 79-1267, a general appropriation bill for the Department of Labor, section 5.1 of which provided:

"No funds appropriated in Section 3 of this Act may be expended for the opening and staffing of an Unemployment Insurance, Employment Service or Work Incentive office if the office space or facility rented is located within 500 feet of a school in any city with a population over 1,000,000." (1976 Ill. Laws 217, 221.)

Section 3, to which section 5.1 referred, appropriated Federal funds derived from title III of the Social Security Act for administration of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

On August 18, 1976, plaintiffs, Shireen Benjamin, Doris Bloom, Raymond Colby, Ruth Hapner, Daniel Witt, "in their own behalf and on behalf of all other taxpayers similarly situated," and North Town Community Council, in behalf of itself, its members and "other organizations similarly situated," filed a two-count complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. In count I plaintiffs alleged that section 5.1 prohibited the expenditure of funds for the leasing of the premises for the reason that they were located within 500 feet of a school within the city of Chicago, a city with a population in excess of 1,000,000, and that the proposed expenditure of funds should be enjoined. Count II was dismissed on defendants' motion, and no cross-appeal was taken from that order. The circuit court held Public Act 79-1267, and "particularly" section 5.1, valid and effective and issued the injunction.

Defendants contend that section 5.1 of the Act did not deal with the subject of appropriations and was therefore violative of article IV, section 8(d), of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, which in pertinent part provides, "Appropriation bills shall be limited to the subject of appropriations." They contend, too, that this action was improperly brought for the reason that section 3 of Public Act 79-1267 did not appropriate public funds; that plaintiffs have failed to meet the requirements for issuance of a preliminary injunction; and that section 5.1 was special legislation prohibited by article IV, section 13, of the 1970 Illinois Constitution.

In an earlier opinion in this cause it was held that section 5.1 violated section 8(d) of article IV for the reason that it was a restriction on the location of facilities to be used by the Department of Labor and was not limited to the subject of appropriations. Following the allowance of plaintiffs' petition for rehearing, a majority of the party leadership of both houses of the General Assembly, the leadership on the appropriations committees, and other concerned members of both houses representing both major political parties, moved for leave to file an amicus curiae brief directed to the question of the proper construction of article IV, section 8(d), concerning appropriation bills. We allowed the motion and have so limited the issue on this rehearing.

Amici contend first that the "certification" or "enrolled bill" provision of article IV, section 8(d), precludes judicial inquiry concerning compliance with the requirements enumerated in section 8(d). The so-called "certification" or "enrolled bill" rule, contained in the last sentence of article IV, section 8(d), provides: "The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall sign each bill that passes both houses to certify that the procedural requirements for passage have been met."

The Committee on the Legislature of the constitutional convention explained the purpose of this provision as follows:

"3. Journal Entry and Enrolled Bill Rules — Presently Illinois has the `journal entry' rule as distinguished from an `enrolled bill' rule. It is proposed that Illinois adopt the `enrolled bill' rule.

The `journal entry' rule means that a piece of legislation can be challenged in the courts> by pointing to a defect in its passage as reflected in the journal. Under this rule, a statute duely [sic] passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor may be attacked in the courts>, not necessarily on its merits, but on some procedural error or technicality found in the legislative process. The `journal entry' rule, as a result, leads to complex litigation over procedures and technicalities.

The `enrolled bill' rule would provide that when the presiding officers of the two houses sign a bill, their signatures become conclusive proof that all constitutional procedures have been properly followed. The `enrolled bill' rule would not permit a challenge to a bill on procedural or technical grounds regarding the manner of passage if the bill showed on its face that it was properly passed. Signatures by the presiding officers would, of course, constitute proof that proper procedures were followed.

For a thorough discussion of the constitutional and legal problems associated with the existing `journal entry' rule, see: Braden and Cohn, The Illinois ...

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