Decision Under Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District, reported at 407 Review Ill. App. 3d 776; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Lawrence O'Gara, Judge, presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Burke
ILLINOIS OFFICIAL REPORTS
Caption in Supreme Court:
Held Video Gaming Act held not to violate the single-subject provision of (Note: This syllabus the Illinois Constitution of 1970. constitutes no part of the opinion of the court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.)
Judgment Appellate court judgment reversed; circuit court judgment affirmed.
Justices JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Karmeier, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 In this appeal, plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of four public acts, Public Acts 96--34, 96--35, 96--37, and 96--38 (eff. July 13, 2009). The public acts at issue, comprising three substantive bills and one appropriation bill, were enacted as part of a "capital projects" plan and were signed into law by Governor Patrick Quinn on July 13, 2009.
¶ 2 The appellate court held that Public Act 96--34 violates the single subject clause of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 8(d)), and that the three remaining public acts were invalid based on language making their enactment contingent on the enactment of Public Act 96--34. 407 Ill. App. 3d 776.
¶ 3 For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the appellate court.
¶ 5 On August 25, 2009, plaintiffs, W. Rockwell Wirtz, on behalf of all taxpayers situated in the State of Illinois, and Wirtz Beverage Illinois, LLC, filed a petition pursuant to section 11--303 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/11--303 (West 2008)) in the circuit court of Cook County for leave to file their verified complaint seeking to restrain and enjoin the disbursement of public funds by the defendant public officials. In their complaint, plaintiffs alleged that Public Acts 96--34, 96--35, 96--37, and 96--38 violated various provisions of the Illinois Constitution, including the single subject clause (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 8(d)); the presentment clause (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 9(a)); the effective-date-of-laws clause (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 10); veto procedures (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §§ 9(b), (d), (e)); the separation of powers doctrine (Ill. Const. 1970, art. II, § 1); the public-funds-for-public-purposes clause (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VIII, § 1(a)); the uniformity clause (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IX, § 2); and the limitation on the subject of appropriation bills (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 8(d)).
¶ 6 On October 20, 2009, the circuit court denied plaintiffs' petition. The court held that all of plaintiffs' claims failed as a matter of law and, therefore, there was no "reasonable ground," under section 11--303 of the Code of Civil Procedure, for allowing plaintiffs' complaint to go forward.*fn1 The circuit court denied plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration.
¶ 7 The appellate court reversed. 407 Ill. App. 3d 776. The court held that Public Act 96--34 violates the single subject clause of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 8(d)), because the provisions in the Act do not have a natural and logical connection to the single subject of revenue. Accordingly, the court concluded that Public Act 96--34 was void in its entirety. The court also held that Public Acts 96--35, 96--37, and 96--38 could not stand because they were expressly contingent on the enactment of Public Act 96--34. The court did not address the remaining constitutional issues raised by plaintiffs.
¶ 8 Defendants petitioned this court for leave to appeal as of right under Supreme Court Rule 317 (Ill. S. Ct. R. 317 (eff. July 1, 2006)) or, alternatively, as a matter of discretion under Rule 315 (Ill. S. Ct. R. 315(a) (eff. Feb. 26, 2010)). This court granted defendants' petition for leave to appeal. We also granted leave to the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting to submit an amicus curiae brief in support of defendants.
¶ 9 For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the appellate court. In the interest of judicial economy, rather than remand the cause to the appellate court, we also address and reject the remaining claims raised in plaintiffs' complaint. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.
¶ 11 I. Single Subject Clause
¶ 12 The single subject clause of the Illinois Constitution provides, in relevant part: "Bills, except bills for appropriations and for the codification, revision or rearrangement of laws, shall be confined to one subject." Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 8(d).
¶ 13 The single subject rule regulates the process by which legislation is enacted, by prohibiting a legislative enactment from "clearly embracing more than one subject on its face." Arangold Corp. v. Zehnder, 187 Ill. 2d 341, 351 (1999); People v. Olender, 222 Ill. 2d 123, 131 (2005). One purpose of the single subject requirement is to preclude the passage of legislation which, standing alone, would not receive the necessary votes for enactment.
Olender, 222 Ill. 2d at 132; People v. Cervantes, 189 Ill. 2d 80, 83 (1999). This disfavored practice is known as "logrolling," or "bundling unpopular legislation with more palatable bills, so that the well-received bills would carry the unpopular ones to passage." People v. Wooters, 188 Ill. 2d 500, 518 (1999). Thus, the single subject rule "ensures that the legislature addresses the difficult decisions it faces directly and subject to public scrutiny, rather than passing unpopular measures on the backs of popular ones." Johnson v. Edgar, 176 Ill. 2d 499, 515 (1997). Another reason for the single subject rule is to promote an orderly legislative process. Wooters, 188 Ill. 2d at 518. " 'By limiting each bill to a single subject, the issues presented by each bill can be better grasped and more intelligently discussed.' " Johnson, 176 Ill. 2d at 514-15 (quoting Millard H. Ruud, No Law Shall Embrace More Than One Subject, 42 Minn. L. Rev. 389, 391 (1958)).
¶ 14 In determining whether a particular enactment violates the single subject rule, we construe the word "subject" liberally in favor of upholding the legislation. Olender, 222 Ill. 2d at 132; Arangold, 187 Ill. 2d at 352. The subject may be as broad as the legislature chooses. People v. Boclair, 202 Ill. 2d 89, 109 (2002); Johnson, 176 Ill. 2d at 515. However, "while the legislature is free to choose subjects comprehensive in scope, the single subject requirement may not be circumvented by selecting a topic so broad that the rule is evaded as 'a meaningful constitutional check on the legislature's actions.' " Boclair, 202 Ill. 2d at 109 (quoting Johnson, 176 Ill. 2d at 515-18).
¶ 15 Neither the length of an act nor the number of provisions in an act is determinative of its compliance with the single subject rule. Arangold, 187 Ill. 2d at 352; Cutinello v. Whitley, 161 Ill. 2d 409, 423 (1994). What is dispositive is whether the provisions in the act have a "natural and logical connection" to the single subject. Boclair, 202 Ill. 2d at 109; Arangold, 187 Ill. 2d at 352. Thus, a piece of legislation violates the single subject rule when it contains unrelated provisions that by no fair interpretation have any legitimate relation to the single subject. Arangold, 187 Ill. 2d at 352.
¶ 16 A. Public Act 96--34
¶ 17 In count I of their complaint, plaintiffs allege that Public Act 96--34 violates the single subject clause. Legislative enactments are presumed to be constitutional (Wooters, 188 Ill. 2d at 505; People v. Reedy, 186 Ill. 2d 1, 9 (1999)), and a party challenging the constitutionality of a statute bears the burden of clearly establishing a constitutional violation (People v. Dabbs, 239 Ill. 2d 277, 291 (2010)). The appellate court's finding that a statute is unconstitutional is reviewed de novo. People v. Burdunice, 211 Ill. 2d 264, 267 (2004); People v. Sypien, 198 Ill. 2d 334, 338 (2001).
¶ 18 Public Act 96--34, entitled, "An Act concerning revenue," contains the following provisions.
¶ 19 Article 5 creates the Video Gaming Act. This legislation allows certain licensed establishments, including establishments where alcoholic liquor is served for consumption, fraternal establishments, veterans establishments, and truck stops, to conduct video gaming. Article 5 sets forth rules for obtaining licenses and requirements for video game terminals. It provides that the Illinois Gaming Board is responsible for testing and approving every licensed video game terminal. The article imposes a tax of 30% on all net income from video gaming terminals. Of the taxes collected, five-sixths shall be deposited into the Capital Projects Fund and one-sixth shall be deposited into the Local Governmental Video Gaming Distributive Fund.
¶ 20 Article 800 creates the Capital Spending Accountability Law. This law requires the Governor's Office of Management and Budget to provide quarterly reports on the status of all capital projects in the state to the Comptroller, the Treasurer, the President and Minority Leader of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
¶ 21 Article 900, section 900, amends the Illinois Lottery Law (20 ILCS 1605/1 et seq. (West 2008)) to provide that the Department of Revenue will conduct the lottery with the assistance of a private manager under a management agreement overseen by the Department. Section 900 also creates a pilot program allowing individuals to purchase lottery tickets on the internet. The pilot program must be conducted pursuant to a contract with a private vendor. Finally, section 900 requires that lottery proceeds be transferred monthly to the Common School Fund in an amount equal to the corresponding month in 2009, adjusted for inflation, and that any remaining proceeds be deposited yearly into the Capital Projects Fund.
¶ 22 Section 905 amends the State Finance Act (30 ILCS 105/1.1 et seq. (West 2008)) to create the Capital Projects Fund as a special fund in the State Treasury. It provides that, subject to appropriation, the Capital Projects Fund may be used only for capital projects and the payment of debt service on bonds issued for capital projects. Section 905 also requires certain transfers of money from the Capital Projects Fund to the General Revenue Fund, and it provides that, beginning in fiscal year 2010, no road fund moneys shall be appropriated to the Department of State Police or to the Secretary of State.
¶ 23 Sections 910, 915, 920, and 925 amend the Use Tax Act (35 ILCS 105/1 et seq. (West 2008)), the Service Use Tax Act (35 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (West 2008)), the Service Occupation Tax Act (35 ILCS 115/1 et seq. (West 2008)), and the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act (35 ILCS 120/1 et seq. (West 2008)), respectively. These sections raise the tax rate on the sale of candy, soft drinks, and grooming and hygiene products from 1% to 6.25%. Under these amendments, the Department of Revenue must make monthly deposits into the Capital Projects Fund, in amounts estimated to be 80% of the net revenue for the preceding month realized from the sales of the above products.
¶ 24 Section 930 amends the Motor Fuel Tax Law (35 ILCS 505/1 et seq. (West 2008)) to increase the amount of money to be transferred from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund to the Grade Crossing Protection Fund.
¶ 25 Section 935 amends the University of Illinois Act (110 ILCS 305/0.01 et seq. (West 2008)), adding a new section requiring the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to conduct a study on the effect on Illinois families of purchasing lottery tickets. The section provides that the university shall report its findings to the General Assembly on or before January 1, 2011 (110 ILCS 305/12.5 (West 2010)).
¶ 26 Section 940 amends the Riverboat Gambling Act (230 ILCS 10/1 et seq. (West 2008)), allocating responsibility for administration and enforcement of the Video Gaming Act to the Illinois Gaming Board.
¶ 27 Section 945 amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934 (235 ILCS 5/1--1 et seq. (West 2008)), increasing the taxes on manufacturers and importing distributors of beer, wine and spirits. All of the proceeds of the additional taxes shall be deposited into the Capital Projects Fund.
¶ 28 Section 950 amends the Environmental Protection Act (415 ILCS 5/1 et seq. (West 2008)) to provide that, with one exception, "the Underground Storage Tank Fund is not subject to administrative charges authorized under Section 8h of the State Finance Act [30 ILCS 105/8h (West 2008)] that would in any way transfer any funds from the Underground Storage Tank Fund into any other fund of the State."
¶ 29 Section 955 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/1--100 et seq. (West 2008)), increasing various motor vehicle fees and requiring that the proceeds of the increased fees be deposited into the Capital Projects Fund. Section 955 also increases certain weight limits for vehicles and loads and, at the same time, increases fines for overweight vehicles. The proceeds of the additional fines are to be deposited into the Capital Projects Fund.
¶ 30 Section 960 amends the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/28--1 et seq. (West 2008)) to provide that the criminal offenses of gambling and syndicated gambling do not include the manufacture, distribution, or possession of video gaming terminals by licensed individuals; lotteries conducted by a third party pursuant to a management agreement with the state; or the purchase of lottery ...