As Illinois state General Assembly enters the final, hectic days of the current session, what gets done will depend on the whim of longtime, powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), according to a Will County Republican statement.
"There are 12 legislative days before the Illinois Constitutional deadline to pass legislation by a majority vote, and Madigan has once again not released his 1,000-plus page budget, the 200-plus page capital bill, sports betting bill, a revised marijuana bill, Medicaid omnibus bill, and other surprises," the Will County GOP said in a statement sent to Prairie State Wire late last week. "Those bills will be dropped on the desks of the members of the General Assembly with minutes left to read each bill before a vote is taken."
How many minutes lawmakers will get will depend entirely on Madigan, according to the statement.
Illinois state House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) | twitter.com/speaker_madigan
"The important details of laws of Illinois that will be passed in this manner will only be known to Madigan and a few cronies," the Will County GOP said.
The current legislative regular session, the state's 101st, began Jan. 9 and is set to adjourn at the end of this month, just a few days after the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Thus far, more than 7,000 pieces of legislation have been introduced and almost 700 have in some way been "completed," putting the General Assembly on about the same pace as the last few years in terms of how much work gets done.
However, the power to call, ignore or kill a bill, often without being heard at all, in the House lies with Madigan. In January, the Democrat-controlled state House passed new rules to grant Madigan unparalleled power over that chamber's legislative process for the next two years.
"Every state establishes rules for the process of legislating, but Illinois' House Rules are notorious for handing Speaker of the House Mike Madigan more power than virtually any other presiding officer in any other state legislative chamber," the Illinois Policy Institute said in a report issued shortly after the new rules were implemented.