Special Session: Day two

Illinois Capitol News

Update: 4:15 pm, 6/22/17, Thursday 

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — It’s day two of Special Session at the Capitol and more lawmakers are coming forward saying the House needs to call budget bills.

Instead of calling bills, it’s hosting a committee of the whole, talking about worker’s comp, which has been very tough to reform this session.

During day two, GOP members were pushing for Speaker Michael Madigan (D) to call budget bills. Now, Senate Democrats say the same thing. It seems like roles just reversed.

Both days of Special Session began the same way; press conferences urging the other side to compromise. But, one thing in common between the two? Everyone wants Madigan to be present on the floor and call budget proposals.

Instead, lawmakers held a committee in the House of Representatives where workers, business and executive directors testified about reforming worker’s comp.

Most lawmakers are unhappy the committees are still happening because it’s taking away time members could be using to discuss the budget.

Senate Democrats say they want the House to amend its budget proposals; make changes then send it back to the Senate to finalize before sending it to the governor.

Democrats agree the hardest part about a budget is discussing revenue, but that’s why they say make changes now before lawmakers run out of time. 

Original: 4:30 pm, 6/21/17, Wednesday

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Lawmakers are back in the Capitol City for the next ten days unless they pass a budget before the end of the month. It’s day one of the special session.

It seems, after Wednesday, lawmakers will be here for awhile. Two daily rundowns handed out to lawmakers and the public notify them of the day’s agenda. Nothing about revenue or a budget is on either rundown.

“The only caucus that is not created a plan of their own or tries to is House Democrats.”

Day one of lawmakers’ trip back to Springfield kicked off with GOP leaders pleading for compromise. They also want to see House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) participate as lawmakers have fewer than ten days to find a solution.

“He wants to fix the problems in the state and it’s Bruce Rauner’s fault. Where is the speaker? Where is his plan? How to see balance the budget? How does he get Illinois’ economy going?”

But, the speaker has not been seen on the House floor for a long time. Democrats say, while his input is important, they don’t believe the GOP spending plan will solve all the state’s problems. The GOP-backed budget does not include any revenue bills.

“I just find it problematic. I admire the Senate Democrats. They sent over suggestions. I think there’s some things in there people can work with, but Republicans are not presenting a revenue bill.”

“I will gladly have that discussion about revenue, but we’re not going to deal with revenue first.”

Just one day after Governor Rauner delivered a unity speech, Representative Lou Lang (D) says attack ads on other party members need to go in order for things to move forward.

“We agree it’s time to lay down our arms and our weaponry so I challenge Leader Durkin today to march down Room 200 to the governor and ask him to lay down his arms and weaponry.”

What lawmakers did after a short session Wednesday was hold some committees and caucused for a few hours. Most remain hopeful a budget will pass in the next few days.

The rest of the week, lawmakers will host Committees of the Whole where all House members will meet and listen to testimony on workers’ comp and property taxes.

Republicans blame Speaker Madigan for hosting these to kill time which could be spent on budget negotiations.

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