image
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
End the lame ducks?

Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014

* From a press release…

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and members of the House Republican caucus [yesterday] unveiled legislation asking voters to put an end to lame duck sessions of the Illinois General Assembly by moving up the date of inauguration. The proposal also requires the outgoing General Assembly to conclude their work by Election Day.

“You never know what shenanigans are going to be played in a lame duck session. In 2011 under the veil of night, Democrats in the lame duck legislature voted to impose the largest income tax increase on families and employers in the history of our state. Outgoing lawmakers, who are no longer accountable to the voters, should not be approving such controversial legislation,” said Durkin.

“History shows that these post-election lame duck sessions really only exist as venues to pass volatile, controversial legislation with the largest number of outgoing legislators – legislators who have technically already been replaced by the voters from their districts. These sessions are an insult to Illinois voters and need to be abolished,” said State Representative Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville).

Durkin’s proposal would put on the November general election ballot a constitutional amendment asking voters to move the date of inauguration to the second Wednesday in December, approximately one month following the election. Currently, inauguration is held on the second Wednesday in January.

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 43 would also prohibit the outgoing General Assembly from convening or acting on legislation unless a special session is convened with the joint approval of the Governor, and each of the four legislative leaders (the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the House, and the Minority Leader of the Senate). The purpose of the session must be specified in the proclamation and action limited to the topic identified.

“This would allow the legislature to convene if there was a true emergency such as an act of terrorism or natural disaster,” said Durkin.

* Ormsby’s take

Essentially, the plan arms the minority party leaders with short-term veto power over any legislative action by the majority leaders and governor.

* Maura Zurick at the Tribune calls the proposal a “futile stab at ending Illinois’ ritual of putting off controversial issues until after an election”

Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said the speaker would take the matter “under review, but I don’t know why you would want to tie the legislature’s hands.”

Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, also said Durkin’s intention is to stop legislation when it sometimes can be easier to move along. “We shouldn’t change the Constitution simply because some members are more willing to vote for legislation when they are a lame duck than when they are not a lame duck,” Lang said.

Lots of people hate the lame duck sessions because so many things can happen that can’t happen before an election. But the other side of the coin is that some things just have to get done, so lame duck sessions are invaluable.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


30 Comments
  1. - Elo Kiddies - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Most of the members in a lame duck session will face re-election, just not for a long while. And there are lame ducks all through regular session — legislators who have announced their retirement, or who lost a primary.

    Bruce Rauner’s term limits proposal would increase the number of lame duck legislators, as officials who won their last term would be unable to face voters again and be lame from the time they were sworn.

    So… meh. Looks like a press release in search of a problem.


  2. - Hyperbolic Chamber - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Last I checked, legislators were elected to 2-year terms.


  3. - MrJM - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    “You know, there’s still one way we haven’t bungled things in Springfield: gridlock. Let’s give that a try!”

    – MrJM


  4. - Norseman - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    The proposal is DOA.


  5. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    ““History shows that these post-election lame duck sessions really only exist as venues to pass volatile, controversial legislation with the largest number of outgoing legislators”

    Best argument I have heard for term limits.


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    ===Best argument I have heard for term limits. ===

    How?

    You’ll have huge numbers of legislators at the limits of their allowed terms looking for jobs.


  7. - countyline - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Sounds like an awesome plan to me - if you can’t vote for something because you have to answer to the voters, you shouldn’t be voting for it when you don’t. You are there to represent voters and taxpayers.


  8. - Levois - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    So he wants to inaugurate the members of the General Assembly one month sooner? Does the inauguration include any of the state’s constitutional officers as well? I sympathize with what he wants to do, but this is a bit radical.


  9. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    So you are an elected representative but only until the election happens, then for the remainder of your term you just need to sit on your hands. If they want this to happen then they should make a person’s term in office end on election day.

    How about we make Governor’s stop governing when the election happens. Isn’t that the same concept? Make them close up shop for the remaining two months they have in office.

    This is a silly idea.


  10. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    One thing that makes this plan palatable is the fact that in many counties, officeholders assume their positions in December, shortly after the election results are certified. If that is the case, it should not be that difficult to swear in the members of the G.A. weeks earlier.


  11. - tominchicago - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I think that it is a sign that the ILGOP leadership in the General Assembly have resigned themselves to the fact that the Republicans will be in the minority for a long time.


  12. - Lord Stanley's Cup - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Are lame ducks that much of a problem? Seems to me 2011 was an outlier because of the sheer number of lame ducks plus (notwithstanding the tax increase which as Rich says had to get done) the issues were at the precipice of passage and just needed the nudge, ie death penalty and civil unions. What’s more instructive is 2013 which was a dud because the issues were tougher, ie pensions and gaming.


  13. - GA Watcher - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    When was the last time a lame duck session resulted in significant legislation? I can’t think of any. Many start out with the promise of important things happening, but they usually end with a fizzle, not a pop.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    I go back and forth.

    Lame duck sessions promote compromise, and sometimes at the cost of other things.

    We need not look to far to see Carren M. Gordon, but hear me out…

    Representative Gordon voted, and there “seemed” to be a return on her vote, but as I recall the blowback resulted in the first attempt to be embarrassing for her and the Governor.

    If there can be accountablility in that manner, I am all about Lame Duck voting, session, horse trading, whatever.

    If the practice continues to be, at times but not too often, the rewarding, straight-up, and the vote against everything the Lame Duck previously was opposed to, and the only reason IS the carrot, and no accountablility …

    I may have to rally behind My Leader in the Illinois House.

    I want flexibility … with accountablilty.

    If a Lame duck session can keep to that, can’t be more about it.

    Otherwise, tough to see this than open “horse trading” and “resume building” based on the flipping of votes to get the next gig, and nothing … nothing else.


  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Losers don’t demand rule changes. It is a waste of time. Like Madigan is going to cut back on anything he uses to win. Pretty pitiful.

    Until the Duckling and Mushroons either stand up to the status quo in the State House, or are replaced by Republicans in sufficient numbers to replace Madigan - this is the way he likes it and that’s the way he’s gonna keep it.


  16. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    @GA Watcher:

    Um, the most recent increase in the state income tax was passed during a lame duck session. The Democrats even had to appoint a lawmaker to a vacant seat to come up with another vote to pass the tax increase.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    C-c and gay marriage didn’t get done in lame-duck sessions. Those were about as hot as they come.


  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    When Daniels was speaker, didn’t the republicans use the lame duck session to pass the law stripping the right of voters to elect U of I trustees and handing it over to republican governor Edgar to fill with appointments? Now all of a sudden it’s a bad thing. tominchicago hit the nail on the head.


  19. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    “Lots of people hate the lame duck sessions because so many things can happen that can’t happen before an election. But the other side of the coin is that some things just have to get done, so lame duck sessions are invaluable.”

    Only in Illinois. Other States rely on courageous and honest legislators.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    ===Only in Illinois.===

    I don’t think we need to look too far, but I am sure other state’s Lame Ducks pass and do business that they can’t, sometimes, during normal session.

    Only in Illinois? You know that other states and the US Congress has never used the Lame Duck sessions to get things done?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Seems as though the US Congress is going to use the Lame Duck session to pass the Farm Bill.

    As - downstate hack -, wonder if that might effect central and southern Illinois…

    “Only in ‘everywhere you don’t want to look’…”


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    “Seems as though the US Congress WAS going to use the Lame Duck session to pass the Farm Bill.”

    Apologies


  23. - A guy... - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    You can get rid of the “lame duck” session without moving up the inaugural if that’s the problem. In days of yore, 3 days of Veto Session was the end. You can simply not have a session unless the Governor asks for one for an emergency.


  24. - Norseman - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    To the merits of the proposal: it’s a little goofy to separate the inauguration dates of the elected state officials - with the General Assembly and the Governor (who cares about the LG) taking office in December, while the rest of the executive branch take office in January. So you can have the new Senate being seated by a new Governor, while the House gets convened by a lame duck Secretary of State.

    While seating the new General Assembly doesn’t create major problems, I see major problems with moving up the Governor’s inauguration. There needs to be transition process long enough to get a new administration put in place. Blago couldn’t get his act together by January. I see major problems even with a competent Governor-elect getting his administration put together in a matter of a few weeks.

    Regarding not allowing ducks to vote between election and inauguration, I don’t have a policy problem with the concept. I do object to the minority veto of a special session. There needs to be some mechanism to deal with emergency issues and this process cannot be delayed by the minority for partisan gain. Yes that exception can be abused, but it’s critical to the effective running of government that an exception be available.

    Practically, this will make things a lot harder for the solons to address controversial issues. That’s always bad for people trying to pass those controversial bills and good for the people opposed. The benefit to the public is obviously in the eye of the beholder.

    The bottom line is as I’ve said above, this is DOA. Move along.


  25. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Short sighted and stupid idea. What would happen if the winner of the gubernatorial race isn’t certified? What would happen if other offices aren’t certified in the line of succession?

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HJRCA&DocNum=43&GAID=12&SessionID=85&LegID=79144

    http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con5.htm


  26. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    So would that apply to incumbent legislators that lose their primary as well?


  27. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Lame duck sessions can handle extremely difficult problems in ways that regular sessions do not.

    To blame the tax increase on the lame duck session is foolish or disingenuous, because there were enough legislators who realized that it had to be done at that time, that “Yes” votes were left unused on the table. Obviously no stone was left unturned in preparation, but there was a margin at the end. Durkin should know that he had some in his own caucus who begged those who were leaving, to “cover” them, since they knew it was the right thing to do but didn’t want to unnecessarily complicate their own campaigns.

    Spometimes the needs of the state transcend other concerns. Representatives in American democracy are hired to use their best judgment, not just to respond to parochial or ideological concerns of their supporters.


  28. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    GOP lameducks abolished the straight party vote in ‘97.


  29. - cicero - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    I wonder if Durkin thinks it was an abuse of power when the lame duck Republicans abolished the straight party vote in 1997? Or is it only when Democrats pass controversial measures that it’s a problem?


  30. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Boo hoo…let’s see, if there was a majority of GOP in the legislature, something tells me Durkin and company would not resurrect this “poor us” or “we’re saving you form bad legislation” tactic…ya think? Next…!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Schilling endorses LaHood
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Duckworth to announce on Monday
* Rauner mulls selling Thompson Center
* Question of the day
* It's just a bill...
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Brown: Exploring an exploratory committee is "under review"
* Rauner administration denies union report of progress on fair share suit
* *** UPDATED x2 - Durbin out of the running? *** Illinois Republicans react to potential Durbin elevation
* Is a new era finally dawning in Illinois?
* Meanwhile, in Opposite Land...
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Mobile Marketing Trends To Follow From The Israeli Elections
        * Pebble Time concludes Kickstarter campaign, pledges exceed $20 million
        * Profits almost doubled for ZTE last year
        * Mysterious Huawei Honor handset pictures leak
        * Verizon starts pushing out Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5… Again!
        * The Week in iPad Cases: Build your library with book-style cases from Pad & Quill and Portenzo
        * The HTC One M9+ has its design showcased in latest leak

        * Moleskine myCloud Smallpack Review
        * Angie’s List Halts Expansion Plans to Protest Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” Law
        * For some strange reason, Periscope users are obsessed with your fridge
        * Curb Overspending by Establishing a “No Return Policy”
        * Guess How Many Women Made the Forbes Midas List? (It’s Worse than You Think)
        * DashCast Streams Dashboard-Style Web Pages to Your Chromecast
        * Use “Collection Management Policies” to Curate Your Collectibles

        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * Quintana powers through, locks down A's after first
        * Semien faces White Sox, praises good friend Johnson
        * White Sox not concerned about two key bullpen members
        * Williams remains optimistic for White Sox season
        * Quintana powers through, locks down A's after first

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Federal, state budgets moved forward last week..
        * WILLIAM NANGLE: Let's hope wise voices prevail .....
        * Rauner talks Budget Fix..


        * 12-year-old shot to death in Quincy
        * Chicago's retired Cardinal George readmitted to hospital
        * Chicago universities study astronaut on 1 year space mission
        * Bison to graze at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
        * Nation's biggest nuclear firm makes a play for green money
        * Chicago's Thompson Center could get price tag
        * Bison to graze at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
        * University of Oklahoma unveils racist chant probe findings
        * Bradley names Brian Wardle its 14th basketball head coach
        * Ferry reopening between southern Illinois, western Kentucky

        * Statehouse Insider: Now the tough budget talks begin
        * Effingham native Jim Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency
        * Rauner's 'right-to-work' proposal focus of larger debate on business climate
        * Effingham native Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency
        * Irresistable force, immovable object on business reform
        * Rauner considering appraisal of Chicago's Thompson Center
        * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds
        * Comptroller Munger expedites funds to child care providers
        * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
        * Former Congressman Schilling making 'special announcement' Saturday in Peoria

        * Chicago likely to get sacked by NFL draft
        * Would Cat be better off at half the size?
        * Is Mondelez the next takeover target?
        * Guess which carmaker is Chicago's favorite
        * Don't mention the “U” word around Rauner


          * Indiana governor supports 'clarifying the intent' of religious objection law
          * Manager of Chicago rapper Lil Durk slain on South Side
          * 1 fatally shot, 4 wounded in city shootings
          * Emanuel and Garcia scour city for votes
          * Cops: Woman dies in crash after husband drove car off closed bridge
          * Prosecutors: 7-Eleven robber told investigators 'I was just trying to feed my family'
          * Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
          * Wrigley rooftop owner indicted on fraud charges in alleged $600,000 scheme
          * 12-year-old boy shot to death in Quincy
          * Recent murder victim remembered at vigil


          * With GOP votes, Indiana House approves religious objection bill
          * After spending scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock says goodbye
          * Legislature to consider Madigan plan to fill state budget gap
          * Rauner signs into law compromise plan to fix budget hole
          * Where can a politician wield more influence? Chicago's City Council vs. Illinois' Statehouse
          * More people moved away from Illinois last year than any other state
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * ACLU: Chicago police make more stops than New York at its peak


          * Statehouse Insider: Now the tough budget talks begin
          * Statehouse Insider: Now the tough budget talks begin
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Use of city seal on campaign materials becomes issue in Ward 7 race
          * Our Opinion: In Springfield mayor's race, Jim Langfelder gets our endorsement
          * Effingham native Jim Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency
          * Andy Shaw: Illinois' legislative scholarship program like a zombie that won't die
          * Rauner's 'right-to-work' proposal focus of larger debate on business climate
          * Rauner considering appraisal of Chicago's Thompson Center
          * Phil Eaton: Illinois can't arrest, treat or bury its way out of heroin epidemic
          * Charles Krauthammer: The GOP racing form: First edition


          * State probing school misconduct allegation
          * An ice-cold adventure
          * Theater shift manager pitches in where needed
          * Governor targets taxpayer-funded tuition program
          * SHELF LIFE
          * The girth of a nation
          * Open Line
          * Free oral cancer screenings offered
          * Bergschneider-Yates
          * King-Tendick


          * Lee Kuan Yew eulogized as architect of Singapore
          * Air Canada plane leaves Halifax runway on 'abrupt' landing
          * Hertz so good for Lakes at Top Times
          * LEADING OFF: Alex Rodriguez to play first base
          * Survived: No. 1 Kentucky holds off Notre Dame 68-66

          * Duckworth to announce Senate bid Monday
          * Illinois Congressman Bost Says Granite Cit...
          * Report: Rep. Tammy Duckworth to announce I...
          * Rep. Tammy Duckworth to announce Senate bi...
          * Bustos And Other Illinois Members Renew Bi...
          * Kirk, Durbin propose changes in disaster d...
          * Longhi: Granite City layoffs not permanent
          * Duckworth announcing Senate run: report
          * In defense of bloody primaries
          * Kelly develops ag platform for diverse dis...

          * Wacko birds perch in Senate...
          * Reid says he won’t seek re-election...
          * Theotis Robinson: Hatred of Obama holds up......

          * US Senate threatens Iran with new sanctions...
          * Senate Warns Obama by 100-0 Vote for Pro-S......
          * Federal, state budgets moved forward last ......

          * Chicago Voter Registration Numbers Increased By 20,000 Since February
          * Fioretti Endorses Emanuel
          * Endorsed by the Daily Herald
          * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
          * Congress Parkway Bridge Temporarily Closed Early Sunday Morning
          * The desperate panderer.
          * My dinner with Rahm.
          * Scientism in the Age of Obama
          * Stantis: Budget Bandaids
          * Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez shouted off the stage at USC


          * Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
          * Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats
          * Health Matters: 2015 Illinois Minority Health Efforts - Creating & Sustaining Healthy Communities
          * ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes - IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies
          * New Illinois Server Training Law effective July 1 - State currently offering FREE responsible beverage server classes




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller