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Question of the day

Monday, May 26, 2014

* It’s becoming clear that traffic is way down today. I’m basically blogging for legislators and the smattering of folks who happen to be at the Statehouse, or who don’t have plans today. I’m not complaining. Just saying.

From Rep. Jeanne Ives…

I find Memorial Day a very moving and important holiday. I filed HR1130 with bi-partisan support to ask that we not have session on Memorial Day out of respect for our nation’s forces who have died in war. This resolution in still in rules committee.

The majority of those who serve with me in the General Assembly are genuine in their esteem for the heroes we honor today and the profound contributions that have made to secure our freedoms. Many of them have joined me on this resolution.

If not this year, for years going forward, I believe we should honor the holiday as originally intended by participating in our community ceremonies that honor our fallen soldiers.

* The Question: Should the General Assembly do all it can to avoid meeting on Memorial Day? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey services

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    glad to add vote number 8…. proving your point about traffic.


  2. - Anonymous - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    People forget that staff have to work primarily on that day while the members come in later on in the afternoon. A break for staff in May to observe Memorial Day is absolutely just.


  3. - Tough Guy - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    I just don’t feel it would ever work as they don’t seem to get anything done until the pressure is on. Unfortunately Memorial Day falls when the beginning of the end occurs for the legislative session.


  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===proving your point about traffic. ===

    Yeah, and the IP address on the first two comments show they came from the Statehouse. lol


  5. - Bigtwich - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Yes, there is a long tradition of politicians making Memorial Day speeches.

    On second thought . . . .


  6. - Norseman - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Spent too many Memorial Days in the Capitol to consider it anything but a end of session tradition. As someone indicated before, this is part of the pressure to encourage the Solons to make the hard votes.


  7. - Been There - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    I voted yes but I think you would need to change the constitution to move the adjournment date. When May 31st is too close to Memorial Day you can’t expect them to take the day off. I think this weekend it could have worked.


  8. - steve schnorf - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    To those of you with short memories, it was not that many years ago that our worry was whether we would get 4th of July off


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Should avoid, but the threat of Memorial Day session, and all those tactics make finding solutions possible and needed at times, so voted a tepid “No”, laced in snark.


  10. - cover - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    I agree with Been There, the holiday could have been observed this year with no harm done to the process. In 2016, when Memorial Day is on May 30, it’s simply not possible. IMHO, the General Assembly could observe the holiday if it’s as late as the 27th, but from the 28th on it’s just too close to the deadline.


  11. - Norseman - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Yes, Steve. I still remember those days. Pate’s successful effort to move the last day of session to the end of May was responsible for giving legislative types their 4th of July back. Although, Blago found a way to screw up one or two of those holidays.


  12. - Commander Norton - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    I hate to be cynical, but this is a little like arguing that school children should be allowed to take certain holidays off in order to observe them. In reality, what they do is sleep late, eat junk and play computer games. If they were in school, they might actually learn something about Columbus or Martin Luther King, Jr. At least at the Capitol one can always count on a rousing Memorial Day tribute from Bill Haine if no one else. Taking a moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and then proceeding with the people’s business seems to me a more fitting tribute than politicking at parades and barbecues.


  13. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    It is a nice thought, but this is one of those odd quirks. Getting a budget done is to important and people understand that. The good news for Rep. Ives, her vote is pretty meaningless to the speaker so she is welcome to stay home most days.


  14. - McDouble - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Given that session adjourns at the end of May, I have to vote No.

    However, I’d vote yes if the question was to reschedule session such that it ends at the end of June (the end of the State FY) or similar.


  15. - Chicago Bars - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Move end of session back a week and keeping Capitol quiet on Memorial Day and focused on Veterans would work, and be great. But not possible with May 31st deadlines.


  16. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Memorial Day sessions are the price of moving adjournment from June 30 to May 31 about twenty years ago. Sorry, the work of the people comes first. As long as we adjourn May 31 we’ll have Memorial Day sessions.

    Even if the Ives idea becomes legislation, it would have to include an exception for emergencies.


  17. - Capitol View - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    It should not have to be mandated. The day off should be able to be scheduled in and kept as a family holiday. There are still five session days left, and that is an eternity.


  18. - Nearly Normal - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Rich, does the General Assembly do any kind of a Memorial Day ceremony while in session on that day? If so, then they can stay in session and get the business of the state done. If not, shame on them.

    Talking to the veterans in my family, most can tell you that when on active duty, it is often difficult to take time to celebrate or honor a holiday. They do their duty and stay the course.

    Surely, our legislators can do the same. Duty calls, men and women of the General Assembly.


  19. - Anonymous - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Yes, the Illinois legislature should work on Memorial Day. Watching the legislature in action is a good reminder that if this is the “democracy” we ask our brave soldiers to die for, we should think twice before ever sending anyone off to war again. Whose life was worth preserving this body?


  20. - LizPhairTax - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Sorry Jeannie. No weaseling out of working on Memorial Day.


  21. - NoBody's Perfect - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    Not only is Broom Hilda becoming nearly as tiresome as ProsecutorBoy, but lacking any sense of accuracy
    Today Broom was off the floor (backroom, washroom who knows) when the House began its Memorial Day remembrance. Other House members stood at their desk listening to the solemn practice of members reading the names, rank and home of services who died during the past year.
    When Broom showed up she looked confused, ignored the fact all members were standing still and wandered across the floor.
    Ya gotta wonder where the Tea Party finds these loonies. After the names were (mercifuly only six this year) several members spoke about their military experiences of relatives
    Broom just plopped into her big chair look confused — as always.


  22. - Wensicia - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    It’s more respectful and an honor to recognize our war during session than taking the day off.


  23. - Walker - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 6:22 pm:

    Yes. There is a Memorial Day ceremony within the legislature, when they are in session. Members are serious about honoring our veterans, and a disproportionate number of members are veterans.


  24. - Anonymous - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 6:40 pm:

    I’m not sure why you would use your blog traffic as a preface to this question.


  25. - RNUG - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 6:53 pm:

    Yes, they should take the day off. Better yet, they should changed the scheduled end of session back to May 15th to (usually) avoid any conflict.


  26. - Precinct Captain - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 8:21 pm:

    ==State business has to be completed and sometimes legislators must work on holidays==

    They should be working period. There are any number of days to honor our soldiers, including two prior to today this weekend. People celebrate around the time when they have the chance even if the can’t the day of. That’s why it’s Memorial Day Weekend. That’s the way it should be done. What does any sacrifice mean if we aren’t going to do the work of representative democracy when the work calls? What did our soldiers die for? I’m certain it wasn’t for politicians to have a day off to speechify.


  27. - Diogenes in DuPage - Monday, May 26, 14 @ 8:54 pm:

    PPP — “Pretty” Poor Planning by politicians does not constitute an emergency on our (taxpayer citizens’) part.


  28. - Quizzical - Tuesday, May 27, 14 @ 12:10 am:

    Commander Norton said it — if I thought strict obaervance of the holiday would seed wisdom, I’d be all for it. Better that everybody have to at least give lip service to real valor during the course of a process that could use more.


  29. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 27, 14 @ 7:36 am:

    Yes. After the silly budget votes of recent days, it’s more than a little self-important to rationalize working a national holiday honoring war dead because you have “serious work” to do.

    There’s been nothing “serious” about it.


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