This just in… Madigan wants special session *** Updated x11 ***
Monday, Oct 2, 2006
*** BIG UPDATE *** Guv will call special session, but WITH A BIG CAVEAT
From the governor’s letter to the leaders.
“Once we have the votes to pass the legislation, I will immediately call a special session to do so.”
So, don’t hold your breath. This looks like a Kabuki dance.
He does say in the letter that he will eventually call a special session if not enough votes can be found, and that the General Assembly will stay in session through the holidays if necessary. That sounds like he could be putting it off until after the election.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Click the pic for the full letter.
Also, whoever wrote this Reuters story is an idiot.
- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday called for a special legislative session to extend a nine-year electric rate freeze for customers of Exelon Corp.’s (EXC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Commonwealth Edison unit and Ameren Corp. (AEE.N: Quote, Profile, Research).
Speaker Madigan has sent a letter to Governor Blagojevich asking that he call a special session within the next seven days to address the pending electricity rate hikes.
Madigan specifically wants the special session to take up Rep. Lisa Dugan’s bill, HB 5766, which would extend the decade-old rate freeze.
As I’ve told Capitol Fax readers before, the rate hikes have become a big issue for Madigan’s incumbents. A special session would showcase his targets.
Check back for updates. I’m told the guv’s office will have something “as soon as possible.”
*** UPDATE *** The SJ-R has more:
“The auction has become little more than a sham procedure for tremendously profitable utility companies to potentially turn already record earnings and profits into exorbitant gains for their executives and shareholders …” Madigan wrote in the letter.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The letter to the governor can be downloaded by clicking this link. [pdf file]
*** UPDATE 3 *** Speaker Madigan reportedly informed the governor’s staff of his intentions this morning. As of noon or so, the word is that the guv’s people were still debating it behind the scenes.
As of 12:25, I’m still waiting on a return call from Senate President Emil Jones’ office. Jones is very close to ComEd and a major supporter in the Senate. It’s doubtful that he’ll want this special session, but opposing it could do some real harm to his incumbents and his candidates.
*** UPDATE 4 *** There are two options to convening a special session. Either the governor calls it or the two legislative leaders can call it together. From the state Constitution:
The Governor may convene the General Assembly or the Senate alone in special session by a proclamation stating the purpose of the session; and only business encompassed by such purpose, together with any impeachments or confirmation of appointments shall be transacted. Special sessions of the General Assembly may also be convened by joint proclamation of the presiding officers of both houses, issued as provided by law.
*** UPDATE 5 *** Pantagraph:
“There appears to be a lot of anxiety among consumers. A lot of these people are senior citizens. Why bring that anxiety into their life? If the legislature can take some action and put a hold on this… that makes some sense to do,” said [Madigan spokesman] Brown.
*** UPDATE 6 *** Senate Republican spokesperson Patty Schuh:
“It needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Sooner rather than later would probably be best… We’d have to review the House bill [so the SGOPs, in other words, won’t commit to the exact language of Rep. Dugan’s bill]… The [special session] call certainly should be broad enough to start the debate… There needs to be public debate on this issue and a special session is probably the way to do it.”
*** UPDATE 7 *** House Republican spokesman Dave Dring:
We think it could be done in the veto session… Politically motivated… We’re trying to find out if it’s real… But if it’s real and it happens, we’ll take a look at it.
Two House Republicans, candidate Dick Cain and Rep. Bill Mitchell, have already called for a special session on this issue.
*** UPDATE 8 *** If you’re having trouble viewing the Madigan letter, you can download it by clicking this link. [pdf file]
*** UPDATE 9 *** Senate Democratic spokesperson Cindy Davidsmeyer:
We should let the Commerce Commission do their job… Anything that needed to be done could be done during veto session…
She said she didn’t ask Senate President Jones about his views on the specific language that Madigan wants addressed, but Jones is most likely opposed to that.
*** UPDATE 10 *** AP:
Citizens Utility Board executive director David Kolata praised Madigan for seeking the special session.
*** UPDATE 11 *** Lt Gov. Pat Quinn:
“I’m all for passage of the rate freeze extension, the sooner the better, and I commend Speaker Madigan for taking action on this important issue that affects so many Illinois families.”