Remember yesterday when there was some confusion over whether Speaker Madigan or Gov. Blagojevich had the right to name the exact time of the special sessions? Madigan called today’s session for ten o’clock while Blagojevich called the special session for 2.
Well, the governor is insisting that Madigan is violating the law by not following his special session proclamation. This letter was sent by the governor to Madigan and all members late yesterday. Noteworthy stuff is highlighted…
July 6, 2007
The Honorable Michael J Madigan
Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
Dear Mr Speaker
I am in receipt of your letter of July 6, 2007, in which you state that the Illinois House of Representatives intends to take the unprecedented step of convening a special session prior to the time set forth in the proclamation I issued pursuant to the Illinois Constitution and the Special Session Act. Your letter states that you intend to convene the Third Special Session at 10:00 am tomorrow morning. While I applaud your eagerness to engage in discussions that will hopefully move us towards resolving the grave problems facing the State Employees Retirement System tomorrow morning, I must remind you that the Third Special Session I have called to address this issue is to convene at 2 p.m tomorrow afternoon, as set forth in the proclamation, not at 10 am. as your letter suggests.
The issues facing the State Employees Retirement System are critical, which is why I have set a specific date and time to convene a special session, pursuant to my constitutional and statutory authority. As you know, the Illinois Constitution and the Special Session Act confer upon the Governor the authority to convene the General Assembly in special session by a proclamation stating the purpose of the session. In fact, the Supreme Court of Illinois has explicitly recognized that the Governor “possesses the authority to convene the General Assembly in special session at any time when, in the exercise of his official discretion, he deems the occasion warrants such action ..” […]
The authority to convene a special session, at the date and time designated by the Governor, has also been acknowledged by statute in the Special Session Act, which was passed by the House, and which provides…
Nothing in this Act affects the power of the Governor under Article IV. Section 5 of the Constitution of Illinois (1970)to call a special session. The Governor, when calling a special session, shall file the proclamation calling the session with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall take whatever reasonable steps necessary to notify the members of the General Assembly of the date and time of the special session,
25 ILCS 15/3 (West 2007).
Numerous Illinois Governors have, throughout the last century. convened special sessions of the General Assembly and set the date and time for special sessions by proclamation pursuant to their constitutional authority. See, e.g., Journal of the Senate of the Forty-Sixth General Assembly (Proclamation of Special Session). December 14, 1909 (Governor Charles S. Deneen issuing a proclamation for special session “to commence on the 14th day of Pccember, AD. 1909, at twelve o’clock noon …”). And previous Illinois Aorney Generals have consistently affirmed the propriety of such practice. […]
Your attempt to unilaterally change the time for the Third Special Session, set by lawful proclamation, is in contravention of this well-established law and longstanding practice. In addition to being unlawful, it will cause practical problems and confusion among the individuals testifying on this issue, as well as the members of the General Assembly, who have been formally notified to appear at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon to consider and debate this issue.
While it is certainly within your prerogative to convene regular session days at the time of your choosing, it is expected that you, as a State elected official, will comply with the mandates of the Illinois Constitution by convening the Third Special Session at the date and time set forth in the legal proclamation issued.
It’s a wonder that they can agree to the shape of the bargaining table.