This was obviously not a good idea, despite the noble goal…
The road to a budget deal in Springfield took a detour Monday morning, for a golf outing on the far South Side sponsored by the Legislative Black Caucus, to raise money for college scholarships.
One of the organizers, reverend and state senator James Meeks, says the outing was scheduled months ago when no one anticipated a marathon overtime session, and since they are not due back in Springfield until Monday afternoon, and there is nothing to vote on yet, they decided not to cancel the outing even though the budget extension they passed in June expires at midnight Tuesday.
“If there was legislative business for us to attend to, we would be there in Springfield. But since nobody has planned any meetings that involve us, we’re not there,” said State Sen. James Meeks, Legislative Black Caucus.
“It makes you wonder that why do we have all these state senators and representatives if they’re not really players,” said Jay Stewart, Better Government Association.
Stewart makes a good point. Yes, there was not a lot going on, and yes, hardly anybody showed up…
When the Illinois Senate came into session Monday, there were 16 of 59 members in the Senate. The number doubled to 32 after the Pledge of Allegiance and daily prayer were finished.
Over in the Illinois House, there were 26 representatives of 118 on the attendance roll call for the 10th special session ordered for 2 p.m. by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
However, it appeared that on the Republican side at least one of those lawmakers was absent and someone else had voted him present. Which would make the real number 25.
The House census increased to 67 during the 5 pm session, but that’s hardly an astounding figure.
Events like that scholarship fundraiser only serve to underscore the lack of any real power that rank and file members have - even though they have flexed their muscles and had more input this year beyond anything that has occurred in the recent past. They made themselves look like uninterested, uninvolved mushrooms.