Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » End the lame ducks?
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controversial legislation with the largest number of outgoing legislators – legislators who have technically already been replaced by the voters from their districts.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.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Amazon HQ2 site list unveiled
* Out of sight out of mind?
* Frerichs tries to use state investments to prod Facebook into cleaning up its act
* The rise of the billionaire governors
* Camelot promises to grow lottery sales by 40 percent
* Munger tries to defend Rauner veto of Debt Transparency Act
* Rauner: "I can’t comment on any business disputes"
* Question of the day
* Rauner finally takes a stand on a federal issue
* Moody's says "political backlash" against pop tax could make other tax hikes more difficult
* Report: Amazon subsidy could add up to $2 billion
* *** UPDATED x1 *** 10,800 jobs lost in a single month, but Illinois media barely notices
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* MLB open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

...............
<


Loading


* Statehouse Insider: Will veto session show GOP .....
* Lawmakers set to return Tuesday for veto session..
* Statehouse Insider: Will veto session show GOP .....
* Statehouse Insider: Will veto session show GOP .....
* Rauner Outlines $200 Million in Cuts to Illinoi.....


* Chicago restaurant brawl leaves 3 with gunshot wounds
* Illinois city, county to implement domestic violence program
* Suburban neighborhood evacuated after gas explosions
* New Fort Wayne home planned for extensive Lincoln collection
* Peoria police officers to widely use body cameras by spring
* Cemetery won't allow mention of "rapist" priests at grave
* Lincoln museum exhibit features Christmas at the White House
* Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database
* EXCHANGE: Encounter group spawns group of lifelong friends
* EXCHANGE: Woman finds meaning in helping animals in need

* Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database
* Lawmakers set to return Tuesday for veto session
* Illinois Lottery's new manager projects $4B in sales
* UIS students could study at newly proposed Chicago research center
* Aaron Schock attorneys contest federal claims on misstatements
* Under the Dome Podcast: Will lawmakers address gun control during the veto session?
* Chicago lawyer announces bid for Illinois attorney general
* Illinois borrows $1.5B at reduced interest to pay down debt
* Rauner cuts human services, other area in state budget
* Pritzker makes list of richest Americans; Rauner releases tax returns

* Is Dem primary over? No, but Pritzker rivals need to pick up pace
* The biggest Chicago-area building sales
* Here are the sites Chicago is pitching to Amazon
* Emanuel's challenges are far from over
* Clarification


* Jewelry store robbed in Crystal Lake
* Illinois remains winless in Big Ten with loss to Minnesota
* Niklas Hjalmarsson starts new chapter of his career with Coyotes
* Funeral held for US soldier at center of Trump phone call fight
* Man, 28, shot in Lawndale
* Bobby Portis makes first public statement since punching Mirotic
* Fire damages McHenry County home, but no injuries reported
* Thorson’s TD lifts Northwestern past Iowa 17-10 in overtime
* Blackhawks not worried about succumbing to the ‘Vegas Flu’
* Round Lake Beach woman wins $200K lottery prize


* 5 wounded in West Side shootings
* Cubs' shocking Chris Bosio firing a made-by-Joe Maddon production
* After the swift fall of Harvey Weinstein, Trump accusers wonder: Why not him?
* Justin Jackson's 'wow' play boosts Northwestern in OT victory over Iowa
* DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for students with disabilities
* Editorial: Lincoln-Way schools owe residents answers, greater transparency
* Numbers game: Purdue dominates stats but can't rally past Rutgers
* Stage set for showdown between No. 11 USC, No. 13 Notre Dame
* Marcus Childers leads way for Northern Illinois over Bowling Green 48-17
* First football game at new Aurora University stadium a kick for players, fans


» Voter Advocates Push Illinois To Exit Multistate Database
» Lawmaker Says Facebook Refuses To Fact Check Ads
» State Week: Chasing Amazon, Bonding Debt
» Teaching Kids To ‘Say Something’ In An Era of School Shootings
» Illinois Issues: Cities Lose Out On Retail Tax As Online Shopping Booms
» What Could Hurt Chicago’s Bid For Amazon’s HQ2?
» At CPS, More Special Education Dollars Go To White, Wealthier Students
» Illinois Bond Sale To Help Pay $16bn Debts
» Mayor To Propose Higher Prices For Ridesharing, Big Concerts
» WBEZ Investigation: CPS Secretly Overhauled Special Education At Students’ Expense


* Young Philanthropists: Banding together to make a difference
* Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database
* Statehouse Insider: Will veto session show GOP revolt?
* Lawmakers set to return Tuesday for veto session
* Guest Column: What taxpayers should demand from next attorney general
* Ed Rogers: The Democratic Party's obsession with Hollywood celebrities was bound to blow up
* Illinois Lottery's new manager projects $4B in sales
* Counterpoint: Updating antiquated systems will open door to transparency
* Point: Taxpayers deserve a better look at the state’s bills
* Thumbs Up: To recent acts of kindness in Springfield


* Road closure: Main Street at Grant for accident
* Lebanon firefighters called to the same address twice in one afternoon
* Class 1A Boys & Girls Regional Cross Country
* Reader photo: Ground control
* SIU researcher receives $80,000 grant to study disaster recovery in Houston
* SIUC researcher receives $80,000 grant to study disaster recovery in Houston
* Local Togolese rally in Rock Island
* Take a look inside Belleville’s newly renovated City Hall
* Belleville officially unveils $5 million City Hall renovations
* LIVE! Minnesota


* After big lull, suburban apartment construction has boomed since 2013
* Cross country: Naperville North, St. Charles East take team titles
* Meijer recalls store-brand packaged produce
* Glen Ellyn District 41 eyeing Spring Avenue rec center space
* How the College of DuPage could use the old Glen Ellyn police station

* Democratic 14th Congressional District can...
* GOP congressmen say Rauner 'let down' Illi...
* Bipartisan group of lawmakers pushes job t...
* Hundreds of high school students tour Smit...
* Naperville's Lauren Underwood to run for R...
* Measure extends term of FSOC independent m...
* Rival: Kinzinger not conservative - MyWebT...
* Helsinki Commission urges Erdogan to end p...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* Hultgren 'disappointed' about potential re...

* Senator Durbin Releases Report on Trump's ......

* Infrastructure a priority in meeting with ......

* Maryville Progress By Day and By Night
* Sarah Karp’s report on Forrest Claypool’s secret study, special ed service cuts and outrageous consultant fees. $15 million for proof reading?
* Inappropriate.
* Palatine para-professionals aren’t worth an 11 cent raise but they are too essential to allow them to strike.
* Keeping retirement weird. They don’t want to just end our defined benefit. They’re going after the defined contribution too. Shameless thieves.
* Do knee-jerk pols put any thought into votes they cast on govt. business?
* Chicago Design Week’s best events
* Illinois teacher retirees: What the hell is Walgreen’s up to?
* Raimondo and Rahm make an offer to Amazon. It’s a secret.
* The Chicago Trib’s scab columnist John Kass calls me a fanatic.


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Emonster sues Apple for violating Animoji trademark
* GitHub’s scandalized ex-CEO returns with Chatterbug
* How many HTC U11 Plus specs can fit in an evleaks tweet?
* Google will refund you if you overpaid for a Pixel 2 at a pop-up store
* Redesigning the TechCrunch app
* JerryRigEverything slams Pixel 2 durability
* Google Pixel 2: A Fantastic First Impression (Video)

* #AwardWorthy: Vote for Engel's glove
* Sporcle Saturday: Long bombs
* Petricka undergoes surgery on right elbow
* Avisail sees similarities in rebuild, stellar year
* White Sox Arizona Fall League overview
* Ron Gardenhire’s second chance back in AL Central
* Jimenez among prospects in winter leagues


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

Archives
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
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




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