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New House rules proposed by Leader Durkin

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Yesterday, a commenter wondered why the House Republicans didn’t propose an alternative to Speaker Madigan’s proposed rules, which have been sharply criticized by the GOP and the Illinois Policy Institute as autocratic.

Well, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin filed a rules proposal yesterday. You can click here to read through it. I asked the HGOP early this morning for quick highlights of some of their proposed changes…

1. Creates specific requirements for advance notice of Rules Committee hearings, including identification of the measures to be considered:

    One-hour notice for floor amendments & concurrence motions

    72-hours notice to consider referral of bills to committee

    24-hours notice for any other purpose

Currently, the Rules Committee often meets without providing any public notice; and it does not identify the legislative measures to be considered at the hearing.

Also requires a 2/3 vote for the Rules Committee to bypass standing/special committee consideration and advance floor amendments and concurrence motions to full House. In other words, such a motion to expedite business would require support from both the majority and minority party members of the committee.

2. Creates a public review period before action on committee amendments by requiring at least two-hours advance notice for an amendment to be considered in a committee.

Currently, committee amendments must be filed with the Clerk by 3 p.m. on the preceding day, but there is no requirement to provide public notice that such amendment may be considered at hearing of a particular committee.

3. Extends the Public Review Period for Floor Amendments (currently 1 hour) - Creates a longer public review period before committee consideration of floor amendments and concurrence motions by requiring that advance notice of a public hearing be given no later than the calendar day before the date of the hearing.

With the current one-hour notice requirement, a floor amendment can be filed, posted for a hearing, and adopted to the bill, and the bill passed by the House, all on the same day.

4. Restores a requirement in the House Rules that each bill be referred to a standing or special committee during the first year of a G.A. In 2013, the Democrat majority removed this decades-old requirement, thereby allowing the Rules Committee to kill a bill by preventing its consideration in a standing or special committee.

5. Second reading of bills during perfunctory session would be prohibited. In order to expedite the consideration of bills when the full House is not in session, the Clerk is often instructed to read bills a second time during the perfunctory session. This practice sometimes allows a bill to be approved by committee and then read by the Clerk on the same day, thereby allowing final passage on the following day.

Your thoughts?


  1. - Lew - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 8:55 am:

    Not my job!

  2. - cgo75 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:06 am:

    With Speaker Madigan’s tenure seems like he should be able to make the rules as he sees fit.

  3. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:08 am:

    Is an hour enough. Seems like that requires that they have people on sight. Seems to cut out folks like me who find out hours later. I know I’m a learner but there are issues huge to me. If this stuff happens that fast I don’t even have time to email Rep. Stuart on my next break before its to late. Seems even the proposal is undemocratic. jeez if this is the improvement. I had no idea.

  4. - LakeviewJ - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:09 am:

    Mostly grandstanding. Leader Durkin has no supporting last minute gut-and-replaces when it serves his purposes.

    I’d be good with #4, and would go further to say every bill should receive at least a subject matter hearing, but only if it came along with limits on the number of bills a member could introduce.

    That’s not to say that the Madigan Rules shouldn’t change. I fully agree that the power should be diffused from the Speaker to the chairs and individual members of the majority party.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:10 am:

    I’m very pleased to see the HGOP Caucus engaged in this way by putting forward that they aren’t going to be “that” group of minority caucus with the “we kan’t do nuttin” mentality.

    I’m tried of members of the HGOP caucus that troll with their 140 character negativity while sitting in the body and complaining they can’t do “anything”.

    If the HGOP wants to end the defeated mentality that infects not only their caucus and those who closely follow the inter workings, this is the way to respond and say clearly, “You want us to stop whining and engage, here ya go”

    Good to see. Glad that a move like this is being done.

  6. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:17 am:

    None of these proposals are unreasonable at all. Like HB, there are a couple that could even go a little bit further.

    The very purpose of having “rules” is to ensure fair play. You don’t have to bend them if they’re crooked in the first place.

  7. - Deft Wing - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Watch for full committee hearings on Durkin’s proposed Rules with extended Floor debate and a vote on those proffered Rules to follow thereafter. /s

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    - Deft Wing -

    I’m confused, you advocate the “mushroom-ing” of HGOP members?

    HGOP members and Durkin, don’t do anything, don’t propose or advocate anything…

    “It won’t go no wheres, so don’t do nuttin”

    That’s embarrassing to advocate.

  9. - Fixer - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    Better than I expected initially. I can see this slowing down some bills that don’t necessarily need the extra time, but those are few and far between. Overall I like this proposal.

  10. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    >I’m very pleased to see the HGOP Caucus engaged in this way by putting forward that they aren’t going to be “that” group of minority caucus with the “we kan’t do nuttin” mentality.

    Agreed. Good on Leader Durkin for putting something out there. It’s great, and too rare, to see someone offer an alternative when they oppose something.

  11. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    The GOP wants to right their wrong and change the rules at halftime for the win

  12. - Chicago_Downstater - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    @A guy

    “The very purpose of having “rules” is to ensure fair play. You don’t have to bend them if they’re crooked in the first place.”

    Well said!

    These rules seem–on their face anyways–to be reasonable & worthwhile.

    I don’t know if Madigan and the HDems will let them through, but I think they’d be foolish to fight them all. It might go a long way towards future negotiations if they give Durkin and the HGOP at least a few.

  13. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    The minority will want to slow things down and the majority will want “efficiency” - - if the GOP held the majority, each side would be arguing the opposite side.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    Why not go bolder? Skimming through the text, it looks like Durkin kept the insanely high number of committees in his proposed rules. Why not push for more structural changes like reducing those numbers?

  15. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    “but only if it came along with limits on the number of bills a member could introduce.” That was the ONLY rule of Pate’s that Madigan didn’t keep. Pate limited senators to 5 introduced bills and 3 bills passed by the House.

  16. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Jan 24, 17 @ 6:17 pm:

    How’s this for a rule? Fewer secrets, more public review.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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