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*** UPDATED x3 *** House to return January 8 for lame duck session

Wednesday, Dec 30, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Speaker Madigan’s chief of staff…

Good afternoon, members, members-elect, and staff:

The House plans to convene for session on January 8, 2021. Members are advised to make arrangements to be in Springfield on that date through at least January 13, and potentially longer. House session will occur at the BOS Center, under substantially the same protocols as were followed in May 2020. Additional details will follow in the coming days.

Take care,


The Senate is expected to do the same. The Democratic leaders from both chambers met today, along with top Black Caucus members.

…Adding… Meanwhile, just in time for session

Touting “substantial progress,” the Sangamon County Department of Public Health Wednesday announced that bars and restaurants can reopen for indoor service at 25% capacity beginning Sunday.

Establishments may not begin serving the public until 6 a.m. and must cease indoor service by 9 p.m.

For customers being served indoors, a reservation name and phone number for one person in the group must be kept for 30 days and available to the county upon request.

Not mentioned in the story is the small item that this would be in defiance of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Also not mentioned is that Sangamon County’s average positivity rate has been climbing the past few days.

…Adding… Rep. Yoni Pizer has announced his resignation. Click here.

…Adding… One lame duck I’ve talked to has been informed she is being kicked off her legislative health insurance plan at the end of this month and will not receive a paycheck for January, but is still expected to travel to Springfield during a pandemic and vote. Not a happy camper.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Sent to Senators…

Hello Members

I hope this email finds you well and you are looking forward to a safe and relaxing New Year.

I wanted to provide you with an update on January session days for the 101st General Assembly. Previously, we asked all members to hold January 8th-January 13th. I would respectfully ask that you continue to hold these dates and plan accordingly to be in Springfield on January 8th if necessary. However, an exact schedule is still being finalized.

As far as COVID-19 testing for the January session days, please proceed with scheduling your tests locally before you arrive in Springfield. Once you arrive in Springfield, the caucus will provide testing as it did for both the caucus retreat and the May session days.

In addition, we are working on options for both food and lodging and will report those options as soon as they are available.

Lastly, please keep your schedule flexible for next week. As we have bill drafts and analyses available, we will schedule caucus meetings and remote or in person committee hearings, as appropriate.

Please give me a call with questions or concerns.



Jacob W. Butcher

Chief of Staff

Office of the Senate President

*** UPDATE 2 *** Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford on the upcoming lame duck session…

This is a moment in time that we can leverage for good. Considering that Veto session was cancelled, it’s not easy to ask everyone to come back to Springfield to get this work done, but it’s the right thing to do. We have an opportunity to make history by passing legislation that will address systemic racism here in Illinois and make a lasting impact on not only Black communities, but on every town, city, neighborhood and family throughout our state.

I’m excited to engage my colleagues directly around the work the Black Caucus has led for the past seven months, which has been a journey we will all live to tell our grandchildren about someday. And, it’s my hope that our work will play at least some small part in creating an anti-racist society for them to live and thrive in.

The new year should represent a rebirth and a restart on many levels. Let 2021 be the year where we work collectively to bring an end to racism in our society.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From Jordan Abudayyeh at the governor’s office…

The mitigation plan put in place by the state of Illinois is based on science and relies on the best advice of public health experts from around this state and nation. Many states have implemented restrictions on indoor dining because the science is clear: sitting indoors for extended periods of time with other people unmasked carries increased risk of spreading this virus.

December has been the deadliest month on record since the start of this pandemic and to date we have lost more than 16,000 Illinoisans to this deadly virus. The nation’s leading experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, are warning that January could be nightmarish as we grapple with another possible surge after holiday gatherings. Just this week, Region 3’s positivity rate has increased one percentage point and Region 3, which covers 17 counties, has just 45 ICU beds available. As the Governor has said, the public health experts need to closely monitor the data after the holidays to gauge the spread of the virus. Once the experts agree that we have averted another surge, then regions will be able to move back to lower tiers in the mitigation plan. But, to be abundantly clear, Region 3 would not meet the metrics to move back to tier two today, and even if the region did, indoor dining is not allowed under tier two mitigation.

Preventing widespread illness and death is the most basic function of government. The Governor has worked every day making the difficult and terrible choices that will save the most lives. It’s time for local officials to step up and remember that being a leader doesn’t mean making the easy choice, it means doing everything you can to protect the people who trust you to serve them.



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