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Question of the day

Thursday, Jan 14, 2021

* Center Square

Welch said House rules will be among the first things he’s open to addressing.

“Possibly make changes, possibly make a lot of changes,” Welch said. “I don’t know what those changes are until I have these conversations that’s going to take place pretty quickly.”

* The Question: What new or changed House rules would you like to see? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

62 Comments »
  1. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:41 am:

    Bill must be on-line 48 hours before any floor votes.


  2. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    No more shell bills. Other than maybe as placeholders for future drafts of legislation relating to that specific topic. Including the budget shell bills “allocating $2″ to agencies–that can be where drafts of proposed agency budgets should go.


  3. - Keyrock - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    Pelosi-style automatic fines for failing to wear a mask during a public health emergency.


  4. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    ==Pelosi-style automatic fines for failing to wear a mask during a public health emergency.==

    With proceeds going to the General Revenue Fund.


  5. - Anon E Moose - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    Pension reform.


  6. - twowaystreet - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:48 am:

    I know this isn’t necessarily rules, but they should create a committee on ethics and put Rep. West in charge.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    My only and lone suggestion;

    Make a point and actually begin with the “Pre-Pate” rules as the starting point, and from those rules begin to cobble a new beginning.

    The Pate Rules that first Daniels used and then Madigan kept are unhelpful to at least the appearance of a fresh start.

    Make a big deal that your are using those rules to begin.


  8. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:52 am:

    “Pension reform”

    From a former morning drinker, put it down.
    Doesn’t lead anywhere good.


  9. - Ok - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:54 am:

    What’s the point of bill introduction deadlines in February, 2nd reading and 3rd reading deadlines in April and early May? All substantive bills are composed and introduced after those deadlines.


  10. - Roy G Bluth - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:57 am:

    only pass 1 bill per legislative session. the less they do, the more freedoms we keep.


  11. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    Jumping on this, people need to study other state legislatures. If you want a more open body, it’s not just rushing through a package in a couple of weeks, it’s making some changes now and working with the caucus and the other side to rewrite the book based on careful study of peers.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    - Precinct Captain -

    All good. I just think even for the political to make that point of “Pre-Pate” to those who follow the inside baseball of that statement, it would be a significant change.

    The rest is up to them, including anything others like you say that could be profoundly helpful.

    It’s my only, and lone, suggestion.

    :)


  13. - Blake - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:02 am:

    Make budget rules more on an accrual basis, so we don’t worsen our fiscal position through passing budgets that are balanced on a cash-flow basis for an individual fiscal year, but with costs accrued to be cash outflow in later fiscal years.


  14. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    Yes, to ending “shell bills”, because it’s a shell game until the last second. Ending shells would increase transparency by not allowing hiding the true content of bills. Also the “magic clocks” should be consigned to the dustbin of history; when the clock says the session is over, it’s over.


  15. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    ==Also the “magic clocks” should be consigned to the dustbin of history; when the clock says the session is over, it’s over.==

    If that rule was in place in June 1988, the White Sox would have been in Tampa Bay. With possible rumblings of moving elsewhere yet again because of lousy attendance and following in Tampa-St. Pete.


  16. - Too cute by half - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    I’m with Roy G Booth on the one bill thing but only if that one bill raises his taxes 12,000%


  17. - Blake - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    Take cameras out of the House, so people don’t have as much use for it to get on TV & put more incentive on trying to do the real work they are elected to do.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:09 am:

    ===the more freedoms we keep.===

    That sounds like a true “Patriot”


  19. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    Repeal the Pate-Daniels-Madigan rule for unanimous consent.


  20. - Nova - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    @ Blake, I’ve been around long enough to remember that people bloviated just as much before cameras as now. Also, there is the transparency, access and convenience to consider.


  21. - Nobody Sent - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    Make it easier to get bills out of committee - too many good bills die in committee because some well funded special interest group and their legislator put their thumb on it to prevent its progress


  22. - 618Dem - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    After Biden gets state bailouts passed real pension reform. Set upper cap at 75k a year with hybrid 401k. That would provide a basic defined retirement with the ability to build more with a partnership between work and state.


  23. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    So many words between the quotes. Is there a proofreader on staff? Syntax, anyone.


  24. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    I think it would be nice if the GOP Caucus had to start each statement they make from the floor by apologizing for Darren Bailey.

    If we’re getting rid of shell bills, a lot of other things are going to need to change. Transparency is one thing, but the ability to actually be able to adjust and change bills is important and calling it a “shell bill” ignores the fact that a bill can be amended in committee or on the floor. There’s no “I’m sorry, can’t make any changes without introducing a new bill” tradition to legislating that I am aware of anywhere.

    Magic clocks are also fine when the deadline is arbitrary. Governing is a complicated thing and making deadlines that were arbitrary to begin with into impossible road blocks is a difficult thing to explain to 12 million people.


  25. - Montrose - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    I think some folks are confusing house rules with legislation.

    Broadly, shift rules so less power resides in the speaker and more power is distributed to members.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    === real pension reform===

    If you acknowledge that everything up to that passage of what you may think is reform can’t be diminished…

    Anything moving forward, yeah, but then you’ll need 71 and 36, and to tie the loose ends, this is a legislative/constitutional want, not a real look at the rules of the House, or how the new Speaker will function within those rules


  27. - Someone you Should Know - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    Less Talk, More rock, would be a good start :)


  28. - Kayak - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:21 am:

    Keep the cameras, add more, and increase audio feeds for the people’s business.


  29. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    Roy G Bluth-

    Please explain, in detail, the freedoms that have been taken from you in the last, oh, let’s say 20 years.

    Oh, and being able to say whatever you want without consequence has never been a freedom.


  30. - Oldtimer - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:26 am:

    Eliminate the Executive Committee. It’s unnecessary. The regular committees can hear controversial bills and Exec is nothing but a tank job for leadership.

    Limit rank and file members to no more than 3 shell bills a year, leadership to 5 a year, and the Speaker/Minority leader to 10 a year. Let LRB rule on what is a shell bill before introduction. Makes no sense for the Speaker/Leader to file hundreds of shells each year, even less for other members to file any because they have to go beg their leader to take over one of theirs.


  31. - Bobby McGee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:26 am:

    Regarding the calls for pension reform: (1) do you understand that Tier 2 is a significant reform? It reduces benefits for anyone hired since 2011 but its effects won’t be seen for a long time. (2) the constitution won’t let current benefits be reduced (for retirees or current Tier 1 employees).


  32. - Numbers matter - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    Zero based budgeting.


  33. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    No gourmet food for meals. Like what Hannah shared on Twitter last Saturday for the menu. They have to eat regular state office cafeteria-style food (including burgers and hot dogs) like the rest of us. Or pick up something from Casey’s or McDonald’s to bring to work on the way.


  34. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    == Pension reform ==

    1) What this have to do with House Rules?

    2) Waiting to hear your LEGAL suggestions …


  35. - depressed in politics - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    we need more roll calls and weakened rules committees that block debate. time to stop protecting legislators from tough votes. it’ll also slow the process down which would allow for more/better debate. eg any minority party member can propose an amendment before final passage. any other member can file an amendment before final passage as well. additional final amendments would require unanimous consent to consider. it would empower a form of last best and final offer negotiations.


  36. - Franklin - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    Limits on the ability to sub in committee members


  37. - Todd - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    many don’t understand what the pre-pate rules are. there is a story about Rep. Mike Weaver filing his amendment to reorganzie the Board of higher ed, which the Board opposed, and could not get it called or heard so he filed a 400 page amendment on 30 plus bills. At them time each of which had to be printed and laid upon each members desk. finally the clerk said if you want to see it, its here in the dias.

    rules did not control amendments.

    as for shell bills, they exist in the current number due to a supreme court ruling in Cervantez that dealt with the single subject clause of the constitution and tossed out the class 4 felony on the UUW charge so they file them to have the tools available


  38. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    Zero based budgeting is good.

    More time between posting of a bill and voting would be good.

    More power to the Representatives to call a bill out of committee; say maybe a 2/3 vote can override a committee hold.

    Would also like to see each agency’s budget in a separate bill.


  39. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    Todd is right.

    The pre-Pate rules meant that nothing could move in the House that was anywhere close to being trial lawyer-related because people would pop appealing looking floor amendments for tort reform that could pass.


  40. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    …In other words, careful what you wish for.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:52 am:

    - Todd -

    With respect, it’s the starting point to the honesty of running a chamber.

    Starting with the Pate Rules glosses over other functions that were put in outside your example.

    By eliminating discussion to the current rules and discussions how to make the Pre-Pate rules better, it will save time and recognize some were designed to be less helpful.

    I say that as Republicans complained about the “Madigan” rules with zero context to the origin.

    Hope you’re well, by the way.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    === …In other words, careful what you wish for.===

    Agreed.

    To this I wrote;

    === Make a point and actually begin with the “Pre-Pate” rules as the starting point, and from those rules begin to cobble a new beginning.===

    The Pre-Pate rules had significant issues, the Pate Rules, a great many still in use, if the discussion has been that the rules of the House that Madigan kept that were rooted in the Pate changes need changing back, starting to Pre-Pate rules but fixing where things didn’t work, I’d like to see those changes.


  43. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    “More power to the Representatives to call a bill out of committee; say maybe a 2/3 vote can override a committee hold.”

    This sounds like a very good idea.

    – MrJM


  44. - Colin O'Scopy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    I never understood the shell bill need. I understand the Cervantes ruling around single-subject matter but why can’t the House or Senate suspend the rules to allow for the introduction of a new bill when they need one in a specific subject area? Seems to be a cleaner way to go to me.


  45. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:04 am:

    I argee with OW to start with going back to pre-Pate rules.

    And this is probably not for rules but for however you make changes to LIS. Allow for the title of the bills to be changed after there is a significant amendment. Just look at all the bills that passed this year and the title has nothing to do with the bill. Sometimes it is funny and sometimes it can be cringeworthy between the substance and the title attached to it.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:05 am:

    === No gourmet food for meals. Like what Hannah shared on Twitter last Saturday for the menu. They have to eat regular state office cafeteria-style food (including burgers and hot dogs) like the rest of us.===

    To have so few worries… to think on “gourmet” food… during a unique and unprecedented session.


  47. - Todd - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:08 am:

    OW, I get it. I was simply putting out one part of the rules as an example of how open the process use to be and how one could use it or take advantage of it.

    those of us around then refer to it as the wild west for the way things got done. Members had more power, groups had more flexibility to get things done, we would add hostile amendments and we would kill the same bad idea 10, 15, 20 times in the last days not to mention conference committee reports


  48. - Oldtimer - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:11 am:

    In the last General Assembly, Speaker Madigan introduced approximately 1,200 shell bills, and Leader Durkin introduced about 375. Over 95% of them were never utilized.


  49. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    ===Over 95% of them were never utilized===

    And therefore not really a problem.


  50. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    It’s time to bring popcorn back to the House floor.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    - Todd -

    As always, it’s all good. It’s folks like yourself that could give real context to some of the real good the rules have done in process.

    The politics to making the point of revisiting and changing what seemingly both sides eventually complained about in Pate Rules, and ignoring some important changes, it’s like a cleansing of both sets of fingerprints, Pate’s AND Madigan’s.

    I’m also glad you understand/understood I wasn’t disagreeing either. As Rich said, “careful what you wish for”.


  52. - low level - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:25 am:

    Allow the title to be changed when substantially amended. Definitely agree w that.


  53. - Redbird Pundit - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    “Allow the title to be changed when substantially amended”

    I second that motion….


  54. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    ===And therefore not really a problem.====
    Unless you are still old school and print out every bill /s . But in their defense 5% of 1575 is almost 80 bills. Easily manageable but still makes the system seem antiquainted.


  55. - Shane Falco - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    1. Eliminate sell bills - Illinois is one of two states that uses “shell” bills, the other is Oklahoma.
    2. Reduce number of committees - Another area Illinois is unique, most states keep it around 10-15.
    3. Set committee agendas for bills to be called, to differentiate between bills assigned to committee. Routinely nobody but the Chair knows what is being called.


  56. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    Actually, the shell bills ARE still a problem, because those which make to the floor are used to try sneaking the real bill someone wants passed to votes before everybody outside the Legislature catches on to the game. Have seen several anti-2nd Amendment bills done this way, as well as other legislation. “A bill to regulate Nerf Balls” becomes “a bill to ban/tax” before ones eyes.


  57. - Al - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:23 pm:

    I have not liked how for a day or a week the Speaker in the past has temporarily changed the Chair of a Committee to advance a bill. This needs to change as it gives the Speakership too much power.


  58. - Pelonski - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    I know it will never happen, but the rule I would like is that legislation should be voted on until it has been publicly posted and allowed to go through a period where citizens are allowed to provide feedback. I don’t care much about the politics, but I’ve seen too many bad bills rushed through the process that end up being a nightmare to administer.


  59. - GeeCee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    @Shane Falco - I don’t know about the narrow concept of shell bills but the ol’ “gut and go” or “gut and amend” is used in plenty of legislatures to circumvent time limits. It may be distasteful but it’s not going away. Retitling bills to match their current substance in LIS would certainly be a very simple and welcome fix.

    With that said and if I understand correctly - many of the deadlines that shell bills circumvent are *set by the Speaker* under Rule 9 (or by the President under Rule 2-10 in the Senate) and not by the Illinois Constitution or by statute (unlike in some other states). So I would think the rules could reduce the need for shells or make it difficult to use shells… if they wanted to. Traditions die hard.

    As for my $0.02 on the topic - certainly we could all use rules that make it (i) harder to conduct business past midnight or (ii) to circulate long bills or amendments without time to read them. They will always be circumvented but incremental progress is still progress.


  60. - Hannibal Hamlin - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    How about Committee Chairs needing to be approved by majority floor vote. Also, bills can be released to a committee with simple majority floor vote…if stuck in Rules Committee purgatory.


  61. - Advocate - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    Permit remote testimony, permanently not just during the pandemic. Even outside of a pandemic getting key witnesses to Springfield is not always easy.


  62. - Big Red - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 4:32 pm:

    I concur that we should go back to zero based budgeting as has been suggested earlier by others.


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