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*** UPDATED x1 - HGOP responds *** House releases new proposed rules

Monday, Feb 8, 2021

* The new House rules language has surfaced. I’m still going through it, but click here and go through it with me in comments. I’ll be posting updates as I read it.

First new language I noticed was Speaker term limits

No member may be elected as Speaker for more than five General Assemblies, including any term in which the member was
elected to fill a vacancy in the office […]

The same term limit applies to the Minority Leader.

Updates to follow.

* Here’s a nod to bipartisanship. If for whatever reason the Assistant Clerk of the House position becomes vacant, the House Speaker is allowed to appoint the replacement. The new rules would require the Speaker to consult with the Minority Leader.

* “The Speaker and the Minority Leader shall not serve as members of are each eligible to be appointed to the Rules Committee.”

* Remote legislating is in the rules. Here’s one…

Notwithstanding any other provision of these Rules, members of the Rules Committee may participate remotely in its
meetings.

* More Rules Committee changes…

During odd-numbered years, the Rules Committee shall refer any House bill initially before it to a standing committee or a special committee prior to the deadline for House committee consideration of House bills, provided that referral shall not be required for a House bill that is introduced after the introduction deadline for House bills or for which the Principal Sponsor has submitted a written request to hold the bill in the Rules Committee.

That has been odd-numbered years practice for several years, but now it’s codified.

* Remote Participation in Committees and Task Forces…

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of these Rules, in the case of pestilence or public danger upon declaration of the Speaker, members may participate remotely in hearings for committees and task forces. A member of the committee or task force participating remotely shall be considered present and in attendance at the committee hearing, including for purposes of voting in accordance with Rule 49 and determining if a quorum is present. Action taken by a member of a committee who is participating remotely shall have the same legal effect as if the member were physically present when the action is taken.

(b) The Speaker may establish additional procedures for remote participation under this Section and shall designate the technology or software that must be used. The technology or software must, at a minimum, be sufficient to (1) verify the identity of a member who is participating remotely, (2) allow the public, including representatives of the press, to hear or view each member and witness who is participating remotely, and (3) allow witnesses to testify as permitted under Rule 26.

* Those who wish to testify in committee must now submit a form on the General Assembly website. The era of paper slips is over.

* No lobbyists at in-person hearings? Looks like it…

For meetings of committees during a disaster proclaimed by the Governor due to the COVID-19 virus, access to the room in which the committee is held shall be limited to members and officers of the General Assembly, majority and minority staff, and no more than 5 members of the public who are representatives of the press, except as otherwise authorized by the Speaker. The Speaker shall designate one or more locations outside of the committee room for the public to safely watch and listen to the proceedings of the House and its committees via a live audio/video broadcast. Access to such locations may be limited as necessary to maintain safety, including, but not limited to, requiring that persons at such locations follow the decorum requirements of Rule 51.5(a). Notwithstanding any other provision of these Rules, testimony at a committee hearing during a disaster proclaimed by the Governor due to COVID-19 virus may be limited to written testimony at the discretion of the Chairperson. This subsection shall only apply to meetings in which members are physically present and may not be suspended.

(This was in the rules change passed last year except for the final sentence.)

* This looks to be special language to reimburse folks for the challenge to Rep. Eva Dina Delgado’s appointment…

Adoption of Reports in Contests and Challenges […]

If the committee fails to file a final report prior to the end of the General Assembly term, each party may, within 60 days of the beginning of the next General Assembly term, file with the Clerk of House a request for reimbursement including a detailed statement of attorney’s fees and expenses incurred by that party in connection with the case. The request shall be referred to the Rules Committee which may refer it to a standing committee, special committee, or a committee created under this Article X for consideration. The committee may make recommendations to the House concerning reimbursement of attorney’s fees and the expenses of the parties. The recommendation for reimbursement under this Section shall not exceed a sum that is reasonable, just, and proper.

* Cleanup language after the experience of the Madigan Special Investigating Committee…

Notwithstanding any other provision of these Rules, if the Speaker is a petitioner or the subject of the petition, the highest ranking member of the majority caucus who is not a petitioner or the subject of the petition shall have the powers and duties of the Speaker in connection with the Special Investigating Committee, and if the Minority Leader is a petitioner or the subject of the petition, the highest ranking member of the minority caucus who is not a petitioner or the subject of the petition shall have the powers and duties of the Minority Leader in connection with the Special Investigating Committee.

The new rules would also allow chairs of those special committees to establish their own rules as long as they don’t conflict with the House’s rules.

* I think that’s it. Did I miss anything?

* A commenter noted that the House is now supposed to convene at noon instead of 12:30.

*** UPDATE *** HGOP spokesperson Eleni Demertzis…

“With the exception of allowing remote committee meetings during the pandemic, the House Rules are functionally identical to the Madigan-led sessions of the past. The Speaker retains centralized control over every bill, amendment, or motion. Nothing in these House Rules improve transparency or bring sunlight to legislative proceedings. The same problems previously pointed out by good government advocates—like taking a midnight vote on a several-hundred-page amendment or budget only moments after it has been filed—are allowed by and re-authorized in these Rules for the next two years.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 3:38 pm:

    This is a bad policy. Let a person be elected as many times as the members of a legislative body want to elect them.

    The odds of another Madigan every happening again are miniscule, but term limits are undemocratic.


  2. - NIU Grad - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    “The odds of another Madigan every happening again are miniscule”

    In Illinois politics? I’m going to go ahead and doubt this theory.


  3. - Honest Hal - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 3:43 pm:

    Give credit where credit is due. The Speaker seems serious about reform.


  4. - twowaystreet - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==The Speaker seems serious about reform.==

    I’m not disagreeing, but can you elaborate on which rules give that impression?


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==This is a bad policy. Let a person be elected as many times as the members of a legislative body want to elect them.==

    Disagree. This is a good policy; 10 years as Speaker should be enough for anyone. It’s difficult to imagine no one else in a caucus would be up for the task. We’ve missed out on some excellent potential Speakers over the past 30 years.

    It’s certainly worth giving it a try. Also, it could be changed if a simple majority of the members agree that it isn’t working.


  6. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 3:49 pm:

    the Big change here… Hour of meeting

    House shall regularly convene at 12:00 noon change from 12:30 p.m.


  7. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:02 pm:

    NIU Grad -

    Disagree - GOP drew 1990 map, Pate Philip made the Senate GOP in all 5 elections. Lee Daniels won only 1 of the 5 House elections, the 1994 national tidal wave. Only thing comparable is CA’s incumbent Dem speaker winning re-election as Speaker with a 39-41 minority.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    === In Illinois politics? I’m going to go ahead and doubt this theory.===

    Chicago is still waiting for another Daley.

    Waiting. Still waiting.


  9. - Rules Rules Rules - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    Meet the new rules, substantively the same as the old rules when it comes to passing legislation. No controls on the Speaker, no way to bypass the Speaker or committee chairs on the Agenda. And I thought the assistant Clerk was supposed to be the minority party? So now the Speaker gets to choose the Clerk (Democrat) and the Assistant Clerk (Republican) but just has to “consult” with the minority leader? This isn’t reform.
    Where are the 19? I can’t believe they would stand for this.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    === Where are the 19?===

    “Mission Accomplished”, Madigan isn’t speaker.


  11. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    No one in Illinois history before Madigan came close to his length of tenure. No one will again, term limits or not.

    No one has come close in the Senate, either.


  12. - Ivory Tower - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:30 pm:

    From term limit provision: “provided that such service before the commencement of the 102nd General Assembly shall not be considered in the calculation of the member’s service.”
    Although I would consider it moot, doesn’t this language mean that Madigan would not be prevented from being elected speaker again?


  13. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:32 pm:

    @RulesRulesRules- way to move the goalposts. Some people won’t be happy until they’re in charge.


  14. - Pizza Man - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:35 pm:

    When you have power why lose or waste it. Of course, Rep. Welch will continue to be Rep. Madigan. Just a different face.

    But Speaker Welch is all for reform. Yes, being ‘transparent’ on keeping the same rules as before–but with “term limits.”


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:39 pm:

    === Rep. Welch will continue to be Rep. Madigan. Just a different face.===

    I dunno, are you saying Madigan and Welch are one and the same? Huh.

    ===…but with “term limits.”===

    You don’t want the term limits?


  16. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:39 pm:

    =This isn’t reform.=

    If you do not want to see the changes, you do not have to.

    What did you and Demertzis think? Suddenly the ILGOP would have more power? That the democrats would give up power?

    the only way that happens is at the ballot box. If the show were on the other foot (which it has been) the ILGOP doesn’t give up or share power.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:41 pm:

    === “With the exception of allowing remote committee meetings during the pandemic, the House Rules are functionally identical to the Madigan-led sessions of the past. …”===

    Maybe she missed the whole term limits thingy.

    You’d think they’d take that win, no?


  18. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 4:54 pm:

    GQP 101 - Never say kind things about your opponent’s actions.


  19. - Annonin - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 5:04 pm:

    Rules say all bills get assigned to committees. No buried in rules…Oh wait that is the current rule guess that graveyard whine was a myth.


  20. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 5:05 pm:

    Is a term limit via rules enforceable?

    Let’s say Welch has a great 10 year run and the majority really wants him to continue. The rules from a prior GA do not apply to the new GA, so could they not reelect him and pass new rules to allow for it? Heck, even if they left the old rules in place, what is the enforcement mechanism for a speaker serving under rules that say they cannot? I cannot imagine the courts would touch it, and even if they did the Constitution would favor the speaker-elect.

    Putting this in the rules is a good statement of values, but this needs to be followed up with a Constitutional amendment to really mean something.


  21. - Yiddishcowboy - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 5:18 pm:

    @ILGOP: What did you expect from Speaker Welch? I mean, seriously, what did you expect as a super-minority party? Here’s an idea: Rid your party of its seemingly many wackos, win some elections and then we’ll talk.


  22. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 5:35 pm:

    =Maybe she missed the whole term limits thingy.=

    For years we’ve been hearing from the ILGOP that all of our problems were the result of one man holding power for too long. Now that he’s gone I would have thought they’d take a victory lap. But what their statement shows is that other than yelling “Madigan” they have no strategy.


  23. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 6:08 pm:

    ==The same problems previously pointed out by good government advocates—like taking a midnight vote on a several-hundred-page amendment or budget only moments after it has been filed==

    OK…What do the Republicans recommend? No amendments? Amendments must be held for a certain number of days? No votes between midnight and noon?

    I would have a lot more respect for the Republicans if they would, at least occasionally, show us what they want. They could start here: what new Rules would they like? If you want to be in charge, show us what that would look like.


  24. - Commisar Gritty - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 6:13 pm:

    Fixed if for you, ILGOP
    “With the exception of allowing remote committee meetings during the pandemic, the House Rules are functionally identical to ones introduced by the Republican Speaker and Madigan has been using ever since.”


  25. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 6:20 pm:

    Why is anyone listening to Republicans?

    1) whine and complain about the legislature not working, then complain when they actually work in January

    2) whine and complain about vaccines, but won’t take ‘em.

    3) whine and complain about the rules, get changes, and then attack them

    You can’t negotiate with unserious, unscrupulous people Jim Durkin and the House Republicans. They’re a super minority of their own making and wouldn’t be happy unless there was complete and total minority rule.

    Big Whacko Energy


  26. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 8, 21 @ 8:21 pm:

    I don’t think some of you understand what a Speaker of the House is. You seem to be under the impression that the operation of the House should allow everyone to be involved. If you want that then why even have a Speaker. I think instead of continuing to whine maybe you concentrate a bit more on winning elections that will allow you to make the rules. Elections have consequences. Get over it.


  27. - The Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 7:36 am:

    This site is 100 percent tankers for the Democrats. Just full of dripping sarcasm and vitriolic hatred for Republicans.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 7:46 am:

    === hatred for Republicans===

    Nah.

    As someone who sees Kinzinger as one calling out the bad, if you want a party with racism, one embracing insurrectionists… one that welcomes conspiracy theorists… that isn’t Republican… that’s Trump and things not aligned with democracy or things Republican “Pre-Trump”

    Please, do keep up. Thank you.


  29. - The Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 7:54 am:

    Yah. Your response says it all and ow is the biggest dem tanker on the site. All day every day


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 8:00 am:

    === Your response says it all===

    You embrace racists, insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists… and if you don’t, you can’t be a Republican?

    I’d stop writing. You’re not helping.


  31. - Chambanalyst - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 8:56 am:

    Unlikely as it is to happen, what if there was some person that was truly a great Speaker and was admired and well respected by all colleagues and citizens of the state. Instead of a complete term limit, what if they could hold their position longer than 5 years through an overwhelmingly majority vote by the legislature? (say 80% or higher) I don’t think its a bad idea to leave the possibility open, small as it may be.


  32. - CCapilla - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 8:56 am:

    = ow is the biggest dem tanker on the site.=

    Yup. Pretty sure I saw him in his LaRouche t-shirt just last week…


  33. - SumGai1986 - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 9:02 am:

    ==biggest dem tanker on the site==

    LOL, second. Must be a sad life having nothing better to do then sit around and feel important on Rich’s site all day.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 9:06 am:

    === I saw him in his…===

    Ironically I recently wore a vintage Reagan-Bush t-shirt and a friend I’ve known for “decades” made the remark how “un-Republican” the Bush family is

    The Bush family. “Un-Republican”.

    I actually wore the shirt on zoom to commiserate how far the party has fallen, and I got *that*

    Again, keep up.

    This is what Don Tracy brings to the ILGOP. It says it right here;

    === My number one priority is to give every Republican a seat at the table and give every Republican a voice. Regardless of our differences… There’s too much at stake in 2022 to be anything less than a united band of brothers and sisters in the fight to save Illinois.===

    I mean.. what are we really talking about?

    You want to embrace racists, insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists… unite with them… and outcast those who see those groups as wrong… I’m the least of your worries.

    The least… of your worries.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 9:08 am:

    - SumGai1986 -

    Where do I send the rent check.

    Living in *your* head, rent-free, where you ponder me at least deserves some rent.

    :)


  36. - Ryan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 9:26 am:

    The ability to hold on for so long was based in significant part on the ability to fundraise with a wink and a nod (or perhaps more - that’ll be for a judge or jury to decide) on the basis of controlling what legislation flowed.

    As long as that control continues, the fundraising can be centralized, giving the speaker predominant power in primaries, and the whole cycle will go on. What is needed is a breakup of the control over the flow of legislation.


  37. - Ryan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 9:29 am:

    >Unlikely as it is to happen, what if there was some person that was truly a great Speaker and was admired and well respected by all colleagues and citizens of the state. Instead of a complete term limit, what if they could hold their position longer than 5 years through an overwhelmingly majority vote by the legislature? (say 80% or higher) I don’t think its a bad idea to leave the possibility open, small as it may be.

    The possibility is open. This is nothing more than a statement that the current Speaker as of now intends (or wants to believe he intends) to move on after a decade. Such a rule has no effect on what a future legislature does.

    In the absence of other substantive changes today, it’s kabuki.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 9:33 am:

    === The possibility is open.===

    It will always appear “open” unless there’s an iron clad “close”

    If you can tell me what the future holds, first give me the lottery numbers… as I wait for the next Daley to be mayor of Chicago for twenty years.


  39. - Ryan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 10:42 am:

    I was responding to someone who thought the option wasn’t open, silly person.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    ===I was responding… ===

    Like Car-Nac, raising this idea of fear?

    ===In the absence of other substantive changes today, it’s kabuki.===

    So if it’s kabuki, then how is your own response anything less than silly if you don’t see it as a worry?


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