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*** UPDATED x1 *** Welch to Republicans: Come to the table and stop wasting “precious time”

Friday, Apr 16, 2021

* Ali Rasper with Quincy Media

House Republicans said Thursday morning that Democrats constantly ignore the need for reforms in Illinois.

They claim more than 600 House bills have passed out of the committees since January. Of those proposals, Republicans say 82% have Democratic sponsors while only 18% came from their caucus.

Rep. Amy Elik (R-Alton) recalled when Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch took office with a pledge to keep his door open and have accessibility for members from both parties. She noted that the Hillside Democrat explained all lawmakers could work together to solve the issues facing Illinois. However, she feels Welch hasn’t lived up to that promise.

“Here we are, with 45 days until session adjournment and the Democrat-controlled legislature has failed to put forth any meaningful or substantive legislation dealing with fighting corruption, providing tax relief, and unfortunately no plan put forth to adopt a balanced budget,” said Elik.

Republicans argue ethics reform and property tax rates are the largest issues facing Illinois. Rep. David Welter (R-Morris) explained it’s been months since the Com-Ed scandal implicating former Speaker Mike Madigan.

* From Speaker Welch’s spokesperson Jaclyn Driscoll…

Bipartisanship has been an integral part of Speaker Welch’s legislative career, and it remains a top priority. Republicans should work across the aisle and come to the table to discuss bills that will help build a better future for the people of this state. Unfortunately, many of their bills are designed to eat up precious time during a pandemic on issues that voters have already rejected at the ballot box

*** UPDATE *** From Rep. Mark Batinick in response to Welch…

“From the Speaker’s statement, it is clear that the Democrats have no interest in addressing our state’s most pressing issues if bills on ethics reform, pension reform and property tax reform are considered a ‘waste of time’ to their caucus. The only issue Illinois voters have rejected at the ballot box is the Democratic-led graduated income tax that was resoundly dismissed by voters of all parties.

* Derek Cantù at NPR Illinois

Tensions over the legislative process boiled over on the House floor on Thursday. State Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) expressed cynicism with the upcoming discussion over the consent calendar — a list of bills and resolutions that are deemed non-controversial and do not warrant lengthy debate.

“There’s quite a bit of apprehension from many of us on this side of the aisle, and I think understandably so, after a letter came out taking off of the consent agenda close to a dozen bills of House Republicans with no explanation, no insight, no discussion from our side of the aisle that we’re aware of,” Brady said.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) responded that his side of the aisle has been focusing on Democrats’ priority legislation and “working on a balanced budget.”

“We will be continuing to have meetings on rules in the future, and we will certainly notify you when those discussions happen,” he said.

Brady spoke up after the Democrats abruptly stopped debate on what was supposed to be an agreed bill because Rep. Sonia Harper (D-Chicago) had registered a complaint. The Republican-sponsored bill, designed to bring natural gas service to the impoverished mostly Black community of Pembroke Township, was eventually put back on the floor and passed 88-14.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - Third Reading - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:07 am:

    Not the consent calendar.
    They’ve gone too far.

    Thank you GOP for stepping up to defend the purity of the consent calendar.


  2. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:07 am:

    =Republicans say 82% have Democratic sponsors while only 18% came from their caucus.=

    Maybe it has to do with the fact that so many GQP bills take direct aim at Democratic priorities that are supported by the majority of the population of Illinois (See election results).

    Or maybe the GQP is too busy fighting science.


  3. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:08 am:

    Kinda hard to be taken seriously when Darren Bailey could quite possibly be your candidate for gov.


  4. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:20 am:

    +the Democrat-controlled legislature+

    Democratic. If you’re going to be rude no one should pay any attention to you.


  5. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:20 am:

    If we’re only passing bills related to the budget and COVID then I have a long list of bills moving through the process that should be moved back to Rules.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:22 am:

    “property tax rates are the largest issues facing Illinois”

    Illinois marijuana tax revenue exceeded liquor revenue for the first time. This is in the initial legalization phase, before more dispensaries open. That bodes well for local governments, who can look to use marijuana revenue for some property tax relief. How does the ILGOP want to cut property taxes, the Raunerite way of cutting government workers?

    There was a way to begin lowering property taxes, the Fair Tax, but every state Republican opposed it.


  7. - Collinsville Kevin - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:28 am:

    Great to live in a state where the Republicans are totally irrelevant.


  8. - Third Reading - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:34 am:

    “property tax rates are the largest issues facing Illinois”

    News flash … the State of Illinois does not levy a property tax. Run for your local school board — the entity that imposes the largest share of your property taxes — and see how well your agenda goes. Again, Illinois State Government has no property tax. That’s a local tax.


  9. - Pundent - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    =property tax rates are the largest issues facing Illinois=

    Perhaps the first step in being taken seriously and having your proposals considered is to acknowledge that this is a local issue that has been exacerbated by our low state flat income tax rate. Yelling at the sky won’t cut it.


  10. - Manchester - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:43 am:

    Republicans are a super minority in the legislature due in no small part to their heavy concentration on divisive right wing cultural issues. The minority status is entirely their own doing. They need to stop whining and realize that those in power make the agenda.


  11. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    “Run for your local school board”

    I’ve got friends/co-workers on school boards.

    I would rather crawl naked through broken glass than sit on a school board.


  12. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    News flash Third reading….. the state of Illinois imposes unfunded mandates on local governments who pay them through property taxes


  13. - Too cute by half - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:52 am:

    Just so we’re on the same page here, these Republicans that say “Dems haven’t put forth any bills to help reduce taxes” are the same ones that are fighting all of the government consolidation bills. Right?


  14. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 9:52 am:

    “who pay them through property taxes”

    Maybe some counties need to consolidate and trim the proverbial fat, which according to the IL constistitution requires more than a simple majority of voters of said counties to agree.

    Good luck with that.


  15. - DownSouth - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:02 am:

    “I would rather crawl naked through broken glass than sit on a school board.”

    I wholeheartedly concur!


  16. - phocion - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    Property taxes can be addressed by the state if the General Assembly votes to eliminate/consolidate various local taxing districts. How about starting with abolishing townships? Tuberculosis districts? Road districts in urban areas? Library districts?


  17. - Jocko - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    ==ignore the need for reforms in Illinois.==

    Reforms. I’m reminded of the radio jingle “the phrase that pays”…or in the GOP’s case, the phrase to get out of paying.


  18. - west wing - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    Third Reading. And because the Illinois General Assembly and successive governors have allowed the state’s share of school funding to fall well below the Constitutionally suggested 50-plus percent, localities have raised property taxes to pay for schools. So, yes, the state’s high property tax rates are tied to state government.


  19. - Third Reading - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 11:23 am:

    West Wing, gee, if only all the people so concerned about property taxes had voted for … I dunno … some kind of revenue plan that was fair that would have helped bridge that cap and potentially kept the lid on property taxes.
    If only some kind of, I dunno, Fair Tax had been offered to the voters for their approval to address these property taxes that they care so much about.


  20. - Kendall County Whig - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    Kelly Cassidy voted against the bill. Very disappointed.


  21. - Publius - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 12:08 pm:

    Regarding eliminate/consolidate various local taxing districts has had limited success. You would think it would be easy but nothing ever seems to come of it.


  22. - west wing - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    Third Reading. Gee, if only there had been an effective Fair Tax Campaign run that dealt with the GOP lies that would have been great. But, gee, the Illinois General Assembly and successive governors have failed to keep funding for school at 50% over the past decades. Local property taxes are tied directly to state government.


  23. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    ==ethics reform, pension reform and property tax reform==

    I’m not sure how many different ways a court can tell you “no” when it comes to pension reform. Sometimes no does mean no. As for property tax reform, that opportunity was blown when the graduated income tax was voted down.


  24. - Mad Hatter - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    Change the constitution language relating to Pensins,and the law follows the language Change.


  25. - anon2 - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    18% of the bills? I bet that exceeds the percentage of Democratic bills that advanced under Speaker Daniels.

    == Illinois marijuana tax revenue exceeded liquor revenue for the first time.==
    This suggests the liquor taxes have not risen with the cost of living over the decades.


  26. - Responsa - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    I read somewhere– oh yes, I believe it was here, that Jaclyn is a top drawer communicator and spokesperson. I don’t think her insulting statement today ostensibly representing the Speaker bears that out so far.


  27. - Huh? - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    Hatter - changing the constitutional pension language will do nothing to resolve the “pension crisis”. This has been rehashed numerous times.


  28. - Mad Hatter - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    “Rehashing ” is the definition of insanity.

    Let’s give it a chance


  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 3:15 pm:

    To the post,

    Couple quick points, if I may;

    1) The Fair Tax flop is over. It lost. What is happening now in the GA, and in the House, the need and necessity to “move on” and not dampen ideas based on a win, what exactly is the point of bringing up the Fair Tax flop as today it has no relevance to being bipartisan at this juncture.

    2) the Speaker can talk and push the idea of bipartisanship, but in reality, it’s about convincing 72 others in his caucus that finding 60 for things the party needs come 2022, while keeping off “tier one targets”, or possible targets due to the map. When you have 73 total seats, it’s a defensive game, bipartisanship, too many cats make the herding harder.

    3) bipartisanship as the selling in 2022 might not be too high on voters’ lists unless it’s a swing district, and new members need that street cred.

    The rest?

    The rest is the Raunerites and the worry of Bailey leading a ticket far too unacceptable to cook and the collars, and what that might mean in a remap.


  30. - Inverted Pyramid - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===Democrats abruptly stopped debate on what was supposed to be an agreed bill because Rep. Sonia Harper (D-Chicago) had registered a complaint===

    Ah, I see. Rep. Harper believes in the filibuster and/or unanimous consent, when convenient.


  31. - Shield - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    - Inverted Pyramid - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    There’s no filibuster in the Illinois House, dingus.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===There’s no filibuster in the Illinois House===

    “Forget it, they’re rolling”

    Victimhood needs its fallacies.

    === The Republican-sponsored bill… was eventually put back on the floor and passed 88-14.===

    So… it passed “anyway”.


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