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Question of the day

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller


State Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport), pointing to a couple of all-night sessions in 2021, is sponsoring a bill to, except when legislative leaders declare an emergency, restrict floor votes to the hours between 6 a.m. and midnight.

“I just don’t think the average citizen believes is appropriate to have a committee meeting at one in the morning and pass a $43 billion (budget) bill, say, at three in the morning,” Chesney said.

Chesney says this is intentional; an annual tactic by supermajority Democrats to tire everyone out and pass big bills when neither the public nor the media are awake and paying attention.

* The Question: Good idea or not? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…

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  1. - Suburbanon - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    Good idea only if you are in the minority. If you are in the majority, and need to pass a bill, it is a bad idea.

  2. - Fav Human - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    Good Idea - There really is NO good reason to wait to the last minute. Tough calls don’t get easier the longer you wait.

    And 3 am isn’t exactly known for contributing to good decisions.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    Bad idea.


    “I move to suspend the rules”

    It’s window dressing to hamper… until it isn’t.

  4. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    Don’t see the point. If work needs done, do it. I don’t need to watch a livestream. I’ll just read about it in the morning, or I’ll put on a pot of coffee

  5. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:31 pm:

    I’m not sure what difference the time of the day makes

    Transparency is about having the contents of a bill available in sufficient time before its voted on not holding the vote at 11 AM

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:31 pm:

    Also this self-own;

    === Chesney says this is intentional; an annual tactic by supermajority Democrats to tire everyone out and pass big bills when neither the public nor the media are awake and paying attention.===

    So Chesney never thinks his party will ha s a majority?

    It’s to stop Democrats?


  7. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    How could anyone who supports honest government think this is a bad idea?

  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    Bad idea.

    === neither the public nor the media are awake and paying attention. ===

    I very clearly remember media twitter accounts were practically live-streaming these votes as they happened. Maybe Mr. Chesney should find another line of work that better lines up with his beauty sleep.

    On an unrelated note, I was perusing the bills submitted this week in the house. Mr. Chesney has been busy with some strange bills. HB4106 being one of them. Maybe if he wasn’t introducing meaningless virtue signaling bills he wouldn’t be too tired to vote on things like say the budget.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    And yes.. I can see it’s a bill… it should be considered rule of the chamber(s)

    Legislating ain’t bankers’ hours, legislating as such isn’t good for the institution

    Obviously voted “not”

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    === How could anyone who supports honest government think this is a bad idea?===

    It could in practice slow all process down, and inhibit work.

  11. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    Even if a republican proposed this, I think it’s a good idea

  12. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    Sometimes you have to work late. And the public and the media don’t vote on anything in the legislature.

    Stop whining.

  13. - TaxTheMemes - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    Not a great idea. Chesney’s concerns seem traditional (surprise surprise). What is it about 3am that’s different than 11:45pm- we’re all adults. May be a good idea to have a mandatory period of time between filing and votes so that the public has time to react. But that will never happen

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    Bad idea. Deadlines generate dealmaking. Besides, I think I see the world’s tiniest violins playing for the poor GOPers who have to work late. Waaaaaaahhhh.

  15. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:44 pm:

    Maybe the Speaker should supply pillows and blankets

  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    Who’s to say the majority doesn’t “work the clock” and blame the “Republican time bill” that none of the GOP bills were called.

    “We ran out of time. They can run that bill next session”

    This idea gets worse by the second.

  17. - Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    I voted it a good idea. It demeans the work of the legislative body to ram bills through in the middle of the night.

  18. - The Doc - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    Seems like a solution in search of a problem.

  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:46 pm:

    ===ram bills through in the middle of the night.===

    I take no position on the question, but are you ok with them ramming bills through at 6 in the morning?

  20. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:47 pm:

    Good idea. “Nothing good happens after midnight”

  21. - Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:49 pm:

    ===I take no position on the question, but are you ok with them ramming bills through at 6 in the morning?===

    They can use business hours such as 9:00 a.m. Or the alternative is grin and bear it through all those annual editorials that pop up about ramming through something with little notice in the middle of the night.

    In my mind, it demeans the chamber(s) to behave in such a fashion.

  22. - JSI - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    “Between 6am and midnight” as seen above is much different than “between midnight and 6am.” Some would probably prefer if they did nothing between 6am and midnight.

  23. - JSI - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:51 pm:

    Ha! Long day, disregard my stupidity in the previous comment.

  24. - Seymourkid - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    Many employees work late into the evening. Stick to the job until it is completed. There is no reason to keep the legislators extra days to get the job done.

  25. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:55 pm:

    It seems to me that the minority party’s job is to use every rule and tool available to slow down legislative process in the hope of being at the table on June 1. This bill aids and abets that strategy.

    But Louis’ predictable disapproval of the majority party is noted.

  26. - southern dem - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 2:55 pm:

    it would only be a good idea if some rule was put into place to disallow GOP from asking to caucus as soon as session starts and running the clock out. I feel like this is part of the reason bills run so late… if everyone was on the floor and ready to vote when session is called to order, things would be quicker. Just my two cents

  27. - Sox 59 - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:01 pm:

    I think it was in 1995 Daniels jammed a boat load of bills through on one vote early in the morning. Think the late Terry Deering and Steve Spangler almost went at it. This idea would apply to both sides who both have used the cover of late night to play some games. I say good idea.

  28. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:01 pm:

    This is like when Blago learned kids with books in their homes do better in school, so he wanted to give every preschooler three books to have at their house (he floated the idea. I can’t recall if it actually happened). It wasn’t literally about the presence of books, but the books being an indicator of other characteristics of the child’s life.

    Chesney’s bill is a superficial response that neither cares about nor understands the root of the problem. If he really cared about whether the legislative process was sufficiently deliberative, he wouldn’t be wasting his time talking about mandating a curfew.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:03 pm:

    To reset, I’d call this the “Matt Damon Bill”, but I’ll get to that here in a minute…

    So, the minority (super minority party at present) has a member wanting a bill that has time constraints… so the majority, that have enough votes to pass things, they chair every committee, run the agenda on the floor AND control the clock of it all…

    … as the minority (super minority at present) can wait to the determined timetable, lack any way to extend to get their bills to a 3rd reading, won’t have control of debate, agenda, or even committees…

    It’s be exactly like Jimmy Kimmel in the Illinois House

    “Thanks to Matt Damon, we just ran out of time, we’ll have him back real soon”

    It’s a comedy bit, this bill. Check it out, on ABC.

    It’s a real head scratcher, allowing time to be used against ya to own the libs.

  30. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    Chesney would be outraged by Big Jim Thompson.

  31. - ;) - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    If Chesney can’t stay awake for a night shift like the hard working people of this state he ought to resign his seat.

  32. - 100 miles west - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    Bad idea. The state senators and representatives are sent there to do a job for us. They are our eyes and ears. The idea that it is secret because of the time of day is funny. Anyone who is really interested is tuned in regardless of time. I doubt any of the complainers about late night session are tuned in between 9-5 M-F either.

  33. - Chito - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    Not. Stay on your toes and engaged 24/7, not just when your leadership staff tells you.

  34. - Facts Matter - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:14 pm:

    Silly grandstanding by the Representative. A practical effect of this could be to limit floor debate - not that it would be necessarily bad. Whoever, is in the Speaker’s chair could invoke limits on debate to ensure a session day ends by the required time. That could give the minority party less time to grandstand - “debate” - controversial bills.

  35. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==They can use business hours ==

    Please. What a dumb idea.

  36. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:15 pm:

    Bad idea, get better at the game instead of changing the rules. More evidence that the ILGOP’s main problem is laziness, and apparently aversion to coffee.

  37. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    “In my mind, it demeans the chamber(s) to behave in such a fashion.”

    Meanwhile back in the real world…

  38. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    I voted bad idea. All kinds of people work long hours, including the middle of the night. If work needs to be done then work. The only people whining are those that don’t like the outcomes.

  39. - Nick - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:20 pm:

    I suspect most of the people who complain about not paying attention to midnight votes probably aren’t really paying attention anyway.

    If it all gets summarized by the news and papers, it doesn’t make much of a difference what time a vote happens.

  40. - Northsider - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:22 pm:

    Agree with the “window dressing” comments.

    Besides, 11:59 p.m. will simply last even longer next time.

  41. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:22 pm:

    6:00 AM? I have a lot of thoughts about the kind of person that thinks that 6:00 AM is a preferred time to between midnight and 1:00 AM.

    I am sorry that session went past his bed time, but if the goal is to create “reasonable hours” for the legislative session, actually propose reasonable hours. Having to break at midnight to come back at 6:00 AM providing for maybe 4 hours of rest isn’t better.

    This is unnecessary and looks more like a vain attempt at virtue signaling and trying to prevent folks from asking what he was up to when he attended a notorious party school where his bed time was certainly not before midnight.

  42. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:32 pm:

    Republicans aren’t elected to govern. They are elected to stop the government from functioning. This is just one more attempt to do so. So, NOT.

  43. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:32 pm:

    Would have thought it was a Good idea … and then January 6th happened.

  44. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    The time factor, with a 6 am to midnight parameter or not, is what is important to me. As someone who stayed up until after 12:45 am to try and keep up with all the machinations of the energy omnibus, I was relieved to wake up the next morning and find that it had been delayed. Too many last minute committee hearings, additions of amendments that get read three times at light speed and then voted on, and lack of time for the public that IS interested and MAY have input on the legislation goes against the grain for me. That’s not democracy, that’s convenience… for one or another political party, special interest, or fill-in-the-blank- you-choose who benefits. And, just maybe, there would be fewer “fluff and stuff” bills if legislators HAD to allow time for public input and review… even if that were to only be 48 hours. Unless it’s an emergency of some kind that needs immediate action, some of the gaming of bills and deals and deadlines might actually be curtailed a bit.

  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 3:59 pm:

    Leg staff would be thrilled if this passed.

  46. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    =Leg staff would be thrilled if this passed.=

    Why? It doesn’t mean they’d get to go home. Staffers ALWAYS stay later than members and during budget times often work through the night.

    To the question - terrible idea. 47th nailed it. This would used by the GQP superminority to continually try and run out the clock

  47. - Too Tired For This - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    The GOP would be seriously limiting their material to complain about if this was implemented. So a good idea?

  48. - Soo.... - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 4:27 pm:

    Good press pop idea, Bad idea in practice.

    While the legislative branch is the most powerful governing body in our system and should be subject to scrutiny. That power has been divided up between numerous legislators, on purpose, to make the full use of it inefficient. In this case mandating additional restrictions will only add more inefficiency to an already purposely designed inefficient body of government.

    Furthermore this legislation can clearly be abused by a minority element to further bolster efforts to use obstructionist tactics that attempt run out the clock.

    I understand a broken clock is right twice a day, but neophyte cheerleaders like Chesney, Chris Miller (no Relation) Bailey and Tillman en company have shown us who they are and made clear their willingness to tank the state for political points. And their views are not just tolerated but in alot of cases embraced by todays GOP/conservative elements.

  49. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    =In my mind, it demeans the chamber(s) to behave in such a fashion.=

    Well given the antics of the Eastern Bloc this seems a bit benign don’t you think? Decorum doesn’t seem to be high on the list of priorities these days.

  50. - Mongo - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 5:23 pm:

    If Republicans would engage instead of making every effort to stall progress, maybe they could go home at 10 p.m.

  51. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 5:55 pm:

    Terrible idea that will probably appeal to many as a simple solution. However, anyone who has ever been around the GA recognize that as Chicago Cynic points out, deadlines create focus and urgency to negotiations.

  52. - Biker - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 6:11 pm:

    The North Carolina Republican controlled state house of representatives passed a budget veto override during a 9/11 morning memorial in 2019. Just something to think about.

  53. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 6:19 pm:

    My mama taught me nothing good happens after midnight.

  54. - Eww David - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 6:28 pm:

    some of y’alls’ mamas were probably talking about your daddies re: nothing good happens after midnight…solid individual advice, not likely useful as a universal policy…but hey the work the of the people has no office hours, office hours, office hours, office hours


  55. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 7:36 pm:

    To the Mama citers. Answer honestly- was Mama always correct? She may have been a wonderful & wise person with the best of intent. Still, no mortal person has ever been infallible. I’m guessing most of those Mama’s have no idea how a legislative body works or doesn’t. Mama & anyone else would be far ahead of the vast majority with an understanding from a Civics class. Even that doesn’t teach how the system fully operates. Love Mama, but unless she’s worked under a dome, if she gave this advice in answer to this question - she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Be more thoughtful.

  56. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 7:49 pm:

    Silliness. As pointed out, they can just suspend the rules. Even if they don’t, it’s just a different deadline. There would still be quick votes in committee for amendments that haven’t been read.

  57. - Yooper in Diaspora - Wednesday, Jun 30, 21 @ 8:20 pm:

    I voted yes, but was persuaded by all the good arguments by those who voted no. As someone who pulls all-nighters on occasion to meet a deadline, I can appreciate the idea of an extension. But that presupposes being able to extend a simple majority deadline, too. (And an 8 hour break would be better than 6 hours–though I can also say that I’d rather work an extra couple of hours when I’m deeply engaged, and then rest.)

  58. - Occasional Quipper - Thursday, Jul 1, 21 @ 7:27 am:

    Bad idea. It wouldn’t be necessary if they didn’t use shell bills for so many things. I would like to see a rule that all “gut and replace” amendments must go through 3 full readings on 3 separate days, just like bills do. After all, they ARE new legislation. But this rule would never pass because whatever party is the majority likes having the ability to ram stuff through with no review. A side benefit would be the elimination of the 100’s of shell bills that get created every GA “just in case” they need one for something.

  59. - CookCo - Thursday, Jul 1, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    I would just really love it if we didn’t wait so long to finish the budget. Other legislatures it’s the first thing they do all year. I’m the last one to agree with AC but I just wish these things didn’t NEED to be done at all hours.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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