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Pritzker appears to hedge a bit on special session

Monday, Aug 15, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Center Square

After saying there would be a special session “in the coming months,” it’s unclear if legislative leaders will make that happen.

In July, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling returning the issue of abortion to the states, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, and Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said they planned to “convene a special session in the coming months.”

“In the coming weeks, as the ripples of the decision to overturn Roe [v. Wade] are felt throughout the nation, we expect to get an acute sense of our needs and how Illinois can play an even more vital role in standing up for reproductive freedom,” the three said in a join statement July 5.

Weeks later, House Democrats announced closed-door working groups with only Democrats discussing a variety of issues, including gun control, social media and mental health. […]

Separately Friday, Senate President Don Harmon’s office said topics are still being discussed and no additional dates, outside of veto session in November, have been scheduled at this time. […]

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, last month said he doesn’t think a special session will happen.

“And I think anything they put up on the board they will probably find very difficult to find the votes for,” Butler told WMAY.

It will indeed be difficult finding the votes for bills with immediate effective dates because those will require three-fifth super-majorities in both chambers and that might be cutting it too close for some of the stuff they want to work on.

* Gov. Pritzker was asked about a special session on Friday

Working groups are hard at work in the House of Representatives, working on various aspects of legislation, working with advocates, listening to them. So, we’re cautiously optimistic that they’ll be able to come up with ideas for us to be able to bring forward in a special session, or in veto session, or some of it may even be in the new year. So that’s essentially what we’re looking at right now. We want to make sure that everybody’s brought together so we have the best legislation put forward possible.


  1. - /s - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    As someone who is fairly pro-choice, the only piece of legislation I have thus far seen that I’d like to see pass as soon as possible is HB4221, which requires crisis pregnancy centers to disclose that they are not licenses medical centers. With more and more (and increasingly desperate) folks coming to Illinois for reproductive health services, to me this is common sense to helping pregnant folks access the actual services they need. That said, I don’t know if it passes with 70 votes and as much as I hate to see the General Assembly pass up an opportunity to make a statement, if they don’t have the votes then it may do more harm than good.

  2. - NotRich - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 11:20 am:

    36 & 71 ain’t there

  3. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 11:33 am:

    The polling wasn’t there to call it.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 12:23 pm:

    It’s not ripe.

    The goal is passage, not a “lesson”

    If it can’t pass, why run it… unless…

  5. - Wonky Kong - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    This is smart politics. The presser calling for special session was all about firing up the base, the urge to “do something”, and drinking kool aid.
    The State’s abortion laws are already left of the majority of voters. Doing “more” just threatens the districts that are in play.
    Working groups, however, show that you are “doing something” while actually doing nothing but delaying and keeping the issue alive and the base excited.
    Glad to see cooler heads have prevailed.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===The State’s abortion laws are already left of the majority of voters===

    If that’s true to the politics, why won’t Republicans say Illinois goes too far in its abortion laws?

  7. - Wonky Kong - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:03 pm:

    = If that’s true to the politics, why won’t Republicans say Illinois goes too far in its abortion laws?=
    Have you been living under a rock? They have been. In their districts. And right up until the leaked SC draft came out. Then for once they decided to play smart about a topic. The Supreme Court ruling is to the right of the majority. The moderates have been effectively sliced out from that messaging.

  8. - Wonky Kong - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:06 pm:

    To clarify, support for ending parental notification is low. Support for taxpayer funding is below 50%. Support for late term is low.
    But if they bring that up, they just remind voters about the ruling, and they’re on the wrong side of that. So shutting their mouths on the subject is the best play.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:11 pm:

    === Have you been living under a rock? They have been.===

    In Illinois? Really?

    If that were true Bailey right now would be embracing abortion issue instead of having such silence on it.

    In fact, “rocks” have been more visible than elected Illinois Republicans embracing the ruling this summer.

    ===The moderates have been effectively sliced out from that messaging.===

    If Kansas showed anything, that sliced moderate group isn’t siding with the pro-life folks.

  10. - Wonky Kong - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:26 pm:
    According to Ogden and Fry, 78% supported parental notification, 56% against taxpayer funding, only 22% support up to 20 weeks.
    But 62% are either full pro choice with no limits, or pro with some limits.
    The middle has been sliced out for R’s to message.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    === The middle has been sliced out for R’s to message.===

    This is probably why… if you understand your own cite…

    === But 62% are either full pro choice with no limits, or pro with some limits===

    What was the results of the Kansas vote?

    It was 59%

    Nothing is sliced to the issue. Voters don’t do nuance. The silence is result to that nuance miss.

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===The middle has been sliced out for R’s to message===

    Yeah. Go ahead and rely on those loaded questions

  13. - Wonky Kong - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    I would add that the folks in Kansas behind that success did everything they could to avoid the word abortion and tell voters it was bigger than one issue. A lot of the ads didn’t even contain the word. That was good politics.
    The SC decision, politically, was a gift to Dems in a supposed red wave year. Overplaying that opens them up to handing a gift to the R’s in the districts that are in play. Giving up on special session is the right move.
    =voters don’t do nuance=
    Are you trying to make my point for me? 62% are against the ruling. That’s the easy message. That’s the uphill battle for the R’s. Anything they say on the topic just reminds the 62% of what they’re already unhappy about. Plus, it’s not like any R’s were voting consistent with the lines where a majority of voters reside. They’re too full throated against the entire concept.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    === 62% are against the ruling.===

    No. Here’s the thing you seem remiss in seeing…

    ===But 62% are either full pro choice with no limits, or pro with some limits===

    How is that helpful to the GOP… with nuance?

    Also… I think Rich covered the polling question aspect better than us both.

  15. - Amalia - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    focus a special session on assault weapons. ban the sale.

  16. - Not WK - Monday, Aug 15, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    My comments aren’t going through. Sorry. I enjoyed the conversation.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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