* Tribune earlier this month…
One of the challenges facing lawmakers in the upcoming session is that any measure that passes requires a three-fifths majority in both chambers if it is to take immediate effect. While Democrats hold supermajorities in both chambers, rounding up enough votes on controversial matters to clear that hurdle isn’t always a given.
That’s a major reason why any action on hot-button issues like gun control and abortion is more likely to come after the new year, when only a simple majority would be needed.
Many Democrats, including Pritzker, have been pushing for a ban on the sale military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines since the mass shooting in Highland Park on the Fourth of July that left seven people dead and a couple dozen others hurt.
* Center Square earlier this month…
Amid other issues, Pritzker aims to ban certain types of firearms and further enshrine access to abortion, even as early as next week when lawmakers return for veto session, if the votes are there.
“The fact is, whether we get it done in November, or we get it done in January, early in the session, whenever that may be, we are going to work on passing an assault weapon ban and making sure that we are protecting women’s reproductive rights by expanding capacity and making the investments that are necessary here in our state to protect women,” Pritzker said.
* From WGN TV’s interview of House Speaker Chris Welch this week…
Q: What will it take to get the assault weapons ban passed? What’s the resistance?
Welch: Well, let me also clarify that if we want to pass something that’s effective, immediately, veto session, you would need 71 votes. I don’t think we get 71 votes on that.
Q: New term?
Welch: January, it only needs 60 votes. I think an assault weapons ban in January is possible.
Q: Are you comfortable enough to say you think you can commit to getting an assault weapons ban on the governor’s desk in the new term?
Welch: I certainly hope so. I’m going to work to make sure it happens because I think it’s that important.
* Capitol News Illinois today…
Regarding assault weapons regulation, Welch said that issue will have to wait until the 2023 session begins in January, when only a simple majority of votes is needed to pass new laws with an immediate effective date. That’s because the Illinois Constitution requires a three-fifths majority for bills passed after June 1 to have an immediate effective date.
“Anything that we do on assault weapons, we would want it to be effective immediately,” he said. “And I just don’t think we would have 71 votes to get something done in this shortened veto session. But I do believe that we’re going to be able to deliver for the people of Illinois an assault weapons ban next year, and we’re going to work real hard to make that happen.”