GOP Wants To Block Votes By Lame Duck Lawmakers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois House Republicans want to change the Illinois Constitution to put an end to the General Assembly’s lame duck sessions following an election.

Republican lawmakers said they want to prevent lame duck lawmakers from voting on vital issues, such as the major tax hike passed this week, after they’ve been voted out of office.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports

State Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur) said, “this is just another instance where the common folks like myself across this district – small business owners – feel disenfranchised that (House Speaker) Mike Madigan would call these bills in a lame duck session when he knows 12 hours later, 24 hours later, we’re going to be swearing in a new breed of leaders.”

Lawmakers approved a 66 percent income tax hike on Wednesday, just hours before new lawmakers were sworn in for the start of the new legislative session.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said lame ducks are entitled to vote because that’s what they’re supposed to do.

Of the 60 Democrats who voted for the tax hike, 12 were doing so on their last day in office.

State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) said there was no reason to vote for a tax hike after the election, other than to provide political cover to lame duck lawmakers who had nothing to lose by voting for it then.

“There was no new information, no new emergency,” Mitchell said. “We knew on Nov. 1 – the day before the election – how bad state government was. We knew we owed $15 billion.”

The Republicans’ proposed constitutional amendment would prevent the General Assembly from holding any session between a general election and the inauguration of new lawmakers. It would also move the swearing in of new state lawmakers from mid-January to Dec. 1.

Supporters said they have some support from Democratic lawmakers, Madigan is unlikely to support the measure.

The proposal would require a three-fifths majority vote in both the House and Senate before it could be put before Illinois voters during the next general election.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • emmie

    let’s do it!!!

  • JR

    It would be a great first step. Then maybe term limits, and recalls of governors who lie about the tax hike they’re going to stick the people with. Then spending cuts and then an end to goofy spending like obesity programs. Let’s run the state like a business and not like a bottomless pit. But what the heck, we voted them in so we will have to live with the insanity.

  • Roberta Waker

    Sounds like a great idea to me. Maybe they can repeal this rax hike too, before more financial problems kill the economy in Illinois. Or, those voted out CANNOT vote after the elections and NO ONE voted out could accept any government jobs. This would wrap things up very nicely. And if the petition to recall Quinn gets enough votes, maybe this will send a message to our “representatives” too.

  • justforfacebook20101

    This is nothing more than sour grapes. We were subjected to 26 years of Republican rule, and where was this outrage when republicans raised the income tax rate to 3% in 1989, and then made it permanent in 1992. The tax increase was not a big secret. The Illinois assembly had been discussing tax increase for the past 3 years. Republoicans had ample opportunity to come up with valuable working solutions, but alas, they didn’t. They acted just like their fellow republicans in Washington, by just collecting a paycheck, standing idly by, until they had more people, to cause an uproar.. So instead of taking the good with the bad, they want to rewrite history to suit their own needs, regardless of the needs of this state. Same with the republicans in Washington, wanting to rewrite the past two years, regardless of the needs of this country.

  • AJ

    Personally, I’m just tired of politicians who are supposed to be working for us, and yet they make all the decisions that make our life miserable.

  • franklin808

    Get over it GOP! This tax increase is a good thing and will only help Illinois. We have been spending too much since George Ryan and now we must pay the piper.

  • Sandy

    Just the latest cop-out by a do-nothing GOP in Springfield.

    Instead of worrying about the Democrats working too much, why don’t these Republicans try working for a change. All they do is sit around pointing fingers.

    If they didn’t like the tax hike bill, Republicans could have submitted an alternative bill. They chose no to because they just want to pander and play political games.

    These Republicans have disgraced us even more than the Democrats have. They didn’t even try to fix our state’s problems. We can all disagree with what the Democrats decided to do, but at least they took their job seriously.

    These Republicans in Springfield clearly don’t care about us or the state. They should all just resign if they aren’t going to work. STOP TAKING WELFARE YOU DO-NOTHING GOP LAWMAKERS! It’s hard to make the Dems look good in this state, but these GOP lawmakers are doing it.

  • JiimmyMac

    Just one of Hundreds of reasons PROVING how today’s GOPee losers will CONTINUE to put this whole country way down inside the sewer system !!!! It will never end…apparently !!!! Keep It Up, GOPee You ARE disgusting !!!!


    I see of the dem supporters have shown up and commented!!!! So you idiots will continue to support the IL democrats while they bend you over ??? You are a wonderful group, thnx for the laughs!!! Now go “F” yourselves you morons!!! You were happy to stay in the closet while REAL concerned IL citizens made their voices heard by the thousands on these articles, and now you come out and try to sneak in some silly shots. You fux are all lemmings!!

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