Fall session of Illinois General Assembly canceled


Next week’s session of the Illinois House has been canceled.

“There is a strong majority of members who would prefer the House delay convening to a later date; this is primarily motivated by concerns about the rising COVID-19 rates and proximity to upcoming holidays,” House Speaker Michael Madigan's Chief of Staff Jessica Basham said in a letter to members. “I'm advised that there are similar concerns among Senate members, who were also surveyed over the weekend.”

Messages seeking comment from Senate President Don Harmon’s office weren’t immediately returned.

“House and Senate leadership will be announcing the cancellation of the veto session (currently scheduled for November 17-19 and December 1-3),” Basham wrote. “We will continue to monitor the evolving conditions relative to the pandemic and keep members apprised of future session dates.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said he was disappointed at the prospect lawmakers wouldn’t return to Springfield

“We have so much work to do in Springfield, there’s no doubt,” Pritzker said. “With regard to the budget in particular, we have major efforts underway that will require the legislatures engagement.”

Pritzker didn't elaborate what those efforts entail.

Before the announcement, state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, said it would be disappointing if the legislature didn’t meet.

“There’s a lot of really important work to do, not the least of which is the checks and balances that we need to occur on coronavirus response,” Bourne said. “I think that this shows that speaker Madigan, if he chooses not to have veto session, doesn’t want to get his caucus together because he has such an issue with not being able to have the confidence of his own caucus.”

“I think it’s a strong signal that the speaker is weak,” Bourne said.

“As a reminder, the end of the term for the 101st General Assembly is January 13, 2021, on which date the 102nd General Assembly will be inaugurated,” Basham said.

The legislature largely canceled their Spring session, only meeting three days in late May to pass a budget and other measures.

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