New state House Speaker Welch made commitments for reform to force out Madigan. Can he keep them?

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Under the House rules at one time, the Rules Committee would assign bills filed by lawmakers to a standing committee for a hearing. They would then go on to a full floor vote or be held.

But under Madigan, the Rules Committee became a killing ground for legislation he opposed, with many bills sent there never again seeing the light of day.

“One of the first things I’m waiting to see is whether the new House rules will loosen the Rules Committee’s and by extension the speaker’s, ability to kill bills from the get-go,” said Charles Wheeler III, a veteran statehouse observer and retired professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Republicans are hoping for rules that will allow more of their legislation to be considered on the floor — as well as more time allotted to reading legislation that comes from the other side before having to vote on it.

“I think 45 House Republicans would like nothing better than to, at some point, vote yes on the House Rules because they respect our rights as well,” said Springfield GOP Rep. Tim Butler. “We have a lot of good people who know about the rules and I would hope as we craft the rules for the 102nd General Assembly that we collaborate on those.”

Under Madigan, there also were unofficial rules, such as a limit on how many bills lawmakers could focus on and push for passage among all of the legislation they introduced. Many members felt the limit constricted their abilities and ignored constituents needs.

Region: Decatur,Feeds,City: Decatur

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January 16, 2021 at 01:07PM

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