New Illinois House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch signals pandemic housing, ethics, restorative justice are among legislative priorities

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“People are struggling during the pandemic; rental assistance is desperately needed. Mortgage assistance is desperately needed,” Welch said. “People are struggling and we’re going to find ways to help them.”

Welch has indicated he intends to be a more collaborative leader after Madigan’s decadeslong steely grip on the House. He has named chairs to the regular slate of House committees, and members will be able to say what committees they want to be assigned to.

The House will return to the Capitol next month for one day with a plan to adopt rules authorizing for remote legislative work. Welch canceled all the other scheduled February session days, and anticipates that committees will largely meet remotely during February and March.

“I anticipate that we will actually be able to increase our work performance significantly even though we’re working remotely,” he said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday said after the legislature’s fall session was canceled and the “very short” lame-duck session earlier this month, “it’s time to get back to work” for the legislature.

“The sooner the legislature gets to work, the better, whether it’s remotely or in Springfield, but we need legislation to keep moving,” Pritzker said at an unrelated news conference.

When the House meets on Feb. 10, it will be in the chamber at the Capitol, for the first time since early 2020. In order to provide more space, the House met in May and earlier this month at the Bank of Springfield Center, with individual desks spread across the arena floor.

Region: Decatur,City: Decatur,Politics,Region: Central

via herald-review.com – RSS Results in news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics of type article https://ift.tt/2JqbLLr

January 28, 2021 at 10:57AM

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