The Illinois House of Representatives has announced their intention to convene in Springfield on January 8, 2021. The Illinois Senate has not made such an announcement … yet. The Illinois Senate will most likely convene if the House of Representatives favorably acts on a series of bills that were initially approved by House leadership for consideration on Saturday, January 2, 2021.
This broad range of legislative proposals are now scheduled to be heard in House Committees on January 8 and 9, 2021. The hearings will be in meeting rooms of the Springfield Convention Center. The subject matter of the proposals to be heard include Healthcare Availability, Higher Education, Property Taxation, Local Government, Criminal Justice, Child Care, Energy Storage Systems, State Fiscal/Budget, and many other topics.
The outcome of this “lame duck” session could have a direct bearing on how the House and Senate chambers proceed on January 13, 2021 for the scheduled organization and selection of the House Speaker and the Senate President. Keep in mind, that a chamber cannot conduct any business until its presiding officer is elected. And that means NO VOTING … on resolutions, legislative proposals, or any form of business.
In accordance with Illinois operational provisions, the Secretary of State (Secretary Jesse White) will serve as presiding officer of the House of Representatives until a Speaker of the House is elected by the newly sworn in members of the Illinois House of Representatives. Governor J. B. Pritzker will serve as the presiding officer of the Senate until the Senate members elect a Senate President.
Should there be a failure to elect a presiding officer on the first or subsequent roll calls, the acting presiding officer will have no choice other than to “recess to a future date”. This has happened before! At that time, in 1974, it took the House of Representatives almost three weeks and 98 roll call votes before the House elected Representative William Redmond as Speaker.
The next two weeks could be very interesting!