A press release from State Rep. Mike Tryon:
Rep. Tryon Urges an End to Lame Duck Sessions
SPRINGFIELD….. State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and other members of his caucus on Tuesday to unveil two pieces of legislation that call for an end of lame duck sessions in the Illinois legislature.
Because Illinois statutes currently allow for lame duck sessions, part of the change would require a Constitutional Amendment.
“Through HJRCA43, the voters of Illinois can decide this November if lame duck sessions should be allowed,” said Tryon.
“Personally, I think legislators should not take any new votes once an election has occurred and it is apparent that they will not be returning to office. Moving up inauguration to be closer to the date of the general election is a good idea.”
At every general election, a new General Assembly is elected but legislators do not take their oath of office until almost two months later.
Under the legislation filed on Tuesday, the newly elected General Assembly would be seated the second Wednesday in December, and in years when a Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected, they too would be seated at that time.
“It was during a lame duck session in January of 2011 when the largest tax increase in Illinois history was pushed through,” said Tryon.
“Many of the affirmative votes came from lame duck legislators who had no accountability back home since they were going to be leaving office.”
In addition to moving up the date of inauguration, HJRCA43 provides that outgoing General Assembly members could no longer convene and act on legislation or other matters without approval of a joint proclamation of the Governor, House Speaker, Minority Leader of the House, Senate President and Senate Minority Leader.
Special sessions could be convened in the event of an emergency, but would be limited to a very narrow list of topics, such as natural disasters or after an act of terrorism.
The provisions of a second piece of legislation, House Resolution 805, would change the House Rules to limit the actions of a lame duck legislature during the time between the vote on a constitutional amendment and the date when the amendment’s adoption becomes law.
“Lame Duck sessions provide a timeframe for unpopular legislation to be pushed through,” said Tryon. “Outgoing lawmakers with no accountability to voters have no business voting on controversial legislation.”