Commentary on New Illinois House Rules

From the House Freedom Caucus:

IL Freedom Caucus: New House rules again empower Majority party

Springfield, IL – The Illinois Freedom Caucus is issuing the following statement on the adoption (largely along partisan lines) of the new House Rules that will determine how the Illinois House of Representatives will be governed in the 103rd General Assembly.

“Illinois Freedom Caucus member Adam Niemerg negotiated some rule changes to no longer allow votes to be cast via Zoom. Committees will be able to operate via Zoom if technology allows, but floor votes will have to be made in person, which is something the Freedom Caucus has been pushing for a long time.

Niemerg also negotiated the end of the consent calendar that allowed large number of bills to be voted on with one roll call. Consent Calendar bills often included ceremonial legislation such as measures to change the name of roads to honor members of the community, but the list also included substantive legislation.

Substantive bills deserve individual roll calls so that members are completely aware of the full implication of their votes, and thanks to Freedom Caucus member Adam Niemerg we secured an important victory for the people of Illinois.

But unfortunately, the House rules as a whole give the majority party total control of the process.

There is nothing in the rules to drop major pieces of legislation at the last minute without giving individual members adequate time to review what is in the legislation being considered.

The new rules also give the House leadership and Committee chairs total power over what bills are voted on in House Committees.

The rules essentially are the same rules that former disgraced House Speaker Michael Madigan used to exercise complete control of the process.

While there are elements in the rules we can support, given the lack of transparency and lack of accountability built into these rules, we voted against them.

The people we represent have a right to have their voice and their concerns heard. Under these rules, their voice is being silenced.”

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); and State Representative Jed Davis (R-Newark). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.


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