After Brief Session, Lawmakers Gone for Weeks

Wednesday’s swearing-in of the new Illinois General Assembly had lots of calls for lawmakers to get to work right away. We asked Brian Mackey how that went.

There are big issues facing lawmakers in Springfield: pensions, the budget, guns, gambling.
Sen. Christine Radogno, the Republican Minority Leader, was one of several legislators who talked about keeping Inauguration Day celebrations in perspective.

RADOGNO: “Today, (it) has been mentioned, is about flowers and fanfare and festivities. But we will be right back down to work tomorrow.”

Indeed, both chambers gaveled in today. Rep. Lou Lang was presiding over the House.

LANG: “115 members of the House being present, we have a quorum and (are) ready to do our work.”

But after doing nothing for a minute — literally one minute and nine seconds …

LANG: “Mr. Clerk, would you please read the adjournment resolution?”

That was pretty much it. To be fair, lawmakers are still figuring out new office assignments and parking spaces. But even the legislative leaders don’t have any private meetings scheduled yet. And on a tough issue like pensions, that’s often where the real work gets done.

— Brian Mackey

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