Members Skate, But the House Rolls On

The Illinois House reached a deadline Friday for members to pass legislation. But after seven hours of session, attendance was dwindling. Brian Mackey has more.

REP. LOU LANG: “Roll call for attendance.”

The day began with just 10 representatives absent.

LANG: “There are 108 members present, we do have a quorum.”

But as the minutes turned into hours, members began peeling off.

LANG: “The chair recognizes Mr. Bost who’s probably going to tell us Rep. Tracy’s not here.”
REP. MIKE BOST: “Rep. Tracy is excused for the rest of the day. Thank you Mr. Speaker.”
LANG: “And Rep. Will Davis with an important announcement.”
DAVIS: “Can I declare myself excused for the rest of the day?”
LANG: “You may, sir. You can go in Mr. Sullivan’s car.”

The absences could have been the tipping point for several pieces of legislation. Measures dealing with HIV and child-support payments fell just a few votes short. At least one other bill wasn’t even called after it became clear too many of its supporters were missing. Nearing the end of the day, more than 30 members had either left or weren’t bothering to cast votes.

LANG: “On this question there are 86 voting yes, none voting no …”

After more than seven hours of session, they adjourned. And they’re taking next week off.

— Brian Mackey

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