Journalist in Residence
The Illinois House Clerk is making committee roll call votes available soon to folks who visit the Illinois General Assembly’s website.
“This is a positive step toward greater transparency,” said longtime Statehouse observer Mike Lawrence. “It will help shift the focus of political discourse from rhetoric to records.”
Back in July, the Illinois Policy Institute issued a report calling for greater transparency in the committee process.
“We are just absolutely thrilled by the actions of the House Clerk,” said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute. “This will go a long way toward informing voters about how their legislators are voting. Committees are an absolutely crucial part of the legislative process and it’s important that votes are readily accessible to anyone who wants to know.”
It will be interesting to see if the move toward greater transparency will curb legislative shenanigans, such as lawmakers voting for a measure in committee and against it when it is considered by the full chamber.
Senate Secretary Tim Anderson said his chamber is not yet ready to begin publishing committee roll calls online. He added the chamber is experimenting with transmitting more committee data electronically and may post online committee roll calls in the future.