Day 4: Illinois House and Senate adjourn special session after only 16 minutes

Eric Kohn

Eric Kohn is marketing manager at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Eric Kohn
June 25, 2017

Day 4: Illinois House and Senate adjourn special session after only 16 minutes

Four days of special session have cost Illinois taxpayers an additional $200,000 for less than 80 minutes of work.

Day four of the special session of the Illinois General Assembly called by Gov. Bruce Rauner saw the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate work for even less time than they did on day three.

The two chambers combined to spend just under 16 minutes in special session on June 24. The previous day had them in special session for just under 17 minutes.

The Senate adjourned after only seven minutes and three seconds, while the House was in special session for only eight minutes and 15 seconds. Of the just over seven minutes the Senate was in special session, three minutes and 20 seconds was spent having the Secretary of the Senate read Rauner’s proclamation calling for the special session of the legislature.

Over four days, the two legislative chambers have put in less than 73 minutes of work in special session.

With each day of special session costing taxpayers about an additional $50,000, according to an estimate from the Chicago Tribune, the special session has run taxpayers around $200,000, or about $2,740 for each minute the House and Senate have worked.

A scheduled leadership meeting between House Speaker Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno was canceled at the last minute by the Republicans, according to a report by WCIA-TV.

The special session lasts through June 30, when the current fiscal year expires.

Both parties claim to want a compromise on a budget to prevent Illinois from becoming the first state with a junk credit rating. However, Democrats and Republicans alike have proposed plans to raise taxes by more than $5 billion, which would increase the average Illinois household’s tax burden by $1,125 each year. But Illinoisans have expressed that they don’t want a budget that hikes taxes.

Nearly two-thirds of likely Illinois voters don’t want an income tax hike as part of the state budget, according to polling conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute. More than three-quarters of respondents oppose hiking sales taxes. And nearly 80 percent agree “Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms before passing any tax increase.”

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