Illinois lawmakers reconvened in Springfield Monday following March’s legislative break but no legislation on the docket slated for committee hearings is related to the state’s budget impasse.
Instead, the legislature will discuss bills regarding daily fantasy sports betting and the use of the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to police videos. Other bills deal with parental cyberbullying and a ban on drone flights that could carry prison contraband.
In addition to this, lawmakers plan to vote on a measure that would require medicinal marijuana providers to provide warning labels to inform patients of potential side effects from the drug.
The Senate returned to the Capitol following a two-week break and the House is back from a month-long break. Gov. Bruce Rauner and fellow Republicans were critical of the legislature taking time off amid the state’s prolonged budget stalemate.
Illinois has been without an official budget since July of last year. The impasse, which has been typified by a battle between Rauner and his Democratic counterparts over the governor’s Turnaround Agenda, has adversely affected the state’s social services and public universities and colleges.
The state’s four primary legislative leaders -- Democratic Senate President Tom Cullerton, Democratic Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Republican Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and Republican Minority Leader of the House Jim Durkin -- were all expected to return to the state’s capital Monday.
This will presumably lead to renewed discussions on bipartisan budget solutions.
Friday marks the deadline for the slated measures to get out of committee, although all of the aforementioned bills are not guaranteed to be heard by then. Bills that don’t pass out of committee, or are not heard in time, face more scrutiny during the remainder of the spring’s legislative session, which is set to last just over eight more weeks.