Illinois Legislature to Remain in Session Over Weekend

Numerous legislative items remain on the table as the May 31 deadline looms

Friday is not the last day of spring legislative session for the Illinois House. With major issues to tackle and a midnight deadline looming, House leaders have announced the chamber will be working at least through Sunday.

The announcement came after a 3 ½-hour debate on legalizing recreational marijuana use. The House approved the plan 66-47 and sent it to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has said he will sign the legislation. 

But lawmakers face a midnight deadline to approve a budget, a massive state construction plan that includes tax hikes on numerous items, and a bill that would implement statutory protections for abortion.

The legislature is also looking to patch together a plan to legalize sports betting, perhaps combined with a large-scale expansion of casino gambling, and consider statutory protections for abortion.

Although the legislature will remain in session, their task of getting bills passed will become slightly tougher, as the state constitution requires three-fifths majority votes in each chamber for approval of bills passed after the May 31 deadline. 

That will likely only prove a slight speedbump for lawmakers, as Democrats have supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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