Ward Room's Legislative Round-Up: Lawmakers Return to Springfield

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday

Following a weeklong break for the observance of Passover, the Illinois General Assembly will reconvene Tuesday. The Senate is scheduled to be in session from Tuesday through Friday and the House will meet Tuesday through Thursday.

May is a pivotal period for the state legislature, as lawmakers are scheduled to be in session twenty-one of the month’s twenty-nine remaining days. At the end May, legislation will become more difficult to pass. At that point, a three-fifths supermajority will be required to pass bills.

Below is a preview of some of the week’s pending legislation.



The House Judiciary - Criminal Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday for a House Resolution that looks to keep low level drug offenders out of county jail and the Department of Corrections.

The measure looks to discourage prosecutors from recommending such sentences and judges from assigning them.

The legislation also looks to urge the Governor and Director of Corrections to commute sentences for such offenders serving time in county jails and the Department of Corrections to home confinement.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford.


A Constitutional Amendment to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2019 will receive a hearing Tuesday in the Senate Executive Committee.

If the measure passes both chambers with a three-fifths vote, the decision to abolish the office will then go to voters.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. David McSweeney Sen. William Brady. It passed in the House last month, receiving 95 yeas and 10 nays.



The House Human Services Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to address a proposal to create a Heroin Addiction Awareness Day in Illinois.

The measure looks to address addiction to the drug and implement new protocols to combat usage. The measure would designate November 4, 2016 as Heroin Addiction Awareness Day.

The state is currently facing a heroin epidemic. According to a 2015 report by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosvelt University, the state of Illinois ranks as the third worst in providing treatment for users.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dwight Kay


The measure, which looks to amend the Illinois Vehicle Code by allowing vehicle owners a 30-day grace period to file an application for registration renewal if the Secretary of State does not provide notice that the vehicle’s registration is set to expire, will receive a hearing in the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Jaime Andrade and Senate President John Cullerton.

The House passed the measure last month with a vote of 114 yeas and 0 nays.



The House Revenue & Finance Committee and the House Finance Subcommittee will hold hearings for a resolution which looks to modernize the state tax code and pass a budget for the Fiscal Year 2016.

The state has been without an official budget since July of last year.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Christian Mitchell.


The Senate Appropriations II Committee will hold a a hearing to address a large appropriations bill that would allocate funding for the state’s social and human services and public colleges and universities, among other things.

Illinois’ social and human services and institutions of higher education have been adversely affected by the state’s lingering budget impasse.

The bill is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

The bill passed in the House in March with a vote of 70 yeas and 40 nays.

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