Springfield….As the legislature returned to action in Springfield on Tuesday, the first order of business to receive consideration was HR 59.
The House Resolution is the first order of business because it establishes the parliamentary rules by which the chamber will operate for the 101st General Assembly.
Representative Bryant says she has long argued that Mike Madigan wields far too much power.
“Be it his grip on the Democratic party, its fundraising apparatuses, Democratic House member appointments, or being Speaker of the House, Madigan is all about total control,” Bryant said.
“There’s a sort of ‘total-control syndrome’ that infects the process in Illinois,” Bryant said. “One-man, one-party rule means that good ideas from the Republican side of the aisle sometimes never see the light of day.”
Representative Bryant went on to explain that the vote to elect Madigan as Speaker, and the vote for the Madigan Rules are two elements in Madigan’s loyalty test for his Democratic members.
“With each new General Assembly, Speaker Madigan requires two critical votes from Democrat members; first, their vote to re-elect him Speaker of the House, which happened on January 9th, and then his House Rules,” Bryant said. “House Republicans are often presented major pieces of legislation at the last minute, with only an hour or so to review hundreds of pages of bills that have long-term impacts on our State.”
The rules by which the Chamber is governed are the majority’s prerogative, but Bryant says efforts by Republicans to moderate some of the Rules to allow more public input were completely ignored by Madigan and other Democrat members.
“The House Republicans introduced our own proposal to address some of the more totalitarian-style rules,” Bryant said. “This is inside-baseball to some folks, but I can’t stress how important this vote is. In the past, I have introduced bills to require drug testing for welfare recipients, to prohibit the purchase of tobacco and alcohol products with TANF money, and legislation that would have reopened and repurposed Tamms Correctional Center. Each of these pieces of legislation were bottled up in Madigan’s Rules Committee and never received a hearing or a vote in Committee. We can do better than this, and I would encourage my Democrat friends to consider the fact that as State Representatives we create laws that effect all of the people of the State, not just the ones in our districts.”