General Assembly Veto Session Canceled

By Benjamin Cox on November 11, 2020 at 8:47am

Illinois lawmakers are not coming back for a veto session this year. In a memo released to House members yesterday afternoon, Jessica Basham, chief of staff to House Speaker Michael Madigan, said there is a possibility that other session dates will be scheduled. For now, though, the session days scheduled for November 17th-19th and December 1st-3rd have been canceled. Basham said that many of the members wish to delay the session due to the rising COVID-19 numbers in Springfield and Sangamon County.

The current 101st General Assembly wraps up business in January when the members of the 102nd General Assembly will be sworn in and the legislative process restarts. The 102nd General Assembly begins January 13th, 2021.

The brief session in November and December is usually used to resolve direct conflicts or emergency legislation. The House Rules Committee filed no bills to committee yesterday providing an initial signal that the veto session was not going to take place.

In a memo from Senate President Don Harmon, he specifically cited the number of rising coronavirus cases in Sangamon County as a reason to pause the session.

Prior to the memo’s release, Governor J.B. Pritzker said during his daily COVID-19 briefing yesterday that he would find it disappointing if the legislative body would not reconvene.

Avery Bourne discusses the need to oust House Speaker Michael Madigan in a Zoom Conference with media across the state.

House Republicans early in the day called on Democratic representatives to vote against Madigan when he runs again for speaker. 95th District Representative Avery Bourne said a cancellation of the veto session would show that Madigan is weak: “I think that this shows that Speaker Madigan, if he chooses not to have veto session, doesn’t want to get his caucus together because he has such an issue with not being able to have the confidence of his own caucus. I hope that we meet. I hope we get important work done. I hope we have this conversation with folks across the aisle, but if it’s cancelled, I think it’s a strong signal that the Speaker is weak.”

In brief communication with WLDS News yesterday, 100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer says he believes a session will be called in January to pass through some quick legislation before the new General Assembly is sworn in.