In its January 2011 lame-duck session the Illinois General Assembly approved an income-tax increase on a party-line vote. Some of the Democrats who voted for the increase later received state jobs.
Gov. Pat Quinn has called for a special session Jan. 8 for a lame-duck vote on whether to have a special election in 2016 to elect a state comptroller.
Scott Reeder, Executive Editor of the Illinois News Network, says lame-duck sessions present the worst opportunities for political shenanigans and should be done away with completely.
During their final moments in elected office, were they more concerned about their own employment prospects or serving the voters who just kicked them out of office?
We'll never know for sure what these people were thinking.
But sadly, in Illinois politics, situations like these are all too common.
Illinois shouldn't have lame duck sessions.
Rarely, do they serve the interests of voters well.
We just finished a quiet lame duck session in Springfield.
Pat Quinn told journalists before the election that he hoped to see lawmakers make the temporary tax hike permanent during the lame duck session.
But that didn't happen.
Could it be that lawmakers had little incentive to please a governor heading to the unemployment line?
Well, his lame duck legislative agenda died faster than a mallard pumped full of birdshot.
Not only did lawmakers not vote to hike taxes, the House ignored Quinn's call for raising the minimum wage.
If lawmakers are going to vote on issues such as these, it should be when they are most accountable to the voters, not the least.
That's why lame-duck sessions should be eliminated.
(Read the rest of Reeder's thoughts at Reboot Illinois.)
In other election-related news, a suburban mayor may be pushed out of a job soon. The mayor of Harvey, Eric Kellogg, has 40 days to come up with nearly $73,000 to pay a fine for failing to disclose fundraising information. He has been the town's mayor for 12 years and plans to run again for reelection in April, but the Illinois State Board of Elections says that if Kellogg doesn't pay these fines, he won't be allowed to appear on the ballot.
(Read more about the saga at Reboot Illinois.)
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