The Illinois Legislature returned to Springfield on Wednesday, January 4, a full week before the newly elected General Assembly is sworn into office. The “Lame Duck” Session, convened after January 1 but before the expiration of the last General Assembly, enables legislators to consider and pass legislation with a simple majority, requiring only 60 House and 30 Senate votes. Any legislation passed each year after May 31, and including an immediate effective date, requires a super-majority roll call. This Constitutional loophole enables controversial legislation to pass with a lower vote threshold and with the votes of Legislators who have lost re-election, or didn’t run for re-election.
Primarily on the agenda for the Lame Duck Session is gun legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Legislators are expected also to consider measures to protect doctors and medical professionals that perform abortions and other procedures. Most importantly for NFIB, legislators will also be passing legislation appropriating $1.37 Billion and $450 million to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund; the final, and most essential, piece of the UI agreement reached during Veto Session in November.