-By Doug Ibendahl, Republican News Watch
The Illinois General Assembly is tentatively scheduled to adjourn by May 7th (a week from this Friday). That's an early date, and it may not happen, but that's the goal.
It's a good time to make another push for final passage of SB600. Recall the bill passed overwhelmingly in the State Senate last year. We still need House passage.
Please take a minute and contact your State Representative, whether Republican or Democrat, and urge passage of SB600.
You'll find all of the contact information here (then page down).
You'll also find blocks with the emails for all of the State Representatives. You can easily copy and paste the addresses in your email if you would like to contact all at once.
Prior to adjournment of this regular session in Springfield, a bill only needs a simple majority to pass. That's 60 votes.
You may recall that SB600 got a floor vote in the House back in October. One Republican "yes" vote had to be absent that day, and that Representative would have been the 60th vote. But in any case that was during the veto session and a three-fifths majority (71 votes) was required for passage.
The good news is the bill didn't fail. It was tabled for postponed consideration. It can be brought back to the House floor any time during this session.
After the November election, the General Assembly will come back for another veto session, where again a three-fifths majority is required for any bill.
The bad news is if SB600 doesn't pass this year then the whole process has to start all over again in the Senate when the new General Assembly is seated in January of 2011. Let's not let that happen.
It's time to close the loop on SB600 once and for all. If you want your vote back, this is the time to let the State Representatives know.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.