Lawmakers return to Springfield for veto session
November 14, 2006 (WLS) -- Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield Tuesday for the fall veto session. They were greeted with some big changes and not all of them were political.
Some of the changes are political, but the change is also physical, including an $18 million renovation of the state capital which has the House and Senate chambers so torn up, they are not useful for anything.
The State Capitol in Springfield is under construction for another month or two, so for the first time since 1875 the Illinois House is meeting in the historic Old State Capitol half a mile away, and Senate is convening in the adjacent Abraham Lincoln Library, where there is a new political reality to go along with the new digs.
Senate President Emil Jones won five additional seats last week, giving him a veto-proof Democratic majority and, for the first time, as much political clout as his Democratic colleague, and frequent rival, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Jones pursues an ambitious agenda that includes, at the top, a big bond issue for school construction.
"I am certain we will have a bipartisan relationship about the Senate. We will be able to pass school construction and do many things that have been bottled up," said Senate President Emil Jones, (D)-Chicago.
"We are a ready to take any proposals for consideration," said House Speaker Michael Madigan, (D)-Chicago.
On the other side of the aisle there is a sense of despair among Senate Republicans in the wake of last week's fiasco, and there is talk of dumping their downstate leader, Frank Watson, in favor of a suburban Republican.
"As a suburbanite, we need to strengthen the suburbanite hand in Illinois politics to protect our constituents," said Ill. Senator Kirk Dillard, (R)-Hinsdale,
"We have a huge job to rebuild it," said Ill. Senator Dan Cronin, (R)-Elmhurst.
"I have a lot of support from my members. My intention would be to serve again if they so wish," said Ill. Senator Frank Watson, (R)-Minority Leader.
Senate Republicans will probably make a tentative decision about Frank Watson's future in the next day or two.
As for the Democrats, there will be a lot of infighting among the heavyweights, but ultimately they will probably pass a lot of legislation that they like. That begins late Tuesday afternoon. The Senate committee is expected to approve an increase in the minimum wage that will probably get to the House when they return from Thanksgiving.
- Milwaukee District West Metra trains moving, but delayed 43 min ago
- 'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini dead at 51 in Italy 51 min ago
- More than 8 percent of Illinois bridges structurally deficient 45 min ago
- State lawmakers send pension crisis to committee
- Long lines for Cook County flood assistance
- Blackhawks fans show support with lawns, office decor
- Man convicted with twin faces new sex trafficking charges
- Museum of Science and Industry marks 80th birthday
- Child luring alert issued in Albany Park
- abcnews: Ohio Town Police Chief a Facebook Hit
- More than 8 percent of Illinois bridges...
45 min ago