Illinois House GOP Seeks To End Lame-Duck Session

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- Illinois House Republicans want to put restrictions on future lame-duck sessions. They say the sessions are typically used to pass controversial legislation.

Republican Representative Mike Bost points to the 2011 income tax hike as an example, claiming that outgoing democrats had little to lose politically and helped push the increase through. It's an outcome he would like to avoid in the future, especially as that hike is now set to expire.
 
"We've got to stop that, and this is a good opportunity to do that," he says. "They might be able to do something like that in the lame duck session and extend this temporary income tax to a full-time income tax."
 
A new bill introduced last week would make it much harder to pass any legislation during the lame duck session. If approved,  lawmakers would need a super majority to pass any bill.
 
Democratic Representative John Bradley says the bill does serve an important purpose. It keeps outgoing legislators from changing their minds on controversial topics.
 
"I'm not for people changing their votes, because there is no consequences or no accountability for their actions," says Bradley.   
 
However, he says the bill takes focus away from the bigger issues.  
     
"I think people should be more focused on the issues that we can work toward solving, which would be balancing the budget and growing a surplus," he explains.  
 
Republicans also want to change the state constitution to move up the inauguration date one month earlier.
     
"We put it on the ballot as a referendum and take a vote statewide," says Bost. "If people approve it, then the constitutional change is made." 
 
The next lame duck session will take place in January 2015.
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