Edwardsville River Bender: Overtime for General Assembly?


By Dave Dahl

March 31, 2015

Democratic lawmakers say if it seems like the legislature is heading for an overtime summer session, that’s on the governor.  State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) says it’s the governor bringing up the possibility of legislators not passing a budget for the next fiscal year before the General Assembly’s scheduled adjournment of date of May 31.  “I don’t think none of us want to be on overtime,” Martinez said.

Overtime sessions have happened before because of budget disagreements between the governor and lawmakers, such as in 2007, when the dispute wasn’t settled until that August. State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) says to avoid that, Republicans must be more open to tax increases.

“If we sort of hold our ears and pretend like we can live in a fantasy world where revenue doesn’t have to be on the table, that’s going to prolong this process,” Guzzardi said.

Passing a budget after May 31 would require a three-fifths vote in both chambers. State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) says the requirement would make an agreement difficult, noting the budget fixes for the current fiscal year did not have that level of support in the Senate last week.