Chesney sponsors Midnight Rule to prevent legislative hijinks

State Representative Andrew Chesney filed House Bill 4103 with the Illinois House Clerk’s Office on Wednesday morning to prevent future legislating by the Illinois General Assembly between the hours of midnight and 6 am, unless there is agreement by the Minority Leader; regardless of which party is in the minority.

The legislation is aimed at addressing problems like those seen at the end of the Spring Session in the Illinois House. Illinois House Democrats passed a budget in the wee hours of the morning with no public review and stifling minority questions about the contents of the budget by limiting opposition debate to only one legislator testifying in opposition.

“Unfortunately, due to sloppy processes by majority democrats, the budget was riddled with errors, incorrect effective dates and full state agencies appropriations forgotten. This flawed work product required an expensive special session be scheduled weeks later to correct House Democrats’ errors,” explained Chesney.

“My legislation states that no future legislation can be passed between midnight and six am, unless both the majority leader and minority leader agree. Allowing room for emergencies, but none for partisan deception,” said Chesney. “In the future, your elected officials should not be reaching for their “vote” button at 3 am, unless there is a crisis in the state.”

Due to attendance issues in the Special Session in June, Illinois House Democrats unilaterally changed House Rules to allow for remote voting by legislators in order to have enough votes present to correct their budget mistakes. After changing the Rules to allow for remote voting, Democrats then had enough votes to fix the budget mistakes made last minute at the end of the Spring Session.

For more information on this or other state issues, please visit Representative Chesney’s legislative website at repchesney.com.