Illinois legislators were set to get to business right away in the new year, with formal meetings beginning Tuesday through Thursday next week and often throughout the rest of January.
But with a spike in coronavirus, the General Assembly canceled its Jan. 4 and 6 session dates, and will likely call the session off the following week as well “amid the ongoing global pandemic.”
“In the past two weeks, Illinois' daily average of COVID-19 cases increased 130% and hospitalizations have risen 50%. This pandemic is not over,” House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch said in a statement released Thursday morning. “We must take necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus, reduce the burden on our health care systems and keep each other as safe as possible. We know how important the people’s work is and we are committed to getting that work done in a safe way.”
The House and Senate will still convene Wednesday, largely for organizational purposes and to empower committees to meet and vote remotely. They are also likely to vote on new judicial subcircuit maps, part of their ongoing redistricting duties.
The legislative session calendar typically runs through May, with legislators meeting frequently in spring before adjourning May 31 – the final date per the constitution to pass a budget with a simple majority vote before the following fiscal year.
But with the 2022 primary moved from March to June, the schedule is frontloaded, with packed session days starting in January. and adjournment scheduled for April 8.
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