Our Weekend Watch shines a spotlight on government activity.
The 2022 spring Illinois legislative session got off to a slow start on Wednesday. The recent COVID-19 surge forced two of three session days to be cancelled, and has shuttered all session days for next week.
This will be the third year with heightened COVID protocols. In 2020, the legislature made some rule changes to allow remote voting. Those rules were extended to allow remote voting for the rest of this session as more House and Senate members test positive for the virus.
Bryan Zarou, the director of policy at the Better Government Association, said there are a few bills to keep an eye on this session. Three bills have already passed the legislature: an amendment to the Elections Bill, which now allows for mail-in ballots for general primaries (HB1958); Judicial Map Redistricting (HB3138) which was done without any hearings; and clean-up language for the Criminal Justice reform bill that passed last year.
The schedule for the legislature this year is shorter than most years, mainly due to the fact that it’s an election year and primaries are much earlier this year. The legislature plans to adjourn in April as opposed to May – that’s a tight deadline especially when they are battling the schedule of the coronavirus, and trying to pass a budget which seems like the top legislative priority.