Springfield….As the legislature returned to action in Springfield on Tuesday, the first order of business to receive consideration was HR 59. The House Resolution is the first order of business because it establishes the parliamentary rules by which the Chamber will operate for the 101st General Assembly.
118th District State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) believes the parliamentary procedures that govern the law-making process in the House give Speaker Mike Madigan far too much power.
“One-man, one-party rule is the antithesis of American values,” Windhorst said. “Yet, the rules adopted by House Democrats today ensure that Mike Madigan can pull the plug on good ideas from the Republican side of the aisle, drop major pieces of legislation on legislators’ desks just one hour prior to voting, and bring legislation directly to the House Floor without so much as a Committee hearing. The ‘Madigan Rules’ are not in line with the tenets of a fair and open process.”
At the start of each new General Assembly, Speaker Madigan is known to require two critical votes from Democrat members; first, a vote to re-elect him Speaker of the House, which happened on January 9th, and then Madigan’s House Rules.
Windhorst says he is disappointed that efforts made by Republicans to alter Madigan’s proposed House Rules would allow for more public input were ignored.
“As a new member, I have met several very smart, very dedicated Representatives from the Democrat side that are also new to Springfield,” Windhorst said. “Many of them have expressed a desire to work together on major issues going forward. It sends a bad signal that on the very first vote in the Chamber, Republican ideas on House Rules were completely ignored by Madigan and other Democrat members, including those members that are new.”
Windhorst says Illinois House Republicans introduced their own proposal, HR 62, to address some of the concerns that exist on issues of transparency and public access to amendments to legislation.
may seem like a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo to many people, but I want to make
the complicated very simple when it comes to the Madigan Rules,” Windhorst
said. “Madigan has the power and the votes to advance or to impede any
legislative initiative for the next two years. That fact alone was enough to
earn my No vote on HR 59.”