Illinois Legislature cancels second week of scheduled session

Coronavirus Watch

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — For the second consecutive week, Speaker Michael Madigan’s office has instructed state lawmakers to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

An email from Jessica Basham, Madigan’s chief of staff, instructed lawmakers not to come back to work at the statehouse next week. State lawmakers were scheduled to return to work today after the Tuesday primary election, but this week of session was canceled as the state took initial steps to combat the Coronavirus.

Basham’s email instructed state lawmakers to consider the session schedule as “in flux,” and told them to “be prepared to return to Springfield to address urgent matters.”

The disruption to the normal order of state business could mean lawmakers work through the regularly scheduled Spring Break between April 5th and April 12th. The state constitution requires the General Assembly to pass a budget before May 31st. Any legislation that is not resolved prior to June 1st requires a three-fifths majority to pass, a higher threshold than the simple majority vote legislations requires during normal session.

During the interim, House Democrats are preparing to hold conference calls with their members to keep them apprised of the fast-moving situation as entire portions of state government go into lockdown mode to prevent person-to-person transmission of the highly contagious and deadly Coronavirus.

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