SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers are finishing up a busy week in Springfield Friday after still being unable to pass the state’s budget by the democratic imposed May 19 deadline.
The Illinois General Assembly technically has until the start of the fiscal year in July pass the state budget, but they tend to aim for a May 31 deadline.
“Well that’s come and gone, and the reason they wanted to do that was essentially to give them the rest of the month to get other things done and do other work.,” WGN Political Analyst Paul Lisnek.
“By May 31 they can pass a budget with a majority vote, but after May 31, in the month of June prior to the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, it will require a supermajority to pass the budget.”
Aside from the budget, things got heated Thursday on the Senate floor during several Democratic-led measures.
One of those – an amendment to House Bill 1286 — that would give businesses the option to create all-gender multi-occupancy bathrooms.
“Just as a matter of fundamental cleanliness, why would any woman want a guy using their bathroom in a public restroom?” Sen. Chapin Rose.
“Why you might say, ‘why are you so concerned with toilets and bathrooms and urinals,’ I’m really not. The question should be, why you are?” Sen. Celina Villanueva said.
The amended version of the bill – passed the house Friday afternoon.
More contentious moments as democrats seek to allow non-citizens to become police officers – something currently prohibited under federal law.
“The other side of the aisle always talks about police officers and the things that they’re doing that give you concern and now you’re going to have people that are not even citizens of this country going into our communities,” Sen. Andrew Chesney.
“This is not about where you were born, so I’d ask you to look into your hearts and look into our history,” Sen. President Don Harmon said.
Under legislation Illinois state senators approved Thursday people in the firearms industry, including gun sellers, could be sued for alleged violations of Illinois law, including marketing to young people.
“Since I’ve taken office, I’ve taken all sorts of steps to fight, discourage gun violence that has hit Illinois and has long existed in Illinois,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said.
The house approved the bill – which now goes to the desk of Governor JB Pritzker – who has made it clear he will sign it.
“This bill isn’t just about gun manufacturers, this is about people and specifically within the act, a firearm industry member means a person that is dealing in retail sale of firearms-related products,” Gov. Pritzker said.
Lawmakers are also grappling with how to divide Chicago into 20 different districts ahead of the city’s first school board elections next year.
Parents and community organizers argue that the latest proposal still doesn’t account for a growing number of Latino students at Chicago Public Schools.