Ill. Lawmakers Adjourn for the Summer

June 01, 2011

Illinois' General Assembly has officially adjourned. The House finished late Tuesday evening, followed by the Senate adjourning just after midnight. Lawmakers spent their last day of session tackling issues ranging from gambling to workers compensation.

The last minute rush of action means a heap of measures now await Governor Pat Quinn.

There's the gambling package that allows for five new casinos, including in Chicago, Danville and Rockford --- plus slots at racetracks, including Springfield's state fair grounds.

There's the legislation shepherded through by Ameren and Com Ed that upgrades the power grid and has customers pay for it in their electric bills.

And there's an overhaul of the workers' compensation system, which President of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association Greg Baise said is needed.

"It's been a bad system since 1975, really," Baise said. "It'll be an improvement for the employer community."

The General Assembly also sent Governor Quinn a budget, which cuts education and social services, and spends $2.3 billion less than Governor Quinn had asked for.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross says making the cuts wasn't easy, but resulted in a great product.

"Not only was it balanced, but it was a document that was driven from the bottom up by you as members," Cross told his fellow state representatives. "That's the way it should be. It's pretty remarkable.

Both chambers are adjourned ostensibly until October's veto session.

But there's a chance they could come back this summer, to respond if the governor vetoes any of the proposals on his desk.

Lawmakers might return to revive funding for a statewide infrastructure program, should the Illinois Supreme Court rule in a pending case that the current funding source is unconstitutional. There's also a push by the Senate Democrats to restore money cut from the budget for some social service programs.

For now, all eyes are on Quinn.

Story source: AP