Illinois House Republicans want to avoid a repeat of 2011 – and even 1997.
They want to make the lame duck a political endangered species by passing a constitutional amendment – which the General Assembly would have to agree to put before the state’s voters – that would move inauguration up a month, to December. That’s significant, because bills in the last seven months of the calendar year require a supermajority to pass.
The legislature, with the help of several outgoing lawmakers, passed an increase in the state income tax in January of 2011, hours before the new group was sworn in. That increase is scheduled to expire after this year, setting up what House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) says would be “the mother of all lame duck sessions.”
Durkin says he’s guilty himself. When Republicans led the House in 1995 and 1996, the lame-duck bills of January 1997 included the death of straight-party voting.