Budget Watch - Day 3

The budget bill made its appearance in the House chamber just before midnight and minutes after passing out of the Senate. The timing of its arrival allowed the House clerk to read it into the record for the first of three days required by the Rules of the House of Representatives.

It is uncertain if additional amendments will be considered; nonetheless, the stage is set for the budget’s final passage tomorrow, likely in the wee hours of the morning. Republicans and most of the Democratic caucus have little time to comb through thousands of pages of the $50 billion budget before it is called for a vote.

This late night tactic has been used in years past to wear down lawmakers and the general public, stifling debate and preventing us from knowing precisely what is in the budget. Former Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan, deployed this same tactic to shield his nefarious intentions and it is disappointing that his legacy of “budgets by dark of night” continues even after his indictment on racketeering charges. It’s also disappointing that Speaker Welch, Madigan’s hand-picked successor, has failed in his promise of a “new day” in the Illinois House.