WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Back to Work for Illinois Legislature

Nov 26, 2012

The Illinois Capitol building

Illinois lawmakers began November with an election that solidified Democratic majorities and they will finish the month by returning to the Capitol. 

Their annual fall meetings are called veto sessions because lawmakers are supposed to consider legislation the governor rejected or changed.  Those could include statewide regulation of plastic bags and a plan to let cancer treatment centers reject job applicants who smoke.

But with the shackles of campaigning just removed -- especially for legislators who won't be back next session -- it's a ripe time for votes on a range of contentious policies.

One that appears to be on the fast track: drivers' licenses for immigrants who are here illegally.

A couple others that might gain momentum are a proposal to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes and a proposal to legalize same sex marriage.

In addition, now that President Barack Obama has won re-election, it looks like his signature health care act is here to stay. As a result, legislators in his home state are getting ready to implement it. 

None of these get to the heart of arguably the biggest issues in Illinois -- pensions, and the budget overall.

If measures are not taken up this week, there's also a second week of veto session in early December. Plus the current General Assembly is scheduled to return again at the start of the new year.  Members can vote right up until new legislators are sworn in.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio