SPRINGFIELD - Illinois state lawmakers have canceled their scheduled session for next week. The General Assembly was expected to come back to the Capitol on March 31.
In an email sent to House Democrats Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Mike Madigan's Chief of Staff Jessica Basham said members should be prepared to return for "urgent matters." Basham stated the House could be called back during the scheduled "legislative spring break" spanning the weeks of April 5 and April 12.
The email explained there are ongoing discussions this week on the state's budget and hospital assessment program. The deadline to move House bills out of committee has been extended to April 24 and the 3rd reading deadline for legislation is now May 8. Basham said these dates could be reviewed and extended as needed.
Senate President Don Harmon spoke with members of his caucus during a conference call Wednesday. Harmon said senators and staff are constantly examining legislative and procedural priorities in order to act quickly when session reconvenes. “We are going to have to figure out what is critical and what is time-sensitive,” Harmon said. The Senate is not scheduled to come back to Springfield until April 21, but Harmon asked members to keep their calendars open for possible return dates.
The Illinois Constitution requires lawmakers pass a budget before they adjourn on May 31. Gov. JB Pritzker addressed budget concerns during his press briefing Tuesday. Pritzker said his budget team is already restructuring the revenue and expenditures presented in February.