Rule number one: If the Illinois General Assembly is still in session there is no telling the damage it can do.
Fact: The Illinois General Assembly is still in session for six more hours as I write this.
Rule number two: You never, never stop calling. 888-412-6570
Fact: The number of calls from those opposed to SB 1673 are reported to be around 100,000.
Rule number three: You can tell how things are going by whether late on the last day of the session the bars are full of lobbyists or the halls of the Capitol are full of lobbyists.
Fact: I’ve been told that at this hour the bars around the Springfield Capitol are full.
Is SB 1673 dead? Well, no. But it appears to be on life support.
Things started falling apart yesterday. When GOP House leader Tom Cross attacked Madigan for bundling the pension obligation shift with the pension benefit cuts. Madigan reacted by pulling his name off the bill and handing it over to Cross. He said he was surprised that our one-term governor supported the Republicans.
The political knives were out.
I suspected then that Madigan saw the writing on the wall and was bailing.
The Trib reported late today that the bill has hit a snag.
Is the bill dead? Don’t carve the date on the tombstone yet.
I’ve heard reports that the Chicago House delegation is voting no.
And then there was the report of Madigan’s decision to vote no.
Madigan doesn’t vote alone.
Senate President Cullerton has hinted he won’t bring it to the Senate floor even if it passes the house. It needs at least 30 Democratic Party votes to pass the House even if every Republican House member votes for it.
It’s 5:30 PM. Did we kill the bill? Don’t print the schedule for the funeral services quite yet.
But you might chill a bottle of champagne just to get ready.
Then make another call.
Am I being too optimistic?
Besides. Even if we win this time, this is never going away for good.
More than a few friends have been told by their representatives that a special session may be called in June or later to address the pension issue again. Make sure you pay your phone bill, folks. You will be needing it.