By Bob Balgemann


The Illinois House of Representatives has adopted House Resolution 46, a set of rules that will govern procedures of that state legislative chamber for the next two years.

It was a 63-53 vote in favor of the measure, introduced and sponsored by Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, a top associate of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Two Democrats and all 51 Republicans voted against the resolution.

“If you are seeking fairness and democracy in government, don’t look at what the Springfield majority did as they adopted archaic rules that don’t allow issues to come for a vote, if only one member says ‘no,'” State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, said.

He co-sponsored an alternative proposal, House Resolution 47, a bill to reform House Rules in order to make the legislative process more open and transparent, while decentralizing the concentration of power in the Speaker of the House.

However, HR 47 was denied consideration, or a vote, despite having a total of 51 sponsors.

As the historic 100th General Assembly begins its session in Springfield, state Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Sycamore, said in a telephone interview that he had been hopeful for a new beginning, based on what Speaker Madigan said during the inauguration in Springfield.

What that amounted to was “so much rhetoric,” the legislator said. “The rules (adopted Tuesday, Jan. 24) just further concentrate power to the Speaker.”

The reason he believes relative no change has happened in Springfield is due to the fact that: “People aren’t engaged. They’re too busy with their own things to worry about Springfield.”

Pritchard is beginning his 14th year as a state legislator. He still has hope.

“I’m here, I have experience, I have some ideas. I am able to move some things forward that are requested by constituents. I hope to keep making a difference, a little bit at a time,” Pritchard said.

The Republican Party gained a few seats in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, election and he said, “We’ll see what the next election brings.”

Looking at the session that began earlier in January, he said, “I just hope we’ll be able to get a budget.”

Pritchard, Sosnowski, and State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, represent Boone County in the legislature.


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