Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) posed one of the most important questions of the year during the debate over the Rules of the House for the 100th General Assembly—“if you didn’t know if you were in the majority or minority, would you feel these rules are fair?”
Speaker Madigan’s House Rules have long been a point of contention over the process in Springfield. With complete control over setting the daily agenda and control through his top Assistants over what bills are assigned to committee and which are not, Speaker Madigan has ruled Illinois with an iron fist for 32 of the past 34 years. He alone determines whether a bill will receive fair debate in the Illinois House.
This prologue is what led newly appointed Republican Caucus Chair Demmer to pose the question, “if you didn’t know you were in the majority or minority, would you feel these rules are fair?” He continued, “we all come here to represent the interests of our constituents who sent us here. We should all have the opportunity to get a fair hearing on bills of interest to our constituents. Instead, we’re putting a roadblock on step one. These rules are not conducive to a bipartisan government.”
Alternately, Rep. Demmer joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin in proposing new Rules of the House which allowed for a more fair, open, and transparent set of rules that prioritized disclosure and openness instead of secrecy and concentrated power. Among the provisions of the Demmer-backed proposal were limits on lame-duck sessions, easier discharge process for Rules Committee, and a myriad of changes increasing public notice and disclosure of General Assembly activities.
On a vote of 63-53, Speaker Madigan’s proposed rules passed the Illinois House, continuing a shroud of secrecy and control that has proven to be the hallmark of Madigan’s longest-in-the-country control over the Illinois House. Rep. Demmer voted NO.
90th District residents can connect with Rep. Demmer and learn more about legislation sponsored by Rep. Demmer during the Spring legislative session at his website at www.tomdemmer.org.