At Illinois Policy by Helen Weiner --
On Jan. 11, 2017, Illinois’ new state politicians will be inaugurated.
But before then, lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly,
including members voted out of office in November 2016, will meet for
two more days, known as “lame duck” session, a dangerous period that
often sees controversial legislation sneak through the legislature.
Lame duck session allows legislators who have already been voted out
of office to vote on bills that they will not be accountable for through
the electoral process. Additionally, after Jan. 1, 2017, the House
needs 60 votes instead of 71 to pass legislation, so those unaccountable
representatives make up a larger portion of the voting block. In the
past, this has allowed for bills like the 2011 income tax
increase to pass the legislature with lower standards and many—20
percent, in fact—of representatives voting on their way out the door for
a tax hike they may not have voted for if they had another election to
face in the future.
Fortunately, 87 legislators in the House of Representatives signed a resolution that declared opposition to income tax hikes during lame duck, and 84 voted for a constitutional amendment
that would partially close this loophole and require the supermajority
needed during the rest of the post-regular session year for tax