A note to readers
As I write this on Friday, May 26, we are right in the middle of the end-of-session crush of activity at the Capitol ahead of our May 31 adjournment deadline. Hundreds of bills are moving through the process in a short amount of time, many with last-minute negotiations or amendments. I will try to provide you with the most up-to-date information, but things are changing rapidly. Look for next week’s update for a more comprehensive report on the activity in the Capitol during these final scheduled days of the spring session.

House begins work on bills which have passed the Senate
The Illinois House will spend most of mid-May considering Senate bills which have made it to the House. The Senate passed 345 bills over to the House, out of 2,209 bills filed in that chamber – that’s about one in six. The Senate bills were assigned to House committees for further discussion, hearings and debate. The Senate bills had to be passed through House committees by Friday, May 19, in order to get a House floor vote and possibly become law this spring. It is possible for Senate bills to be granted an extended deadline for more consideration, but this does not typically happen to very many bills. This week the Senate sent several budget-related bills over to the House for consideration. So at least the process is moving forward. I hope this is a good sign that an agreement may be on the horizon.
Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urges Senate to act
Last week I shared with you some of my frustration at the level of partisanship that has come to dominate Springfield. This week, I have some better news to report. I joined with a bipartisan group of 30 House members in calling on the Senate to pass their “grand bargain” bills over to the House so that we may take up the bills before the May 31 adjournment deadline. It was encouraging to stand with so many members from both sides of the aisle in issuing this call.

State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) recognized fallen Paxton-area law enforcement officers with legislation which re-names the overpass near the site of the 1979 shootout where they fell in their honor.
Partisanship worsening the dysfunction in Springfield
I have served in the House of Representatives for a little over two years, and in that time I have encountered a great deal of frustration; over the budget, needed reforms and many other subjects. But last week I ran into one of the most frustrating obstructions yet.

Following a week of action under the dome in Springfield, State Representative Tom Bennett (R-GIbson City) discusses what took place at the state capitol. The House will be back in session again on May 9th.