System is the problem, not just Madigan

 
Posted11/27/2020 1:00 AM

Whether or not you believe Speaker Madigan is guilty or implicit in the Commonwealth Edison bribery scheme, he is not the problem.

The problem is that the rules allow whoever is the speaker to exert undue influence over which bills are brought to a vote in the legislature. That is the power Madigan (Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, etc.) use to maintain control of their legislative bodies.

 

Now, it certainly is necessary for someone to organize legislative business to keep things moving and even to organize their members to meet objectives (including some horse trading), but blocking meaningful legislature (think about gerrymandering, budgets, ethics, supreme court or cabinet nominations, and many more that have died in committee or never made it to the floor) should be out of bounds.

The rules must be changed so that when committees submit a bill for a full vote the speaker should be required to bring the matter to a vote within a reasonable time period allowing our elected officials a Yes/No vote. Otherwise whoever fills the speaker's shoes will wield the same power and they will learn quickly how to use it.

Joe Celosky

Hoffman Estates

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