The Illinois Senate returned to Springfield for a quick, two-day session this week, then left last night with little accomplished. Time's running out for more to happen because Wednesday's the final day the General Assembly can take action. After that, all bills winding their way through the Capitol are dead, and it's time to start over. Advocates have high hopes that with a pressing deadline, the legislature will legalize gay marriage in Illinois, allow Chicago, Rockford and Danville to host casinos, and ban certain types of guns. The Senate left town without doing any of it. The House will have its turn starting Sunday. Senate President John Cullerton says if the House passes anything major, he'll call the Senate back on Tuesday to follow up on it. Otherwise, he says, it's on the agenda for the NEXT session:
"We didn't use this lame duck session to vote on controversial tax increases that lame duck folks can vote for easier than others. We just really finished up the normal business that you'd normally finish up. And we made some progress on the other topics."
Cullerton points out that the next crop of legislators will have more Democrats, since Republicans suffered big losses in November's election. He says he expects a lot of issues will have a greater chance of passing in the next General Assembly.
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