Il lawmakers return to Springfield this week

Jan 27, 2014

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield this week ... finally.  It'll be their first meeting this year. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky has more on the light calendar.

When the General Assembly convenes Wednesday, it's not for a typical day. The governor will give his State of the State speech. All legislators have to do is sit, listen, and react. 

They'll be back next week to start introducing and debating bills. But not often after that, at least early on. The House and Senate are set to meet 14 days each from through mid-March, the day of the primary election. 

Head of the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Chris Mooney, says most legislators will be otherwise occupied until then.

"They're going to be busy knocking on doors, and doing the various things they do to get  re-elected."

The legislative calendar gets busier after the primary. Mooney also says, in even-numbered years, session is lighter by design.

"Partially because of the election, but partially because we like to keep our legislatures less busy. You know, we don't want them making all sorts of laws all the time, because we're afraid of what they might do."