Page 31 - February 2021
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“I get the optics,” Cunningham continued. “Obviously, we voted no, so there were still plenty of things in the bill that we have concerns about.”
Wild bill
When the nearly 800-page version of the new HB3653 came down in the middle of the night, there were many questions about whether any legislators would even have enough time to read it. Or understand it. Some still have not had enough time.
There are also considerable questions regarding opportu- nity to debate the bill’s elements. The perpetrators insist that more than 30 hours of debate took place. But most of that was done via Zoom, and none of it appeared to take place during the session when Catanzara joined members of the Illinois FOP to attempt to engage them.
Other than an hour to discuss language for decertification with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the FOP was not offered a seat at the table. That led to a culmination Stephens described as being done “under the cloak of darkness.”
Sullivan explained that the Black Legislative Caucus might have realized the constitutional limits led to putting the bum rush on the vote. At noon on Jan. 13, the new General Assem- bly would be sworn in, so it was all hands on deck to get the vote done before noon.
Stephens recalled that one representative from Chicago’s northern suburb who had lost his re-election big, indicated he was leaving at 8:30 a.m. But at 11 a.m. he was back in the chamber ready to vote.
“I think they really stretched to get to 60,” Stephens quipped. Obviously, another question came about why not wait until
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