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Madigan Grants Marriage Equality Bill Vote Extension To August

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 3, 2013 3:00PM

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan
As Rep. Greg Harris continues to receive criticism for not bringing marriage equality legislation to a vote during last Friday's closing of the Illinois House's spring legislative session, it appears as though the bill isn't completely dead in the water.

House Speaker Michael Madigan quietly extended the deadline for final action on SB 10 until Aug. 31, raising the possibility that the bill could be called for a vote if Gov. Pat Quinn convenes a special session of the General Assembly this summer. And Quinn may have to do that after his pension reform bill was rejected by the state Senate last week.

A source told the Illinois Observer that Madigan could call a special session even if Quinn doesn't and said Madigan's extension "suggests that there is a plans to get it done."

If this happens, the language in the bill would have to be rewritten do that it becomes law on January 1, instead of the 30 days after Quinn signs it, if it passes. It also gives Harris and other sponsors of the bill time to round up support to ensure its passage.

We know that Madigan can get things done with special legislative sessions, just not hot button issues like pension reform. Last year a special session of the House called by Madigan resulted in the expulsion of state Rep. Derrick Smith, who wound up being re-elected to the House last November.