Far away from the headlines, members of both parties in the Illinois House and Senate worked on many pieces of legislation in the first half of 2021. Many of these bills were technical measures designed to implement needed changes in legislative language, or to move a legal process forward after agreements by a variety of stakeholders. Clerks have counted more than 660 bills passed by majorities in both houses.
Although some of the bills enacted by the General Assembly have already been signed into law – in particular, three highly partisan measures to enact a State budget, redraw the maps of the Illinois General Assembly, and redraw the maps of the Illinois Supreme Court and its judicial districts – these partisan bills have already run into trouble. The budget has already had to be re-enacted after the first version was passed with numerous drafting errors, the General Assembly map faces litigation, and the Illinois Supreme Court has already placed a stay on the judicial map. At the same time, most of the day-to-day work of legislators in the first half of this year was not at all partisan and is slowly working its way through the process.
After a bill is passed by both houses, a final copy (called the “enrolled” bill) is reviewed. The enrolled bill must be sent to the Governor within 30 calendar days after its passage. The Governor must sign or veto each bill within 60 days after presentation to him or her. These deadlines are contained within Section 9 of Article IV of the Constitution of Illinois.