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Legislators Skip Town Early


  Illinois legislators were supposed to meet this week for three days as part of the fall veto session; instead they left Springfield after only two.

Little was accomplished during that time. Despite competing rallies, the Illinois House did not vote on legalizing same-sex marriage, whether state agencies, including the state police, will receive additional money remains unsettled, and there was no action on Illinois' pensions, which are the worst-funded in the nation.

It can give the impression that legislators are not doing their jobs.

But Rep. Patti Bellock, R- Hinsdale, says that's not the case. She says many General Assembly members work long hours, even when they're not in Springfield.

"I know, I work on the Medicaid, I work almost 14 hours a day," she says.  She says Rep. Darlene Senger, who's on the special, bipartisan pension conference committee,"she's at pensions morning, noon and night."

"So there are a group of people, both Democrat and Republican, that are working hard on these issues and trying to bring some solutions forward by two weeks from now," Bellock said.

Negotiations are continuing on all of those matters, and more. Gun-rights advocates are in talks with Chicago-area legislators who want to set a minimum prison sentence for carrying a gun illegally. And there's an effort to craft tax credit packages as incentives to A-D-M and the merging Office-Max/Office Depot to make Illinois their headquarters.

The second half of Illinois' veto session begins November 5.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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