Some House Members Continue to Work in Springfield Despite Adjournment

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Springfield - Higher education funding, MAP grant funding, and a nine month-long battle over the state's 2016 fiscal year budget are all major things still unresolved at the Capitol.

For the next few weeks, it'll be a place with only half of the General Assembly in attendance.

"I've been here for awhile, and I've never seen them out that long, particularly when you're in a crisis situation like this," said state senator Chapin Rose (R-Champaign).

Despite an empty House of Representatives chamber, some members of the House are still in Springfield working, and are encouraging the Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and others to return to do the same.

"I think that's unacceptable.  We obviously have a lot of things that we could be working on and we should be working on.  I'm coming to work everyday still.  The senate is in session, and they're in session several days this month; the house is not, and that's unacceptable," said Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Springfield).

Lawmakers from the Senate are working in Springfield for the next three weeks, and
Rose said that if lawmakers can't come up with a budget fix together that they should vote for legislation that would give the governor the authority to do so.

"Give him the authority to do what needs to be done to get out of this mess, and that's where this emergency comes in to.  And by the way, this is authority that was granted to previous governors, including this very governor just a year ago.  Pat Quinn had an emergency budget powers act at one point.  So emergency budget power acts are nothing new," he added.

Democratic Senate members said the idea of that executive power goes against being willing to compromise in a bi-partisan manner and that threats to do so won't improve negotiations between top lawmakers.

The House will return to Springfield on April 4th.

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