Greising: Illinois' Do-Nothing Legislature Will Finally Convene. Its Inaction Took a Big Toll.

Last year, the legislature adjourned a COVID-shortened session and never met again. That instance taught us one thing - that inaction can do damage to Illinois.

Illinois State Capitol (Éovart Caçeir)

The Illinois General Assembly is set to start a lame-duck session in Springfield on Friday. The purpose is to consider laws that, if enacted, could affect daily life across the state.

The return to work is long overdue. The state legislature skipped its traditional veto session in November and December. COVID-19 took the blame, but House Speaker Mike Madigan was a reason too. It would have been a distraction to hold even a fall veto session with the speaker at the center of a federal corruption probe.

Given the state of Illinois government — all but insolvent, rife with corruption, struggling against a resurgent pandemic and indifferent to issues of equity — there are times when it would almost feel like a relief if the legislature did not meet. But doing the people’s business is its job, and Illinois has a lot of business that needs to be done.   

In 2020 the legislature adjourned a COVID-shortened session on May 23 and never met again. This taught us something else about the state legislature. It turns out inaction can do its damage too.