McCombie says House decision to declare month-long recess is 'shameful'
Tony McCombie, who is running for state representative in District 71, has spoken out against the Illinois House’s month-long recess that began on March 4 and called the decision “shameful.”
“I support staying at work!!!” the Republican candidate wrote on her Facebook page.
On March 3, State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) made a motion to avoid the scheduled break, and asked for his fellow legislators to meet the next day and continue working to solve the state’s budget woes.
“Mr. Speaker, several times during today’s debate we’ve heard this is not a solution, that there’s still work to do, that we still have a lot of conversations to have and bills to work on,” Demmer said during a floor speech. “I’m asking that the House stand adjourned until tomorrow at 12 noon. If you vote ‘Yes,’ you’re voting to keep working. If you vote ‘No,’ you’re voting to leave for more than a month and not come back until April. I ask that you stand with me. I ask for a recorded vote on a motion to adjourn 'til Friday, March 4 at the hour of noon.”
But Demmer’s motion was quickly dismissed by Democrat leadership before a formal vote was cast.
In a press release, McCombie criticized her opponent in the race, state Rep. Mike Smiddy, for not backing up Demmer and other fellow legislators who desperately wanted the House to remain in session and tackle the pressing issues crippling the state.
“It is discouraging that Mike Smiddy would not join other Representatives in demanding the House stay in session during this difficult time,” McCombie said. “Legislatures not working together and blaming each other is not solving the problems in District 71 or the State of Illinois. The fact that they are not in session is shameful.”
Illinois is in the midst of a debilitating financial crisis and has been operating without a budget for almost 10 months now.
“Despite the budget impasse, the Illinois House was only scheduled to be in session a handful of days prior to the primary election, a calendar set by Speaker Michael Madigan who has placed politics above policy,” the press release states. “By contrast, the Illinois Senate President John Cullerton scheduled session throughout the month of March.”
In a video clip showing the brief exchange in the House, Demmer was visibly stunned when his motion was denied. According to House rules, a motion to adjourn can be made at any time, except when a prior motion has been defeated. Demmer’s motion was ruled as out of order by Democratic-led leadership, however, leading many to believe the scheduled break was politically driven.
“Politics have taken center stage and the lack of representation and urgency is a problem,” McCombie said. “I am thankful for our neighbors, Representative Stewart and Representative Demmer for supporting the house staying in session, but where was our Representative? Mike Smiddy continues to prove his allegiance to Speaker Madigan. I think it’s time that he explains why he is not willing to work for Illinois and the people of the 71st District.”
The House will resume its session on April 4.