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ISSUES & INSIGHTS FROM THE LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE SCENE                                                     

92nd General Assembly
Convenes with Active Schedule

See Nov. 7 referendum results on pages 16 and 17
Peter M. Murphy
IAPD General Counsel

IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY races, voters on Nov. 7, 2000, reelected all incumbents who won the March primary. The partisan division of the House (62 Democrats to 56 Republicans) remains the second narrowest since the size of the House was reduced to 118 in 1982.

The partisan division of the Senate (32 Republicans to 27 Democrats) remains unchanged; Republicans have the same margin as in 1992 after redistricting. The only membership change in the Senate was the election of Rep. Larry Woolard to the seat formerly held by Senator Jim Rea. Senator-elect Woolard had defeated Rea's appointed replacement, Ned Mitchell, in the March primary.

The state's Congressional delegation remains at 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Champaign), after defeating Rep. William E. Brady (R-Bloomington) in the March primary, was elected to fill the 15th Congressional district seat held by Rep. Tom Ewing (R). Rep. Lauren Beth Gash was defeated in the 10th Congressional district by Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to retiring Rep. John Porter.

IN 2000, SIX HOUSE MEMBERS (five Democrats and one Republican) lost the March primary. One Democratic House member was elected to the Senate. Three House members (two Republicans and one Democrat) ran for Congress, and one Democratic House member retired. The new members are as follows:

Senate 92nd General Assembly

New Member (1):
Larry Woolard (D-59)
Appointed to 91st General Assembly, elected to 92nd General Assembly (2):
Carol Ronen(D-9)
Dave Sullivan (R-28)
Appointed to 91st General Assembly, not up for re-election until 2002 (I):
Peter Roskam (R-20)
Returning incumbents (55)

House of Representatives
92nd General Assembly

New Members (II):
Susan Mendoza (D-l)
Cynthia Soto (D-4)
Karen A. Yarbrough (D-7)
Annazette R. Collins (D-10)
David E. Miller (D-29)
Karen May (D-60)
Rosemary Kurtz (R-64)
Robert L. Ryan, Jr. (D-79)
Dan Brady (R-88)
Tom Berns (R-104)
Gary F.Forby (D-117)
Appointed to 91st General Assembly, elected to 92nd General Assembly (I):
Harry Osterman (D-17)
Returning incumbents (106)

IN THE 107th CONGRESS, of 435 members, the House of Representatives will have 221 republicans and 211 democrats, compared to 222 and 208 respectively in the 106th Congress.

Any real change in the Congress will result from committee and subcommittee assignments. In 1994, House Republican leadership (resulting from the "revolution" fostered by then Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia) imposed six-year term limits on committee and subcommittee chairs.

The Captial Building

Thus, 14 of the 20 House committees will be under new leadership. Seven of the 13 House appropriation subcommittee chairmanships will change hands.

Term limits also caused several veteran committee and subcommittee chairman, like Rep. John Porter (R-Ill), to decide to retire at the end of this congress. Rep. Porter chaired the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education subcommittee.

Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) will leave his chairmanship of the Interior subcommittee, also as the result of the term limit.

The term limit agreement also affects Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), current chairman of House Resources committee and principal sponsor of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act.

Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah), the third ranking Republican, is expected to move up to that seat.

Young expects to become chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

14 / Illinois Parks and Recreation

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS FROM THE LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE SCENE                                      

WHEN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES convenes for business this year, all action will be recorded for television and the Internet.

Two jumbo television screens have been mounted above new electronic voting boards, and robotic cameras have been placed throughout the legislative chamber. All of the gadgetry cost more than $750,000.

House staff members are still getting the kinks out of the new system. But soon, video debate from the chamber will appear on the Internet and could be picked up by television stations for use on the nightly news. Eventually, the video could be fed to a proposed, C-SPAN-like television initiative known as the Illinois Channel Network.

Patterned after a similar setup in the Louisiana Statehouse, the new electronic equipment should make it easier for House members, staff and visitors in the legislative chamber to follow debate. The Senate has no plans to install similar equipment.


HAVE YOU HAD BREAKFAST WITH YOUR LEGISLATOR LATELY? In 2001, the Joint Legislative Committee is planning a series of legislative breakfasts throughout the state to:

Familiarize your district's board and executive staff with the members of the General Assembly who represent your agency;

Provide an opportunity for legislators to learn about the legislative platform to be presented in 2001; and

Share with legislators the concerns and needs of your agency and to educate them on the activities and facilities that you provide the community.

Contact IAPD for a schedule of breakfasts in your region.

THE 2001-2002 LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM, after approval by the boards of the IAPD and IPRA, will be presented to the Illinois General Assembly. The platform contains exciting, new initiatives for park districts and forest preserves. It will be printed in its entirety in the next issue of IP&R magazine.

HOT LINK IN THE SPIRIT OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, the Library of Congress provides you with searchable information about the U.S. Congress and the legislative process at Search bills, by topic, bill number, or title. Search through and read the text of the Congressional Record for the 101st through the 107th Congresses. Search and find committee reports by topic or committee name. *

Session Dates

January/February 2001 / 15

STATEHOUSE INSIDER                                                           

Referendum Results

16 / Illinois Parks and Recreation

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS FROM THE LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE SCENE                                      

Referendum Results, cont'd

January/February 2001 / 17

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