Tim Butler explodes after Illinois Democrats block township bill vote

Tim Butler explodes after Illinois Democrats block township bill vote


A Republican lawmaker from Springfield said Friday afternoon that he feared his bill to allow for a referendum in Capital Township on a potential merger with Sangamon County government has been effectively killed by the Democratic leadership of the Illinois House. 

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, asks for clarification on what data set will be used for the redrawing of legislative maps during session on the floor of the Illinois House at the state Capitol on Friday.

Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said he has heard nothing from Democrats who control the chamber about whether they will change their minds and allow a full House vote on House Bill 2994 by the end of business Friday, the House’s self-imposed deadline for House bills to pass the chamber during the spring session. 

Butler’s emotional speech late Thursday on the House floor appeared to have done no good, at least in the short term. 

He pounded his fist, screamed and threw a paper calendar listing pending bills across the Illinois House chamber, saying he was frustrated Democrats wouldn’t allow a House vote on his bill. 

“I’ve got a bill that is important to my community that the leadership will not call,” Butler told the seated lawmakers. 

In a three-minute speech shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday, Butler accused Democratic leaders of “putting your thumb” on the bill “for political reasons.”   

Butler and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, who was elected to lead the House in January, isn’t fulfilling his promise to bring a “new day” to the chamber. 

Butler said Welch promised to allow more Republican-sponsored bills to be debated than his predecessor, Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and ease the strict control over House business that Madigan exercised for 38 years.  

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