Illinois lawmakers seek emergency meeting of Legislature amid unrest

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CHICAGO (AP) — Three members of the Illinois Legislature on Wednesday asked for an “emergency legislative session” to address the effects of violent demonstrations and looting on local communities and criminal justice reform.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that in a letter to House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President Don Harmon, Representatives Kam Buckner, Curtis Tarver and Lamont Robinson, all Democrats, say communities can’t wait until the fall veto session to address the unrest resulting from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“We are in a state of emergency and need to act immediately,” the lawmakers wrote.

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept the General Assembly from Springfield, with lawmakers meeting in May for a four-day session to pass a budget and other legislation. At the time legislators’ adjourned on May 24, Harmon said he didn’t think anyone was eager to return for a special session.

Spokesmen for Madigan, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady did not respond to requests for comment on the legislators’ request.

However, a Harmon spokesman said the senator is eager to engage in “building an agenda for action.” But he didn’t clarify whether that means the Oak Park Democrat supports a special session.

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