Things can happen quickly when the powers that be want them to at the state Capitol.
While debate was going on about a bill to allow federal money to flow to state programs – the contentious point being an amendment committing state dollars – a separate amendment emerged and was almost immediately – and unanimously – passed.
That amendment addresses debt service at the agency that operates Chicago's McCormick Place and Navy Pier and also programs at the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
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The sponsor, State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates), said the new amendment, with no state money involved, was on the “back burner.” He and other Democrats objected to any characterization of their previous amendment as a “poison pill” meant to put Republicans in a bad position.
Citing a medical screening program, State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) said his mother is a 15-year breast cancer survivor; cancer patients, to him, are no “poison pill.”
“I take great exception to the use of the Rauner Republicans in the House of language such as 'poison pills,'” House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) said later, “when we are trying to help women with breast cancer and children with disabilities.”
The Senate could concur with the House amendment when it is in session next week.