First Session As Speaker, Welch Celebrates Achievements (Springfield, IL) – Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch wrapped up his first session leading the Illinois House of Representatives. In addition to passing a balanced budget that puts the state on a path toward fiscal health, the legislature also fulfilled its constitutional duty by passing new legislative boundaries and passed a comprehensive ethics package to help restore trust back in Springfield.
“I am incredibly proud of the work we accomplished for the people of this great state,” said Welch. “This state budget helps our most vulnerable who were adversely affected by the pandemic without any tax increases and pays down debt early, saving taxpayers millions in interest payments. We also took a great step forward with an ethics package that includes revolving door provisions, a lobbying ban for state officials, and much more.”
The legislature also passed an omnibus elections package that places a strong emphasis on voter access. This was particularly important as several states across the country are passing measures that will make it harder for people to vote, especially in communities of color. This elections bill requires every county to have at least one universal voting center, allows election authorities to create permanent vote by mail lists which voters may opt into, makes Election Day a state holiday and so much more.
Lawmakers also approved the Illinois Way Forward Act that protects immigrants from facing deportation should they interact with local law enforcement. This builds on the legislation Speaker Welch passed in 2017, helping Illinois remain one of the most welcoming states in the nation for immigrants.
“We got some good things done, things Illinoisans can be proud of,” said Welch. “We made some steps in a positive direction, we certainly have more work to do but this was a great step forward.”
First Session As Speaker, Welch Celebrates Achievements