BARRINGTON HILLS… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) released the following statement after filing House Bill 2124, aimed to track and maintain constituent witness slips filed on legislation as it moves through the legislative process.
“My legislation amends the Legislative Information System to provide electronic tracking of all witness slips to follow along with the legislation for which it was filed – whether the committee hearing date for the bill is changed, or if such legislation is removed and placed on another House or Senate bill.
“During the last General Assembly session, we saw tens of thousands of constituents file witness slips in support or opposition of many controversial bills, only to see the witness slip count reset to zero if the hearing dates were changed.”
“Also, we have watched as the language of one legislative idea is placed on a new “vehicle bill” using a different number (and usually on a completely unrelated topic) through the amendment process. This currently leaves all the witness slips from the original bill behind, as the new legislative vehicle bill becomes the legislative proposal.
“The process of removing legislation from one bill to another is done for many reasons, but the most common use by the Democrats in the majority is to waive the reading requirements on controversial bills, leaving the public and Republican legislators without any time to react.
“My bill will ensure all witness slips filed in the General Assembly concerning proposed legislation during the committee hearing process shall track along with the legislation for which it was filed, so that the voices of our constituents are fully heard.
“This is a straightforward proposal which puts the interests of our constituents at the forefront and promotes the utmost transparency.”