February 28, 2018
With the Legislature back in Springfield, it is certain that proposed legislation is on its way. The Legislative Committee of the Illinois Supreme Court is charged with review and consideration of legislation that may potentially impact the judicial branch or the administration of justice in Illinois. The Committee is soliciting feedback from all judges in the state on relevant proposed legislation. A brief synopsis of the Committee's structure and legislation review protocol is offered below.
The Committee is comprised of one judge from each District in the Second District through Fifth Districts, and three judges from the First District, for a total of seven members. A roster of the Committee is below. Generally, the focus of the Committee's review, analysis and comment to the Supreme Court on proposed legislation centers on three questions:
- Would it have a fiscal impact on the judicial branch?
- Would it affect the operation or independence of the judicial branch?
- Would it limit the discretion of a judge in court proceedings?
The Committee provides a forum in which the judiciary's interests and concerns regarding proposed legislative enactments may be addressed, consistent with protocols established by the Supreme Court. The Committee meets frequently during the spring legislative session to review pending legislation that has been identified by the AOIC's Legislative Committee Liaison as pertinent. The Committee's observations and concerns are then relayed to the Court for consideration and, when necessary, further action. This procedure provides a framework which serves the dual purpose of promoting effective communication on legislative proposals that impact court operations and of assuring that the judicial branch speaks with one voice to the Court and, subsequently, the General Assembly.
Current voting members of the Legislative Committee include Cook County Circuit Court Judges James P. Flannery (Chair), Carl A. Walker, and Thomas Allen, Second District Appellate Justice Robert B. Spence (Vice-Chair), Third District Appellate Justice Mary K. O'Brien, Eighth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Diane Lagoski, and 20th Judicial Circuit Judge Daniel J. Emge.
The Legislative Committee appreciates feedback and reaction from any judge on pertinent legislative proposals. A system has been initiated to provide timely summaries of proposed legislation to the State’s appellate, circuit, and associate judges. That distribution is coordinated through Cook County Presiding Judges, Presiding Appellate Court Judges, and Chief Circuit Judges’ Offices. The distributed information contains contact information for the Committee.
If any judge does not receive the “Newly Enacted Legislation Summary” or does not have Committee contact information, judges may request the summary from AOIC Executive Office Attorney Amy Bowne at firstname.lastname@example.org.