Illinois Speaker: Special Election Legislation Will Be Taken Up Monday

Posted December 9, 2008 at 3:45pm

A special election to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat edged closer to reality Tuesday: The Illinois Legislature is trying to bring up legislation as early as Monday that would require Senate vacancies in the state to be filled in a special election instead of by a gubernatorial appointment.

A spokesman for Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan (D), Steve Brown, said Madigan will attempt to convene a regular session with state legislators on Monday to take up the legislation. Brown estimated it would take about two days to pass the bill.

“We’re asking members to return on Monday to take up the legislation that would call for a special election to replace U.S. Senate vacancies,” Brown said. “That would probably take two days.”

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who was arrested and charged with corruption Tuesday morning, still holds the office until he resigns or is impeached, and as of now he holds the Senate appointment. Provided Blagojevich is still in office next week, he would have to sign or veto this legislation.

Brown said that if the governor were to veto the special election legislation, the state legislature would likely be able to override the veto under the circumstances.