Rep. Murphy: New House Rules Consolidate More Power in Speaker’s Hands

Statement of Rep. Mike Murphy on new House of Representatives Rules:

“As a new member of the General Assembly, one of the first votes I have taken is on the rules that the House will operate under for the next two years. While that may seem like a largely inconsequential decision to some, it is actually one of the most important votes we will make during the 101st General Assembly, because it directly determines who and what issues we will be allowed to hear.

The rules pushed through the House by Speaker Madigan Tuesday eroded more power that was meant for individual legislators who represent you, and consolidated it in his hands alone. The result is that no bill in the House may even be considered in committee without his stamp of approval. That strictly limits my ability to represent your interests and advance your ideas and suggestions in the House. I voted no.

Instead, I supported an alternative package of reasonable reforms that would have allowed a supermajority of lawmakers to advance legislation for consideration in committees, and would also have required longer public review periods for legislation to increase transparency and public input. 

Unfortunately, the Speaker didn’t even allow our reforms to be considered for a vote…which perfectly illustrates the problem with his rules.”