Senate lawmakers took a short break during the week of April 21-25 before their scheduled April 29 return. The Senate will then be in session every week through the end of May, according to Senator Tim Bivins, considering House legislation and working to negotiate a Fiscal Year 2009 budget by the scheduled May 29 adjournment.

Though legislators were not in the Statehouse this week, many continued to weigh in on legislation that would move Illinois one step closer to allowing the recall of its constitutional officers and legislative representatives. Senate Joint Resolution Committee Amendment 28 was hotly debated in the Senate Executive Committee April 17, but despite the measure’s widespread support, the amendment was ultimately held by its Senate Democrat sponsor.

Many lawmakers and various newspapers around the state have advocated for a Senate vote on the recall amendment, and the furor has only heightened as allegations of “pay-to-play” politics continue to surface in the ongoing Tony Rezko corruption trial. Most recently, former director of the Illinois Finance Authority Ali Ata admitted that he was awarded his $127,000 per-year state position in return for his contributions to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s campaign fund.

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