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NEWS FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVE RUTH MUNSON NEWS FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVE RUTH MUNSON

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NEWS FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVE RUTH MUNSON

Posted on Thu, Dec 11, 2008

NEWS FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVE RUTH MUNSON

Inside This Week's News
Governor Arrested
The Impeachment Process
Open U.S. Senate Seat
Governor Arrested

Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested yesterday morning on federal corruption charges. The Governor was arraigned and is currently out of jail. U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald pointed to numerous allegations of corruption engaged in by the Governor. Three of the most appalling charges involve the Governor's alleged actions in:
 
  • Shaking down the CEO of Children's Memorial Hospital for a campaign contribution in exchange for state funding of the hospital.
  • Holding up a piece of legislation until a campaign contribution was received from one of the bill's supporters.
  • Selling the U.S. Senate seat resigned by President-elect Obama in order to gain benefits for the Governor and his wife.
 
Governor Blagojevich still has full authority to run the state as the governor. In light of this, lawmakers (and many others) have called for the Governor to step down or temporarily step-aside, reasoning that the arrest and continuing federal investigation will impede his ability to govern this state.
 
Should the Governor choose not to resign, lawmakers could begin impeachment proceedings as soon as this month.

 
The Impeachment Process

Step 1: Filing and adoption of a House Resolution organizing a Special Investigative Committee

House Resolution 1644 was filed today and begins this process. The House Rules Committee must release HR 1644 for consideration by the House.  Additionally, because the General Assembly is in adjournment, the Speaker of the House will have to convene a special session for the House to consider HR 1644. The committee makeup and investigation timeline are all outlined in the resolution.
 
Step 2: Hearings and Investigations Conducted by the Special Investigative Committee

The committee would have subpoena power to compel the production of documents and testimony. Upon completion of its investigation, the committee would provide its recommendations to the House of Representatives as to whether there is cause to impeach.
 
Step 3: Vote to Impeach

The House of Representatives would vote on the recommendations of the Special Investigative Committee. If the House votes to impeach, the proceedings move to the Senate for a trial. A simple majority vote is required.
 
Step 4: Senate Trial

Upon receipt of the impeachment articles, the Senate would be convened by the Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice to conduct a trial. A 2/3 vote is needed to remove the official from office. If removed, the official is barred from holding any future public office in Illinois.
 

Please Note:
These proceedings relate only to the holding of public office and do not impact any ongoing criminal investigations.
 
Open U.S. Senate Seat

The Illinois House of Representatives has been called into session next week to take up the issue of the vacant U.S. Senate Seat.  Currently, the Governor has sole authority to make the appointment. However, the U.S. Senate can refuse to seat the appointment. The House is convening to hear legislation that would provide for the special election of the vacated Senate Seat. I'll keep you informed of the progress.
 
State Representative Ruth Munson
1146 Dundee Avenue
Elgin, IL 60120
Phone: 847-622-1048
Fax: 847-622-0948
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