Now that the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly is underway and there have been literally thousands of proposals filed for consideration in the House and Senate, it is time to begin following bills that interest you and let your voice be heard. It is time to get in the game.

The Illinois Senate and House are both not scheduled to meet again until April 13. Besides a few subject matter hearings and other meetings taking place attempting to gain agreement on issues, it is spring break for senators and representatives. The deadline has passed in the House for substantive House bills to be passed out of committees. The deadline in the Senate for bills to pass from committees to the Senate floor is April 16.

Another important deadline to consider is April 23, which is the deadline for Senate and House bills to successfully pass on third reading in the respective chamber of origin. These measures can then be considered in the “other” chamber. Successful House bills are passed over to the Senate for consideration, and successful Senate bills are passed on to the House. The committee process for these measures then begins in the “second” chamber. Eventually, the bills that pass at the committee level in the second chamber are subject to final action on the floor of one of the respective chambers. Passing a bill in both chambers gets the proposal to the governor for approval or potentially a veto.

Even though spring break is upon the General Assembly, this is a good time for you to get involved. You can begin the process by contacting your state representative or senator. It is easy to let them know if you support or oppose to a particular bill. If you do not know who represents you in Springfield, or Washington, D.C., for that matter, it is easy to find out in a few easy steps. Go to and you will see a menu under “Voter Services.” Simply click on “Find My Elected Officials.” By following the links, you can input your address and a complete list of your state and federal elected officials will be displayed. There will be contact information for you to connect to them.

After you have the name of your state representative and senator, there is a treasure trove of information on the Illinois General Assembly website. If you go to and type in a House or Senate bill number, you will be directed to a screen that contains valuable information about the proposal you are interested in. The full text of the proposal, along with information about where the bill is in the process is also listed.

You can even file a witness slip online and make comments about the legislation you are interested in. Simply go back to the General Assembly home page ( and click on the “GA Dashboard” link, which is highlighted in red. Click the appropriate House or Senate committee hearing based on what you learned about where the proposal is in the process. Posted bills are listed along with a link to file a witness slip. Fill out the slip out and add your thoughts and your voice.

Of course, you could contact your representative or senator directly by using the Senate or House member directory on the General Assembly home page. Just click on the name of your elected official. Office locations in Springfield and in-district phone numbers are located on this page, and you could call to make an appointment to discuss your concerns or leave a message regarding your support or opposition.

It is critical in our form of government that your voice be heard. There are lots of ways to get in the game. It is your duty in our democracy to get involved.

Roger Eddy is a retired member of the Illinois House and served on the Special Investigative Committee on the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich. He served the 109th District as a Republican from 2003 to 2012. Recently, he authored a book highlighting the impeachment of Blagojevich. The book, “A Front Row Seat — The Impeachment of Rod Blagojevich,” is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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