Legislature’s lame ducks might still have surprising kick

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One legislator likens the return of lame-duck legislators to Springfield for the fall veto session to Russian roulette: You can expect the unexpected.

This fall, at least 15 of 59 senators and 21 of 118 representatives will be lame ducks.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen” when it’s time for those lame ducks to vote, the lawmaker said. If someone offers them a job or if they decide they are free to vote a different way, they might execute a 180-degree turn on one or more issues.

January, 2011, also had a bumper crop of lame ducks. That’s when legislators passed the income tax increase, authorized civil unions and abolished the death penalty.

Whatever you think of the merits of those issues, veteran Springfield observers don’t think they would have passed without the lame duck vote.

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