Marriage bill looms as Illinois lawmakers kick off final days of fall session

Illinois state capitol building in Springfield. Staff Reports

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers are convening in Springfield for the final three days of their annual fall session.

The action kicks off with Tuesday hearings on corporate tax incentives and stricter gun penalties in the Illinois House, but a vote on a marriage equality bill could also come up for a vote in the coming days.

Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.

Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.

The marriage bill was approved by the state Senate in February but stalled in the House in the spring.

Anticipating a likely vote this week, advocates have since launched a more collaborative push and several undecided lawmakers announced their support for the measure.

“We have done everything we could to help ensure Greg Harris’ promise to the people of the state of Illinois: Their representatives would go home to their districts and come back and vote on the bill,” said John Kohlhepp, a union lobbyist hired to lead the same-sex marriage campaign.

Backers of the legislation wouldn’t discuss vote tallies, saying it’s too fluid. But those close to the bill appear to have a little more confidence.

“I’m feeling good,” said Harris, a Chicago Democrat. “Things are moving in the right direction.”

Opponents say they’re prepared to mount primary challenges against members who vote for the legislation.

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