Illinois lawmakers are scheduled for less than 20 days at the statehouse between now and April. Some legislators say that's a good thing.
Both the state House and Senate will spend just a couple of days a week, with breaks in between, in session in January, February, and March.
State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Murphysboro, said that's not a lot of time to get things done. But he said it's also not a lot of time to screw things up.
"If we're not up in Springfield, we can't make the situation any worse," Schimpf said. "That certainly appears to me that all of the legislative ideas that are circulating at the Capitol would make the situation worse."
Schimpf says he doesn't think lawmakers will tackle the state's problem of bringing job creators to Illinois. With the highest workers' compensation costs in the Midwest, among the highest property taxes in the country and what employers say are overly burdensome business regulations, Illinois lags behind its neighbors when it comes to jobs growth.
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, said he understands that people expect lawmakers to earn their starting $67,000-a-year paycheck, but he also agrees with Schimpf.
"Generally speaking, the less we meet the less damage can be caused," Sosnowski said. "I think the less that the state legislature does, the better."
Sosnowski said it would be one thing if Illinois lawmakers were going to solve the state's pension crisis, or tackle reforming Medicaid or property taxes, but he doesn't see that happening this year.
Schimpf added that half of the problem is that Democratic leaders control every piece of legislation because they control both chambers, so there's often nothing to do at the statehouse.
Illinois lawmakers are scheduled for less than 20 days between now and April 1, then they're in most weekdays until June.