A bill passed unanimously Thursday by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly would change the election filing deadline to Dec. 26 to allow employees of state and local offices to celebrate the holidays with their families.
The deadline to file for municipal, township and school board seats in the April election currently is 5 p.m. Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. That would prevent government offices from closing early that day.
"I think it's a good thing," St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney said of the propsal. "Why should we take employees away from their families for something like this? They can move those filing dates around a little bit."
Which is what the legislature did. If the bill is signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, the new filing deadline will be 5 p.m. Dec. 26.
"While everyone may not recognize Christmas Eve as a holiday, I do think it's important that these public servants be able to take time off to be with their loved ones," said Scott Eisenhauer, president of the Illinois Municipal League.
"The way the law is written now, it requires the office to be open until 5 p.m., when most people enjoy spending that holiday time with their families. Under this new legislation. we can give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season, and worry about petition filing once Christmas has passed."
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