Monday, January 26, 2009
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Senate week in review: Impeachment, moment of silence top the news

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[January 26, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Senate impeachment trial is moving forward with or without the governor's involvement, said state Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield.

DonutsThe governor failed to meet a Wednesday deadline to tell the state Senate who and what documents he would like to subpoena for the impending trial.

This is not the only deadline the governor has neglected to meet. He never responded to the formal charge that he abused his power as governor, and on Jan. 20 he failed to meet a deadline to dismiss the charges against him. If the governor had requested the charges be dropped, the Senate -- acting as the trial judges -- would have voted whether or not to grant the request.

Bomke explained that though the governor did not provide a response, the trial will continue with the Senate presuming the governor pleads "not guilty." Jan. 21 was the deadline for all parties to file requests to subpoena witnesses and documents, as well as requests to submit evidence. Both the governor and the General Assembly had until 10 a.m. Saturday to respond to these requests.

In other legal news, a federal judge recently ruled against the state law mandating a moment of silence in Illinois' public schools.

The legislation was introduced and passed as a way to allow students to silently reflect on the day's events; however, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman ruled that "the statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion."

It is unknown whether or not Gettleman's decision will be appealed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

[Text from file sent on behalf of Sen. Larry Bomke by Illinois Senate Republican staff]

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