Kimberly Lightford

Tom Cross

Metro-East lawyers aspiring to be judges, take note.

The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation today authorizing additional associate judgeships in Third (Madison and Bond counties) and Twentieth Judicial Circuits (St. Clair, Randolph, Monroe, Washington, and Perry counties).

Senate Bill 997, which goes into effect immediately upon the governor's signature, passed 52-0 in the state Senate on June 27, and today in the House 108-0.

Any legislation passed in this year's record-breaking overtime general assembly session requires three-fifths majority approval. Legislators, who normally finish business by May, are still trying to reach agreement on a budget.

The bill's Senate sponsors included Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Westchester), Emil Jones Jr. (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago).

House sponsors included Rep. Tom Cross (R-Plainfield), Frank J. Mautino (D-Spring Valley), Ronald A. Wait (R-Belvidere), Robert W. Pritchard (R-Sycamore), Brent Hassert (R-Romeoville) and Jack D. Franks (D-Woodstock).

The bill also authorized additional circuit judgeships across the state, such as:

  • Additional DeKalb County resident judgeship
  • Additional Kendall County resident judgeship in the 16th judicial circuit (Kane, Kendall, and DeKalb counties).
  • Additional Boone County resident judgeship in the 17th judicial circuit (Boone and Winnebago counties).
  • Additional Grundy County resident judgeship in the 13th judicial circuit (Bureau, LaSalle, and Grundy counties).
  • Additional resident judgeship in the 22nd judicial circuit (McHenry County). Provides that the judgeships are to be elected first in 2008. Authorizes the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the judgeships by appointment until then. Specifies that the judgeships are not subcircuit judgeships.
  • In the 19th judicial circuit (Lake County), the legislation creates an additional resident judgeship elected from the 4th subcircuit, which may be filled by appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court until elected beginning at the 2008 general election regardless of whether the judgeships for the first and second subcircuits have been filled.

    In the 19th judicial circuit's existing resident judgeships, eliminates the first judgeship that is or becomes vacant on or after the bill's effective date.

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