Illinois Senators are on the move during Capitol construction

Tuesday marked not only the start of the 2022 veto session; it was also the first day of a nearly 2 ½ -year stay in the adjacent Howlett Building. A deteriorating auditorium received a massive facelift to function as the temporary Senate chamber. (Twitter/IL Senate Democrats)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The renovation of the north wing of the state Capitol has pushed out the senators.

Tuesday marked not only the start of the 2022 veto session; it was also the first day of a nearly 2 ½ -year stay in the adjacent Howlett Building. A deteriorating auditorium received a massive facelift to function as the temporary Senate chamber.

“I was really surprised at how nice they made” the temporary chamber, said State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) after Tuesday’s session, also noting “how so much of the whole system of the way we do business has been duplicated here.”

Attorney general Kwame Raoul, a former state senator, used the word “phenomenal” to describe the transformation, adding it compares favorably to when the senators moved out for a previous project almost twenty years ago; the Senate chamber was in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The Senate chamber in the Capitol is scheduled to re-open in January 2025.

Dave Dahl can be reached at news@wjbc.com

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