SPRINGFIELD - As lawmakers left Springfield Sunday, one of Gov. Pat Quinn's top priorities was left behind.
A plan that would allow voters to recall an Illinois governor didn't get a final vote it needed for approval. The Illinois House approved the proposed constitutional amendment, but the Senate ran out of time
Quinn has called on lawmakers to approve stringent ethics reforms in the face of scandals surrounding former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. And as the state faces serious budget problems, he has suggested ethics reforms have to be done before a $30 billion statewide construction plan can get final approval.
Lawmakers aren't scheduled to return to Springfield until the fall, but with all of those questions unanswered, a session may be called sooner. If it is, a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said recall would come first.
"We told the governor that we will do recall the first day we are back in session," spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said. "Unfortunately, I don't know when that will be."
A spokesman for Quinn wouldn't say whether the governor would call the legislature back early.
"Passing a recall law is a priority for Governor Quinn," spokesman Bob Reed said. "He expects the Senate will move quickly."
The recall plan was inspired by Blagojevich's troubles in office. Quinn supported it even before the former governor was arrested on federal corruption charges and removed from office.
Nationwide, the provision was made famous when California Gov. Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, paving the way for the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Even if Illinois lawmakers approve recall, voters would get the final say on whether to amend the constitution in November 2010.
The legislation is House Joint Constitutional Amendment 31.