Champaign lawmaker's vote necessary to pass same sex marriage bill

Published 11/06 2013 04:29PM

Updated 11/08 2013 12:37PM

SPRINGFIELD -- A Champaign lawmaker who was originally absent from the house Tuesday rushed to the capitol to be one of the deciding votes as lawmakers passed same sex marriage. Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign) was one of the sponsors of the bill. 

She was absent Tuesday spending time with her son who was in hospice care. But Jakobsson arrived at the capitol during Tuesday's debate and was one of the 61 votes which passed the bill out of the State House.

The bill passed out of the State Senate in February, but was stalled in the House. A sponsor of the bill did not call it for a vote at the end of the spring session because he was fearful it didn't have enough support. But after enormous pressure from supporters over the summer, Rep. Greg Harris (D) made a change to the bill Tuesday.  

In an effort to only require a simple majority of votes, Harris changed the bill's effective date to June 1, 2014. The House passed it with 61 votes, and the Senate later concurred on the House changes. The bill was scheduled to be delivered to the governor Wednesday.

This could have been one of Jakobbson's last big votes. She announced in September she doesn't plan to run for another term when hers expires in January 2015. Jakobbson has served in the General Assembly for 12-years.

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