Chicago Tribune reporter Rick Pearson, center, speaks with House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch, right, and House Republican Leader Tony McCombie on April 27, 2023, in Springfield. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch Doesn’t Rule Out Putting Abortion Rights on 2024 Ballot

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch on Wednesday vowed there wouldn’t be another attempt to ask voters to approve a graduated-rate income tax, but did not rule out putting a proposed constitutional amendment codifying a women’s right to abortion on the 2024 presidential election year ballot to drive Democratic turnout.

House Republican Leader Tony McCombie, meanwhile, acknowledged that while her caucus does not have a single lawmaker who supports abortion, she would be open to supporting a suburban GOP candidate who supports the procedure. Republicans were once the dominant party in the suburbs but their hard-line positions on social issues, including opposition to abortion, has eroded the party’s support.