Chief sponsors of a gay marriage bill in Illinois are expected to introduce versions in the House and Senate on Wednesday.

Senator Heather Steans and Representative Greg Harris, both Democrats from Chicago, will use the first day of the new legislative session to introduce their measures.

The move follows an unsuccessful bid to approve the legislation during the General Assembly's lame-duck session, which ended Tuesday.

Steans managed to have her version of the bill approved in committee only to call off a vote on the Senate floor. Steans said three supporters, two Democrats and a Republican, were not present to vote.
“Last week, the Senate Executive Committee made history by approving same-sex marriage and gave our efforts incredible momentum,” Steans is quoted as saying in a statement released by Equality Illinois, the state's largest gay rights advocate. “With the full support of Senate John Cullerton, I am confident legislators will grant all Illinois couples the freedom to marry this year.”

“We are one step closer to equality in the Land of Lincoln,” Harris said. “The bills we file today will treat all couples equally under the law. We are going full steam ahead on this.”

New members of the General Assembly will be sworn in on Wednesday, increasing Democratic majorities in both chambers. Illinois currently recognizes gay couples with civil unions.

(Related: Lincoln Chafee eager for Rhode Island to legalize gay marriage.)