* The 2013 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Illinois State Representative - Democrat was almost unanimous. Rep. Greg Harris…
Have to go with Greg Harris. He not only passed landmark legislation like the marriage bill, but what is not so known is his work as an Appropriation Chair and the headaches and demands that go along with that.
He spent countless hours working with the state human services agencies crafting a budget that protected vital services at a time many were calling for more cuts. He also crafted legislation which made key changes in how abuse and neglect of those with disabilities is reported. When he was done crafting the bill, he moved it through the process quickly and without asking for any credit.
The work on human services issues is not flashy and is at times gut wrenching when dealing with issues that have profound impact on people’s lives yet Harris still does it, does it well and does it without drawing attention to his work.
Harris had a year many lawmakers can only dream about.
* Several folks also nominated Speaker Madigan, and not for the usual “he controls everything anyway” reasons, so he’s our runner-up…
Madigan is a closer. He made sure that SSM and pension reform passed. He voted for MMJ. He proved his worth as a leader. He took a stand against corporate welfare and has the quote of the year, to me. When he was told that ADM wants an answer on tax breaks by the end of the year, he said: “Okay, well that’s nice.” Brusque.
* The 2013 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Illinois State Representative - Republican is a tie…
Rep. Ed Sullivan. While most floor leaders historically just drone on, both sides of the aisle actually listen to Sullivan because he is to-the-point and has a thoughtful perspective. Furthermore, as seen with the death penalty, marriage equality, and pension reform, he is not afraid of a tough vote.
For Republican, I vote for Ron Sandack, who stood against his party, which is falling out of favor with voters in many ways. Mr. Sandack has good sense enough to see that being on the losing side of issues risks harming the future of the party.
Congrats to all. You really deserved it in a way crazy year.
* OK, on to today’s category…
* Best Illinois State Senator - Democrat
* Best Illinois State Senator - Republican
Don Harmon and Matt Murphy won last year, in case you have trouble remembering these things.
Remember, it’s absolutely necessary to explain your vote. A simple name or a quick drive-by won’t be counted. Thanks!