* House Speaker Michael Madigan was unsurprisingly reelected today, with, as expected, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Naperville) voting “Present.”
He began his remarks by asking for prayers for former House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, who checked herself into the hospital on the way home to Chicago yesterday with a bad case of pneumonia.
Madigan then launched into a litany of complaints about Gov. Rauner’s one term in office. The following are individual tweets from the House Democrats’ account which excerpted his speech…
On Jan. 14, 2015, I stood before you and pledged to work cooperatively and professionally w/ Gov. Rauner. That was four long years ago.
Four long years of character assassination, personal vilification and strident negotiation positions which hurt our state government and led to inaction for the people of Illinois.
Since then, Illinois suffered through a three year budget impasse. Some may say “We made it through the budget impasse” or “our organization got its money,” but others were not so fortunate.
If you were an Illinoisan depending on funding for Autism services, breast cancer screenings, child abuse prevention or services for survivors of sexual assault, you became a victim of the budget
In America and in Illinois, government is people working with people. Sometimes they agree and other times they disagree.
Where people disagree, if they are reasonable, they talk to each other, exchange ideas, negotiate in good faith, and attempt to find common ground. For the last four years, this didn’t happen. Instead we simply got a series of ultimatums.
Illinois has serious problems. A significant budget imbalance and a debt load that is far too high. This impairs our ability to properly support areas such as education, infrastructure maintenance and improvement, and many others.
To solve these problems people need to work with people. Some may say to just ‘put an end to the last four years’ or ‘close the book.’
But, let me suggest we move beyond these last four years and not just close the book. Rather, let’s close one chapter and take lessons, so we can move on to a new chapter where people work with people.
Speaker Madigan did not announce his new leadership team.
* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s speech was mostly upbeat. From the HGOP’s Twitter account…
Following the oaths of office… each one of us will be charged with representing the interests and welfare of 108,000 Illinoisans.
That oath is solemn and has meaning. Deep meaning.
I implore you to embrace this historic moment with the best you can offer.
Durkin quotes his friend, the late US Senator John McCain. …there is “much more than unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other.”
The same can be said about us, my fellow Illinoisans
Today is a day for celebrating and unifying.
This is our state’s 5th year in a row of population loss and will once again lead to diminished influence and a loss of congressional representation.
It also means a loss of taxpayers.
With this new General Assembly, and a new Governor I am optimistic that for once for many, many years, we can put politics aside.
Leader Durkin is outlining what the House Republicans stand for… reform of our state’s regressive property tax system… creating efficiency in our pension systems, by reducing costs and making the systems sustainable for members and taxpayers… balancing the budget by weighing spending demands with fiscal realities… enhancing our weak business climate to bring real sustainable jobs back to our state… getting career gun criminals off our streets.
I have never let the R or D next to a representative’s name impact what I think about their district or constituents and I hope you do the same.
The time for a new direction starts today.
…as former Governor Thompson implored, we can be a “Great” Assembly… that works through the many challenges we face to take Illinois in a new direction.
Durkin ended by saying, “My door is always open. My hope is yours will be, too.”
…Adding… She’s gonna get a lot of press coverage…