* Illinois Policy Institute…
“Michael Madigan: Elected without fuss.”
So reads one Illinois newspaper caption from Jan. 13, 1983, the day after Madigan’s peers in the General Assembly elected him speaker of the House for the first time. The choice was easy. Madigan had recently redrawn Illinois’ legislative maps, which meant many lawmakers in part owed their jobs to the 40-year-old from Chicago’s Southwest Side.
Madigan has now held that speaker’s gavel for 35 of the last 37 years.
The state’s median age is 37 years old, meaning one man has served as speaker for the vast majority of most Illinoisans’ lives. No legislative leader in American history has held power for longer.
What were you (or your parents) doing in January of 1983?