* Rep. Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island) on WHBF TV…
Q: Another big decision that Democrats in the majority of Illinois have to make regards Speaker of the House Mike Madigan. He’s now embroiled in the controversial ComEd bribery scandal and the subject of an investigation in the legislature. He is losing support among some Democrats. Where do you stand?
A: Well, it’s certainly going to be a difficult question for all of us. We’re looking forward to getting together as a caucus, I don’t know if it’s going to be in person or virtually, to talk through these issues and try to make a decision. It’s an important conversation that we need to be having going into next year especially with the difficult time we’re going to be facing both on the budget, some of the reform agenda that’s coming up, ethics reform, property tax relief. We have a very full plate that we need to get started addressing as soon as possible.
Q: Should he still be the Speaker?
A: You know, I think that’s the question that we’re going to be talking to each other over the next couple of weeks. You know, I think we have a very diverse caucus, with a lot of different viewpoints, and I think we need to have that conversation collectively as a Democratic family, and try to come to a solution that way.
Q: Will you vote for him as Speaker and if not him, who?
A: Well, again, it really depends on what candidates are out there. And you know I generally tend to not litigate our internal caucus matters publicly. And so I think it’s a conversation that we need to have amongst ourselves and then come out and and having made that decision internally. I know there’s a proposal from Republican leader Durkin that the Democrats should vote for him as Speaker, and that’s certainly just not an option. But we need to talk about it within our own party with our own caucus to come to what that answer is going to be.
This is not the sort of decision that should be kept behind closed doors.