* House Speaker Chris Welch…
As of last month, Michael Madigan has dedicated 50 years of service to the Illinois House of Representatives. I thank the former Speaker for his sincere and meaningful contributions to our state. Under him, we’ve had strong, sustained Democratic leadership in Springfield. We legalized same-sex marriage, abolished the death penalty and solidified abortion rights. Illinois also became the first state in the Midwest to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. These laws gave underserved populations a new sense of hope.
Now we must build on that with a new generation of leadership focused on racial and gender equity in all dimensions, improving government transparency, and leading with the kind of conviction, compassion and cooperation expected by our constituents. I truly appreciate his contributions and I join Illinoisans across the state in wishing him well.
I’m thinking this post will be updated.
…Adding… Illinois AFL-CIO…
The Illinois AFL-CIO, representing nearly 1 million working families across the state, today issued the following statement on the retirement of longtime Illinois House Speaker and State Representative Michael J. Madigan:
“The Illinois AFL-CIO and all of organized labor in Illinois wish to sincerely thank Michael J. Madigan for his indelible impact on Illinois public policy and politics, and his historic legacy of accomplishments for working families.
For the past 50 years, Michael J. Madigan has had unprecedented influence on our legislative process. Time after time, he has put the interests of working men and women first, even under dire circumstances and serious threats.
Speaker Madigan knew better than anyone that leading the Legislature means keenly understanding each legislative district and how best to support legislators representing their constituents back home and in Springfield. He knew how to bring people together behind the most important initiatives to move our state forward, while making the right political calculations to ensure his majorities grew and never lost touch with the will of the people.
When Illinois needed revenue to support the vital public services and programs we all depend on, Speaker Madigan put together the right recipe to get the job done. When Illinois desperately needed capital construction programs to create and support thousands of good-paying jobs, Speaker Madigan led the way.
When Bruce Rauner and other radical politicians threatened working families, Speaker Madigan stood firm.
And when legislators needed his help to advance the agenda that supports working men and women, time and time again Speaker Madigan was there for them.
Speaker Madigan strengthened and protected the prevailing wage to build our communities, stabilized our workers’ compensation system costs while protecting injured workers, fought for our collective bargaining rights, stopped senseless right-to-work crusades and expanded voter access for working families.
We wish Michael J. Madigan, his wife Shirley and his family well on his well-deserved retirement. Thank you for making Illinois a better place for working families, today and tomorrow.”
Tim Drea, President
Pat Devaney, Secretary Treasurer
Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter released the following statement regarding the resignation of Michael J. Madigan from the Illinois House of Representatives:
“Speaker Michael J. Madigan has been a steadfast, dedicated, and courageous champion of workers and their families in Illinois for a generation. His leadership in the fight for collective bargaining rights and worker protections in the state of Illinois spans more than five decades. In that time, Speaker Madigan partnered with labor on countless pieces of legislation to protect workers and protect the middle-class, keeping Illinois a strong pro-union state while many of our neighboring states joined the race to the bottom.
“Under Speaker Madigan’s leadership, the Illinois General Assembly enacted sweeping ethics reform laws, the first campaign finance limits in state history, equal pay requirements for women, landmark education funding reform, health care protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, minimum wage increases, and many more pieces of vital legislation to move Illinois forward. He led the charge for increased infrastructure investment that has resulted in countless Illinoisans receiving a decent paycheck and benefits while building the foundation of our state.
“Speaker Madigan served alongside seven different governors, finding common ground and moving our state forward by working in a bipartisan way with lawmakers from across the political spectrum. However, he never compromised on his core values and he stood strong for four years against the attacks of former Gov. Bruce Rauner, the most fervent anti-union ideologue Illinois has ever seen.
“Speaker Madigan never forgot the constituents he served nor did he lose sight of the needs of working families in Illinois. His leadership and partnership will be missed, and we wish him and his entire family well as he begins the next chapter in his life.”
* David Orr…
The sudden resignation of former Speaker Mike Madigan is a clear indication Democrats are moving towards a more progressive political direction. Old politics has done extraordinary harm and enveloped around Madigan, leading to the loss of Democratic state seats, the recent Fair Tax Amendment, and most importantly the trust in government by Illinois voters. We can thank those who stood up to Madigan for change, clearing a path for a new speaker and a more accountable government for Illinois residents.
* Terry Cosgrove…
On behalf of Personal PAC, I extend my deep gratitude to Speaker Madigan for his many years of leadership in helping to steer Illinois in the direction of protecting the health care decisions of all women. First and foremost, he worked with Personal PAC to recruit, elect and re-elect our many outstanding pro-choice leaders in the Illinois General Assembly which has put Illinois at the forefront of protecting reproductive rights. Speaker Madigan fully understands that good politics is good policy and vice-versa. When Governor Rauner and his operatives were working overtime to sabotage HB 40 in the Illinois General Assembly, Speaker Madigan stood down Governor Rauner and helped to ensure that HB 40 landed squarely on Rauner’s desk where he was finally forced to keep his word and sign the bill into law. Speaker Madigan worked with then President Cullerton and Governor Pritzker in making the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) the law of our land in response to Trump’s numerous attacks on reproductive rights. In my 32 years at Personal PAC, beyond reproductive rights, the people of Illinois have witnessed unthinkable progress just a decade or two earlier, including marriage equality, abolishment of the death penalty and real criminal justice reform. Thank you Speaker Madigan for leaving Illinois in a much more equitable and better place than how found it 50 years ago.
* Former Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie…
“As Michael J. Madigan resigns his post in the Illinois House of Representatives, it’s time to recognize the contributions he made that have led to better lives for people across the state of Illinois.
“I served with Mike for 40 years, more than half as Majority Leader. Mike led the battle to improve and protect the state’s Freedom of Information Act, providing people the opportunity to know more about how their public officials, state and local, were making decisions affecting them. He took the lead on efforts to establish reasonable limits on campaign contributions and spending. And it was he who championed ethics reform and an end to pay-to-play politics in the state’s executive branch.
“Without Mike’s leadership, Illinois would not have approved same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court established that right nationwide. Without Mike’s leadership, the state would not have expanded voting opportunities for our citizens. Without Mike’s leadership, the state would not have led the nation in criminal justice reforms.
“With Mike at the helm, Illinois expanded access to health care and strengthened reproductive rights. With several increases in the minimum wage, Illinois showed its people that we value workers and their families.
“I am grateful for Michael J. Madigan’s leadership. He understood the meaning of public service: helping those in need and ensuring everyone a chance to succeed. His legacy is a proud one, and I am confident his successors in Springfield will continue to build on that legacy.”
* Secretary of State Jesse White
As a state legislator, I had the honor of working with Mike Madigan for 16 years. During that time, I found Speaker Madigan to be one of the smartest people to ever serve in state government. His in-depth knowledge of so many issues was and is incredible. His commitment to those most in need in our society and the working men and women of our state was unwavering. In my current role as Secretary of State, Speaker Madigan was a strong supporter of our office’s road safety agenda, including legislation to strengthen teen driving laws, battle distracted driving, and toughen DUI laws. I wish Speaker Madigan and his wife Shirley the very best.
“Throughout his historic service to the state, former House Speaker Mike Madigan proved time and again he was sensitive to the needs of the retail community. He demonstrated a keen awareness of the importance of the retail sector to the state economy and its unique position as a major contributor to state and local governments,” said Rob Karr, president & CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “Even in time of disagreement, he encouraged and ensured genuine dialogue and worked in a collaborative fashion. On behalf of the state’s retail industry, IRMA thanks the former Speaker for his distinguished service and wishes him, Shirley and his family well.”
* Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Executive-Secretary Treasurer Gary Perinar…
“On behalf of the 30,000 hardworking men and women of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, I thank Speaker Madigan for a truly distinguished career in government highlighted by his unparalleled record of fighting for the working families of Illinois. No other elected official in our state has done more to advance the cause of the labor movement, and we will always be grateful for his stalwart leadership.
While organized labor is perennially under attack in states across the nation through Right-to-Work laws, bans on Project Labor Agreements, and other anti-worker initiatives, that has never been case here in Illinois during Speaker Madigan’s tenure. Thanks to his leadership, workers’ rights are protected and labor unions in Illinois have the strength to collectively bargain for their members so they can earn fair and decent wages and benefits that ultimately lift the middle class.
We are forever grateful for Speaker Madigan’s commitment to the labor movement.”
* ILGOP Chairman Don Tracy…
“Chairman Madigan’s legacy is that of presiding over the decline of a once great state, ballooning pension liabilities by hundreds of billions of dollars, and the accumulation of historic political power that primarily benefited government insiders and special interests. Chairman Madigan may no longer be a state representative, but he is still Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois where he personally controls over $15 million in campaign cash.”
* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin…
“Today’s news of Rep. Madigan’s retirement comes as no surprise to me and every other Illinoisan, and I have been looking forward to this ‘new day’ in Illinois for some time. I urge the Democrats in both Chambers and the Governor to reflect on how we can use this opportunity to improve Illinois. Rep. Madigan’s autocratic rule over the decades has not made Illinois a more prosperous nor competitive state. Our state is in shambles – financially, structurally and ethically. New ideas and sincere collaboration between the parties is the only pathway forward.”
* Gov. JB Pritzker…
“When you dedicate your career to public service, it’s your loved ones who make the biggest sacrifices – whether it’s because you’re away from home, working long hours or spending time with constituents,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Michael J. Madigan and his family dedicated countless hours to serving Illinois families, particularly during the Rauner years, when he served as the bulwark against constant cruelty to the most vulnerable.
Over his decades in office, he shepherded through some of the most consequential changes to our state: bringing about the legalization of gay marriage, fighting on the frontlines for workers’ rights, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding access to voting and protecting women’s reproductive rights. The people of Illinois have much to be grateful for thanks to his dedicated public service, and the many sacrifices he and his family made to make a difference in our lives. I know how dearly he loves his wife Shirley, their children and grandchildren, and I hope that in this next chapter, his family can begin to make up for lost time.”
* Former Gov. Rauner…
* 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn…
“Leading by example, Speaker Madigan has taught me many invaluable lessons. His unwavering commitment to his family has instilled in me how to be a good husband and father. Speaker Madigan has always fought for the little guy, ensuring people have the opportunities to build a good life for themselves and their families. I’m particularly proud of our accomplishments to provide nearly $250 million in quality educational opportunities to students of all ages throughout the district. Working alongside Speaker Madigan has been the honor of a lifetime. The immense sacrifices the entire Madigan family has made for the people of Illinois and the residents of the 22nd district will be felt for years to come.”
* Lt. Gov. Stratton…
Michael Madigan has retired after 50 years as state representative of the 22nd district. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the residents in his southwest side district, and fought for the rights of all Illinoisans when it came to advancing resources and rights in gaining fair wages, voting, women’s empowerment, and more. He leaves a legacy of service and sacrifice that is to be admired and is deserving of our gratitude.
It is simply not possible to give so much to the people of Illinois without sacrifice. From my family to his, I wish him and his wife Shirley happiness and joy as they enjoy these retirement years together after a long career in public service.
* Rep. Lindsey LaPointe
Today marks the end of an era in Illinois politics.
In looking back, all of us who share a progressive vision for Illinois owe a debt of gratitude to Speaker Madigan for his tireless and successful efforts on behalf of workers’ rights, marriage equality, reproductive healthcare, and many other issues that are crucially important to the people of Illinois.
I also have deep gratitude for my House colleagues and others who stood up for increased public integrity and accountability and called for new leadership for Illinois that will put power back in the hands of the people, where it belongs.
As we begin the 2021 legislative session, I am hopeful that this will be a turning point, and that a new generation of leaders will meet this moment, lead us out of the current crisis, and rebuild people’s trust in both government and politics.