Democratic Rep. Kam Buckner is unhappy with how Republican Rep. Steven Reick spoke to Democratic Rep. Lakesia Collins [after she moved to have him ejected from the House floor] and wants an apology.
During floor debate, Collins had called out the Republicans who didn’t wear masks, and she included Reick. The Woodstock Republican, however, had been wearing his mask, and so his name was taken off the list of those kicked out. Still, Reick approached Collins after floor debate to complain. Reick “was upset his actions were mischaracterized,” a GOP spokesperson told Playbook.
The Chicago Democrat said Reick put his finger in her face and said “Keep my f***g name out of your mouth.” Collins was startled by his tone and felt “threatened,” she told Playbook.
Two other lawmakers stepped between Collins and Reick to diffuse the situation, but Collins said she was shaken nonetheless.
Buckner sent a letter to Reick, with copies to Welch and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, calling for Reick to make a public apology since the confrontation was on the House floor for all to see.
“This type of behavior is not only against our rules, it is beneath this body,” according to the letter obtained by Playbook.
The House Republicans say there are two sides to this story, but are hoping to calm things down. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and House Speaker Chris Welch are meeting this morning to try to get the chamber back on track.
* Before that meeting was scheduled, however, Welch sent this letter to Leader Durkin…
February 22, 2022
Last week you stood up on the House floor and declared “the rules are the rules.” You said your members would “accept the consequences” of not following those House rules that have been in place for two years, of which many members of the Republican Caucus voted to put in place in order to keep our colleagues, our staff and our families safe.
Last week, we saw members of the Republican Caucus attempt to stop the work of the people at every opportunity. We witnessed a Republican member not accept the consequences and remain in the chamber while in violation of the rules that were approved by a majority of duly elected representatives.
We witnessed a member of the Republican Caucus ask the judicial branch to restrict the ability of the legislative body from operating as laid out in the Illinois State Constitution. The frivolous lawsuit, both a waste of state resources and tax dollars, is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set regarding the separation of powers. I suspect an officer of the court such as yourself can also agree the importance of keeping our institutions of the state clearly divided to safeguard liberties.
We witnessed Representative Steven Reick’s unbecoming behavior on the House floor toward one of our colleagues. Let me be clear: this behavior will not be tolerated. The representative should make a formal apology to Representative Lakesia Collins and the entire House chamber. I hope that as the leader of the Republican Caucus, you will facilitate that apology.
Your stated desire for civility and working together is welcomed. I appreciate your words and look forward to seeing you follow through. I hope to see you ensure members of your caucus follow the House rules in order to get the people’s work done while keeping everyone as safe as possible.
As you stated last week, civility is important and we do have people watching us. Let’s make sure we can be proud of our behavior, the message we’re sending to the entire state, and the work we’re accomplishing on behalf of citizens.
Emanuel “Chris” Welch
Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
*** UPDATE 1 *** “Let’s get to work,” Durkin said he advised his members…
*** UPDATE 2 *** The start of House session has been delayed until 1:30. Take that as a decent sign.