Story by 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron
In Springfield, members of the new General Assembly were sworn-in this afternoon, and Speaker Madigan threw down the gauntlet on one of his pet issues.
Just after taking the oath for another term as Speaker, Mike Madigan put what he calls "the free lunch" back on the table.
He wants to shift in stages the cost of suburban and downstate school pensions from the state budget to local school budgets, "Money is being spent by the state government, the one that's in trouble, for local school budgets, community colleges, public universities. A serious, serious problem. And if we're serious about solving the problem, that also must be addressed."
This will re-open the fight with Republicans who say this cost shift would cause local property taxes to skyrocket.
© Content Copyright 2013 WLS Radio 890AM and WLSAM.com. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Michael Madigan has been easily re-elected to another term as speaker of the Illinois House.
The newest Illinois House was sworn into office Wednesday. House lawmakers held their ceremony at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The Senate held its ceremony at the Capitol.
Madigan is a Chicago Democrat who has held the position of House speaker almost continuously since 1983. The exception was a two-year period in the 1990s when Republicans had control of the House.
Madigan is arguably the most powerful Democrat in Illinois. He also serves as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.
He is also a senior partner at a law firm in Chicago. One of his daughters is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who was at Wednesday's ceremony.
Republican Tom Cross was re-elected minority leader.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A newly inaugurated Illinois Senate has chosen John Cullerton president for another two-year term.
The 64-year-old Democrat from Chicago began his third term at the helm as the 98th General Assembly was sworn in Wednesday.
The November election delivered to Cullerton a 40-19 majority over Republicans. That's the most Democrats elected in the Illinois Senate in at least 120 years.
Cullerton's caucus members come not only from the Democratic stronghold of Chicago but from the far reaches of the state with varying philosophical ideas.
A lawyer and public defender, Cullerton has served in the Senate since 1991 after serving 12 years in the House.
Republican Sen. Christine Radogno was chosen as minority leader.
Copyright © 2013 Associated Press