SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- The Illinois House of Representatives elected Michael Madigan as speaker shortly after members took their oaths of office Wednesday.
During speeches nominating Madigan for re-election, House democrats celebrated election victories and pledged both bipartisanship and action.
“We will protect our healthcare system in this state, and that includes critical life-saving breast cancer screenings for women,” said Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester. “You know what else we will do together? We will make the rich finally pay their fair share.”
After winning re-election 72-44 over Republican leader Jim Durkin, Madigan called for a new chapter in state government while describing the years of Governor Bruce Rauner’s tenure:
“Four long years of character assassination,” Madigan said. “Four long years of personal vilification. Four long years of strident negotiating positions also known as ‘my way or the highway.’”
In his speech, Durkin pointed to people leaving Illinois for other states.
“Taxes are too high to afford staying in their homes,” Durkin said. “Job opportunities are growing in other states as we remain stagnant. Crime has driven many out of their neighborhoods. State and local pension debt is staggering and unsustainable, and traffic and commute times are getting worse as our infrastructure crumbles.”
Durkin said House Republicans wish to work collaboratively and stand for property tax reform, pension reform, a better business climate and fair election maps.