Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New General Assembly sworn in as full plate looms

A new Illinois General Assembly was sworn in today, and after the ceremony and celebrations are over, lawmakers will face a full plate of unresolved issues in the month ahead.

Gov. Pat Quinn presided over the 59-member Senate, which is his constitutional duty, until Sen. John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, was re-elected as the chamber's president. Democrats make up 40 out of the 59 senators.

The House is across town at the University of Illinois-Springfield at an auditorium. The House elected Democratic Rep. Michael Madigan as speaker, a post he has held since 1983 with the exception of a two-year period when Republicans won control. He is Illinois’ longest serving House speaker. There are 71 Democrats out of 118 members.

Madigan challenged his newly sworn colleagues to tackle the difficult finances of the state, including the "absolutely serious nature" of the heavily indebted pension systems.

The inauguration was featured by the Chicago Tribune on January 9, 2013.

Read the article online