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Democrats hold strong majorities as 101st Illinois General Assembly convenes

Democrats hold strong majorities as 101st Illinois General Assembly convenes

Photo:  House Speaker Michael Madigan

A new Illinois General Assembly was sworn in Wednesday with Democrats holding strong majorities in both the House and Senate.

There are several new faces in the legislature and the usual pledges to work together.  Mike Madigan was elected House Speaker again and he urged his colleagues to look to the future.

“Let’s think in terms of closing one chapter in the book, take lessons from that chapter so we can move on to a new chapter where people work with people.”

Madigan is the longest-serving Speaker in the country.  John Cullerton was again elected Senate President and set an optimistic tone for the year.

Senate President John Cullerton.

“The people back home have no tolerance for impasse and in-fighting.  They want us to get things done.  They want us to make Illinois better and together that is exactly what we are going to do.  So welcome to the 101st General Assembly.  Welcome to a new year, a new start, and a brand new Illinois.”

This current General Assembly has the largest percentage of Democrats since the 1960’s.  Democrats have a 74 to 44 majority in the House and 40-19 in the Senate.

Before the new session began, the previous Senate gave final approval to a measure requested by incoming Governor J.B. Pritzker to raise salaries by 15 percent for agency directors and assistant directors. The vote was 33-21.

Pritzker will be sworn in Monday.