New General Assembly inaugurated with vows to end impasse

New General Assembly inaugurated with vows to end impasse
  1. New General Assembly inaugurated with vows to end impasse
    SPRINGFIELD — A banner hanging above the stage at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield for Wednesday's Illinois House inauguration ceremony offered the members some a…
    Illinois (IL)

SPRINGFIELD — A banner hanging above the stage at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield for Wednesday's Illinois House inauguration ceremony offered the members some advice.

Quoting President John F. Kennedy, it read: “Let us not seek to fix blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

After the 99th General Assembly failed to enact a comprehensive state budget during its just-completed two-year term, there’s plenty of blame to go around. Members of both political parties and both legislative chambers acknowledge that an end to the budget standoff is long overdue.

It remains unclear, however, how the Democratic-controlled 100th General Assembly will find enough common ground to approve a budget that also will satisfy Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who wants changes to the state’s business and political climate.

Despite a new crop of state representatives and senators taking the oath of office for the first time Wednesday in separate ceremonies, the lay of the land in Springfield is relatively unchanged.

On the Democratic side, long-serving House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both of Chicago, were easily re-elected to their positions, as were House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont.

Despite a monthslong campaign by the Illinois Republican Party to pressure Democrats to vote against Madigan, none did. The lone holdout among the 67 House Democrats was Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood, who voted “present.”

In accepting a 17th term in the position he has held for all but two of the past 33 years, Madigan laid out an agenda that he says would boost economic growth in the state without competing in a “race to the bottom” on issues like workers’ compensation and collective bargaining, a shot at Rauner’s policy agenda.

Madigan called for increased investment in higher education, which has been hard hit by the budget turmoil of the past two years, along with transportation and communication infrastructure.

The speaker also called for cutting the state’s corporate income tax rate in half while also ensuring that all businesses pay something. And in an op-ed Wednesday in The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, Madigan also promoted a tax surcharge on income of more than $1 million to fund education and an increase in the state’s minimum wage.

“I believe we can grow the economy and create jobs without hurting middle-class families,” Madigan said.

For his part, Durkin said Republicans would work with Democrats on their policy agenda if it includes things like paying down the state’s $11 billion backlog of bills, reforming the severely underfunded public pension systems, reducing unemployment and enacting “truly balanced budgets.”

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

Sign Up! Daily Headlines
  1. President Obama’s Final Farewell Speech – Speaks to Former Staff at Joint Base Andrews - Arlington Heights
    President Obama’s final farewell speech – speaks to former staff at Joint Base Andrews. Get updates from The Cardinal ALL NEWS FEEDS on Facebook. Just ‘LIKE’ the ‘Arlington Cardinal Page (become a fan of our page). The updates cover all posts and sub-category posts from The Cardinal — You can also limit feeds to…
  2. Police use pepper spray, make arrests in confrontation with protesters near inauguration - Chicago
    01.20 / 19:37
    WASHINGTON — Violent clashes by protesters resume with police in downtown Washington blocks from Trump inauguration parade route. Police have used pepper spray and made a number of arrests in a confrontation with protesters in downtown Washington, D.C. At one point, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, Bank of America and McDonald’s as they denounced capitalism and Donald Trump. Police in riot ge…
  3. Muslim Association of Bolingbrook Mosque Open House Feb. 18 - Bolingbrook
    01.20 / 19:36
    The Muslim Association of Bolingbrook will be holding an open house at a mosque in Bolingbrook on February…
  4. Relay For Life Hosts Kickoff Event - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 19:06
    Local cancer patients, survivors and their family members gather for a kickoff event for the 2017 Relay For Life of Tri County yesterday. With the annual fundraising walk coming up Read…
  5. Watch Jackie Evancho sing National Anthem at Trump’s inauguration - Illinois
    01.20 / 18:42
    WASHINGTON — Artists who are taking part in President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities are not apologetic. Inauguration events kicked off Thursday night with a Make America Great Again! welcome concert, which had a lineup that included Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood, The Piano Guys, and The Frontmen of Country. Greenwood, who took the stage to sing his hit, “God Bless the USA,” told CNN that he feels “sorry” for the artists who…
  6. Caribbean Flavors Add Spice To Highwood - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 18:26
    HIGHWOOD – At 19, Angel Rodriguez emigrated to the U.S. from Puerto Rico. Decades later after working in two Highwood restaurants, he moved down the street to open his own... Read M…
  7. Aurora man accused of confronting Batavia cop during incident - Aurora
    01.20 / 18:22
    An Aurora man faces a February preliminary hearing on domestic battery and other charges in connection to a New Year's Eve incident which also involved a confrontation with a Batavia police officer.Jeremy Allred, 33, is free on $10,000 bail amid allegations he injured a female family member…
  8. Oregon High School new approach to learning - Illinois
    01.20 / 18:21
     Oregon High School is working to keep up with the times with its 'Open Program'. It's a new program for Sophomores that puts the student in charge of their own education. Open Program…
  9. Springfield police make arrest in January 16 shooting incident - Illinois
    01.20 / 18:05
    SPRINGFIELD - The Springfield Police Department has arrested one man in connection with a shooting incident that happened on January…
  10. Trump offers Central Illinois man $10,000 for father's chemo during one-on-one visit - Illinois
    01.20 / 17:28
    Stonington - A Stonington Illinois man got the surprise of his life on Thursday when Donald Trump invited him backstage at one of his…
  11. Central Illinois citizens invited to "Q & A Panel" in Springfield January 20 - Illinois
    01.20 / 17:28
    SPRINGFIELD - The Springfield Art Association is teaming up with University of Illinois - Springfield professors and an Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum historian to host an event to answer citizen's questions regarding U.S.…
  12. Bloomingdale police officer killed in crash remembered as 'shining star' - Chicago
    01.20 / 16:56
    A police officer was killed in a crash Thursday night in northwest suburban Bloomingdale. Police Chief Frank Giammarese said Raymond Murrell, 27, had a bright future and made a great impact on the community in his short time with the…
  13. President Donald J. Trump 58th Inauguration 2017, 45th President LIVE - Arlington Heights
    ABC News Live: The long and turbulent 2016 election reaches its final milestone today when Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Trump will take the oath of office promptly at noon, which marks the official transfer of power. The inaugural address comes toward the end of the outdoor…
  14. Extradition of Mexican drug kingpin 'El Chapo' is milestone for justice, prosecutor says - Chicago
    01.20 / 16:55
    Saying they were bringing the world's most notorious drug lord to justice, U.S. prosecutors on Friday described Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman as the murderous architect of a 3-decade-long web of violence, corruption and drug…
  15. Alton Police, U.S. Marshals, make arrest of Texas suspect in Alton - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 16:44
    ALTON - Alton Police and U.S. Marshals apprehended a suspect sought by the U.S. Marshals around 8:30 a.m. on Friday at 12th and Alby Street in Alton. Authorities said the suspect was wanted by the U.S. Continue…
  16. Off-duty Robbins officer fatally shoots alleged robbery suspect in West Pullman - Chicago
    01.20 / 16:18
    An off-duty officer who working in south suburban Robbins shot and killed an armed man who tried to rob him Friday morning on Chicago's Far South Side, police…
  17. Hoopeston Area schools raise funds - Local
    01.20 / 16:17
    HOOPESTON — The Hoopeston Area School District is taking the initiative in fundraising to benefit extracurricular/curricular activities with the first Cornjerker G…
  18. Three to be inducted into Vienna High School Hall of Fame Feb. 4 - Illinois
    01.20 / 16:15
    Three former Vienna High School athletes will be inducted into the VHS Hall of Fame Saturday, Feb. 4, during halftime of the Eagles vs. Chester basketball game. The inductees are Mike Stewart (class of 1960), Kisten Martin (class of 2003) and Lacie Endrizzi (class of 2007). Following are their athletic achievements during their years at…
  19. Collins appreciates days at ISU - Illinois
    01.20 / 16:15
    For Doug Collins this weekend is more than just being recognized for his recent induction into the college basketball Hall of…
  20. Grain mostly higher, livestock lower - Illinois
    01.20 / 16:15
    CHICAGO (AP) — Grain futures were mostly higher Friday in early trading on the Chicago Board of T…