As the 100th General Assembly was sworn into office in Springfield on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin used his opportunity to speak to issue a challenge to longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan.
"I'm asking you, Mr. Speaker, to stop the gotcha votes, the purely political votes that do nothing to resolve the state's debt, our pension liability and unemployment. This tactic is unworthy of our chamber and of our oath of office," Durkin said.
The Republican leader representing suburban Western Springs also noted that Illinois is "at two years without a budget, a balanced budget, and yes, we need and must break this impasse,"
"To break the impasse, both sides must respect each other’s priorities," he added.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the swearing-in ceremony, during which Durkin also highlighted the city’s increase in violence, saying "this must come to an end."
"We must take the streets back from those cowardly thugs, who have destroyed neighborhoods and families, and that must be done with the federal, state and local collaboration," Durkin said.