Despite Record Gun Deaths, Chicago’s Statehouse Elects Dem To 17th Term As Speaker

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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The Illinois state legislature elected Democrat Michael Madigan to his 17th term as Speaker of the House, despite the fact that the city of Chicago alone experienced a 57 percent increase in gun-related deaths, according to a Thursday report from the Chicago Tribune.

Madigan won re-election largely along party lines, only one of the 71 Democrats in the legislature opposed the lifelong Democrat. All 41 Republicans opposed Madigan.

The city of Chicago experienced a record-breaking rise in gun-related deaths in 2016, which increased 57 percent over 2015 numbers to reach 762. In addition to that troubling statistic, the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board called Illinois the “most mismanaged state.”

The board cited a $111 billion unfunded pension liability, as well as $10 billion in unpaid bills, both stemming from the fact that the Democratic- controlled state government didn’t pass a budget for the past two years.

“While back home in their districts campaigning for election, Democrats hedge in their support for the longtime speaker. But they obediently bestow the gavel when it’s time to vote,” the board wrote in an op-ed published Thursday.

“Our state is suffering,” House Republican leader Jim Durkin told the Tribune. “It is in need of help. By taking that oath, we are charged with fixing it. Today, we are 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. That means negotiate, compromise.”

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