New Legislative Session Begins in Springfield

Jan 9, 2019

The new session of the Illinois Legislature is underway with the largest percentage of Democratic lawmakers serving in Springfield in more than five decades. 

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton and GOP House leader Jim Durkin and Senate leader Bill Brady all were re-elected Wednesday to their leadership posts.  

Outgoing Gov. Bruce Rauner presided over the Senate swearing-in. He leaves office Monday, when Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritkzer will be inaugurated. 

Democrats now have a 74-44 House majority and a 40-19 majority in the Senate. That's the largest percentage of Democrats since 1964.

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