The Latest: New session of Illinois Legislature underway


    File photo<p>{/p}

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Latest on the new Illinois legislative session (all times local):

    1:30 p.m.

    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.

    ------

    4:30 a.m.

    The Illinois state Capitol will be awash in flowers, family members and well-wishers as the Legislature begins a new session.

    Members of the House and Senate will be inaugurated Wednesday as part of the 101st General Assembly.

    Both chambers will be sworn in at noon. Secretary of State Jesse White will preside over House ceremonies at the University of Illinois Springfield. Members are expected to elect Chicago Democrat Michael Madigan to a 19th term as speaker. Democrats have a 74-44 majority in the House.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner will convene the new Senate at the Capitol before members take an expected vote to elect Chicago Democrat John Cullerton president to a 9th term. Cullerton leads 40 Democrats to 19 Republicans.

    The current Senate will convene Wednesday morning to consider final legislation.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...