Durkin Officially Elected Republican Leader

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin
• Jim Durkin officially elected House Republican Leader. The choice, which followed the Caucus’s unanimous announcement after the November 2014 election that Durkin was their choice to lead them for a full term, was made official on Wednesday, January 14. In the House’s inaugural session, Durkin was nominated by colleagues Chad Hays, Barbara Wheeler, and Bill Mitchell. Under State law two candidates run for Speaker of the House, and the second candidate becomes the Leader of the minority party. 47 Republicans represent districts throughout Illinois in the 99th General Assembly, which will serve into January 2017. The election took place immediately after the inauguration of the members of the new House.

“If we work together,” Durkin reminded his colleagues, “we have the ability to put our state back on the path to prosperity and success.” Durkin’s office posted additional news about the House Republican Leader’s election here.

General Assembly
• 99th General Assembly inaugurated. The 177 members of the 99th General Assembly were inaugurated in Springfield on Wednesday, January 14. 118 lawmakers are members of the Illinois House and 59 are members of the Senate. The Southern Illinoisan has the story.

Of all four caucuses in the Illinois General Assembly, the House Republicans have by far the largest contingent of younger and new members. Reflecting a comprehensive desire by many voters to shift the way Illinois looks at and solves its problems, many of Illinois’ voters chose twelve new Republicans to join their colleagues as state representatives in Springfield’s Capitol. Many of these members are current or former owners of Illinois small businesses and others are members of competitive professions. The Caucus Blog describes these twelve new lawmakers here. Representing many locations in Chicago’s suburbs and in Downstate Illinois, these new members are eager to make fiscal responsibility, job creation and economic development top priorities in the new General Assembly.

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