Commotion and excitement was the mood the second week of January as one General Assembly wrapped up—with a bang—and two inaugural days celebrated the recently elected state officials. On Monday, Jan. 10 the new constitutional officers were sworn into office and on Wednesday, Jan. 12 the members of the 97th Illinois General Assembly took the oath of office.
While there was a significant shift in the political make-up of the Illinois congressional delegation (pre-election split 12 Democrats/7 Republicans and post-election split 8 Democrats/11 Republicans), reflecting a change nationwide, Democrats remained in control of the executive and legislative branches in Illinois. The Democrats retained the offices of Governor/Lt. Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State but Republicans did make gains in taking over the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer.
The Illinois General Assembly remained firmly Democratic, although the majority party numbers were reduced a bit. The House had a pre-election split of 70 Democrats/48 Republicans and a post-election split of 64 Democrats/54 Republicans. In the Senate, the pre-election split was 37 Democrats/22 Republicans and the post-election split was 35 Democrats/24 Republicans.
Legislation that needs a “super majority” to pass (71 in the House and 36 in the Senate), such as on certain bonding bills or to pre-empt home rule powers of a municipality will require some Republican votes. Optimists will say this will mean cooperation among the parties and pessimists will say gridlock!
There will be a lot of new faces in the General Assembly, particularly in the House of Representatives. Among them Republican REALTOR® Joe Sosnowski from the 69th District (Rockford/Belvidere). When interviewed by Illinois Statehouse News on inauguration day, Joe said he planned on using his experience in real estate and city government to focus on economic development, budget reform and reduced spending. Another newly sworn in member of the House, Republican David Harris (Arlington Heights), returns to the Illinois General Assembly having served in the 1980s. He expressed that the minority party has to work with the other side of the aisle—a hope we all have after a contentious session.
We stand ready for a brand new legislature and brand new challenges! IAR members can stay on top of issues important to the real estate industry in Illinois at www.IARactioncenter.org.