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Madigan Begins 13th Term as Speaker

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Michael Madigan began his 13th term as Speaker of the Illinois House yesterday (Wednesday). The Democrat has been in the House since 1971 and has held the top spot in the chamber for all but two of the last 26 years.

Madigan was co-chair of Governor Rod Blagojevich’s re-election campaign in 2006. But since, he and the governor became bitter rivals. Last week, the House impeached Blagojevich, accusing him of abusing his power.

Though Madigan never mentioned Blagojevich by name in his acceptance speech, the speaker clearly wanted lawmakers to guard against any governor who might infringe upon their legislative authority:

MADIGAN: I’ve always been a very strong advocate of the role of the legislature and over the last few years I’ve done more of that than I did in the past.

Madigan pledged to work with all House members to fulfill their obligations to the state.

His Democratic colleagues say there is no one better at building consensus among lawmakers than Madigan.

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