The new term of the Illinois Legislature begins this afternoon, and all eyes are on what happens in the Illinois House with who will be Speaker, if it’s not Michael Madigan. Longtime Illinois politics observer Kent Redfield said whoever becomes Speaker they have to pledge to be independent from Madigan who’s held the seat for all but two years since 1983.

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House Minority Leader Jim Durkin acknowledged state Rep. Chris Welch had lobbyists reach out for Republican support for Welch’s speaker bid. Durkin said Welch should be disqualified for blocking Madigan from testifying in a House investigation of the ComEd bribery scheme.

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Fosterburg Republican Amy Elik has indicated she and the rest of the House Republicans would be backing Durkin for speaker. Elik defeated Democrat Monica Bristow in the November election to with the seat for the 111th District.

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