Posted: Jan 10, 2011 6:24 PM CST
By Bill Miston
SPRINGFIELD (WREX) – Come Wednesday, Illinois' 97th General Assembly will convene, tackling state unemployment, pension problems and a budget deficit around $13 billion.
As the state officers were sworn in today, members of house and senate will be sworn in Wednesday. All will be challenged.
"Everybody's going to have to work together and
work together quickly," said Rockford College Political Science
Professor Bob Evans. "Because there's just no alternative."
In remarks after his swearing in, Governor Pat
Quinn praised the work of volunteers to the state of Illinois—adding it
is them that make the state work.
"To make our state better, we must become an ethic of service, we must have many, many volunteers."
The house and senate will redraw districts for the
Illinois house, senate and the U.S. house. Particularly painful will
be the loss of one U.S. representative seat. Those results could affect
state and federal policy—as well as the political make-up for the next
"So as if the fiscal decision making wasn't hard
enough, they're going to have to go at it over redistricting, and that's
always a very, very divisive process," said Evans.
Evans says it's not possible to predict how the
new legislators will fit in to the current political spectrum—it's
something that will have to wait to be seen.
"The sate is going to have to right the ship and that's going to have to be done quickly, through painful decisions."
The next session officially begins on Wednesday, but lawmakers could be called in as early as tomorrow.
This story appeared at http://www.wrex.com/Global/story.asp?S=13818799 on January 10, 2011.