Voices In The News 2013

Dec 31, 2013

Credit Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As we get ready to welcome 2014, we thought we’d take a few minutes to reflect on some of the voices in the news this past year in Illinois state politics and government. People in the Capitol were busy with same-sex marriage, medical marijuana, and dozens of other issues. What follows are a few of the more memorable moments.

Gov. Pat Quinn: “This is no small issue. This is a choice about whether we will make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget by reforming our public pension systems."

House Speaker Michael Madigan, right, helped push a long-anticipated pension overhaul into law.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

House Speaker Michael Madigan: "There will be changes here. ... But this bill is a well-thought out, well-balanced bill."

Dan Montgomery, Illinois Federation of Teachers: "There's only one way to describe that kind of blatant taking of one's life savings. We call it theft."

Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg: "Every legislator on this floor has a different opinion when it comes to concealed-carry policy."

Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department: "There is no compelling evidence, despite what gun advocates say, to show that more guns makes people safer."

Todd Vandermyde, National Rifle Association: "This is a fundamental, constitutionally protected civil right — the right to self-defense; the right to own a firearm. It's not a privilege to be meted out by bureaucratic people on an eeny, meeny, miny, moe [basis]."

Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago: "The choice is this: fracking in Illinois with no regulation, or fracking in Illinois with the tightest, most stringent regulations possible."

Chairman Gery Chico, Illinois State Board of Education: "Schools can only do so much 'more with less.'"

Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst: “I learned that the Senate Democrats and the House Democrats struck a deal on the budget — not from our members that usually participate — I learned it on public radio. Isn’t that a travesty?"

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine: "So far there's no plan whatsoever that's discernible for this tax increase to go away."

Sen. Kim Lightford, D-Maywood: "Wake up! You guys have lost the tax argument. That's why you have 19 and we have 40."

Rep. Lou Lang finally saw passage of his medical marijuana legislation.
Credit Brian Mackey / WUIS

Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica: "I absolutely believe that I could go to my doctor, and go through my history of medical conditions, and I could get medical marijuana under your bill. I believe I could, sir."

Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie: "Do you have any of those medical conditions today?"

Sacia: "I believe I do."

Lang: "Then maybe you need the product, sir."

Sacia: "I'm doing well without it."

Attorney General Lisa Madigan: "There's a process that I went through in terms of evaluating how I could best continue to serve the people of the state of Illinois. Obviously, that involved, um, you know, private conversations that I will not be going through with you publicly."

Bill Daley: "I don't believe that if the governor is re-nominated by the Democratic Party, he will win the general election. He barely won against a very flawed candidate four years ago."

Sen. Bill Brady, sporting running shoes, waits for his turn to address party leaders before Republican Day at the Illinois Seate Fair.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Gov. Pat Quinn: "I was given a nine percent chance of winning in the General Election. And we won. And Brady's still looking for his gym shoes."

Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington: "Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm here today with running shoes on, and game on for the Republican Party."

Treasurer Dan Rutherford: "I know that going into communities of diversity is imperative for us as Republicans to earn the right to govern."

Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale: "I know how to govern a Democrat legislature to get it to do things … to live within its means."

Bruce Rauner in a rare, brief Q&A with Statehouse reporters before Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Bruce Rauner: "I love to fight. I love to win. I've been a leader at everything I've touched throughout my career -- both in business, and in our civic leadership here in Illinois."

Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago: "In Illinois we tried civil unions, and that separate status has time and time again proved to fall short."

Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake: "We are a family that is treated differently under the eyes of the law. We are a family that does not have the same protections that your family has."

Rep. David Reis, R-Willow Hill: “I’ve had three judges in my district call up and say, ‘David, there is not a facility in your district that’s going to perform these ceremonies. They’re going to call me. Where’s my religious, individual freedoms?’ ”

Sen. Willie Delgado, D-Chicago: "I don't get out to the movies very often, and I just watched 'Lincoln.' And for the love of God, I feel like I'm sitting in 1865."