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GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Representative Bourne leads appointment of new Legislative Inspector General. Rep. Avery Bourne led a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators in the selection of a person with trusted legal experience to take on the duty of examining allegations of misconduct within the General Assembly. Significant allegations of misconduct, including allegations of sexual harassment, were made against General Assembly members and senior members of legislative staff during the 100thGeneral Assembly (January 2017 – January 2019). Under state law, allegations of these types must be referred to the office of an independent Legislative Inspector General for scrutiny and possible referrals for discipline. This includes, in rare cases, referral of an allegation to law enforcement.
Rep. John W.E. Thomas, Rep. Adelbert Roberts,
and Congressman Oscar Stanton DePriest
As the 30th General Assembly convened in January 1877 it was an exciting time for Illinois. The post-Civil War economic boom had come to Illinois at full speed, and the state was now among the fastest-growing in the nation. Legislators were meeting for the first time in the new State Capitol building at 2nd and Monroe in Springfield.

And one of the 153 men taking the oath of office in the House of Representatives was making history that day.

John W.E. Thomas had been born into slavery in Alabama in 1847. He discovered the joy of reading and writing at an early age. In his youth he would courageously defy the local authorities by teaching other African-Americans to read, and the desire to be an educator stayed with him his entire life. Together with his wife Maria and their daughter Hester he came to Chicago just after the Civil War.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Illinois House committees hold first hearings of new session. Much of the session work of this week was spent in organizing the 39 standing committees of the Illinois House of Representatives. These are the panels that will hear almost all of the legislation introduced in the House through January 2021. Many of the committees, such as the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the House Committee on Personnel and Pensions, took prompt action to set up subcommittees from the members appointed to their membership.
Congressman-Elect Abraham Lincoln
Presidential experience comes in many forms. Washington and Eisenhower commanded armies which changed the course of world history. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and was Vice President. Franklin Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy and later Governor of the nation’s largest state. Other Presidents were Governors, Senators, generals, businessmen and farmers. John Quincy Adams perhaps holds the record, having devoted 70 years of his life to public service.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
House Republicans oppose Madigan’s Rules. One of the first legislative actions of the Illinois House in the 101st General Assembly occurred this week, with the consideration and adoption of rules that govern the chamber’s proceedings.

The 12.8 million residents of Illinois deserve a legislative process that is transparent and fair. We are supposed to be a representative democracy, where all Illinoisans from every district are represented equally. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now in the Illinois House of Representatives.
President Reagan in the press box with Harry Caray
during a Chicago Cubs game, 1988.
Late in the 1988 season, fans of the Chicago Cubs who tuned into a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on WGN heard legendary announcer Harry Caray yield the microphone for half an inning to one of his predecessors as the voice of the Cubs. He was a little rusty, but in his defense it had been more than 50 years, and he had been busy doing other jobs: starring in Hollywood motion pictures, serving as Governor of California and for the previous eight years, sitting in the Oval Office as President of the United States. But even after all that, Dutch Reagan seemed right at home in the broadcast booth.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Leader Durkin, House Republicans Introduce Fair Maps Amendment. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced this week that he, along with the entire House Republican caucus, has filed HJRCA 10, a constitutional amendment for the independent drawing of legislative maps.

“Governor Pritzker has urged the legislature to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, so House Republicans are proposing to do just that,” said Leader Durkin. “Not only are we answering the Governor’s call on this issue, but we are also prepared to provide the majority of the votes required to pass this out of the House and on to the Senate. So I call on my Democratic colleagues to join us and Governor Pritzker in supporting the independent drawing of legislative maps and pass HJRCA 10 this legislative session.”