SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan says he has no plans to resign from his role in the Capitol or as chair of the state's Democratic Party. Yet, more lawmakers are coming forward each day, demanding his resignation.
For now, five House Democrats (Anne Stava-Murray, Terra Costa Howard, Stephanie Kifowit, Kelly Cassidy, Yoni Pizer) and three Democratic senators (Melinda Bush, Heather Steans, Iris Martinez) have called for Madigan to step down. You'll notice only one man, Rep. Yoni Pizer, has joined the women standing up to the Speaker. Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) applauds his colleagues taking the lead.
"The only way that we can start to rebuild the public trust is to remove Speaker Madigan from his leadership role as Speaker of the House," Wehrli said.
The Assistant House Republican Leader calls Madigan's breach of public trust despicable. That's why he joined the entire House GOP Caucus to co-sponsor House Resolution 885 to remove the Speaker. The Resolution states facts in the deferred prosecution agreement between ComEd and the U.S. Attorney's Office, which clearly show trust has been misplaced for many years. It goes on to say Madigan is "unable to execute his responsibilities."
"Look, he continues to have unanswered questions hanging out there," Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday. "He needs to stand up and answer those questions. I've said this from the very beginning."
Pritzker continues to stand by his statement that Madigan should resign if the allegations are true. With a growing number of Democrats in both chambers calling for Madigan's ouster, Wehrli feels Pritzker needs to set an example.
"I think the governor not only needs to hold Speaker Madigan accountable, I think he needs to call a special session," Wehrli emphasized. "Call us back into Springfield so we can not only address the problems we're having here with the Speaker, but also ethics."
Wehrli feels Madigan puts his power and self-righteousness above governing, blocking ethics reforms from passing in the General Assembly. He says the governor has to call for the special session on ethics because it is clear Speaker Madigan will not.