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Questions & Answers

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The Four Tops

Illinois Issues’ Statehouse Bureau Chief Pat Guinane sat down with the four legislative leaders to discuss some topics, new and old that will confront the 94th General Assembly.

We covered the basics — budget woes, medical malpractice, gambling expansion — and let each address his own agenda for the spring session, which begins January 12. We tailored some questions to each individual.

The interviews took place in Springfield in mid-November. We edited the transcripts for clarity.

Go to questions and answers with:
Michael Madigan >>>>>>>>>>
House Democratic Leadership
Speaker of the House
Madigan, the longest-serving member of the House, has represented Chicago’s Southwest Side since 1971. He also was a delegate to the state’s 1970 Constitutional Convention. Madigan begins his 11th term as speaker this month.

Go to questions and answers with:

Tom Cross >>>>>>>>>>
House Republican Leadership
Minority Leader
Cross is expected to begin a second term as minority leader this month. He has represented Oswego and the surrounding far-southwest suburbs since 1993.

Go to questions and answers with:

Emil Jones >>>>>>>>>>
Senate Democratic Leadership
Senate President
Jones, a legislator since 1973, was elected to a second term as Senate president. He represents Chicago’s far South Side, and some south suburbs. He’s a chief proponent of gambling expansion, touting it as a revenue source that could stave off further budget cuts.

Go to questions and answers with:

Frank Watson >>>>>>>>>>
Senate Republican Leadership
Minority Leader
Watson, a 31-year legislative veteran, was elected minority leader in 2003 and likely will start another term this month. Watson has fought to rein in state debt and reform medical malpractice laws. He hails from downstate Greenville.

Illinois Issues, January 2005

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