Illinois speaker determined to move on from Madigan days

4 The Record

Chris Welch confident ethics reform will get done this session

It’s T minus 15 days for Illinois state lawmakers to get everything they need done this legislative session.

As always, the budget is priority one.

Democrats in control of the legislature and the governor’s mansion need to address a deficit now projected to be about $1.5 billion.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker wants lawmakers to limit some tax deductions for businesses as a way to raise almost a billion dollars for the state.

Democrats in charge of the legislature are setting a new course with a new leader.

Chris Welch took the reins as Speaker of the House after Mike Madigan left in scandal.

Madigan’s one of a few state lawmakers in recent years embroiled in controversy — some accused of crimes.

One of Speaker Welch’s big challenges is to change the Illinois legislature’s reputation as being rife with corruption.

Illinois state lawmakers have big decisions to make under a tight deadline now.

New leadership provides a fresh perspective, but doesn’t necessarily make the political process a lot easier.

Welch joined this week’s 4 The Record for a conversation.

Welch took over as speaker in the wake of Madigan and the controversy that surrounded him — some very recent and some criticism that goes back years.

Welch explained how he plans to get out of his shadow and change the perception of a culture of corruption in Illinois state politics.

There’s the recent ComEd scandal involving Madigan.

Former Representative Eddie Acevedo pleaded not guilty to tax evasion related to the ComEd case related to his work as a lobbyist and former Representative Luis Arroyo was arrested in a bribery investigation.

This activity generated a rallying cry for ethics reform and the can seems to keep getting kicked down the road.

Welch addressed why there hasn’t been ethics reform yet and what needs to be in an ethics reform package.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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