Changing Times in Madiganistan?
You may recall that back in early 2010 the Tribune published a long investigation called "The Madigan Rules," which drew connections between his role as the immensely powerful speaker of the house in the Illinois legislature and his job as a lawyer in the firm Madigan & Getzendanner. It's one of the many articles you can read about Madigan's influence: not only is he the most powerful legislator in the state, he was as responsible for breaking Blagojevich as anyone besides Blago himself, and helped establish his stepdaughter as the attorney general and perpetual potential candidate for other high offices.
But he's pushing 70, and Rich Miller thinks he's starting to plan for the future by passing more responsibility to House committees for overseeing the state's budgeting process under the new "budgeting for results" law:
To an outsider, this story probably looks pretty silly. Of course legislators should be more responsible. But those of us who’ve watched the House over the years know how much they’ve been spoiled by a leader who has taken it upon himself to do everything for them.
So not only does the state have to repair its budget, it has to do so under a new official process, and arguably with a changing power structure as well. It bears watching.
Madigan's also in the news now that his son-in-law has been hired as a Regional Transportation Authority lobbyist. This immediately got blowback for obvious reasons, but not everyone's entirely skeptical, and besides, Lisa Madigan seems to have survived the inevitable shadow of nepotism to become possibly the state's most popular elected official.
Speaking of Lisa Madigan, she's pushing a prevailing-wage law. Robert Dietz has the deets.