Local Reps React To Welch’s Election As IL House Speaker

By Benjamin Cox on January 16, 2021 at 8:59am

The end of the Illinois lame-duck legislative session brought concillatory tones from Republican lawmakers throughout the state. Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin said he was willing to wipe the slate clean with new Illinois House Speaker Emmanuel “Chris” Welch after Welch was chosen as the new speaker this week.

Local representatives C.D. Davidsmeyer and Norine Hammond joined in the chorus saying they would like to see more communication and coordination with their fellow representatives across the aisle.

Davidsmeyer says that legislation needs to be slowed down and gone through before being ram-rodded through the legislative branch: “There were a lot of things that were passed very hastily over the last few days [of the session] in the 101st General Assembly. I’d like to see us slow down and do some thoughtful legislation. There were a number of things Republicans could have added to that legislation to take away the costs to the State of Illinois and still have a similar impact. I just hope that we can come together and not be ‘majority party vs. minority party’ and do something that actually can switch the direction of the State of Illinois.”

Hammond says she hopes that teamwork across the aisle can help build a better state: “I am always the eternal optimist. In spite of what has happened before, I’m hopeful that we as a body collectively can do some things that are positive for the State of Illinois. As we work our way through this virus and recognize what it has done to our society not just across the state and the country, but across the world; that we can look to see what we can do together to fix what’s wrong with our country.”

Davidsmeyer says that actions will speak louder than words in the future: “The Speaker, he did say ‘We want together to fix the State of Illinois’ and time will tell, but I’m going to hold him to his word on that and hopefully we can get something accomplished.”

Hammond says that she hopes that Welch meant what he said during his acceptance speech that the House would once again work together: “Words are one thing; actions are another. I’m again hopeful that the Speaker meant what he said [during his acceptance speech] and that as we go forward, we as the minority party have a voice in what is going on.”

Welch has already went on record to say that he favors term limits for House leadership, and that he also is in favor of a “fair maps” proposition for the upcoming redistricting of the state – two measures Republicans have made a large part of their agenda in the past.