Capitol Fax is reporting multiple sources have said that Senate President John Cullerton told his caucus that he is retiring.
According to Capitol Fax: Cullerton’s retirement has been “heavily negotiated” with his wife, and will allow him to spend more time with his family and practicing law in Chicago, he said Thursday in an interview with the Tribune.
“Now’s the time,” Cullerton said.
Cullerton told the members of his caucus Thursday evening, after the Senate adjourned for 2019.
Cullerton has served in the Illinois Senate since 1991 when he was appointed to his 6th district seat. He became Senate President in 2009. Prior to his time in the Senate, Cullerton served in the Illinois House for 12 years, having first been elected in 1979. Cullerton has led a very active career in both chambers of the General Assembly, having been aboard as a chief sponsor or co-sponsor and signed more legislation than some governors. However, his time as a legislator has not come without controversy. He has been on board in supporting reducing state employee retirement benefits, increased taxes on businesses in the state, and advocated for destroying a wetland in his home district so a driveway could be paved for a 3-house subdivision.
Despite some of these controversies, many lawmakers in the state have sent well wishes to Cullerton and his family on his retirement, which came as a shock to many yesterday. The plan for the Illinois Senate is to come back in session in early January to name Cullerton’s successor.