Class of 1960
Lincoln Community High School
The following two articles are published by www.lincolndailynews.com.
[JULY 2, 2001] The Republican county chairmen who met last month to choose a successor to former state Rep. John Turner of Atlanta will be doing much the same thing this month, only this time they will be choosing a replacement for state Sen. Robert Madigan of Lincoln.
Madigan announced last week that he was leaving the Senate to take a position as a member of the Illinois Industrial Commission, the body that hears appeals for workmanís compensation cases if either the employer or employee is not satisfied with the decision made by an arbitrator.
His resignation was effective at midnight June 30, and he begins his new duties on July 2.
Madigan said he will be serving mostly in Chicago but will also sit on panels in Springfield and hold reviews in various other parts of the state. He will have an office in his home in Lincoln, but his main office is in the state of Illinois building in Chicago. However, he said, he intends to continue to live in Lincoln.
He was appointed by Gov. George Ryan to fill an unexpired term and will serve until the term ends Jan. 17, 2005. Then, if he wishes to continue on the commission, he will have to be reappointed by whoever is governor at the time. He confirmed that his salary in the new position is $101,790. His salary as a state senator was $64,269.
"When I first ran for the legislature, I wanted to serve for 12 or 13 years, then do something else," he said. "Iíve served a little longer, 15 years. Recently the governor asked me if I would be willing to serve on the commission. It is a job I feel comfortable in."
Before serving in the legislature, Madigan was a claims specialist for State Farm Insurance. While in the senate, he was chair of the Insurance and Pension Committee and dealt with legislation in this area. "I felt the Illinois Industrial Commission job was a natural fit," he said.
His believes greatest accomplishment as a senator came in 1994, when five statewide pension systems ó pensions for teachers, state employees, judges, General Assembly members and university retirees ó were in deep financial trouble.
"I was the Senate sponsor of the plan to bring these systems up to a safe and sound funding level without a tax increase," he told the Lincoln Daily News. "The plan called for continuing appropriations from the general revenue fund so there would be sufficient money in each pension system."
Unfinished business in the legislature which he would like to see completed is putting the retired teachers health insurance fund on a firm financial basis. The fund is running out of money because claims were greater than expected. He said he believes the two task forces working on the problem will come up with a solution before the November veto session.
He would also like to see the legislature solve an age-old problem, finding additional funding for schools and reducing the tax burden on homeowners.
There were some hints that Madigan might be leaving his post, said John Parrett, McLean County GOP chairman.
"I kept hearing rumors that Sen. Madigan might be stepping down to take a position with a commission. I thought something might possibly transpire by August or September," Parrett said.
"Bob Madigan has been a highly respected state senator and has served us well. He will be missed by his constituents. He is well thought of and has an enormous amount of integrity," he added.
Mary Jane Jones, Mason County GOP chairman, said, "I am real sorry to lose him. He is well respected in Springfield. They listen to him, and they know he is there. He is a great loss to our district."
Madigan said he doesnít know of anyone who has formally stepped forward to replace him.
His replacement, who must be chosen within 30 days of Madiganís retirement, will be selected by seven Republican county chairmen, including the six who chose Lincoln attorney Jonathan Wright to replace John Turner. Turner was appointed an Appellate Court judge.
The 45th Senatorial District includes all of Logan, Mason and DeWitt counties, most of Tazewell and Woodford counties, and a part of Piatt and McLean counties. However, those boundaries may change later this year when district lines are redrawn to account for changes in the stateís population.
While Logan County GOP Chairman Ron Sparks had the heaviest weighted vote in the choice for the appointment to the 90th House district, Tazewell County Chairman Claude Stone will have the heaviest vote in the 45th Senatorial District.
Stone will have 45.2 percent of the vote, with the Woodford County chairman having 16.8 percent, the Logan County chairman 15.2 percent, DeWitt chairman 7.6 percent, Mason 6.8 percent, McLean 5.9 percent and Piatt 2.4 percent.
Stone said he has already had several people approach him about the appointment, but he referred them to the caucus chairman, Jered Hooker of DeWitt County. He said the GOP chairmen would not meet until after July 4.
By Mike Fak
[JULY 3, 2001] We no sooner got over the rumors, stories, and twists and turns of discovering who would replace our state representative, John Turner, than we were met with another revelation, that Lincolnís own senator, Bob Madigan, was resigning the Senate to fill a lucrative position in the stateís hierarchy.
Being a neighbor of Madigan, I personally was delighted to see the man not only get a better-paying job but also get out of the dog-eat-dog Illinois Legislature. This is a terrible thing to say, but Bob Madigan is too nice a guy to have to spend his time with some of the individuals who work the machinery of Illinois law.
While many of you were starting anew the rumors, stories, twists and turns of who would replace Madigan, I was spinning my own scenario.
I have been saying that no one will. No one past the redistricting determination, that is, will take the senatorís seat. Now it seems, the State Journal-Registerís Doug Finke is stating the same possibility out loud. Hey, Doug, wait for me.
The idea is basic. Illinois must lose a downstate senator due to the latest census information showing there are fewer Illinoisans in this area. I donít know why we had to spend millions to prove that, but we did.
Now with Madiganís district centered in a part of the state that fields Republican senators who think the sun rises and sets on the governorís backside, who should be sacrificed as the one senator asked to bid fond adieu to the likes of Ryan, Philip, Mike Madigan and the others? Could it be a senator who had the guts and intestinal fortitude to vote "no" to the governorís Illinois FIRST program and may still be in Georgeís doghouse? It is only conjecture on my part, but rumors to the effect that Gov. Ryan keeps a list in his breast pocket of who said "the heck with him" concerning the $12 billion bilking of Illinois taxpayers are as common as flies during the county fair.
Madigan, a good, honest man with 14 years of service to his constituents, couldnít just be sent to pasture without screams from constituents that even the deaf ears of the governor would hear. So what does Ryan do? How about appointing Madigan to an important job with higher pay and no need to worry about oneís own political backside.
What makes this possible situation all the more interesting is that regardless of the possibly shady reasons for moving Bob Madigan out of the Senate, Illinois residents will still be the winners. Time will show Madigan as a champion of the residents of Illinois. In his new capacity, it is possible he will have a potentially greater positive effect on our way of life then he ever could have as a senator who rubbed Ryan the wrong way.
In the event this situation comes to pass ó and realize this is just my opinion ó someone will need to temporarily fill the senatorís seat. That is, until redistricting says that the chair is now being folded up and placed in the legislative closet. To accept a political appointment that has the same duration of life as a mayfly is not an enviable position. The individual will show by his or her interest that the good of this area is at heart. I will remember that, in the event the person decides to run again someday for a seat that hasnít had three of its legs already sawed off.
You know, somehow, although I am truly happy for both Turner and Madigan, I find myself grimacing at the future of Logan County residents.
We have lost two exceptionally honest representatives. Jonathan Wright and somebody, or perhaps nobody at all, will have a tough time filling their shoes.
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