Illinois Democrats will have historic majorities

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) -- With all the election dust settled, the final tally of Democratic dominance in the Illinois statehouse is historic.

The Illinois Senate will have a supermajority of 40 Democrats to Republicans 19 members.

The Illinois House will have 74 Democrats, three more than is needed for veto proof majorities. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, is expected to lead the largest number of House Democrats in his tenure. He said he’ll work with anyone and everyone.

“What I plan to do is to work with people in the House Democratic caucus and the House Republican caucus and any senators that wish to join us,” Madigan said.

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, doesn’t expect too many open ears within the Democratic caucus on Republican issues. He said it’s better for the GOP to go to voters directly.

“Go to the radio, write op-eds and go to the people directly that try to speak to the people in this building on issues because it was the outside pressure that forced things to move more than the internal pressure,” Batinick said. “So we’re just going to have to work from the outside in instead of the inside out.”

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, said Republicans have some work to do to rebrand the GOP. But, he said the Democrats having such majorities puts the state’s problems on their plate.

“So right now Illinois is what, 48th, 49th in economic development?” Skillicorn said. “If those things aren’t addressed, if those things we don’t find solutions for, it’s owned by the majority party.”

State Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest, will be in the super majority. He said that doesn’t mean a blank check for Democrats as some issues will land differently with Chicago Democrats than they do with downstate Democrats. He said the majority will still work with Republicans.

“Republicans, whether they want to admit it or not, like to do some of the same things we want to do,” Davis said.

Altogether, Democrats in both chambers will have 112 members, more than the party has had since the legislature was narrowed with the Cutback Amendment in 1982.