Illinois AFL-CIO salutes Michael Madigan on historic legislative career of public service

MICHAEL MADIGAN, a Chicago Democrat who virtually set Illinois’ political agenda as House speaker, announced Thursday that he is resigning his seat in the Legislature. – Seth Perlman/AP photo

Springfield, IL – The Illinois AFL-CIO, representing nearly one million working families across the state, issued the following statement on the retirement of longtime Illinois House Speaker and State Representative Michael J. Madigan:

The Illinois AFL-CIO and all of Organized Labor in Illinois wish to sincerely thank Michael J. Madigan for his indelible impact on Illinois public policy and politics, and his historic legacy of accomplishments for working families.

For the past 50 years, Speaker Madigan has had unprecedented influence on our legislative process. Time after time, he has put the interests of working men and women first, even under dire circumstances and serious threats.

Speaker Madigan knew better than anyone that leading the Legislature means keenly understanding each legislative district and how best to support legislators representing their constituents back home and in Springfield. He knew how to bring people together behind the most important initiatives to move our state forward, while making the right political calculations to ensure his majorities grew and never lost touch with the will of the people.

When Illinois needed revenue to support the vital public services and programs we all depend on, Speaker Madigan put together the right recipe to get the job done. When Illinois desperately needed capital construction programs to create and support thousands of good-paying jobs, Speaker Madigan led the way.

When Bruce Rauner and other radical politicians threatened working families, Speaker Madigan stood firm.

And when legislators needed his help to advance the agenda that supports working men and women, time and time again Speaker Madigan was there for them.

Speaker Madigan strengthened and protected the prevailing wage to build our communities, stabilized our workers’ compensation system costs while protecting injured workers, fought for our collective bargaining rights, stopped senseless so-called “right-to-work” crusades and expanded voter access for working families.

We wish Speaker Madigan, his wife Shirley and his family well on his well-deserved retirement. Thank you for making Illinois a better place for working families, today and tomorrow.

TIM DREA                      PAT DEVANY
President                      Secretary Treasurer

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