Welch Takes Over For Madigan as House Speaker


Published on January 14 2021 5:42 am
Last Updated on January 14 2021 9:56 am
Written by Matt Robinson

Chris Welch 2021

Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch will take over as Speaker on the Illinois House from Michael Madigan, who has led the chamber 36 of the last 38 years, but was facing a bribery investigation. Madigan was the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history.

Madigan issued a statement conceding that “it is time for new leadership in the House” after a Wednesday morning Democratic caucus cast a majority of its votes for Welch. Had Madigan sought retention, Democrats who dominate the chamber might have been forced into a drawn-out leadership battle.

Welch, an eight-year House veteran from the Chicago suburb of Hillside, is the first Black speaker to serve in the Illinois House. He garnered 70 votes from the 118-member House.