It’s a new beginning, but the old problems remain.  Try as they might, members of the Illinois General Assembly could not fully set aside the issues of unemployment and underfunded pension systems as they were sworn in for a two-year term. 
“Even as we take our oath of office, we know our state is in dire straits,” said State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) at the House inauguration ceremonies Wednesday.
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The unemployment rate, says State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), “speaks trouble not for the wealthiest among us, but the people who find themselves on the middle rungs or lowest rungs of this state’s economic ladder.”  For the most part, though, it was a day to celebrate. And familiar faces are again in leadership – with House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) re-elected to their posts.
(Copyright WBGZ / )