There is a mix of disappointment and, believe it or not, relief among lawmakers in Springfield who are sizing up the last two years that includes a lackluster finale to the 97th General Assembly. For some, like Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), the last two years can easily be summed up in one word, “Frustrating.”
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Pension reform went down to the wire – but wasn’t passed. Neither were bills to ban assault weapons and legalize gay marriage and medical marijuana. But inaction on those issues, pensions aside, brought some relief to State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Matoon), who reminds us that during the waning days of the 96th General Assembly lawmakers approved an income tax increase. Righter is hoping that the new faces in the legislature – sworn in Wednesday as the 98th General Assembly - will bring some new ideas to the table to tackle the state’s problems.