His appointment as House minority leader is still pending a vote when the legislature returns next month, but State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) is already acclimating himself to the levers of power. State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) has resigned his leadership post but will remain in the legislature as he pursues the office of state treasurer, and Durkin, designated by House Republicans to be the next minority leader, has unofficially begun performing minority leader duties as of Monday.
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“The last few years, it’s been the decisions in the boardrooms have been of businesses about moving out of the state, whether or not they are going to make an investment in the state, have been pretty profound,” says Durkin of what he calls “a pocketbook issue if there ever was one.” “But now it’s filtered down to families,” he continues. “I've talked to neighbors and a number of constituents who tell me, unless you guys – meaning Springfield – figure out pensions, how to resolve our legacy debt that’s been spiraling for a number of years, they’re moving out of the state, because they don’t want their kids to be on the hook for the big tax increases down the line.” Durkin says the main responsibility he has now is to get more Republicans elected to the Illinois House.