Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno resigns

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno resigns

The longtime lawmaker from Lemont, Illinois, will step down in the wake of the Senate’s failed “grand bargain.”

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno announced today she will retire from the General Assembly effective July 1.

The Lemont Republican first took office in 1997 and later became the first female legislative leader in Illinois history, according to the Chicago Tribune. The GOP has been the Senate’s minority party since 2003, and has retained superminority status for a decade.

“I have particularly enjoyed my friendship and working relationship with Senate President John Cullerton that began the day we were chosen as Leaders of our respective caucuses,” Radogno said in a press release.

“However, I believe it’s time for a new Senate Republican leader.”

Radogno was at the center of the Senate’s attempt to forge a budget deal this spring. The resulting plan, dubbed the “grand bargain,” failed to gain bipartisan support. Notably, Senate Democrats passed the tax-hike component of the plan on their own.

Under that plan, each Illinois household would eventually pay $1,125 in additional taxes annually through higher income taxes and new taxes on services such as Netflix, laundry services and more.

Radogno’s retirement comes with a generous gift from taxpayers.

Based on her final salary of about $95,000, she will receive a first-year pension of more than $81,000. That payment grows by 3 percent each year, which means the Senate minority leader can expect to receive pension payments totaling more than $2.3 million over the course of her retirement.

In January, members of the Illinois Senate passed a resolution imposing term limits on leadership positions in their chamber. The resolution provides that state senators can serve as Senate president or minority leader for a maximum of five General Assemblies, or 10 years.

Service in Senate leadership prior to the current General Assembly does not count toward the term limits outlined in the resolution, meaning Radogno could have served in her current leadership position until as late as 2027.

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