As 2009 draws to a close, Senator Tim Bivins is reflecting on some of the year’s biggest issues and looking ahead to those that lawmakers will address in the coming year.

One of the most highly publicized news stories of 2009 was the first-ever impeachment of a sitting governor—Rod Blagojevich. The Senate Tribunal voted unanimously (59-0) on January 29 to remove Blagojevich from office and then voted, again unanimously, to disqualify him from holding future public office in Illinois.

Senator Bivins said the former Governor’s removal provided an unprecedented opportunity for reform in Illinois; however, it will take years to recover from the flawed policies, programs and rampant corruption that were advanced by the Blagojevich Administration.

The state budget remained a key issue throughout the year. Republican lawmakers stressed that the escalating deficit was created by fiscal mismanagement, creating and expanding programs despite waning revenues, and Illinois’ massive obligations to the state’s pension systems and the Medicaid program." />

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