Mike Bost, a Republican member of the Illinois general assembly from Murphysboro, unleashed an explosive tirade on the Democratic-led legislative body for repeatedly bringing pension reform bills to a vote before giving lawmakers a chance to read them.
“These damn bills that come out here all the damn time, come out here at the last second, and I gotta try to figure out how to vote for my people!,” Bost shouted on the house floor, throwing the bill up in the air.
“I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt,” Bost yelled. “Let my people go! My God, they sent me here to vote for them!”
Bost focused his outburst on the overreaching power of the Democratic house leader Mike Madigan. “Total power in one person’s hands – not the American way,” he said.
In a follow up radio interview, Bost reiterated his complaint that Madigan has too much control, especially when it comes to pension reform. “His power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he said.
Bost claims the outrage is bipartisan. “When I left the floor, many Democrats from around the state, even Chicago Democrats, came in and said ‘We want to say this but we can’t,’” he said in the radio interview.
The bill sparking Bost’s outrage was pension reform that would shift the burden of public employee pensions to local school districts and governments. Although it’s strongly supported by Illinois governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, some school districts claim it could bankrupt their schools. Only hours after passing a pension committee, the several hundred page bill was put up for a full chamber vote.