In an impassioned harangue on the floor of the Illinois State House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Bost (R) unloaded on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan for allegedly wielding too much power.
"Total power in one person's hands – not the American way!" Bost hollered as he flung pieces of paper in the air.
The bill would reduce annual cost-of-living increases for public employees, such as state workers, university staff and downstate teachers. It also gradually makes public schools and universities pay the cost of retirement benefits for their employees, as Chicago schools already do.
It would also shift pension costs for public schools from the state to local school districts, which would be forced to raise property taxes to fund pension costs that are now picked up by the state. That provision is not sitting well with some Republican and downstate Democratic lawmakers.
Rep. Mike Bost took issue with the amount of time he was allotted to review the bill, saying "These damn bills that come out here all the damn time, come out here at the last second — I've got to figure out how to vote for my people!"
He went on to suggest that Madigan holds too much power, claiming it was unconstitutional, and comparing the House Speaker to a Pharaoh. "I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt!" he said. "Let my people go!"