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Sen. John Cullerton
On April 15, 2009, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, spoke at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) as a guest of the John White Lecture Series, sponsored by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Cullerton, who has more than 30 years of legislative experience in the Illinois General Assembly, was elected president of the Illinois Senate following the retirement of Emil Jones. One of his first tasks was to oversee the Senate trial that removed former Governor Rod Blagojevich from office. In this newsmaker interview, Cullerton talks with Jak Tichenor about his reaction to Governor Patrick Quinn's call to raise the state income tax as one of several steps needed to close the state's record $12-billion dollar budget gap. Cullerton believes that any budget plan must include a major capital program to jumpstart the Illinois economy and he expressed confidence that lawmakers will be able to finish business on time at the end of May.