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Frustrated By Stalemate, Illinois Lawmakers Are Calling It Quits

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Charlie Schlenker
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WGLT
State Rep. Steve Andersson is also one of six Republicans who defied Gov. Bruce Rauner, above, to help Democrats end the budget impasse.

Illinois lawmakers are continuing to head for the exits. So far this year, at least 19 state senators and representatives have resigned, announced runs for higher office, or said they won’t seek re-election.

There are members of both parties on their way out, but so far Republicans outnumber Democrats. Among them is state Rep. Steve Andersson of Geneva, who says he’s tired of what he calls “intolerance” in his Republican Party.

Speaking on the public television program “Chicago Tonight,” he pointed to a recent House vote on whether to name a highway after former president Barack Obama.

“There were about 110 people in the room that day. The bill passed, unanimously, with 90 votes. That meant 20 people sat and didn’t vote. That sends a message to me of intolerance," Andersson said.

Andersson is also one of six Republicans who defied Gov. Bruce Rauner to help Democrats end the budget impasse. By leaving, they’re avoiding primary election fights.

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