State Rep. Dan Brady said the GOP's losses in the November elections mean the party should look for ways to attract more voters. (Photo courtesy Dan Brady)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - State Rep. Dan Brady said state Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady's public endorsement of same-sex marriage was meant to help the party look for ways to grow in Illinois.
"He is driving the direction and the debate and, you know what, there's going to have to be a debate if the Republican Party wants to bring more in that have different views than what their platform may be," Brady said.
Pat Brady, Dan's cousin, has heard calls from some GOP leaders to resign for publicly going against the party's official platform in supporting gay marriage. Pat Brady has said he was simply voicing his personal opinion.
Dan Brady said the point was driven home for him when new lawmakers were sworn in and Democrats, bolstered by landslide wins in November, ran out of seats and had to take over two rows usually reserved for Republicans.
Dan Brady added that he'd prefer the GOP stay out of social issues altogether, "but that's not the case. That's not what's being allowed and presented down in Springfield. With all of our financial problems, I think we should focus on that," Brady said.
Regulation funding shortage
Illinois lawmakers' failure to pass a cash infusion for the state's medical regulatory arm will likely mean layoffs.
Citing a $9.6 million shortfall, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is planning more than two dozen layoffs which could lead to medical licensing delays of up to 18 months.
"I believe some of that is a scare tactic, but the flip side is the (Illinois State) Medical Society is saying, 'Look, you're talking about raising the license fee from roughly $300 to $750," Brady said.
Brady said the time to pass pension reform was the lame duck session earlier this month when 22 lawmakers were soon to leave office, but he said any proposal must address all five of the state's pension systems.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.