Rep. Black Takes to the House Floor for the Last Time
State Representative Bill Black has given his last speech on the floor of the Illinois House.
The Danville Republican was emotional in his final address to colleagues before he retires this month after 24 years, but it was not the fiery emotion that statehouse observers are familiar with, when Black would tackle controversial issues, sometimes screaming and slamming down his microphone.
Black kidded fellow lawmakers, complimented staff members and quoted "To Kill a Mockingbird" in his speech. He also reminisced about lawmakers who died during his tenure, citing a recent Chicago Tribune column that examined mortality.
"I prefer to remember the fun and glorious days of being able to walk beside them, work with them, when the sun was shining so brightly on our faces," Black said, his voice quavering. "God, I love this place and I love all of you. But as in everything there is a time."
Black was the House deputy Republican leader until earlier this year, when he was demoted by Republican leader Tom Cross for voting against his party on a borrowing bill. In his speech, Black saluted Cross and said he understood the demotion, thanking Cross for not taking away some of the privileges of the post.