Incoming Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will be sworn into office on Monday, along with other state officer holders.
Inaugural activities for the Republican, including a pricey dinner at the state Capitol that cost $1,000 a plate, began on Sunday.
On Saturday, Rauner announced a number of his administration appointments and top staff positions. Among other appointments, Rauner tapped the Rev. James Meeks, a former Democratic state senator, to become the next state board of education chairman.
Meeks' appointment has come under criticism from Equality Illinois, a LGBT rights group that says "the nomination of James Meeks, a virulently outspoken anti-LGBT former member of the Illinois Senate, to guide the state's education system does not measure up to Rauner's election commitment of holding 'no social agenda' and is an insult."
"Even as we've made progress elsewhere, we are fighting against pervasive bullying and youth suicide and for greater understanding of the needs of transgender teens, and to have Meeks at the helm of the institution that is guiding the education of our children is an insult," Equality Illinois' CEO Bernard Cherkasov said in a statement. "The Meeks appointment presents the Illinois Senate, which approves or rejects gubernatorial appointments, and the House with the obligation to ensure that his anti-LGBT social views do not creep into Illinois education policy and that Illinois remains on the path to full equality."
UPDATE 1 (11:32 p.m.): A live stream of the inauguration can be watched here on the Chicago Sun-Times' website.
UPDATE 2 (12:20 p.m.): Bruce Rauner has officially been sworn in as Illinois governor.