Crossing the line separating Indiana and Illinois sometimes means dealing with different laws and customs. Readers are asked to share ideas for this weekly feature. This week: House speakers.

In the 199 years of Indiana's existence as a state, no person has served as speaker of the House of Representatives longer than its current leader, state Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.

His record-setting tenure? Eight years.

"It's generally because after six years they either hang them or run them out of town," Bosma joked recently. "It's a rough job ... but it's one in which you can serve and make a difference for people as well."

In Illinois, Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, also holds the record for longest-tenured House leader with 30 years at the helm.

Madigan won election to the House in 1971 after helping craft the 1970 Illinois Constitution. He has continuously been elected speaker by his fellow representatives since 1983, except for a two-year period in the mid-1990s when Republicans controlled the House.