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Illinois House of Representatives

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Illinois House of Representatives

Illinois House of Representatives
Illinois General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 9, 2013
Michael Madigan (D)
since January 8, 1997
Majority Leader
Barbara Flynn Currie (D)
since January 8, 1997
Minority Leader
Jim Durkin (R)
since August 29, 2013
Seats 118
House of Representatives_diagram_2014 State of Illinois.svg
Political groups
Authority Article IV, Illinois Constitution
Salary $67,836/year + per diem
Last election
November 4, 2014
(118 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2016
(118 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
Illinois House of Representatives.jpg
House of Representatives Chamber
Illinois State Capitol
Springfield, Illinois
Illinois House of Representatives

The Illinois House of Representatives is the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois. The body was created by the first Illinois Constitution adopted in 1818. The House consists of 118 representatives elected from individual legislative districts for two-year terms with no limits.

The state legislature has the power to make laws and impeach judges. Lawmakers must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of the district in which they serve for at least two years.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who oversaw the American Civil War and the end of slavery in the United States, got his start in politics at the Illinois House of Representatives.


The Illinois General Assembly was created by the first Illinois Constitution adopted in 1818. The candidates for office split into political parties in the 1830s, initially as the Democratic and Whig parties, until the Whig candidates reorganized as Republicans in the 1850s.

Abraham Lincoln began his political career in the Illinois House of Representatives as a member of the Whig party in 1834.[1] He served there until his election in 1860 to as president of the United States. Although Republicans held the majority of seats in the Illinois House after 1860, in the next election it returned to the Democratic Party of Illinois.[2] The Democratic Party-led legislature worked to frame a new state constitution that was ultimately rejected by voters, except for provisions to ban black settlement and voting.[2] After the 1862 election, the Democratic-led Illinois House of Representatives passed resolutions denouncing the federal government's conduct of the war and urging an immediate armistice and peace convention, leading the Republican governor to suspend the legislature for the first time in the state's history.[2] In 1864, Republicans swept the state legislature and at the time of Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater, Illinois stood as a solidly Republican state.[2]

Before the Cutback Amendment to the state constitution in 1980, the state was divided into 59 "legislative districts", each of which elected three representatives, yielding a House of 177 members. This unusual system was even more distinctive in that the election was conducted by a modified form of cumulative voting: each individual voter was given three legislative votes to cast, and could cast either one vote each for three candidates, three votes for one candidate (known as a "bullet vote"), or 1½ votes each for two candidates. A change adopted in the Illinois Constitution of 1970 formalized the arrangement by which each party would run only two candidates in each district.[3] Thus, in most districts, only four candidates were running for three seats, guaranteeing not only that there would be a single loser, but that each party would have significant representation—a minimum of one-third of the seats—in the House.

The Cutback Amendment was proposed to abolish this system. Since its passage, representatives have been elected from 118 single-member constituencies formed by dividing the 59 Senate districts in half.

Since the adoption of the Cutback Amendment, there have been proposals by some major political figures in Illinois to bring back multi-member districts. A task force led by former governor Jim Edgar and former federal judge Abner Mikva issued a report in 2001 calling for the revival of cumulative voting,[4] in part because it appears that such a system increases the representation of racial minorities in elected office.[5] The Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1995 that the multi-member districts elected with cumulative voting produced better legislators.[6] Others have argued that the now-abandoned system provided for greater "stability" in the lower house.[7]

The Democratic Party won a majority of House seats in 1982. Except for a brief two-year period of Republican control from 1995 to 1997, the Democrats have held the majority since then.


The Illinois House of Representatives meets at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. It is required to convene on the second Wednesday of January each year. Along with the Illinois Senate and governor, it is vested with the power to make laws, come up with a state budget, act on federal constitutional amendments, and propose constitutional amendments to the state constitution.[8] The Illinois House of Representatives also holds the power to impeach executive and judicial officials.[8]


A person must be a U.S. citizen and two-year resident of an electoral district of at least 21 years of age to serve in the Illinois House of Representatives.[8] Members of the House cannot hold other public offices or receive appointments by the governor while in office.[8]

Composition of the House

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 64 54 118 0
Current 71 47 118 0
Latest voting share 60.2% 39.8% 100%


The current Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives is Michael Madigan of Chicago, who represents the 22nd district. The Democratic Party of Illinois currently holds a majority of seats in the House. Under the Illinois Constitution, the office of minority leader is recognized for the purpose of making certain appointments. Jim Durkin, a Republican representing the 82nd district, currently holds the post.




  • Clerk of the House: Timothy D. Mapes
  • Chief Doorkeeper: Lee A. Crawford
  • Parliamentarian: Heather Wier Vaught
  • Assistant Clerk of the House: Bradley S. Bolin


As of August 2014, the Illinois House of Representatives consists of the following members:[9]
District Representative Party Residence
1 Burke, Daniel J.Daniel J. Burke Democratic Chicago
2 Acevedo, EdwardEdward Acevedo Democratic Chicago
3 Arroyo, LuisLuis Arroyo Democratic Chicago
4 Soto, CynthiaCynthia Soto Democratic Chicago
5 Dunkin, KennethKenneth Dunkin Democratic Chicago
6 Golar, EstherEsther Golar Democratic Chicago
7 Welch, Emanuel ChrisEmanuel Chris Welch Democratic Hillside
8 Ford, LaShawnLaShawn Ford Democratic Chicago
9 Turner, ArtArt Turner Democratic Chicago
10 Smith, DerrickDerrick Smith Democratic Chicago
11 Williams, AnnAnn Williams Democratic Chicago
12 Feigenholtz, SaraSara Feigenholtz Democratic Chicago
13 Harris, GregGreg Harris Democratic Chicago
14 Cassidy, KellyKelly Cassidy Democratic Chicago
15 D'Amico, John C.John C. D'Amico Democratic Chicago
16 Lang, LouLou Lang Democratic Skokie
17 Fine, LauraLaura Fine Democratic Glenview
18 Gabel, RobynRobyn Gabel Democratic Evanston
19 Martwick, Jr, Robert F.Robert F. Martwick, Jr Democratic Norridge
20 McAuliffe, Michael P.Michael P. McAuliffe Republican Chicago
21 Tabares, SilvanaSilvana Tabares Democratic Chicago
22 Madigan, MichaelMichael Madigan Democratic Chicago
23 Zalewski, Michael J.Michael J. Zalewski Democratic Riverside
24 Hernandez, ElizabethElizabeth Hernandez Democratic Cicero
25 Currie, Barbara FlynnBarbara Flynn Currie Democratic Chicago
26 Mitchell, ChristianChristian Mitchell Democratic Chicago
27 Davis, Monique D.Monique D. Davis Democratic Chicago
28 Rita, RobertRobert Rita Democratic Blue Island
29 Jones, ThaddeusThaddeus Jones Democratic Calumet City
30 Davis, WilliamWilliam Davis Democratic Homewood
31 Flowers, Mary E.Mary E. Flowers Democratic Chicago
32 Thapedi, AndreAndre Thapedi Democratic Chicago
33 Evans, Jr., Marcus C.Marcus C. Evans, Jr. Democratic Chicago
34 Sims, ElgieElgie Sims Democratic Chicago
35 Hurley, Frances AnnFrances Ann Hurley Democratic Chicago
36 Burke, Kelly M.Kelly M. Burke Democratic Evergreen Park
37 Kosel, RenéeRenée Kosel Republican Mokena
38 Riley, AlAl Riley Democratic Olympia Fields
39 Berrios, Maria AntoniaMaria Antonia Berrios Democratic Chicago
40 Andrade Jr., JaimeJaime Andrade Jr. Democratic Chicago
41 Senger, DarleneDarlene Senger Republican Naperville
42 Ives, JeanneJeanne Ives Republican Wheaton
43 Moeller, AnnaAnna Moeller Democratic Elgin
44 Crespo, FredFred Crespo Democratic Hoffman Estates
45 Reboletti, DennisDennis Reboletti Republican Elmhurst
46 Conroy, DeborahDeborah Conroy Democratic Villa Park
47 Bellock, Patricia R.Patricia R. Bellock Republican Hinsdale
48 Pihos, Sandra M.Sandra M. Pihos Republican Glen Ellyn
49 Fortner, MikeMike Fortner Republican West Chicago
50 Hatcher, KayKay Hatcher Republican Yorkville
51 Sullivan, Jr., EdEd Sullivan, Jr. Republican Mundelein
52 McSweeney, DavidDavid McSweeney Republican Barrington Hills
53 Harris, DavidDavid Harris Republican Mount Prospect
54 Morrison, ThomasThomas Morrison Republican Palatine
55 Moylan, MartyMarty Moylan Democratic Des Plaines
56 Mussman, MichelleMichelle Mussman Democratic Schaumburg
57 Nekritz, ElaineElaine Nekritz Democratic Northbrook
58 Drury, ScottScott Drury Democratic Highwood
59 Sente, CarolCarol Sente Democratic Vernon Hills
60 Mayfield, RitaRita Mayfield Democratic Waukegan
61 Jesiel, SheriSheri Jesiel Republican Winthrop Harbor
62 Yingling, SamSam Yingling Democratic Grayslake
63 Franks, Jack D.Jack D. Franks Democratic Marengo
64 Wheeler, BarbaraBarbara Wheeler Republican Crystal Lake
65 Schmitz, Timothy L.Timothy L. Schmitz Republican Crystal Lake
66 Tryon, Michael W.Michael W. Tryon Republican Crystal Lake
67 Wallace, LitesaLitesa Wallace Democratic Rockford
68 Cabello, JohnJohn Cabello Republican Machesney Park
69 Sosnowski, JoeJoe Sosnowski Republican Rockford
70 Pritchard, Robert W.Robert W. Pritchard Republican Hinckley
71 Smiddy, MikeMike Smiddy Democratic Hillsdale
72 Verschoore, Patrick J.Patrick J. Verschoore Democratic Milan
73 Leitch, David R.David R. Leitch Republican Peoria
74 Moffitt, Donald L.Donald L. Moffitt Republican Gilson
75 Anthony, John D.John D. Anthony Republican Plainfield
76 Mautino, Frank J.Frank J. Mautino Democratic Spring Valley
77 Willis, KathleenKathleen Willis Democratic Addison
78 Lilly, Camille Y.Camille Y. Lilly Democratic Chicago
79 Cloonen, KateKate Cloonen Democratic Kankakee
80 DeLuca, AnthonyAnthony DeLuca Democratic Chicago Heights
81 Sandack, RonRon Sandack Republican Downers Grove
82 Durkin, JimJim Durkin Republican Western Springs
83 LaVia, Linda ChapaLinda Chapa LaVia Democratic Aurora
84 Kifowit, StephanieStephanie Kifowit Democratic Oswego
85 McAsey, EmilyEmily McAsey Democratic Lockport
86 Walsh, Jr., Lawrence M.Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr. Democratic Elwood
87 Brauer, RichRich Brauer Republican Petersburg
88 Sommer, Keith P.Keith P. Sommer Republican Morton
89 Stewart, Brian W.Brian W. Stewart Republican Freeport
90 Demmer, TomTom Demmer Republican Dixon
91 Unes, Michael D.Michael D. Unes Republican East Peoria
92 Gordon, JehanJehan Gordon Democratic Peoria
93 Hammond, NorineNorine Hammond Republican Macomb
94 Tracy, JilJil Tracy Republican Mount Sterling
95 Rosenthal, WayneWayne Rosenthal Republican Morrisonville
96 Scherer, SueSue Scherer Democratic Decatur
97 Cross, TomTom Cross Republican Plainfield
98 Manley, NatalieNatalie Manley Democratic Joliet
99 Poe, RaymondRaymond Poe Republican Springfield
100 Davidsmeyer, C. D.C. D. Davidsmeyer Republican Jacksonville
101 Mitchell, BillBill Mitchell Republican Forsyth
102 Brown, AdamAdam Brown Republican Champaign
103 Jakobsson, NaomiNaomi Jakobsson Democratic Urbana
104 Hays, ChadChad Hays Republican Catlin
105 Brady, DanDan Brady Republican Bloomington
106 Harms, JoshJosh Harms Republican Watseka
107 Cavaletto, JohnJohn Cavaletto Republican Salem
108 Meier, CharlesCharles Meier Republican Okawville
109 Reis, DavidDavid Reis Republican Olney
110 Halbrook, BradBrad Halbrook Republican Shelbyville
111 Beiser, Daniel V.Daniel V. Beiser Democratic Alton
112 Kay, DwightDwight Kay Republican Glen Carbon
113 Hoffman, JayJay Hoffman Democratic Swansea
114 Jackson, Eddie LeeEddie Lee Jackson Democratic East St. Louis
115 Bost, MikeMike Bost Republican Murphysboro
116 Costello II, JerryJerry Costello II Democratic Smithton
117 Bradley, John E.John E. Bradley Democratic Marion
118 Phelps, Brandon W.Brandon W. Phelps Democratic Harrisburg


  1. ^ White, Jr., Ronald C. (2009). A. Lincioln: A Biography. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4000-6499-1, p. 59.
  2. ^ a b c d VandeCreek, Drew E. Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War (accessed May 28, 2013)
  3. ^ "Cumulative Voting: The great debate over Illinois' unique system of electing legislators: No-ii760912.html". December 2, 1999. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  4. ^ "FairVote - Illinois' Drive to Revive Cumulative Voting". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ "FairVote - Black Representation Under Cumulative Voting in Illinois". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Cumulative Voting - Illinois | The New Rules Project". January 12, 2005. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  7. ^ "HeinOnline". HeinOnline. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article IV, The Legislature (accessed May 28, 2013)
  9. ^ "Current House Members (98th General Assembly)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 

External links

  • Illinois General Assembly - House official government website
  • Illinois House Republicans official party website
  • Illinois House Democrats official party website
  • Legislature of Illinois at Project Vote Smart
  • Illinois campaign financing at
  • Illinois House of Representatives at Ballotpedia

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