Donne Trotter

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Donne E. Trotter
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 17th district
Assumed office
January 13, 1993
Personal details
Born (1950-01-30) January 30, 1950 (age 65)
Cairo, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Rose Trotter
Profession Public health administrator

Donne Trotter (born January 30, 1950 in Cairo, Illinois) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 17th district since 1993.[1] His district includes the South side of Chicago and portions of the south suburbs. Previously he was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1988 through 1993.

Senator Trotter is Chairperson of the Senate Appropriations I Committee and a member of the Senate Revenue and Appropriations II Committee and the Economic and Fiscal Commission.

Trotter was born in Cairo, Illinois, but is a lifelong resident of Chicago. He attended the University of Arizona and Chicago State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. He went on to earn his Masters in Health Administration and Law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

As a senator, he sponsored legislation that would allow adults to purchase sterile syringes from pharmacies without a prescription. He co-sponsored a bill that allows an individual to file a petition asking for his/her personal police record to be sealed, after which no one would have access to the records except law enforcement agencies.

Trotter has worked to provide health care to low income families. He has fought to include funding in the state budget for the FamilyCare program, which provides health insurance to the parents of children enrolled in KidCare.

In 2000 Trotter made an unsuccessful bid for the United States House of Representatives in the Illinois' 1st congressional district against Bobby Rush and, then fellow State Senator and current U.S. President, Barack Obama.

In 2001, Trotter sponsored and passed the law that created the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act.[2] The legislation provides that birth parents may legally leave a newborn at a hospital, fire station, or emergency medical facility. If neither child abuse nor neglect is suspected, no questions are asked.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, Trotter was charged with "attempt to board an aircraft with a weapon", which is normally a Class 4 felony, after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents found a .25 caliber Beretta handgun and magazine loaded with six live rounds, which were in the outer pocket of a garment bag. The incident occurred at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, as Senator Trotter was attempting to board a flight to Washington, D.C. Trotter was held in police custody pending an appearance in bond court the following day, Thursday, December 6.[3][4][5] On December 6, a Cook county judge set bond for Trotter at $25,000. Trotter was released after posting $2,500 bail. Trotter's next court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday, December 12, 2012.[6] The Class 4 felony with which Trotter was charged normally carries a sentencing range of one to three years in prison if he is convicted of that charge, and under U.S. and Illinois laws, conviction of a felony normally prohibits someone, at least for a time (depending upon the seriousness of the felony), from holding public office. However, on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Thomas Durkin, Trotter's attorney, stated that his client had entered a guilty plea, in a plea deal approved by the judge, to a misdemeanor count of reckless conduct (Trotter allegedly had worked a part-time security job, and had forgotten that the weapon was in a garment bag). The misdemeanor plea allows him to keep his job without fear of impeachment or removal, and the conviction will be stricken if Senator Trotter completes a year of non-reporting court supervision.[7]

Senator Trotter is a vocal advocate of gun control laws, having cosponsored 31 bills on the issue.[8][9]

Ran in the Illinois's 2nd congressional district special election, 2013.


  1. ^ "Trotter Illinois State Senator". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  2. ^ "Governor Blagojevich signs bill making Illinois' 'Safe Havens' for Abandoned Babies Act permanent; Reminds public that law protects parents who turn newborns over safely". Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cops: State senator tried to board plane with unloaded gun, clip". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "TSA: State Sen. Donne Trotter tried to bring handgun, bullets through O'Hare security". Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "State Sen. Donne Trotter faces felony weapons charge". State Journal-Register. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Babwin, Don (6 December 2012). "State Sen. Trotter released on weapons charge". State Journal-Register. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Adequate Health Care Task Force Member Contact Information and Biography". Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Kleine, Ted. "Is Bobby Rush in Trouble?". Sun-Times Media, LLC. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 

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