Barbara Flynn Currie

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Barbara Flynn Currie
Barbara Flynn Currie 2010 CROPPED.jpg
Currie in 2010.
Majority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives
Assumed office
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 25th district
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1940-05-03) May 3, 1940 (age 76)
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) David Currie

Barbara Flynn Currie (born May 3, 1940) is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 25th District since 1979.

Political career[edit]

Currie was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1978, and assumed office in January 1979. She represents the 25th District in Chicago which includes the communities of Woodlawn, South Shore, Hyde Park, and Kenwood. Rep. Currie serves as majority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, a role she has had since 1997. She is the widow of the legal scholar David P. Currie.[citation needed]

Impeachment of Rod Blagojevich[edit]

In December 2008, following the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Currie was named by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as the chairperson of the Illinois House committee to investigate Governor Blagojevich for possible impeachment as a result of federal corruption charges against him.[1] Blagojevich was subsequently impeached by the House and removed from office by the Illinois Senate.

Hyde Park 2006 Independence Day parade (left to right starting at center in light green): Chicago City Council Alderman Toni Preckwinkle as the Statue of Liberty, Currie as Uncle Sam, and Alderman Leslie Hairston as Betsy Ross

Burris controversy[edit]

In February 2009, Currie was caught in a follow-on controversy over the impeachment testimony of Roland Burris. Burris had been named by Blagojevich to fill President Barack Obama's Senate seat, after the emergence of the corruption charges against Blagojevich but before Blagojevich's removal from office. Burris had neglected to mention fund-raising contacts by Blagojevich's brother, Robert, in his testimony, but then filed an affidavit with Currie, listing three such contacts, shortly after February 5, 2009.[2]

Word of the new information did not reach the public, or the Republicans in the House, until its release in the Chicago Sun-Times on February 13, leading to questions of Currie and the Democrats by Republicans including ranking impeachment committee member Jim Durkin and House party leader Tom Cross.[2]


In 2016, Currie was chairing the House of Representatives during debate of the appropriations bill SB 2048. Representative Dwight Kay asked a series of questions about line items in the budget. Currie answered, "Because it has value" and "The governor proposed it" several times. After a few minutes, Currie's response to each of Kay's questions became, "Ditto."[3]

Bill blocking[edit]

An article in Pantograph titled "Strange rules allow majority of one to block bills in Illinois House" explains how one of Currie's roles is to stand up and block Republican legislator's efforts to move legislation that is stalled in a committee.[4]

"So Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie - the No. 2 Democrat in the House - is charged with standing up and objecting when Republicans file motions to release bills they feel should be debated. . . .She never explains why she objects. She doesn't have to. Everyone knows the reason is that Republicans see an advantage in filing these motions, so Democrats will block them every time."[4]


  1. ^ Sweet, Lynn (2008-12-15). "Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, Majority leader Barbara Flynn Currie on Blagojevich impeachment. Transcript". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times News Group. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  2. ^ a b Monica Davey, "Burris Defends His Evolving Description of Talks" The New York Times, p. A9, February 16, 2009; accessed December 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "Illinois Democrats' utter contempt for you, the taxpayer". Chicago Now. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  4. ^ a b Wills, Christopher (2009-05-19). "Strange rules allow majority of one to block bills in Illinois House". Pantograph. Retrieved 2016-07-25(Associated Press) 

External links[edit]