Illinois House of Representatives

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Illinois House of Representatives
Illinois General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 14, 2015
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; redistricted every 10 years, based on the 2010 U.S. census each representative represents approximately 108,734 people.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] The Democratic Party-led legislature worked to frame a new state constitution that was ultimately rejected by pink voters, except for provisions to ban black settlement and voting.[3] 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.[3] 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.[3] The first two African-American legislators in Illinois were John W. E. Thomas, first elected in 1876, and George French Ecton, elected in 1886.[4]

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.[5] 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,[6] in part because it appears that such a system increases the representation of racial minorities in elected office.[7] The Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1995 that the multi-member districts elected with cumulative voting produced better legislators.[8] Others have argued that the now-abandoned system provided for greater "stability" in the lower house.[9]

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.[10] The Illinois House of Representatives also holds the power to impeach executive and judicial officials.[10]


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.[10] Members of the House cannot hold other public offices or receive appointments by the governor while in office.[10]

Composition of the House[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 71 47 118 0
Begin 71 47 118 0
January 21, 2015[11] 46 117 1
February 20, 2015[12]
March 3, 2015[13] 47 118 0
September 21, 2015[14] 70 117 1
October 20, 2015[15] 71 118 0
December 7, 2015[16] 70 117 1
December 15, 2015[17] 71 118 0
July 24, 2016[18] 46 117 1
August 3, 2016[19] 47 118 0
Latest voting share 60% 40%


The current Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives is Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who represents the 22nd district. The Democratic Party of Illinois currently holds a supermajority 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 (R-Western Springs), representing the 82nd district, currently holds the post.[20]


  • 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 December 2015, the Illinois House of Representatives consists of the following members:[21]

District Representative Party Took Office Residence
1 Burke, Daniel J.Daniel J. Burke Democratic January 1991 Chicago
2 Acevedo, EdwardEdward Acevedo Democratic January 1997 Chicago
3 Arroyo, LuisLuis Arroyo Democratic December 2006 Ɨ Chicago
4 Soto, CynthiaCynthia Soto Democratic January 2001 Chicago
5 Dunkin, KennethKenneth Dunkin Democratic December 2002 Chicago
6 Harper, SonyaSonya Harper Democratic October 2015 Ɨ Chicago
7 Welch, Emanuel ChrisEmanuel Chris Welch Democratic January 2013 Hillside
8 Ford, LaShawnLaShawn Ford Democratic January 2007 Chicago
9 Turner, ArtArt Turner Democratic December 2010 Chicago
10 Reaves-Harris, PamelaPamela Reaves-Harris Democratic January 2015 Chicago
11 Williams, AnnAnn Williams Democratic January 2011 Chicago
12 Feigenholtz, SaraSara Feigenholtz Democratic January 1995 Chicago
13 Harris, GregGreg Harris Democratic December 2006 Chicago
14 Cassidy, KellyKelly Cassidy Democratic May 2011 Ɨ Chicago
15 D'Amico, John C.John C. D'Amico Democratic November 2004 Chicago
16 Lang, LouLou Lang Democratic January 1987 Skokie
17 Fine, LauraLaura Fine Democratic January 2013 Glenview
18 Gabel, RobynRobyn Gabel Democratic April 2010 Ɨ Evanston
19 Martwick, Jr, Robert F.Robert F. Martwick, Jr Democratic January 2013 Norridge
20 McAuliffe, Michael P.Michael P. McAuliffe Republican July 1996 Ɨ Chicago
21 Tabares, SilvanaSilvana Tabares Democratic January 2013 Chicago
22 Madigan, MichaelMichael Madigan Democratic January 1971 Chicago
23 Zalewski, Michael J.Michael J. Zalewski Democratic December 2008 Riverside
24 Hernandez, ElizabethElizabeth Hernandez Democratic January 2007 Cicero
25 Currie, Barbara FlynnBarbara Flynn Currie Democratic January 1979 Chicago
26 Mitchell, ChristianChristian Mitchell Democratic January 2013 Chicago
27 Davis, Monique D.Monique D. Davis Democratic January 1987 Chicago
28 Rita, RobertRobert Rita Democratic January 2003 Blue Island
29 Jones, ThaddeusThaddeus Jones Democratic January 2011 Calumet City
30 Davis, WilliamWilliam Davis Democratic January 2003 Homewood
31 Flowers, Mary E.Mary E. Flowers Democratic January 1985 Chicago
32 Thapedi, AndreAndre Thapedi Democratic January 2009 Chicago
33 Evans, Jr., Marcus C.Marcus C. Evans, Jr. Democratic April 2012 Ɨ Chicago
34 Sims, ElgieElgie Sims Democratic August 2012 Ɨ Chicago
35 Hurley, Frances AnnFrances Ann Hurley Democratic January 2013 Chicago
36 Burke, Kelly M.Kelly M. Burke Democratic January 2011 Evergreen Park
37 McDermed, MargoMargo McDermed Republican January 2015 Mokena
38 Riley, AlAl Riley Democratic January 2007 Olympia Fields
39 Guzzardi, WillWill Guzzardi Democratic January 2015 Chicago
40 Andrade Jr., JaimeJaime Andrade Jr. Democratic August 2013 Ɨ Chicago
41 Wehrli, GrantGrant Wehrli Republican January 2015 Naperville
42 Ives, JeanneJeanne Ives Republican January 2013 Wheaton
43 Moeller, AnnaAnna Moeller Democratic March 2014 Ɨ Elgin
44 Crespo, FredFred Crespo Democratic January 2007 Hoffman Estates
45 Winger, ChristineChristine Winger Republican January 2015 Wood Dale
46 Conroy, DeborahDeborah Conroy Democratic January 2013 Villa Park
47 Bellock, Patricia R.Patricia R. Bellock Republican January 1999 Hinsdale
48 Breen, PeterPeter Breen Republican January 2015 Lombard
49 Fortner, MikeMike Fortner Republican January 2007 West Chicago
50 Wheeler, Keith R.Keith R. Wheeler Republican January 2015 Oswego
51 Sullivan, Jr., EdEd Sullivan, Jr. Republican January 2003 Mundelein
52 McSweeney, DavidDavid McSweeney Republican January 2013 Barrington Hills
53 Harris, DavidDavid Harris Republican January 2011 Mount Prospect
54 Morrison, ThomasThomas Morrison Republican January 2011 Palatine
55 Moylan, MartyMarty Moylan Democratic January 2013 Des Plaines
56 Mussman, MichelleMichelle Mussman Democratic January 2011 Schaumburg
57 Nekritz, ElaineElaine Nekritz Democratic January 2003 Northbrook
58 Drury, ScottScott Drury Democratic January 2013 Highwood
59 Sente, CarolCarol Sente Democratic September 2009 Ɨ Vernon Hills
60 Mayfield, RitaRita Mayfield Democratic July 2010 Ɨ Waukegan
61 Jesiel, SheriSheri Jesiel Republican August 2014 Ɨ Winthrop Harbor
62 Yingling, SamSam Yingling Democratic January 2013 Grayslake
63 Franks, Jack D.Jack D. Franks Democratic January 1999 Marengo
64 Wheeler, BarbaraBarbara Wheeler Republican January 2013 Crystal Lake
65 Andersson, StevenSteven Andersson Republican January 2015 Geneva
66 Tryon, Michael W.Michael W. Tryon Republican January 2005 Crystal Lake
67 Wallace, LitesaLitesa Wallace Democratic August 2014 Ɨ Rockford
68 Cabello, JohnJohn Cabello Republican August 2012 Ɨ Machesney Park
69 Sosnowski, JoeJoe Sosnowski Republican January 2011 Rockford
70 Pritchard, Robert W.Robert W. Pritchard Republican December 2003 Ɨ Hinckley
71 Smiddy, MikeMike Smiddy Democratic January 2013 Hillsdale
72 Verschoore, Patrick J.Patrick J. Verschoore Democratic February 2003 Ɨ Milan
73 Leitch, David R.David R. Leitch Republican January 1989 Peoria
74 Moffitt, Donald L.Donald L. Moffitt Republican January 1993 Gilson
75 Welter, DavidDavid Welter Republican July 2016 Ɨ Morris
76 Skoog, AndyAndy Skoog Democratic December 2015 Ɨ LaSalle
77 Willis, KathleenKathleen Willis Democratic January 2013 Addison
78 Lilly, Camille Y.Camille Y. Lilly Democratic April 2010 Ɨ Chicago
79 Cloonen, KateKate Cloonen Democratic January 2013 Kankakee
80 DeLuca, AnthonyAnthony DeLuca Democratic March 2009 Ɨ Chicago Heights
81 Olsen, David S.David S. Olsen Republican August 2016 Ɨ Downers Grove
82 Durkin, JimJim Durkin Republican January 2006 Ɨ Western Springs
83 LaVia, Linda ChapaLinda Chapa LaVia Democratic January 2003 Aurora
84 Kifowit, StephanieStephanie Kifowit Democratic January 2013 Oswego
85 McAsey, EmilyEmily McAsey Democratic January 2009 Lockport
86 Walsh, Jr., Lawrence M.Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr. Democratic April 2012 Ɨ Elwood
87 Butler, TimTim Butler Republican March 2015 Ɨ Springfield
88 Sommer, Keith P.Keith P. Sommer Republican January 1999 Ɨ Morton
89 Stewart, Brian W.Brian W. Stewart Republican October 2013 Ɨ Freeport
90 Demmer, TomTom Demmer Republican January 2013 Dixon
91 Unes, Michael D.Michael D. Unes Republican January 2011 East Peoria
92 Gordon, JehanJehan Gordon Democratic January 2009 Peoria
93 Hammond, NorineNorine Hammond Republican December 2010 Ɨ Macomb
94 Frese, RandyRandy Frese Republican January 2015 Paloma
95 Bourne, AveryAvery Bourne Republican February 2015 Ɨ Pawnee
96 Scherer, SueSue Scherer Democratic January 2013 Decatur
97 Batinick, MarkMark Batinick Republican January 2015 Plainfield
98 Manley, NatalieNatalie Manley Democratic January 2013 Joliet
99 Wojcicki Jimenez, SaraSara Wojcicki Jimenez Republican November 2015 Ɨ Leland Grove
100 Davidsmeyer, C. D.C. D. Davidsmeyer Republican December 2012 Ɨ Jacksonville
101 Mitchell, BillBill Mitchell Republican January 1999 Forsyth
102 Brown, AdamAdam Brown Republican January 2011 Champaign
103 Ammons, CarolCarol Ammons Democratic January 2015 Urbana
104 Hays, ChadChad Hays Rep December 2010 Catlin
105 Brady, DanDan Brady Rep January 2001 Bloomington
106 Bennett, Thomas M.Thomas M. Bennett Republican January 2015 Watseka
107 Cavaletto, JohnJohn Cavaletto Republican January 2009 Salem
108 Meier, CharlesCharles Meier Republican January 2013 Okawville
109 Reis, DavidDavid Reis Republican January 2005 Olney
110 Phillips, ReginaldReginald Phillips Republican January 2015 Charleston
111 Beiser, Daniel V.Daniel V. Beiser Democratic December 2004 Alton
112 Kay, DwightDwight Kay Republican January 2011 Glen Carbon
113 Hoffman, JayJay Hoffman Democratic January 2013 Swansea
114 Jackson, Eddie LeeEddie Lee Jackson Democratic January 2009 East St. Louis
115 Bryant, TerriTerri Bryant Republican January 2015 Murphysboro
116 Costello II, JerryJerry Costello II Democratic July 2011 Ɨ Smithton
117 Bradley, John E.John E. Bradley Democratic June 2003 Ɨ Marion
118 Phelps, Brandon W.Brandon W. Phelps Democratic January 2003 Harrisburg

Ɨ Legislator was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives during session.
∆ Legislator was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives after being elected, but prior to inauguration day of the General Assembly to which they were elected.


  1. ^
  2. ^ White, Jr., Ronald C. (2009). A. Lincioln: A Biography. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4000-6499-1, p. 59.
  3. ^ a b c d VandeCreek, Drew E. Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War (accessed May 28, 2013)
  4. ^ Joens, David A. From Slave to State Legislator: John WE Thomas, Illinois' First African American Lawmaker. SIU Press, 2012.
  5. ^ "Cumulative Voting: The great debate over Illinois' unique system of electing legislators: No-ii760912.html". December 2, 1999. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  6. ^ "FairVote - Illinois' Drive to Revive Cumulative Voting". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  7. ^ "FairVote - Black Representation Under Cumulative Voting in Illinois". Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Cumulative Voting - Illinois | The New Rules Project". January 12, 2005. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  9. ^ "HeinOnline". HeinOnline. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article IV, The Legislature (accessed May 28, 2013)
  11. ^ Republican Wayne Rosenthal resigned to take a post in the Rauner Administration. [1]
  12. ^ Republican Avery Bourne appointed to replace Rosenthal. [2] Republican Rich Brauer (District 87) resigned to take a post in the Rauner Administration. [3]
  13. ^ Republican Tim Butler appointed to replace Brauer
  14. ^ Democrat Esther Golar (District 6) died. [4]
  15. ^ Democrat Sonya Harper appointed to replace Golar. [5]
  16. ^ Democrat Frank Mautino (District 76) resigned to accept the post of Illinois Auditor General. [6]
  17. ^ Democrat Andy Skoog appointed to replace Mautino. [7]
  18. ^ Republican Ron Sandack (District 81) resigned. [8]
  19. ^ Republican David S. Olsen was appointed to the 81st district in Sandack's place. [9]
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Current House Members (98th General Assembly)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 

External links[edit]