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 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; 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]

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.[4] 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,[5] in part because it appears that such a system increases the representation of racial minorities in elected office.[6] The Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1995 that the multi-member districts elected with cumulative voting produced better legislators.[7] Others have argued that the now-abandoned system provided for greater "stability" in the lower house.[8]

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.[9] The Illinois House of Representatives also holds the power to impeach executive and judicial officials.[9]


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.[9] Members of the House cannot hold other public offices or receive appointments by the governor while in office.[9]

Composition of the House

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[10] 46 117 1
February 20, 2015[11]
March 3, 2015[12] 47 118 0
September 21, 2015[13] 70 117 1
October 20, 2015[14] 71 118 0
December 7, 2015[15] 70 117 1
December 15, 2015[16] 71 118 0
Latest voting share 60.2% 39.8%


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.[17]


  • 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:[18]

District Representative Party First elected Residence
1 Burke, Daniel J.Daniel J. Burke Dem 1990 Chicago
2 Acevedo, EdwardEdward Acevedo Dem 1996 Chicago
3 Arroyo, LuisLuis Arroyo Dem 2006↑ Chicago
4 Soto, CynthiaCynthia Soto Dem 2000 Chicago
5 Dunkin, KennethKenneth Dunkin Dem 2002 Chicago
6 Harper, SonyaSonya Harper Dem 2015↑ Chicago
7 Welch, Emanuel ChrisEmanuel Chris Welch Dem 2012 Hillside
8 Ford, LaShawnLaShawn Ford Dem 2006 Chicago
9 Turner, ArtArt Turner Dem 2010 Chicago
10 Reaves-Harris, PamelaPamela Reaves-Harris Dem 2014 Chicago
11 Williams, AnnAnn Williams Dem 2010 Chicago
12 Feigenholtz, SaraSara Feigenholtz Dem 1994 Chicago
13 Harris, GregGreg Harris Dem 2006 Chicago
14 Cassidy, KellyKelly Cassidy Dem 2011↑ Chicago
15 D'Amico, John C.John C. D'Amico Dem 2004 Chicago
16 Lang, LouLou Lang Dem 1986 Skokie
17 Fine, LauraLaura Fine Dem 2012 Glenview
18 Gabel, RobynRobyn Gabel Dem 2010↑ Evanston
19 Martwick, Jr, Robert F.Robert F. Martwick, Jr Dem 2012 Norridge
20 McAuliffe, Michael P.Michael P. McAuliffe Rep 1996 Chicago
21 Tabares, SilvanaSilvana Tabares Dem 2012 Chicago
22 Madigan, MichaelMichael Madigan Dem 1970 Chicago
23 Zalewski, Michael J.Michael J. Zalewski Dem 2008 Riverside
24 Hernandez, ElizabethElizabeth Hernandez Dem 2002 Cicero
25 Currie, Barbara FlynnBarbara Flynn Currie Dem 1978 Chicago
26 Mitchell, ChristianChristian Mitchell Dem 2012 Chicago
27 Davis, Monique D.Monique D. Davis Dem 1986 Chicago
28 Rita, RobertRobert Rita Dem 2002 Blue Island
29 Jones, ThaddeusThaddeus Jones Dem 2010 Calumet City
30 Davis, WilliamWilliam Davis Dem 2002 Homewood
31 Flowers, Mary E.Mary E. Flowers Dem 1984 Chicago
32 Thapedi, AndreAndre Thapedi Dem 2008 Chicago
33 Evans, Jr., Marcus C.Marcus C. Evans, Jr. Dem 2012↑ Chicago
34 Sims, ElgieElgie Sims Dem 2012 Chicago
35 Hurley, Frances AnnFrances Ann Hurley Dem 2012 Chicago
36 Burke, Kelly M.Kelly M. Burke Dem 2010 Evergreen Park
37 McDermed, MargoMargo McDermed Rep 2014 Mokena
38 Riley, AlAl Riley Dem 2007↑ Olympia Fields
39 Guzzardi, WillWill Guzzardi Dem 2014 Chicago
40 Andrade Jr., JaimeJaime Andrade Jr. Dem 2013↑ Chicago
41 Wehrli, GrantGrant Wehrli Rep 2014 Naperville
42 Ives, JeanneJeanne Ives Rep 2012 Wheaton
43 Moeller, AnnaAnna Moeller Dem 2014↑ Elgin
44 Crespo, FredFred Crespo Dem 2006 Hoffman Estates
45 Winger, ChristineChristine Winger Rep 2014 Wood Dale
46 Conroy, DeborahDeborah Conroy Dem 2012 Villa Park
47 Bellock, Patricia R.Patricia R. Bellock Rep 1998 Hinsdale
48 Breen, PeterPeter Breen Rep 2014 Lombard
49 Fortner, MikeMike Fortner Rep 2006 West Chicago
50 Wheeler, Keith R.Keith R. Wheeler Rep 2014 Oswego
51 Sullivan, Jr., EdEd Sullivan, Jr. Rep 2002 Mundelein
52 McSweeney, DavidDavid McSweeney Rep 2012 Barrington Hills
53 Harris, DavidDavid Harris Rep 2010
Mount Prospect
54 Morrison, ThomasThomas Morrison Rep 2010 Palatine
55 Moylan, MartyMarty Moylan Dem 2012 Des Plaines
56 Mussman, MichelleMichelle Mussman Dem 2010 Schaumburg
57 Nekritz, ElaineElaine Nekritz Dem 2000 Northbrook
58 Drury, ScottScott Drury Dem 2012 Highwood
59 Sente, CarolCarol Sente Dem 2009↑ Vernon Hills
60 Mayfield, RitaRita Mayfield Dem 2010↑ Waukegan
61 Jesiel, SheriSheri Jesiel Rep 2014↑ Winthrop Harbor
62 Yingling, SamSam Yingling Dem 2012 Grayslake
63 Franks, Jack D.Jack D. Franks Dem 1998 Marengo
64 Wheeler, BarbaraBarbara Wheeler Rep 2012 Crystal Lake
65 Andersson, StevenSteven Andersson Rep 2014 Geneva
66 Tryon, Michael W.Michael W. Tryon Rep 2004 Crystal Lake
67 Wallace, LitesaLitesa Wallace Dem 2014↑ Rockford
68 Cabello, JohnJohn Cabello Rep 2012↑ Machesney Park
69 Sosnowski, JoeJoe Sosnowski Rep 2010 Rockford
70 Pritchard, Robert W.Robert W. Pritchard Rep 2003↑ Hinckley
71 Smiddy, MikeMike Smiddy Dem 2012 Hillsdale
72 Verschoore, Patrick J.Patrick J. Verschoore Dem 2003↑ Milan
73 Leitch, David R.David R. Leitch Rep 1988
74 Moffitt, Donald L.Donald L. Moffitt Rep 1992 Gilson
75 Anthony, John D.John D. Anthony Rep 2013↑ Plainfield
76 Skoog, AndyAndy Skoog Dem 2015↑ LaSalle
77 Willis, KathleenKathleen Willis Dem 2012 Addison
78 Lilly, Camille Y.Camille Y. Lilly Dem 2010↑ Chicago
79 Cloonen, KateKate Cloonen Dem 2012 Kankakee
80 DeLuca, AnthonyAnthony DeLuca Dem 2009↑ Chicago Heights
81 Sandack, RonRon Sandack Rep 2012 Downers Grove
82 Durkin, JimJim Durkin Rep 2006↑
Western Springs
83 LaVia, Linda ChapaLinda Chapa LaVia Dem 2002 Aurora
84 Kifowit, StephanieStephanie Kifowit Dem 2012 Oswego
85 McAsey, EmilyEmily McAsey Dem 2008 Lockport
86 Walsh, Jr., Lawrence M.Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr. Dem 2012↑ Elwood
87 Butler, TimTim Butler Rep 2015↑ Springfield
88 Sommer, Keith P.Keith P. Sommer Rep 1998 Morton
89 Stewart, Brian W.Brian W. Stewart Rep 2013↑ Freeport
90 Demmer, TomTom Demmer Rep 2012 Dixon
91 Unes, Michael D.Michael D. Unes Rep 2010 East Peoria
92 Gordon, JehanJehan Gordon Dem 2008 Peoria
93 Hammond, NorineNorine Hammond Rep 2010↑ Macomb
94 Frese, RandyRandy Frese Rep 2014 Paloma
95 Bourne, AveryAvery Bourne Rep 2015↑ Pawnee
96 Scherer, SueSue Scherer Dem 2012 Decatur
97 Batinick, MarkMark Batinick Rep 2014 Plainfield
98 Manley, NatalieNatalie Manley Dem 2012 Joliet
99 Wojcicki Jimenez, SaraSara Wojcicki Jimenez Rep 1994 Leland Grove
100 Davidsmeyer, C. D.C. D. Davidsmeyer Rep 2012↑ Jacksonville
101 Mitchell, BillBill Mitchell Rep 1998 Forsyth
102 Brown, AdamAdam Brown Rep 2010 Champaign
103 Ammons, CarolCarol Ammons Dem 2014 Urbana
104 Hays, ChadChad Hays Rep 2010 Catlin
105 Brady, DanDan Brady Rep 2000 Bloomington
106 Bennett, Thomas M.Thomas M. Bennett Rep 2014 Watseka
107 Cavaletto, JohnJohn Cavaletto Rep 2008 Salem
108 Meier, CharlesCharles Meier Rep 2012 Okawville
109 Reis, DavidDavid Reis Rep 2004 Olney
110 Phillips, ReginaldReginald Phillips Rep 2014 Charleston
111 Beiser, Daniel V.Daniel V. Beiser Dem 2004↑ Alton
112 Kay, DwightDwight Kay Rep 2010 Glen Carbon
113 Hoffman, JayJay Hoffman Dem 2012
114 Jackson, Eddie LeeEddie Lee Jackson Dem 2009↑ East St. Louis
115 Bryant, TerriTerri Bryant Rep 2014 Murphysboro
116 Costello II, JerryJerry Costello II Dem 2011↑ Smithton
117 Bradley, John E.John E. Bradley Dem 2003↑ Marion
118 Phelps, Brandon W.Brandon W. Phelps Dem 2003↑ Harrisburg
  • ↑: Member was originally appointed


  2. White, Jr., Ronald C. (2009). A. Lincioln: A Biography. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4000-6499-1, p. 59.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 VandeCreek, Drew E. Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War (accessed May 28, 2013)
  4. "Cumulative Voting: The great debate over Illinois' unique system of electing legislators: No-ii760912.html". December 2, 1999. Retrieved January 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "FairVote - Illinois' Drive to Revive Cumulative Voting". Retrieved January 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "FairVote - Black Representation Under Cumulative Voting in Illinois". Retrieved January 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Cumulative Voting - Illinois | The New Rules Project". January 12, 2005. Retrieved January 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "HeinOnline". HeinOnline. Retrieved January 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article IV, The Legislature (accessed May 28, 2013)
  10. Republican Wayne Rosenthal resigned to take a post in the Rauner Administration. [1]
  11. Republican Avery Bourne appointed to replace Rosenthal. [2] Republican Rich Brauer (District 87) resigned to take a post in the Rauner Administration. [3]
  12. Republican Tim Butler appointed to replace Brauer. [4]
  13. Democrat Esther Golar (District 6) died. [5]
  14. Democrat Sonya Harper appointed to replace Golar. [6]
  15. Democrat Frank Mautino (District 76) resigned to accept the post of Illinois Auditor General. [7]
  16. Democrat Andy Skoog appointed to replace Mautino. [8]
  18. "Current House Members (98th General Assembly)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved February 12, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links