Illinois House of Representatives

Last updated

Illinois House of Representatives
Illinois General Assembly
Seal of Illinois.svg
Term limits
New session started
January 9, 2019
Michael Madigan (D)
since January 8, 1997
Majority Leader
Greg Harris (D)
since January 10, 2019
Minority Leader
Jim Durkin (R)
since August 29, 2013
Current makeup of the Illinois House of Representatives September 2019.svg
Political groups


Length of term
2 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Illinois Constitution
Salary$67,836/year + per diem
Last election
November 6, 2018
Next election
November 3, 2020
(118 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative 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 bicameral 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]

Lower house chamber of a bicameral legislature

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.

Illinois General Assembly Legislature of Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly (IGA) is the bicameral legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois and comprises the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. The General Assembly was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The State Senate has 59 members while the House has 118 members, each elected from single-member districts. A Senate district is formed by combining two adjacent House districts. The current General Assembly is Illinois's 101st. The General Assembly meets in the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Its session laws are generally adopted by majority vote in both houses, and upon gaining the assent of the Governor of Illinois. They are published in the official Laws of Illinois.

State legislature (United States) legislature of a U.S. state

A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 25 states, the legislature is simply called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.


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, began his career in politics in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.

American Civil War Internal war in the U.S. over slavery

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.


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 1842. Although Republicans held the majority of seats in the Illinois House after 1860, in the next election it returned to the Democrats. [3] The Democratic Party-led legislature worked to frame a new state constitution that was ultimately rejected by voters [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]

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Cutback Amendment of 1980

From 1870 to 1980, Illinois' lower house had several unique features:

Cumulative voting is a multiple-winner cardinal voting method intended to promote more proportional representation than winner-take-all elections. Cumulative voting is used frequently in corporate governance, where it is mandated by some (7) U.S. states. (See e.g., Minn. Stat. Sec. 302A.111 subd. 2 .)

The Cutback Amendment was proposed to abolish this system. Since its passage in 1980, representatives have been elected from 118 single-member districts formed by dividing the 59 Senate districts in half. Each representative is "associated" with a senator.

The Cutback Amendment is an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that abolished multi-member districts in the Illinois House of Representatives and the process of cumulative voting. Before the amendment Illinois voters could vote three times for one candidate or spread their votes between two or three candidates. Three members were elected per district. When the Cutback Amendment was approved in 1980, the total number of House representatives was reduced from 177 to 118. The movement to pass the bill was largely led by Pat Quinn and Bus Yourell.

Nesting is the delimitation of voting districts for one elected body in order to define the voting districts for another body. For example, in California, the State Assembly is composed of 80 members, each one representing 1/80th of California's population, and the State Senate is composed of 40 members, each one representing 1/40th of California's population. In this case, the process of nesting could either be first defining the 80 Assembly districts, and then defining the Senate districts as a merge of two Assembly districts, or first defining the 40 Senate districts, and then creating the Assembly districts by splitting each Senate district into two. If the Assembly districts and the Senate districts are created independently of each other, then the process of nesting is not used.

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 first two African-American legislators in Illinois were John W. E. Thomas, first elected in 1876, and George French Ecton, elected in 1886. [8] In 1922, Lottie Holman O'Neill became the first woman elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. [9] In 1958, Floy Clements became the first African American woman to serve as state Representative. [10] In 1982, Joseph Berrios became the first Hispanic American state representative. [11] Theresa Mah became the first Asian American to serve in the Illinois House when she was sworn into office January 10, 2017. [12]


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. [13] The Illinois House of Representatives also holds the power to impeach executive and judicial officials. [13]


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. [13] Members of the House cannot hold other public offices or receive appointments by the governor while in office. [13]

Composition of the House

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature72441182
January 7, 2019 [14] 74441180
Latest voting share


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 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 (R-Western Springs), representing the 82nd district, currently holds the post. [15]



As of November 1,2019, the 101st General Assembly of the Illinois House of Representatives consists of the following members: [16]

1 Aaron Ortiz Democratic2019 Chicago
2 Theresa Mah Democratic2017 Chicago
4 Delia Ramirez Democratic2019 Chicago
5 Lamont Robinson Democratic2019 Chicago
6 Sonya Harper Democratic2015 Ɨ Chicago
7 Emanuel Chris Welch Democratic2013 Hillside
8 LaShawn Ford Democratic2007 Chicago
9 Art Turner Democratic2010 ƗƗ Chicago
10 Jawaharial Williams Democratic2019 Ɨ Chicago
11 Ann Williams Democratic2011 Chicago
12 Sara Feigenholtz Democratic1995 Chicago
13 Greg Harris Democratic2006 ƗƗ Chicago
14 Kelly Cassidy Democratic2011 Ɨ Chicago
15 John C. D'Amico Democratic2004 ƗƗ Chicago
16 Yehiel Mark Kalish Democratic2019 Ɨ Chicago
17 Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz Democratic2019 Glenview
18 Robyn Gabel Democratic2010 Ɨ Evanston
19 Lindsey LaPointe Democratic2019 Ɨ Chicago
20 Bradley Stephens Republican2019 Ɨ Rosemont
21 Celina Villanueva Democratic2018 Ɨ Chicago
22 Michael Madigan Democratic1971 Chicago
23 Michael J. Zalewski Democratic2008 ƗƗ Riverside
24 Elizabeth Hernandez Democratic2007 Cicero
25 Curtis Tarver Democratic2019 Chicago
26 Kam Buckner Democratic2019 Ɨ Chicago
27 Justin Slaughter Democratic2017 Ɨ Chicago
28 Robert Rita Democratic2003 Blue Island
29 Thaddeus Jones Democratic2011 Calumet City
30 William Davis Democratic2003 Homewood
31 Mary E. Flowers Democratic1985 Chicago
32 Andre Thapedi Democratic2009 Chicago
33 Marcus C. Evans, Jr. Democratic2012 Ɨ Chicago
34 Nicholas Smith Democratic2018 Ɨ Chicago
35 Frances Ann Hurley Democratic2013 Chicago
36 Kelly M. Burke Democratic2011 Evergreen Park
37 Margo McDermed Republican2015 Mokena
38 Debbie Meyers-Martin Democratic2019 Olympia Fields
39 Will Guzzardi Democratic2015 Chicago
40 Jaime Andrade Jr. Democratic2013 Ɨ Chicago
41 Grant Wehrli Republican2015 Naperville
42 Amy Grant Republican2019 Wheaton
43 Anna Moeller Democratic2014 Ɨ Elgin
44 Fred Crespo Democratic2007 Hoffman Estates
45 Diane Pappas Democratic2019 Itasca
46 Deborah Conroy Democratic2013 Villa Park
47 Deanne Mazzochi Republican2018 Ɨ Elmhurst
48 Terra Costa Howard Democratic2019 Glen Ellyn
49 Karina Villa Democratic2019 West Chicago
50 Keith R. Wheeler Republican2015 Oswego
51 Mary Edly-Allen Democratic2019 Mundelein
52 David McSweeney Republican2013 Barrington Hills
53 Mark Walker Democratic2019 Arlington Heights
54 Thomas Morrison Republican2011 Palatine
55 Marty Moylan Democratic2013 Des Plaines
56 Michelle Mussman Democratic2011 Schaumburg
57 Jonathan Carroll Democratic2017 Ɨ Northbrook
58 Bob Morgan Democratic2019 Deerfield
59 Daniel Didech Democratic2019 Buffalo Grove
60 Rita Mayfield Democratic2010 Ɨ Waukegan
61 Joyce Mason Democratic2019 Gurnee
62 Sam Yingling Democratic2013 Grayslake
63 Steve Reick Republican2017 Woodstock
64 Tom Weber Republican2019 Lake Villa
65 Dan Ugaste Republican2019 Geneva
66 Allen Skillicorn Republican2017 Algonquin
67 Maurice West Democratic2019 Rockford
68 John Cabello Republican2012 Ɨ Machesney Park
69 Joe Sosnowski Republican2011 Rockford
70 Jeff Keicher Republican2018 Ɨ DeKalb
71 Tony McCombie Republican2017 Savanna
72 Michael Halpin Democratic2017 Milan
73 Ryan Spain Republican2017 Peoria
74 Daniel Swanson Republican2017 Woodhull
75 David Welter Republican2016 Ɨ Morris
76 Lance Yednock Democratic2019 Ottawa
77 Kathleen Willis Democratic2013 Addison
78 Camille Y. Lilly Democratic2010 Ɨ Chicago
79 Lindsay Parkhurst Republican2017 Kankakee
80 Anthony DeLuca Democratic2009 Ɨ Chicago Heights
81 Anne Stava-Murray Democratic2019 Downers Grove
82 Jim Durkin Republican2006 Ɨ Western Springs
83 Barbara Hernandez Democratic2019 Ɨ Aurora
84 Stephanie Kifowit Democratic2013 Oswego
85 John Connor Democratic2017 Ɨ Lockport
86 Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr. Democratic2012 Ɨ Elwood
87 Tim Butler Republican2015 Ɨ Springfield
88 Keith P. Sommer Republican1999 Ɨ Morton
89 Andrew Chesney Republican2018 ƗƗ Freeport
90 Tom Demmer Republican2013 Dixon
91 Michael D. Unes Republican2011 East Peoria
92 Jehan Gordon Democratic2009 Peoria
93 Norine Hammond Republican2010 Ɨ Macomb
94 Randy Frese Republican2015 Paloma
95 Avery Bourne Republican2015 Ɨ Pawnee
96 Sue Scherer Democratic2013 Decatur
97 Mark Batinick Republican2015 Plainfield
98 Natalie Manley Democratic2013 Joliet
99 Mike Murphy Republican2019 Springfield
100 C. D. Davidsmeyer Republican2012 ƗƗ Jacksonville
101 Dan Caulkins Republican2019 Decatur
102 Brad Halbrook Republican2017 Shelbyville
103 Carol Ammons Democratic2015 Urbana
104 Michael Marron Republican2018 Ɨ Fithian
105 Dan Brady Republican2001 Bloomington
106 Thomas M. Bennett Republican2015 Gibson City
107 Blaine Wilhour Republican2019 Beecher City
108 Charles Meier Republican2013 Okawville
109 Darren Bailey Republican2005 Xenia
110 Chris Miller Republican2019 Charleston
111 Monica Bristow Democratic2017 Ɨ Alton
112 Katie Stuart Democratic2017 Edwardsville
113 Jay Hoffman Democratic2013 Swansea
114 LaToya Greenwood Democratic2017 East St. Louis
115 Terri Bryant Republican2015 Murphysboro
116 Nathan Reitz [17] Democratic2019 Ɨ Steeleville
117 Dave Severin Republican2017 Benton
118 Patrick Windhorst Republican2019 Metropolis

Past composition of the House of Representatives

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  2. White, Jr., Ronald C. (2009). A. Lincoln: A Biography. Random House, Inc. ISBN   978-1-4000-6499-1, p. 59.
  3. 1 2 3 4 VandeCreek, Drew E. Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War (accessed May 28, 2013)
  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. Joens, David A. From Slave to State Legislator: John WE Thomas, Illinois' First African American Lawmaker. SIU Press, 2012.
  9. "Illinois Women in Congress and General Assembly" (PDF). Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly Legislative Research Unit. February 11, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  10. Bone, Jan, ed. (June 1974). "Commission on the Status of Women. Report and Recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly" (PDF). Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Commission on the Status of Women. p. 26. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  11. Fremon, David K. (December 1991). "How first Hispanic congressional district remaps Chicago politics". Illinois Issues. Springfield, Illinois: Sangamon State University. pp. 22–24. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  12. Miller, Rich (April 29, 2016). "How the South Side elected the state's first Asian-American lawmaker". Crain's Chicago Business . Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  13. 1 2 3 4 Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article IV, The Legislature (accessed May 28, 2013)
  14. "Illinois Democrats will have historic majorities". November 29, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  16. "Current House Members (101st General Assembly)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved January 10, 2019.

Coordinates: 39°47′53″N89°39′18″W / 39.798°N 89.655°W / 39.798; -89.655