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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]

Illinois House of Representatives
Illinois General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 11, 2017
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
House of Representatives diagram 2017 State of Illinois.png
Political groups


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

Cutback Amendment of 1980Edit

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

  • The House comprised 177 members; three representatives were elected from each of 59 "legislative districts".
  • Elections were conducted using cumulative voting; each individual voter was given three votes to cast for House seats, and they could distribute them to three candidates (one vote each), one candidate (receiving three votes—this was called a "bullet vote") or two candidates (each receiving 1½ votes).
  • Though not constitutionally mandated, the two parties had an informal agreement that they would only run two candidates per district. 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 (59 out of 177)—in the House. In most cases, particularly outside Chicago, this system virtually assured that the district's minority party would win a seat.

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.

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 HouseEdit

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 71 47 118 0
Begin 67 51 118 0
August 1, 2018[14] 50 117 1
Latest voting share 57.3% 42.7%


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]


  • Clerk of the House: Timothy D. Mapes
  • Chief Doorkeeper: Lee A. Crawford
  • Parliamentarian: Heather Wier Vaught & Justin Cox
  • Assistant Clerk of the House: Bradley S. Bolin


As of November 2018, the 100th General Assembly of the Illinois House of Representatives consists of the following members:[16]

District Representative Party Took Office Residence
1 Daniel J. Burke Democratic January 1991 Chicago
2 Theresa Mah Democratic December 2006 Ɨ Chicago
3 Luis Arroyo Democratic December 2006 Ɨ Chicago
4 Cynthia Soto Democratic January 2001 Chicago
5 Juliana Stratton Democratic January 2017 Chicago
6 Sonya Harper Democratic October 2015 Ɨ Chicago
7 Emanuel Chris Welch Democratic January 2013 Hillside
8 LaShawn Ford Democratic January 2007 Chicago
9 Art Turner Democratic December 2010 ƗƗ Chicago
10 Melissa Conyears Democratic January 2017 Chicago
11 Ann Williams Democratic January 2011 Chicago
12 Sara Feigenholtz Democratic January 1995 Chicago
13 Greg Harris Democratic December 2006 ƗƗ Chicago
14 Kelly Cassidy Democratic May 2011 Ɨ Chicago
15 John C. D'Amico Democratic November 2004 ƗƗ Chicago
16 Lou Lang Democratic January 1987 Skokie
17 Laura Fine Democratic January 2013 Glenview
18 Robyn Gabel Democratic April 2010 Ɨ Evanston
19 Robert F. Martwick, Jr Democratic January 2013 Norridge
20 Michael P. McAuliffe Republican July 1996 Ɨ Chicago
21 Celina Villanueva Democratic July 2018 Ɨ Chicago
22 Michael Madigan Democratic January 1971 Chicago
23 Michael J. Zalewski Democratic December 2008 ƗƗ Riverside
24 Elizabeth Hernandez Democratic January 2007 Cicero
25 Barbara Flynn Currie Democratic January 1979 Chicago
26 Christian Mitchell Democratic January 2013 Chicago
27 Justin Slaughter Democratic January 2017 Ɨ Chicago
28 Robert Rita Democratic January 2003 Blue Island
29 Thaddeus Jones Democratic January 2011 Calumet City
30 William Davis Democratic January 2003 Homewood
31 Mary E. Flowers Democratic January 1985 Chicago
32 Andre Thapedi Democratic January 2009 Chicago
33 Marcus C. Evans, Jr. Democratic April 2012 Ɨ Chicago
34 Nicholas Smith Democratic February 2018 Ɨ Chicago
35 Frances Ann Hurley Democratic January 2013 Chicago
36 Kelly M. Burke Democratic January 2011 Evergreen Park
37 Margo McDermed Republican January 2015 Mokena
38 Al Riley Democratic January 2007 Olympia Fields
39 Will Guzzardi Democratic January 2015 Chicago
40 Jaime Andrade Jr. Democratic August 2013 Ɨ Chicago
41 Grant Wehrli Republican January 2015 Naperville
42 Jeanne Ives Republican January 2013 Wheaton
43 Anna Moeller Democratic March 2014 Ɨ Elgin
44 Fred Crespo Democratic January 2007 Hoffman Estates
45 Christine Winger Republican January 2015 Wood Dale
46 Deborah Conroy Democratic January 2013 Villa Park
47 Deanne Mazzochi Republican July 2018 Ɨ Elmhurst
48 Peter Breen Republican January 2015 Lombard
49 Mike Fortner Republican January 2007 West Chicago
50 Keith R. Wheeler Republican January 2015 Oswego
51 Helene Walsh Republican August 2018 Ɨ Mundelein
52 David McSweeney Republican January 2013 Barrington Hills
53 David Harris Republican January 2011 Mount Prospect
54 Thomas Morrison Republican January 2011 Palatine
55 Marty Moylan Democratic January 2013 Des Plaines
56 Michelle Mussman Democratic January 2011 Schaumburg
57 Jonathan Carroll Democratic October 2017 Ɨ Northbrook
58 Scott Drury Democratic January 2013 Highwood
59 Carol Sente Democratic September 2009 Ɨ Vernon Hills
60 Rita Mayfield Democratic July 2010 Ɨ Waukegan
61 Sheri Jesiel Republican August 2014 Ɨ Winthrop Harbor
62 Sam Yingling Democratic January 2013 Grayslake
63 Steve Reick Republican January 2017 Woodstock
64 Barbara Wheeler Republican January 2013 Crystal Lake
65 Steven Andersson Republican January 2015 Geneva
66 Allen Skillicorn Republican January 2017 Algonquin
67 Litesa Wallace Democratic August 2014 Ɨ Rockford
68 John Cabello Republican August 2012 Ɨ Machesney Park
69 Joe Sosnowski Republican January 2011 Rockford
70 Jeff Keicher Republican August 2018 Ɨ DeKalb
71 Tony McCombie Republican January 2017 Savanna
72 Michael Halpin Democratic January 2017 Milan
73 Ryan Spain Republican January 2017 Peoria
74 Daniel Swanson Republican January 2017 Woodhull
75 David Welter Republican July 2016 Ɨ Morris
76 Jerry Lee Long Republican January 2017 Streator
77 Kathleen Willis Democratic January 2013 Addison
78 Camille Y. Lilly Democratic April 2010 Ɨ Chicago
79 Lindsay Parkhurst Republican January 2017 Kankakee
80 Anthony DeLuca Democratic March 2009 Ɨ Chicago Heights
81 David S. Olsen Republican August 2016 Ɨ Downers Grove
82 Jim Durkin Republican January 2006 Ɨ Western Springs
83 Linda Chapa LaVia Democratic January 2003 Aurora
84 Stephanie Kifowit Democratic January 2013 Oswego
85 John Connor Democratic June 2017 Ɨ Lockport
86 Lawrence M. Walsh, Jr. Democratic April 2012 Ɨ Elwood
87 Tim Butler Republican March 2015 Ɨ Springfield
88 Keith P. Sommer Republican January 1999 Ɨ Morton
89 Brian W. Stewart Republican October 2013 Ɨ Freeport
90 Tom Demmer Republican January 2013 Dixon
91 Michael D. Unes Republican January 2011 East Peoria
92 Jehan Gordon Democratic January 2009 Peoria
93 Norine Hammond Republican December 2010 Ɨ Macomb
94 Randy Frese Republican January 2015 Paloma
95 Avery Bourne Republican February 2015 Ɨ Pawnee
96 Sue Scherer Democratic January 2013 Decatur
97 Mark Batinick Republican January 2015 Plainfield
98 Natalie Manley Democratic January 2013 Joliet
99 Sara Wojcicki Jimenez Republican November 2015 Ɨ Leland Grove
100 C. D. Davidsmeyer Republican December 2012 Ɨ Jacksonville
101 Bill Mitchell Republican January 1999 Forsyth
102 Brad Halbrook Republican January 2017 Shelbyville
103 Carol Ammons Democratic January 2015 Urbana
104 Michael Marron Republican September 2018 Ɨ Fithian
105 Dan Brady Republican January 2001 Bloomington
106 Thomas M. Bennett Republican January 2015 Gibson City
107 John Cavaletto Republican January 2009 Salem
108 Charles Meier Republican January 2013 Okawville
109 David Reis Republican January 2005 Olney
110 Reginald Phillips Republican January 2015 Charleston
111 Monica Bristow Democratic December 2017 Ɨ Alton
112 Katie Stuart Democratic January 2017 Edwardsville
113 Jay Hoffman Democratic January 2013 Swansea
114 LaToya Greenwood Democratic January 2017 East St. Louis
115 Terri Bryant Republican January 2015 Murphysboro
116 Jerry Costello II Democratic July 2011 Ɨ Smithton
117 Dave Severin Republican January 2017 Benton
118 Natalie Phelps Finnie Democratic September 2017 Ɨ Elizabethtown

Ɨ Legislator was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives during session.
ƗƗ 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.

Past composition of the House of RepresentativesEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ White, Jr., Ronald C. (2009). A. Lincoln: 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. ^ "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. ^ a b c d Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article IV, The Legislature (accessed May 28, 2013)
  14. ^ Republican Nick Sauer (District 51) resigns. [1]
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Current House Members (98th General Assembly)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 12 February 2013.

External linksEdit