The Illinois House of Representatives is the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly. The body was created by the first Illinois Constitution adopted in 1818. The House under the current constitution as amended in 1980 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 house has the power to pass bills and impeach Illinois officeholders. Lawmakers must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of the district in which they serve for at least two years.

President Abraham Lincoln began his career 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 1980

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

  • The House comprised 177 members. The state was divided into 59 legislative districts, each of which elected three members.
  • 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. This not only all but guaranteed that the district’s minority party would win a seat (particularly outside Chicago), but usually assured that each party would have significant representation—a minimum of one-third of the seats (59 out of 177)—in the House.

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, a method known as nesting. Each senator is “associated” with two representatives.

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

Current partisan composition:

  Democratic representative
  Republican representative

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
End of previous legislature67511180
January 13, 202173451180
February 18, 2021[14]721171
February 21, 2021[15]731180
February 24, 2021[16]721171
Latest voting share61.9%38.1%


The current Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives is Emanuel Chris Welch (DHillside), who represents the 7th district. The Democratic Party of Illinois currently holds a majority of seats in the House. Under the Constitution of Illinois, the office of minority leader is recognized for the purpose of making certain appointments. Jim Durkin (RWestern Springs), representing the 82nd district, currently holds the post. On January 25, 2021, Speaker Welch announced the Democratic leadership team for the 102nd General Assembly.[17] Minority Leader Durkin did likewise.[18]


  • Clerk of the House: John W. Hollman
  • Chief Doorkeeper: Lee A. Crawford
  • Parliamentarian: James Hartmann
  • Assistant Clerk of the House: Bradley S. Bolin


As of January 3, 2022, the 102nd General Assembly of the Illinois House of Representatives consists of the following members:[19]

1Aaron OrtizDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Chicago
2Theresa MahDemocraticJanuary 11, 2017Chicago
3Eva-Dina Delgado ƗDemocraticNovember 15, 2019Chicago
4Delia Ramirez ƗƗDemocraticDecember 21, 2018Chicago
5Lamont Robinson ƗƗDemocraticJanuary 2, 2019Chicago
6Sonya Harper ƗDemocraticOctober 20, 2015Chicago
7Emanuel Chris WelchDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Hillside
8La Shawn FordDemocraticJanuary 10, 2007Chicago
9Lakesia Collins ƗDemocraticJuly 24, 2020Chicago
10Jawaharial Williams ƗDemocraticMay 1, 2019Chicago
11Ann WilliamsDemocraticJanuary 12, 2011Chicago
12Margaret Croke ƗƗDemocraticJanuary 2, 2021Chicago
13Greg Harris ƗƗDemocraticDecember 1, 2006Chicago
14Kelly Cassidy ƗDemocraticApril 12, 2011Chicago
15Michael Kelly ƗDemocraticNovember 23, 2021Chicago
16Denyse Wang StonebackDemocraticJanuary 13, 2021Chicago
17Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz ƗƗDemocraticDecember 21, 2018Glenview
18Robyn Gabel ƗDemocraticApril 19, 2010Evanston
19Lindsey LaPointe ƗDemocraticJuly 24, 2019Chicago
20Bradley Stephens ƗRepublicanJune 29, 2019Rosemont
21Edgar González Jr. ƗDemocraticJanuary 10, 2020Chicago
22Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar ƗDemocraticFebruary 25, 2021Chicago
23Michael J. Zalewski ƗƗDemocraticDecember 6, 2008Riverside
24Elizabeth HernandezDemocraticJanuary 10, 2007Cicero
25Curtis TarverDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Chicago
26Kam Buckner ƗDemocraticJanuary 18, 2019Chicago
27Justin Slaughter ƗDemocraticJanuary 5, 2017Chicago
28Robert RitaDemocraticJanuary 8, 2003Blue Island
29Thaddeus JonesDemocraticJanuary 12, 2011Calumet City
30Will DavisDemocraticJanuary 8, 2003Homewood
31Mary E. FlowersDemocraticJanuary 8, 1985Chicago
32Cyril Nichols ƗDemocraticApril 8, 2021Chicago
33Marcus C. Evans Jr. ƗDemocraticApril 13, 2012Chicago
34Nicholas Smith ƗDemocraticFebruary 4, 2018Chicago
35Frances Ann HurleyDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Chicago
36Kelly M. BurkeDemocraticJanuary 12, 2011Evergreen Park
37Tim Ozinga ƗƗRepublicanJanuary 5, 2021Mokena
38Debbie Meyers-MartinDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Olympia Fields
39Will GuzzardiDemocraticJanuary 14, 2015Chicago
40Jaime Andrade Jr. ƗDemocraticAugust 12, 2013Chicago
41Janet Yang RohrDemocraticJanuary 13, 2021Naperville
42Amy GrantRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Wheaton
43Anna Moeller ƗDemocraticMarch 30, 2014Elgin
44Fred CrespoDemocraticJanuary 10, 2007Hoffman Estates
45Seth LewisRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Bartlett
46Deb ConroyDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Villa Park
47Deanne Mazzochi ƗRepublicanJuly 14, 2018Elmhurst
48Terra Costa HowardDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Glen Ellyn
49Maura HirschauerDemocraticJanuary 13, 2021Batavia
50Keith R. WheelerRepublicanJanuary 14, 2015Oswego
51Chris BosRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Lake Zurich
52Martin McLaughlinRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Barrington Hills
53Mark L. WalkerDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Arlington Heights
54Tom MorrisonRepublicanJanuary 12, 2011Palatine
55Marty MoylanDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Des Plaines
56Michelle MussmanDemocraticJanuary 12, 2011Schaumburg
57Jonathan Carroll ƗDemocraticOctober 3, 2017Northbrook
58Bob MorganDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Deerfield
59Daniel DidechDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Buffalo Grove
60Rita Mayfield ƗDemocraticJuly 6, 2010Waukegan
61Joyce MasonDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Gurnee
62Sam YinglingDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Grayslake
63Steve ReickRepublicanJanuary 11, 2017Woodstock
64Tom WeberRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Lake Villa
65Dan UgasteRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Geneva
66Suzanne NessDemocraticJanuary 13, 2021Crystal Lake
67Maurice WestDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Rockford
68Dave VellaDemocraticJanuary 13, 2021Rockford
69Joe SosnowskiRepublicanJanuary 12, 2011Rockford
70Jeff Keicher ƗRepublicanJuly 5, 2018DeKalb
71Tony McCombieRepublicanJanuary 11, 2017Savanna
72Michael HalpinDemocraticJanuary 11, 2017Milan
73Ryan SpainRepublicanJanuary 11, 2017Peoria
74Daniel SwansonRepublicanJanuary 11, 2017Woodhull
75David Welter ƗRepublicanJuly 9, 2016Morris
76Lance YednockDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Ottawa
77Kathleen WillisDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Addison
78Camille Lilly ƗDemocraticApril 27, 2010Chicago
79Jackie Haas ƗƗRepublicanDecember 8, 2020Bourbonnais
80Anthony DeLuca ƗDemocraticMarch 6, 2009Chicago Heights
81Anne Stava-MurrayDemocraticJanuary 9, 2019Downers Grove
82Jim Durkin ƗRepublicanJanuary 6, 2006Western Springs
83Barbara Hernandez ƗDemocraticMarch 7, 2019Aurora
84Stephanie KifowitDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Oswego
85Dagmara AvelarDemocraticJanuary 13, 2021Bolingbrook
86Lawrence M. Walsh Jr. ƗDemocraticApril 30, 2012Elwood
87Tim Butler ƗRepublicanMarch 3, 2015Springfield
88Keith P. SommerRepublicanJanuary 13, 1999Morton
89Andrew Chesney ƗƗRepublicanDecember 6, 2018Freeport
90Tom DemmerRepublicanJanuary 9, 2013Dixon
91Mark LuftRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Pekin
92Jehan Gordon-BoothDemocraticJanuary 14, 2009Peoria
93Norine Hammond ƗRepublicanDecember 14, 2010Macomb
94Randy FreseRepublicanJanuary 14, 2015Paloma
95Avery Bourne ƗRepublicanFebruary 14, 2015Pawnee
96Sue SchererDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Decatur
97Mark BatinickRepublicanJanuary 14, 2015Plainfield
98Natalie ManleyDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Joliet
99Sandy Hamilton ƗRepublicanJanuary 1, 2022[20]Springfield
100C. D. Davidsmeyer ƗRepublicanDecember 12, 2012Jacksonville
101Dan CaulkinsRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Decatur
102Brad HalbrookRepublicanJanuary 11, 2017Shelbyville
103Carol AmmonsDemocraticJanuary 14, 2015Urbana
104Michael Marron ƗRepublicanSeptember 7, 2018Fithian
105Dan BradyRepublicanJanuary 10, 2001Bloomington
106Thomas M. BennettRepublicanJanuary 14, 2015Gibson City
107Blaine WilhourRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Beecher City
108Charles MeierRepublicanJanuary 9, 2013Okawville
109Adam NiemergRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Dieterich
110Chris MillerRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Charleston
111Amy ElikRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Fosterburg
112Katie StuartDemocraticJanuary 11, 2017Edwardsville
113Jay HoffmanDemocraticJanuary 9, 2013Swansea
114LaToya GreenwoodDemocraticJanuary 11, 2017East St. Louis
115Paul JacobsRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Pomona
116David FriessRepublicanJanuary 13, 2021Red Bud
117Dave SeverinRepublicanJanuary 11, 2017Benton
118Patrick WindhorstRepublicanJanuary 9, 2019Metropolis
  • 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 Representatives


  1. ^ “Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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 Archived June 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (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. ^ Democrat and former Speaker Michael Madigan (District 22) resigned.
  15. ^ Democrat Edward Guerra Kodatt selected to succeed Madigan. [1]
  16. ^ Democrat Edward Guerra Kodatt (District 22) resigned. [2]
  17. ^ Nardulli, Jessica (January 25, 2021). “New Leadership in the Illinois House” (PDF). ICCTA Government Relations and Public Policy Report. Illinois Community College Trustees Association. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  18. ^ Miller, Rich (January 25, 2021). “Durkin’s new leadership team”. Capitol Fax. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  19. ^ Barlow, Sarah E. (ed.). “Biographies of New House Members” (PDF). First Reading. 34 (1): 2–7. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  20. ^ Spearie, Steven (January 1, 2022). ‘Why not do this?’: Sandy Hamilton is Sangamon County GOP’s pick to replace Murphy”. The State Journal-Register. Retrieved January 3, 2022.

External links

Coordinates: 39°47′53″N 89°39′18″W / 39.798°N 89.655°W / 39.798; -89.655