A surprising announcement came last week from the hallowed halls of the General Assembly. Joining the mass exodus of lawmakers leaving the legislature is House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Hyde Park).
Currie was elected to the House in 1978 and in January 1979 was sworn in. Twenty years into her tenure, House Speaker Michael Madigan surprised his colleagues and tapped Currie, a fellow Chicagoan, to be the House majority leader. She was the first woman to hold the position.
For twenty years as leader, Currie has been in the middle of every budget and education funding battle and has advocated for causes such as civil rights, women’s rights and needle exchanges. She’s also led Democrats during the impeachment of one of their own, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Currie joins nearly 30 lawmakers headed for the exits.
In the House, below are the representatives who have announced they are stepping down to either run for another office or to walk away from Springfield shenanigans.
• House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, Hyde Park – 25th District
• Assistant Majority Leader Elaine Nekritz, Northbrook – 57th District
• Rep. Emily McAsey, Lockport, resigned her 85th District seat on June 1
• Rep. Scott Drury, Highwood – 58th District, Attorney General candidate
• Rep. Laura Fine, Glenview – 17th District, IL Senate candidate
• Rep. Cynthia Soto, Chicago – 4th District, Water Reclamation District candidate
• Rep. Litesa Wallace, Rockford – 67th District, Lt. Governor Candidate
• Rep. Juliana Stratton, Chicago – 5th District
• Rep. Brandon Phelps, Harrisburg – 118th District
• Rep. Carol Sente, Vernon Hills – 59th District
• Rep. Dan Beiser, Alton – 111th District
• Deputy GOP Leader Patty Bellock, Westmont – 47th District
• Assistant GOP Leader Bill Mitchell, Decatur – 101st District
• Rep. Mike Fortner, West Chicago – 49th District
• Rep. Chad Hays, Danville – 104th District
• Rep. Bob Pritchard, Sycamore – 70th District
• Rep. Barbara Wheeler, Crystal Lake – 64th District
• Rep. Steve Andersson, Geneva – 65th District
• Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez , Springfield – 99th District
• Rep. Brian Stewart, Freeport – 89th District, running for Illinois Senate
• Rep. John Cavaletto, Salem – 107th District
• Rep. Reggie Phillips, Charleston – 110th District
On the Senate side, the following legislators are also stepping down:
• Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne Jr., East St. Louis – 57th District
• Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Bill Haine, Alton – 56th District
• Sen. Daniel Biss, Skokie – 9th District, Gubernatorial candidate
Aug. 17: The Republican legislator who was instrumental to the passage of Illinois’ first budget in more than two years is leaving state politics. Find out why.
Aug. 7: With tensions still high in Springfield, we talk with two lawmakers who are resigning from the legislature.
June 29: Two days before a Springfield special legislative session is scheduled to end, Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno announced she will resign Saturday.