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Illinois Senate
Illinois General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 11, 2017
John Cullerton (D)
Since Jan 14, 2009
Majority Leader
James Clayborne (D)
Since Nov 20, 2008
Minority Leader
Bill Brady (R)
Since July 1, 2017
Seats 59
Layout of Illinois
Political groups




  •   Conservative: 1
Length of term
4 years (with one two-year term each decade)
Authority Illinois Constitution Article IV
Salary $67,874/year + per diem
Last election
November 8, 2016
Next election
November 6, 2018
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
Illinois State Senate.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Illinois State Capitol
Springfield, Illinois
Illinois State Senate

The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from individual legislative districts determined by population; redistricted every 10 years, based on the 2010 U.S. census each senator represents approximately 217,468 people.[1] Under the Illinois Constitution of 1970, senators are divided into three groups, each group having a two-year term at a different part of the decade between censuses, with the rest of the decade being taken up by two four-year terms.[2] Depending on the election year, roughly one-third, two-thirds, or all Senate seats may be contested. In contrast, the Illinois House of Representatives is made up of 118 members with its entire membership elected to two-year terms. House districts are formed by dividing each Senate district in half,[3] with each senator having two "associated" representatives.

The Illinois Senate convenes at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Its first official working day is the second Wednesday of January each year. Its primary duties are to pass bills into law, approve the state budget, confirm appointments to state departments and agencies, act on federal constitutional amendments and propose constitutional amendments for Illinois. It also has the power to override gubernatorial vetoes through a three-fifths majority vote. The Illinois Senate tries impeachments made by the House of Representatives, and can convict impeached officers by a two-thirds vote.

Voting in the Illinois Senate is done by members pushing one of three buttons. Unlike most states, the Illinois Senate allows members to vote yes, no, or present. It takes 30 affirmative votes to pass legislation during final action.[4][5] The number of negative votes does not matter. Therefore, voting present has the same effect on the tally as voting no.

In 2016, the Senate Democrats lost their supermajority.[6]

Party summary[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Conservative Vacant
End of previous legislature 39 20 0 59 0
Begin 37 22 0 59 0
April 19, 2018[7] 21 1
Latest voting share 62.7% 35.6% 1.7%





  • Secretary of the Senate: Tim Anderson
  • Assistant Secretary of the Senate: Scott Kaiser
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Joe Dominguez
  • Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms: Dirk R. Eilers


In 1924, Florence Fifer Bohrer became the body's first female member and Adelbert H. Roberts became its first African American member.[8][9] In 1977, Earlean Collins became the first African American woman to serve in the Illinois Senate.[10] Barack Obama, later the President of the United States, served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.[11]

District Senator Party Residence Assumed
1 Munoz, AntonioAntonio Munoz Democratic Chicago 1999 2020
2 Aquino, OmarOmar Aquino Democratic Chicago 2016 Ɨ 2018
3 Hunter, MattieMattie Hunter Democratic Chicago 2003 2018
4 Lightford, Kimberly A.Kimberly A. Lightford Democratic Chicago 1998 Ɨ 2020
5 Van Pelt, PatriciaPatricia Van Pelt Democratic Chicago 2013 2018
6 Cullerton, JohnJohn Cullerton Democratic Chicago 1991 Ɨ 2018
7 Steans, HeatherHeather Steans Democratic Chicago 2008 Ɨ 2020
8 Silverstein, IraIra Silverstein Democratic Chicago 1999 2018
9 Biss, DanielDaniel Biss Democratic Evanston 2013 2018
10 Mulroe, John G.John G. Mulroe Democratic Chicago 2010 Ɨ 2020
11 Sandoval, MartinMartin Sandoval Democratic Chicago 2003 2018
12 Landek, StevenSteven Landek Democratic Bridgeview 2011 Ɨ 2018
13 Raoul, KwameKwame Raoul Democratic Chicago 2004 Ɨ 2020
14 Jones III, EmilEmil Jones III Democratic Chicago 2009 2018
15 Harris, NapoleonNapoleon Harris Democratic Harvey 2013 2018
16 Collins, Jacqueline Y.Jacqueline Y. Collins Democratic Chicago 2003 2020
17 Sims, ElgieElgie Sims Democratic Chicago 2018 Ɨ 2018
18 Cunningham, WilliamWilliam Cunningham Democratic Chicago 2013 2018
19 Hastings, MichaelMichael Hastings Democratic Tinley Park 2013 2020
20 Martinez, IrisIris Martinez Democratic Chicago 2003 2018
21 Connelly, MichaelMichael Connelly Republican Lisle 2013 2018
22 Castro, CristinaCristina Castro Democratic Elgin 2017 2020
23 Cullerton, TomTom Cullerton Democratic Villa Park 2013 2018
24 Nybo, ChrisChris Nybo Republican Elmhurst 2014 Ɨ 2018
25 Oberweis, JimJim Oberweis Republican Sugar Grove 2013 2020
26 McConchie, DanDan McConchie Republican Hawthorn Woods 2016 Ɨ 2018
27 Rooney, TomTom Rooney Republican Rolling Meadows 2016 Ɨ 2018
28 Murphy, LauraLaura Murphy Democratic Des Plaines 2015 Ɨ 2020
29 Morrison, JulieJulie Morrison Democratic Deerfield 2013 2018
30 Link, TerryTerry Link Democratic Waukegan 1997 2018
31 Bush, MelindaMelinda Bush Democratic Grayslake 2013 2020
32 Althoff, PamelaPamela Althoff Republican McHenry 2003 Ɨ 2018
33 McConnaughay, KarenKaren McConnaughay Republican St. Charles 2013 2018
34 Stadelman, SteveSteve Stadelman Democratic Rockford 2013 2020
35 Syverson, DaveDave Syverson Republican Rockford 1993 2018
36 Anderson, NeilNeil Anderson Republican Rock Island 2015 2018
37 Weaver, ChuckChuck Weaver Republican Peoria 2015 Ɨ 2020
38 Rezin, SueSue Rezin Republican Morris 2010 Ɨ 2018
39 Harmon, DonDon Harmon Democratic Oak Park 2003 2018
40 Hutchinson, ToiToi Hutchinson Democratic Olympia Fields 2009 Ɨ 2020
41 Curran, JohnJohn Curran Republican Woodridge 2017 Ɨ 2018
42 Holmes, LindaLinda Holmes Democratic Aurora 2007 2018
43 McGuire, PatPat McGuire Democratic Joliet 2012 Ɨ 2020
44 Brady, BillBill Brady Republican Bloomington 2002 Ɨ 2018
45 Bivins, TimTim Bivins Republican Dixon 2008 Ɨ 2018
46 Koehler, DavidDavid Koehler Democratic Peoria 2006 2020
47 Tracy, JilJil Tracy Republican Mount Sterling 2017 2018
48 Manar, AndyAndy Manar Democratic Bunker Hill 2013 2018
49 Bertino-Tarrant, JenniferJennifer Bertino-Tarrant Democratic Shorewood 2013 2020
50 McCann, SamSam McCann Conservative Carlinville 2011 2018
51 Rose, ChapinChapin Rose Republican Mahomet 2013 2018
52 Bennett, Scott M.Scott M. Bennett Democratic Champaign 2015 Ɨ 2020
53 Barickman, JasonJason Barickman Republican Bloomington 2013 2018
54 McCarter, KyleKyle McCarter Republican Lebanon 2009 Ɨ 2018
55 Righter, DaleDale Righter Republican Mattoon 2003 2020
56 Haine, William R.William R. Haine Democratic Alton 2002 Ɨ 2018
57 Clayborne, Jr., JamesJames Clayborne, Jr. Democratic Belleville 1995 Ɨ 2018
58 Schimpf, PaulPaul Schimpf Republican Waterloo 2017 2020
59 Fowler, DaleDale Fowler Republican Harrisburg 2017 2018

Ɨ Appointed before elected

Past composition of the Senate[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Illinois Constitution Article IV, Section 2(a)
  3. ^ Illinois Constitution Article IV, Section 2(b)
  4. ^ Gonzales, Nathan (13 February 2007). "The Ever-'Present' Obama". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Burnett, Sara (14 February 2013). "Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage". Associated Press. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Press, Ivan Moreno, The Associated. "GOP breaks Democrats' supermajority in Illinois House". The State Journal. Retrieved 2018-01-15. 
  7. ^ Sam McCann (District 50) switched parties from Republican to the Conservative Party, which McCann created for the purpose of running for governor.
  8. ^ Thomas, Whitney Freund (April 1998). "Florence Fifer Bohrer: A Woman Before Her Time". Illinois History: A Magazine for Young People. 51 (3): 59–60. 
  9. ^ Gherardini, Caroline, ed. (February 1984). "Honors". Illinois Issues. Vol. 9 no. 2. Springfield, Illinois: Sangamon State University. p. 41. ISSN 0738-9663. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  10. ^ Musser, Ashley; Dutton, Julie (February 11, 2016). "Illinois Women in Congress and General Assembly" (PDF). Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Legislative Research Unit. Retrieved August 21, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Senator Biography". Retrieved 2017-10-02. 

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