Illinois State Legislature Update
January 15th, 2021
On January 13, 2021, Illinois swore in both chambers of the 102nd General Assembly, which will run until January 2023.
On the House side, there are 73 Democrats and 45 Republicans. In the 101st General Assembly, there were 74 Democrats and 44 Republicans.
The Senate has 41 Democrats and 17 Republicans. Compared with the 101st General Assembly, that’s 1 more Democrat and 1 fewer Republican.
The Illinois House has a new Speaker for only the second time in 38 years. Until yesterday, Michael Madigan had been the longest serving Speaker in the nation, having served in that position for all but two of the last 38 years.
Yesterday’s election of Emanuel “Chris” Welch to the Speaker’s position ended months of drama as the House struggled with who, if anybody, might replace Speaker Madigan. In the last several weeks of 2020, 19 House Democrats publicly announced their refusal to vote Madigan to the Speaker’s position, making his re-election to that role all but impossible.
Speaker Welch, an attorney and member of the House since 2013, is the first African-American to serve as Speaker of the Illinois House. A former college baseball player at Northwestern University, Speaker Welch is a practicing attorney and is married with two children.
Jim Durkin, an attorney from Western Springs, was re-elected as Republican Leader. He has served in the House from 1995-2003 and 2006 to the present, and has been Republican Leader since 2013. Accordingly, he has served in the legislature, and as leader of his caucus, for the longest of the “four tops.”
The House calendar is here: https://www.ilga.gov/house/schedules/2021_SESSION_CALENDAR.pdf
The important deadlines in the House are:
- January 29, 2021 – Legislative Reference Bureau Requests
- February 11, 2021 – Introduction of Substantive House Bills
- March 26, 2021 – Substantive House Bills to Pass Out of House Committee
- April 23, 2021 – Third Reading of Substantive House Bills
- May 14, 2021 – Substantive Senate Bills to Pass Out of House Committee
- May 28, 2021 – Third Reading of Substantive Senate Bills
Don Harmon, an attorney from Oak Park, is the Senate President. He initially took over that role in January 2020, after President John Cullerton stepped down. President Harmon has served in the Senate since 2003.
Dan McConchie, a businessperson from Hawthorn Woods, is the new Republican leader in the Senate, taking over for Leader Bill Brady. Leader McConchie began serving as a senator in 2016.
The Senate calendar is here: https://www.ilga.gov/senate/schedules/2021_Session_Calendar.pdf
The important deadlines in the Senate are:
- February 5, 2021 – Legislative Reference Bureau Requests
- February 19, 2021 – Introduction of Substantive Senate Bills
- March 26, 2021 – Substantive Senate Bills Out of Senate Committee
- April 23, 2021 – Third Reading of Substantive Senate Bills
- May 14, 2021 – Substantive House Bills Out of Senate Committee
- May 28, 2021 – Third Reading of Substantive House Bills
Neither chamber has announced committee assignments yet. We will send an update when that information is available.