Legislative Update: 2020 Elections

November 5, 2020

While it will be some time until final election results are finalized on both the state and national level, here's a look at what's happened in Illinois and how it might affect ILA and Illinois libraries. In Illinois, the deadline to receive absentee ballots is November 17, so election results will not be certified until after that date. 

U.S. President
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have defeated Donald Trump and Mike Pence in Illinois. As of this writing, the contest nationwide is still being decided as votes continue to be counted. 

U.S. Senate
United States Senator Dick Durbin (D) has been re-elected in Illinois. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D) was not up for re-election.

U.S. House
All 18 Illinois U.S. Representatives were up for re-election. As of today, the results are projected as follows:
IL-1 Incumbent Bobby Rush (D) defeated Philanise White (R).
IL-2 Incumbent Robin Kelly (D) defeated Theresa Raborn (R).
IL-3 Marie Newman (D) defeated Mike Fricilone (R) for the seat currently held by Dan Lipinski (D), whom Newman defeated in the Democratic primary.
IL-4 Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (D) defeated Jesus Solorio (R).
IL-5 Mike Quigley (D) defeated Tommy Hanson (R) and Thomas Wilda (Green). Quigley is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and has voted consistently in favor of library funding.
IL-6 Sean Casten (D) defeated Jeannie Ives (R) and Bill Redpath (Libertarian). 
IL-7 Danny K. Davis (D) defeated Craig Cameron (R) and Tracy Jennings (Independent).
IL-8 Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) defeated Preston Nelson (Libertarian).
IL-9 Janice Schakowsky (D) defeated Sargis Sangari (R).
IL-10 Bradley Schneider (D) defeated Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee (R).
IL-11 Bill Foster (D) defeated Rick Laib (R).
IL-12 Mike Bost (R) defeated Raymond Lenzi (D).
IL-13 Rodney Davis (R) defeated Besty Dirksen Londrigan (D).
IL-14 Jim Oberweis (R) is leading against Lauren Underwood (D). 
IL-15 Mary Miller (R) defeated Erika Weaver (D) for the seat formerly held by John Shimkus (R), who did not seek re-election.
IL-16 Adam Kinzinger (R) defeated Dani Brzozowski (D).
IL-17 Cheri Bustos (D) is leading over Esther Joy King (R). Bustos is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and has voted consistently in favor of library funding.
IL-18 Darin LaHood (R) defeated George Patrilli (D).

Illinois Ballot Referendum
The referendum on the ballot to allow the state of Illinois to implement a graduated income tax rather than a flat tax has failed. The 2021 budget was predicated on its passage, so we can expect budget repercussions across the state, the details of which are as yet unknown. It will be incumbent upon ILA to focus our message more strongly than ever on the benefits libraries bring to our communities, schools, universities, and businesses.

Illinois Senate and House
The number of Illinois Senate and House districts precludes listing individual race results here. However, the Chicago Sun-Times is publishing them, although as noted above results have not been certified yet. Twenty of the 58 Senators were up for re-election, plus one special election as a result of Martin Sandoval's (D) resignation and replacement by Celina Villanueva (D) in District 11. Ten of these 21 contests were unopposed. The Senate picked up one Democratic seat, with 40 Democrats and 18 Republicans.

All of the 118 Illinois Representatives were up for re-election. Forty-nine ran unopposed. As of today, it looks like there will be a net gain for Republicans of two seats, with 72 Democrats and 46 Republicans. Four current Representatives ran for the Illinois Senate, all successfully:  Karina Villa (D) of House District 48 defeated Jeanette Ward (R) for the seat previously held by Jim Oberweis (R), who is challenging Lauren Underwood for her U.S. Congressional seat. Darren Bailey (R) of House District 109 won election to Senate District 55 (seat currently held by Dale Righter); John Connor (D) of House District 85 won election to Senate District 43 (seat currently held by Pat McGuire); and Terri Bryant (R) won election to Senate District 58 (seat currently held by Paul Schimpf). 

At least as interesting as party changes, and perhaps more important for ILA advocacy efforts, are the number of new legislators. Library issues are not always automatically understood by legislators; those who have attended ILA Legislative Meet-up events over the years are certainly familiar with our legislative priorities, whether or not they support us! Beginning in 2021, we'll have 15 new Illinois Representatives and 5 new Illinois Senators, although as noted above, 4 of those have served as Representatives. That means 16 new elected officials for us to welcome and to educate about Illinois library legislation!

Please contact the ILA Public Policy Committee via the Contact Us button on our web page with any thoughts or questions.

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