* The list is getting really long and it’s going to get longer…
State Representative Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) announced today that she will not seek re-election to the Illinois General Assembly in 2018. She will continue to focus on serving her constituents and continuing her work on improving access to quality health care for every Illinois family and strengthening the safety net for the state’s most vulnerable residents until the completion of her current term in January 2019.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my community in the Illinois General Assembly,” Rep. Bellock said. “I would like to thank my family, friends and the residents of my district for their support over the years and to all those who suggested ideas for legislation that we were able to enact into public policy together. Making a positive difference in the lives of others has been the greatest reward in this job. Next year will be time to give someone else the opportunity to serve our community in the Illinois House of Representatives. Until then, I look forward to continuing to work with my constituents and my colleagues to make progress on many important issues until the end of my term in January 2019.”
Representative Bellock became the first woman in Illinois history to serve as Deputy Leader of a legislative caucus when she was appointed Deputy House Minority Leader in 2013, a position she continues to hold.
Her landmark legislation –the SMART Act reforming the Illinois Medicaid system and bills requiring mental health parity, MRSA infection control, grant transparency and reform, improving the Amber Alert system and strengthening child support in Illinois have been recognized on a national level. Currently Bellock serves as a budget negotiator for the House Republicans, Minority spokeswoman for the House Human Service and House Human Service Appropriations Committees, as well as being the co-chair of the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. She has been a strong advocate and voice for people with disabilities throughout Illinois.
Bellock has received state and national awards for her role in numerous community projects and serves on several local boards for groups addressing the issues of Taxes, Substance Abuse, Alzheimer’s, Autism, Human Services, Mental Health, Child Welfare, Domestic Violence and the Arts. The Illinois Manufacturer’s Association rated Bellock among the top five legislators because of her consistency on business issues. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce also recognized Representative Bellock’s support of state and local business by naming her a Champion of Free Enterprise for several years. In addition she has been named Legislator of the Year by over 20 associations. Her focus on women’s issues earned her the honor of “Illinois Women Making a Difference” from the State Treasurer’s office.
Love me some Bellock, and not just because she’s the great-granddaughter of Charles Comiskey. She’s been a solid legislator who worked to solve problems.
*** UPDATE *** Press release…
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) released the following statement today on the retirement announcement of Deputy Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale):
“I have been privileged to serve alongside Patti Bellock since she first came to the Illinois General Assembly in 1999. Patti has brought the common-sense approach of a mother and grandmother to her public role, combining a keen understanding of how the law impacts people’s lives with a depth of knowledge and expertise in key policy areas unequaled among her peers. Patti’s unparalleled work ethic has been a tremendous asset to our caucus, particularly over the past four years in her role as our Deputy Leader, the first woman in Illinois history to serve in that post. Patti will long be remembered as an extraordinary leader and a tireless advocate for Illinois families; particularly on health care, disability and budget issues. Patti and I have been personal friends for many years, so I wish her and her family all the best as she looks forward to the next chapter in her life at the completion of her term.”
Leader Durkin appointed Representative Bellock to the position of Deputy House Republican Leader in October 2013. Leader Bellock also currently serves as a budget negotiator for the House Republican Caucus, Minority Spokeswoman for the House Human Services and Human Services Appropriations Committees, respectively, as well as being the co-chair of the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. She has been a member of the Illinois House of Representatives since 1999.