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Madigan appoints Rep. Greg Harris as new Majority Leader

Thursday, Jan 10, 2019

* This has been expected…

Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Thursday announcing his appointment of state Rep. Greg Harris as House majority leader:

“At my request, Representative Greg Harris will serve as House majority leader. This is the first in a series of leadership appointments that will be announced in the coming days reflecting the diversity of our state, and reflecting our caucus’ approach to the coming legislative session.

“Throughout his tenure, Representative Harris has shown a dedication to meeting our state’s biggest challenges head on. Throughout his career, he has worked to advance progressive ideals, while also building bipartisan consensus. He led a historic effort to make Illinois one of the first states to pass legislation ensuring equal rights for same-sex couples; he has spearheaded complicated Medicaid reforms with an eye toward compassion and expanded access to health care; and his leadership was most critical during the budget crisis, when Representative Harris was instrumental in bringing together Democrats and Republicans to enact a bipartisan budget that protects lifesaving services like breast cancer screenings, child care, health care for the elderly and much more.

“In 1997, I asked Barbara Flynn Currie to serve as the state’s first female majority leader. Following in her historic tenure, today’s appointment again represents House Democrats’ commitment to building an inclusive, welcoming Legislature where all are represented. As the first openly gay majority leader, Representative Harris will also continue to reflect our caucus’ commitment to working across the aisle and making the tough decisions.”

…Adding… Statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois…

We are excited by Speaker Michael J. Madigan’s appointment today of State Representative Greg Harris to be the next Illinois House Majority Leader. This is a historic appointment. Leader Harris is the first openly gay person to hold the important role of Illinois House Majority Leader.

We know Leader Harris as a true champion of advancing justice and equality for LGBTQ people and all historically marginalized communities. We look forward to working with him in this significant leadership role to continue advancing justice in Illinois.

We thank Speaker Madigan for his significant leadership in advancing LGBTQ equality in Illinois. Just yesterday, we heard in nominating speeches of the Speaker’s critical role in passing marriage equality legislation in Illinois. Today, his appointment of Leader Harris further demonstrates the Speaker’s commitment to LGBTQ equality and representation.

…Adding… Terry Cosgrove at Personal PAC…

State Representative Greg Harris has been a pro-choice leader in the Illinois House since the day he took office. Personal PAC is extremely pleased with Harris’s appointment to the position of Illinois House Majority Leader. Thank you Speaker Madigan and Representative Harris for your continued leadership to protect reproductive rights for all women in Illinois. States must now do more than ever to protect Illinois from right-wing attacks and your commitment as valued allies in our work is greatly appreciated.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments »
  1. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    A well deserved honor. Since Greg is known for working across the aisle, this may help with the touted bipartisanship.


  2. - Linus - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    It probably wouldn’t be far off to say: The only logical choice. Or at least the most logical one.

    Congratulations, Leader Harris. You’re able, well-respected, and have earned this.


  3. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Waiting for the ILGOP to demonize him in 3…2…1


  4. - Clint W. Sabin - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    Representative Harris has been my State Representative since I moved to Chicago in 2011, and he has been a friend since he took over for Representative McKeon in 2006.

    He loves public service; he isn’t afraid of hard work; he is everything a constituent could ask for; and he is everything our State needs in a Leader.


  5. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    Excellent move. The way he works a bill makes civics teachers everywhere proud. Congratulations, Leader.


  6. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    === Waiting for the ILGOP to demonize him in 3…2…1 ===

    They’ve been behaving of late. You still have the haters, but I don’t believe the organization will be that stupid right now.

    P.S. Congratulations Rep. Harris.


  7. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    A very good choice. We are fortunate to have someone as capable as Barbara Flynn Currie be succeeded by someone of Greg Harris’ abilities.

    Another hopeful development as we exit the darkness of the Rauner years.


  8. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    I have known Rep. Harris for several years and it is a fine choice. Congrats, Greg.


  9. - FDR DEMOCRAT - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    A great choice. Rep. Harris is a “workhorse”
    who has done a great job on the budget and other
    big issues.


  10. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    Speaker going with a Workhorse not a Showhorse. Good pick.


  11. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    What a great pick. Congratulations, Greg.


  12. - low level - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    A good indication of this was anyone observing that Harris sponsored HR 1-3 (the new GA organization resolutions)

    I thought Ann Williams would have been a perfect choice, but Greg Harris is outstanding and will make an excellent Maj Leader.

    And prayers continue for Barbara Currie, who was always down to earth and extremely knowledgeable about everything.


  13. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    Perfect. Greg’s smart and he actually does the reading, thinking, and dialoguing necessary in this role. I wouldn’t have wanted this any other way.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    Golden Horseshoe winner.

    Solid “district-centric” legislator

    Trusted member of the caucus

    A state view of the role of the legislative branch.

    Outstanding choice.


  15. - Montrose - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    This makes me happy. Congrats, Representative Harris.


  16. - Regular democrat - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    From the guys in the 40th ward dem org congrats and good luck.


  17. - "Old Timer Dem" - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 4:08 pm:

    I would have bet a bundle and lost that Madigan would have appointed a woman. I am surprised.


  18. - Left Leaner - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 5:02 pm:

    I think it’s appreciate the Majority Leader day.


  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 6:54 pm:

    Makes total sense. Harris is a workhorse, not a showhorse. He’s done a lot of heavy lifting over the years.


  20. - walker - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 7:10 pm:

    Yes, yes, yes. Simply the best. Little ego, all service, extreme hard work, integrity, and respect earned and given. I can honestly say I might not have returned and believed we might fix the big problems, if Greg had not been there.


  21. - Keyrock - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 10:05 pm:

    Excellent choice. A very impressive legislator.


  22. - Jerry - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 8:57 am:

    Aside from him being gay, Rep. Harris has also been a champion for all human services. I agree, great choice.


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