State Sen. Heather Steans, a veteran North Side Democrat who was one of the driving forces behind legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois last year, is resigning her seat as of Jan. 31.
Steans was appointed to the Senate in 2008 and elected to a new two-year term in November. Her resignation announcement coming five days after she was sworn in for another term.
Steans said one factor in her decision was increasing family obligations, including helping care for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, she said. But Steans said she has no immediate career plans. […]
Steans and her fellow budget negotiator, former Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, both publicly backed Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford of Maywood in last year’s contest for Senate president, a role that ultimately went to Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park. Manar resigned last week and as of Tuesday is a senior adviser to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
A legislative source tells Playbook that Steans could follow former Sen. Andy Manar to work in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. The source says Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford might want to jump ship, too.
The governor’s office told me yesterday that Steans was not heading their direction. And Leader Lightford just told me that after shepherding the Black Caucus’ “historic” legislative agenda through the lame duck session, she sees no reason to leave now. “After 22 years of heartbreak and being labeled as the angry Black woman, I’m going to see these life changing pillars through the implementation process.”