|Illinois State Senate District 55|
| Assumed office|
| Current term ends|
January 12, 2013
Dale Righter was born in Mattoon, Illinois.
He earned his undergraduate Accounting degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1988, and a J.D. from St. Louis University in 1991.
In 1997, Righter was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving until 2002. He was appointed to the state senate in 2003, and serves as Senate Republican Caucus Chair. He also is currently Of Counsel with a small law firm in Charleston and works as a part-time college instructor.
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Righter has been appointed to these committees:
- Assignments Committee, Illinois State Senate
- Committee of the Whole, Illinois Senate
- Energy Committee, Illinois State Senate
- Executive Committee, Illinois State Senate, Ranking Minority Member
- Executive Appointments Committee, Illinois State Senate
- Redistricting Committee, Illinois State Senate, Ranking Minority Member
- State Government & Veterans Affairs Committee, Illinois State Senate
- Joint Committee on Administrative Rules
- Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments
- Subcommittee on Education Committee
- Subcommittee on Election Law
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Righter served on these committees:
Senator Righter has worked to expand the Illinois Freedom of Information Act for increased government accountability, advocated for the greater use of ethanol and other renewable fuels, and worked to legislate better newborn screening to take advantage of increased medical technology.
The Illinois Senate approved a Medicaid measure projected to save $800 million during the next five years.
House Bill 5420 would move half of the state’s 2.8 million Medicaid participants into “coordinated” or managed care between 2011 and 2015. This is a far stretch from the 195,000 participants who now are assigned to a primary “medical home.”
Lawmakers had to tighten the $14 billion state-federal health care system in December and were still hashing out the details in early January 2011.
“This is probably not a bill that any one of us on this committee would write. But that’s the nature of compromise,” said State Sen. Heather Steans. “I think where we are and what we’re going to see, though, is something that really does put the state and our Medicaid system in a much better place down the line.”
In 2014, low-income single adults will be eligible to enroll for the federal option, so all states are slated with the task of working out their end of the details. State Sen. Righter said the proposal will return the “struggling” program to a safety net for the poor, instead of a catch-all for the potentially ineligible.
“It’s struggling for the people who need it the worst,” he said. “We’re talking about the people who are on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder, the people for whom access is a truly critical issue. The people who aren’t mobile. People who can’t drive two hours and take a day off because it’s not a big deal to make sure that their child can get to a medical provider.”
Raising lawmaker salaries
In May 2011, Illinois Senate lawmakers entertained a bill, SB2467, which included an “additional amounts per year” for select lawmakers: committee chairmen and committee minority spokesmen and spokeswomen. Sen. Dan Kotowski sponsored the measure.
The lump-sum appropriations in the proposal would increase pay for Senate committee chiefs by 14 percent. House committee bosses would see a 47-percent jump in pay. The increases were on top of the base $67,836 annual salaries that all lawmakers earn. Committee and leadership posts bring extra pay. In other words, more taxpayers’ money would be funneled into extra pay for select lawmakers, said Righter.
“So there’s some games being played here,” said Righter, a member of the Senate Executive Committee. “And sometimes that’s the way things happen — like this — is because (Democrats) want to do it before anyone really sees it.”
However, Kotowski said this move would restore the public’s good faith and trust to the government.
“We’re basically changing the existing law, to require legislators to work 12 days without getting paid,” he said. “That’s very, very, important, and that’s going to lead to reduction in salaries across the board this year and a total of saving $1.2 million for taxpayers.”
Lawmakers do want the public to notice when they cut their own pay, Righter and Kotowski said.
“But not this, the increasing the stipend (proposal), because it kind of makes it look like, ‘OK you’re taking it out of your pocket over here, but you’re going to shove your other pocket full,’” Righter said. “That’s what it looks like, like the outset that they’re trying to do here.”
During discussions about the redistricting process, Sen. Righter criticized a legislative maneuver referred as a shell bill. A shell bill which is essentially a placeholder for latebreaking proposals. In May 2011, there was a chance the map would be placed in a shell bill and fast-tracked to a vote, possibly before the deadline at the end of the month.
"Putting shell bills in position like this is positioning the Democrat majority to be able to put a map out there, let it sit there for an hour, and blow it out of the General Assembly in less than a day," said Righter.
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2010
|Illinois State Senate, District 55 (2010)|
|Dale Righter (R)||51,569||71.87%|
|Josh Weger (D)||20,189||28.13%|
The election took place on November 2, 2010. Righter ran unopposed in the Republican primary election on February 2nd.
|Illinois State Senate, District 55 (2006)|
|Dale Righter (R)||57,705|
In 2006, Righter collected $299,046 in donations.
Listed below are those that contributed most to his campaign.
|Illinois Education Association||$20,000|
|Citizens for Christine Radogno||$10,000|
|Illinois Hospital & Health Systems Association||$8,000|
|Illinois Chamber of Commerce||$6,000|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$5,000|
|People for Eddy||$4,779|
|Illinois Health Care Association||$4,500|
|Illinois Construction Industry CMTE||$3,000|
|K. C. Summers Buick Toyota||$3,000|
|Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois||$3,000|
|Illinois Realtors Association||$2,600|
|Wellcare Helath Insurance of Illinois||$2,500|
|Illinois Council on Long Term Care||$2,500|
Righter represents Illinois Senate District 55. District 55 includes Southeast Illinois including Matoon and Charleston where Eastern Illinois University is located.
Dale lives in Charleston, Illinois and has two children.
- Dale Righter's campaign website
- Dale Righter's personal website
- Dale Righter Senate Biography
- Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Campaign Contributions: 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998
- Dale Righter on Facebook
- IL State Senate Biography
- "Senate passes ‘bold’ Medicaid reform; measure heads to House," Illinois Statehouse News, January 5, 2011
- "Illinois lawmakers hush-hush about pay raise in the budget," Illinois Statehouse News, May 16, 2011
- "Dems on redistricting defensive," Illinois Statehouse News, May 22, 2011
- 2010 Illinois General Election Results
- Illinois Senate election results for 2006
- Righter Campaign Donors
- "Illinois Chamber of * Commerce Committee, Illinois State Senate, Northeast Illinois Legislative District Maps, July 29, 2009
|Illinois Senate District 55
| Succeeded by|