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Heather Steans

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Heather Steans
Heather Steans.jpg
Illinois State Senate District 7
In office
February 2008 - Present
Term ends
January 11, 2017
Years in position 7
Base salary$67,836/year
Per diem$111/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
AppointedFebruary 2008
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sPrinceton University
Master'sHarvard University
Date of birthMay 8, 1963
Place of birthLake Forest, Illinois
Office website
Personal website
Heather Steans is a Democratic member of the Illinois State Senate, representing District 7. She was first appointed to the chamber in February 2008.[1]

Steans earned her Bachelor's from Princeton University and her Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Her professional experience includes working as the Strategic Planning Director for Chicago Public Schools and Budget Director for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Steans served on the following committees:

Illinois Committee Assignments, 2013
Appropriations I, Chairperson
Appropriations II
Committee of the Whole
Environment, Vice-Chairperson
Public Health


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Steans served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Steans served on these committees:[2]



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 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. Dale 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.”[3]



See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2012

Steans won re-election in the 2012 election for Illinois State Senate District 7. She was unopposed in the Democratic Primary on March 20[4][5] and was unopposed in the general election on November 6, 2012.[6]

Illinois State Senate, District 7, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngHeather Steans Incumbent 100% 67,690
Total Votes 67,690


See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2010

Steans won re-election to the 7th District Seat in the Illinois State Senate against Democrat Adam Robinson. The election took place on November 2, 2010.[7]

Illinois State Senate, District 7 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Heather Steans (D) 41,214 83.69%
Adam Robinson (R) 8,030 16.31%

Steans was challenged by Jim Madigan in the Democratic primary election on February 2nd.[8]


On November 4, 2008, Democrat Heather Steans won re-election to the Illinois State Senate District 7 receiving 55,457 votes, ahead of Tom Durkin (13,190 votes).[9]

Illinois State Senate, District 7 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Heather Steans (D) 55,457
Tom Durkin (G) 13,190

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Steans is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Steans raised a total of $922,769 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 12, 2013.[10]

Heather Steans's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Illinois State Senate, District 7 Won $188,012
2010 Illinois State Senate, District 7 Won $412,161
2008 Illinois State Senate, District 7 Won $322,596
Grand Total Raised $922,769


Steans won re-election to the Illinois State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Steans raised a total of $188,012.
Illinois State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Heather Steans's campaign in 2012
Steans, Heather A$14,648
Illinois Hospital Association$7,000
Steans, Harrison$6,000
Seiu Healthcare Illinois Indiana$6,000
Smith, Leo A$5,000
Total Raised in 2012$188,012
Source:Follow the Money


Steans won re-election to the Illinois State Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Steans raised a total of $412,161.


Steans won re-election to the Illinois State Senate in 2008. During that election cycle, Steans raised a total of $322,596.


Illinois Opportunity Project

See also: Illinois Opportunity Project's Legislative Vote Card

The Illinois Opportunity Project, "an independent research and public policy enterprise that promotes legislative solutions in advance of free markets and free minds," annually releases its Legislative Vote Card, grading all members in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on the basis of their support of "pro-growth economic policies that increase personal freedom and reign in expansive government."[11][12]


Steans received a score of 28.57 out of 100 in 2012 for a grade of F according to the IOP’s grading scale. Her score was tied for the 45th highest among all 59 members of the Illinois State Senate included in the Vote Card.[12]


Heather and her husband, Leo, have three children.

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Illinois Senate District 7
Succeeded by