|Illinois House of Representatives District 71|
|January 12, 2011-Present|
|January 12, 2013|
|Years in position||3|
|Per diem||$132/per session day|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 6, 2012|
Richard Morthland is a farmer, college professor, and former County Board member in Rock Island County, Illinois.
Morthland has a BA in Communications from St. Ambrose University, and a master’s degree in a communication-related field earned in Denver, Colorado.
Morthland is a member of the Black Hawk College Speakers Bureau and the Farm Bureau.
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Morthland has been appointed to the following committees:
- Adoption Reform
- Appropriations-Higher Education
- Cities & Villages
- Counties & Townships
- Higher Education
- Public Utilities
- Veterans' Affairs
In May 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he would veto the concealed carry bill on which the Illinois Legislature had voted, if it landed on his desk. The bill would allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public.
That threat held little water because the bill had a lot of support and might win through a supermajority (71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate) of votes from both chambers.
Rep. Brandon W. Phelps said he was trying to find enough support in the House to move the plan over to the Senate. Phelps said he wanted to call House Bill 148 for a vote on May 5, regardless of Quinn's opposition.
"I just think that (Quinn) is wrong," Phelps said. "And you agree to disagree. Sometimes people within your own party disagree with what they say. And I totally disagree with him today."
Under HB 148, Illinois residents 21 and older could apply for permits to carry concealed firearms in public, except for places like schools, churches and inside state government buildings. Applicants would need to pass a written exam, firearms training exercises and background checks.
"About two-thirds of the citizens of our state are steadfastly and strongly opposed to allow private citizens to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public places," Quinn said.
Sen. Gary Forby said the opponents of concealed carry mostly live in and around Chicago and that people downstate, and in other states, support the idea.
"I think all we are doing now, we are really helping the state of Illinois with what they got to do to get a license and stuff," Forby said. "So all you are going to do is put guns in peoples' good hands."
Quinn said the plan may lead to more violence.
"I don't think that's healthy, if you are going to the grocery store," Quinn said. "You bump into somebody accidentally, and they take offense, they can pull out a loaded, concealed handgun to assuage their anger."
Sen. Larry Bomke said the plan would deter violence, because potential burglars would less likely rob homeowners with guns.
"I can only hope that he changes his mind once the bill gets to his desk," Bomke said. "And I feel fairly confident it will. But it will be important that we have enough votes, a supermajority, to override his decision if he chooses to veto the bill."
Rep. Jason Barickman said lawmakers have been working carefully to craft the plan.
“At the end of the day, we certainly would appreciate the governor's support,” Barickman said. “But with him making it clear that he opposes this right, this constitutional right, this right that a mass number of people support. I think that we just have to continue lining up our legislative votes and push forward."
Rep. Norine Hammond hopes that's enough support.
“A lot of people have worked on this very hard — lots of law enforcement input,” she said. “I think it is a very strong bill. And hopefully we could get it passed," she said.
In the end though, Rep. Richard Morthland said it won’t matter what the governor chooses to do with the legislation if there are enough votes.
"There is a last minute roll call being taken just trying to figure out where people are, and how we are doing, and do we have exactly the number of votes we need, how close are we,“ Morthland said. “I think it looks good. Hopefully we will be able to move it this week."
Morthland is running for re-election to the 71st District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012. He was unopposed in the Republican primary on March 20, 2012, and faces Mike Smiddy (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.
|Illinois House of Representatives, District 71 (2010)|
|Richard Morthland (R)||20,376||58.01%|
|Dennis Ahern (D)||14,750||41.99%|
In 2010, Morthland raised $377,128 in contributions. 
His four largest contributors were:
|House Republican Organization Of Illinois||$86,723|
|Illinois Republican Party||$59,740|
|Citizens To Elect Tom Cross||$57,250|
|Illinois Health Care Association||$32,219|
Morthland can be described as a conservative Republican. He opposed the Rock Island County Board's controversial pay raises  He is also opposed to the creation of new taxes in Illinois and an increase of any income taxes 
Morthland lives on a farm with his wife Betsey, to whom he has been married for 30 years. Both Morthlands are college professors who have travelled twice to the Czech Republic at their own expense to teach English to Czech children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Richard + Morthland + Illinois + Legislature
- All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.
- Illinois House of Representatives - Richard Morthland
- Morthland's campaign website
- Project Vote Smart biography
- Project Vote Smart legislative profile
- Campaign contributions: 2010
- Morthland's campaign facebook
- Richard Morthland campaign website
- "Gov’s threatened veto of concealed carry may not matter," Illinois Statehouse News, May 3, 2011
- Illinois State Board of Elections "Candidate List," December 5, 2011
- Illinois Official 2010 General Election Results
- 2010 contributions
- WQAD, "Rock Island County Board Members getting pay raises", May 24, 2010.
- Chicago Tribune, "Editorial board endorsements"
|Illinois House of Representatives District 71
| Succeeded by|
State of Illinois
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