William Tong, Assistant City Editor
January 15, 2023
Illinois Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) became Illinois House of Representatives majority leader Thursday.
Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside) selected Gabel for the role. Gabel will replace state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) — who did not run for reelection last year — as the majority leader.
Gabel has represented the state’s 18th District since 2010. She won her reelection against Republican Charles Hutchinson in 2022 with over 81% of the vote.
In her previous term, Gabel served on the Appropriations — Human Services Committee; the Energy and Environment Committee; and the Insurance, Museums, Arts and Cultural Enhancements Committee.
Gabel sponsored legislation requiring birth centers to obtain state licenses to operate, which passed in August 2021. She also sponsored a bill making it more difficult to circumvent vaccine requirements, which passed in November 2021.
After corruption charges against former House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) surfaced in 2020, Gabel was one of four representatives to send an internal letter to Madigan, urging him to step down. Along with 18 other House Democrats, she did not back Madigan for reelection that year. Gabel is the only member of that group to have been selected as part of Welch’s new House leadership.
Before joining the House, Gabel served as Executive Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition — now called EverThrive Illinois — for 22 years.
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January 15, 2023 at 10:22PM