Haine 081621The Senate Democratic Caucus is saddened to learn of the passing of former colleague and state senator of the 56th district, William Haine. Haine retired from the Senate on Jan. 8, 2019, the last day of the 100th General Assembly.

The former Madison County State’s Attorney focused much of his work in the Senate on criminal law, insurance, the judiciary and veterans affairs. Haine and his wife Anna had seven children, 38 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, so his retiring to spend time with family was a full-time endeavor.

Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement on the death of former Senator Bill Haine:

“There was no more a gentleman in the Senate than Bill Haine.

“We came to Springfield around the same time, and I learned so much from him.

“Bill dedicated his life to public service, beginning by serving his country in Vietnam, holding several local elected offices and ultimately having a storied career in the Senate.

“His focus was always on serving the people of the Metro East, and he frequently worked across party lines to do so.

Sen. William Haine and family“He was a man of faith and family. Every time his family came to visit him on the Senate floor, it was easy to see he had a lot of which to be proud.

“My deepest sympathies go out to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchild and his beloved wife, Anna. We will all miss you, Bill.”

Haine’s public service career included his 16 years in the Illinois Senate, 14 years as Madison County State’s Attorney and service as a member of the 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969.

Haine said he was proud of spearheading a sweeping plan to modernize the levee system in the Metro East, which helped protect homes and businesses from damage in recent years’ flooding. The levee district bill and ultimately the certification and the I-255 development resulted from part of his work in the Illinois Senate. He said the levee bill helped preserve the area from a flood disaster.

State Senator Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) issued the following statement after her predecessor passed away:

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of a true giant from the Metro East, former State Senator Bill Haine. I had the good fortune to replace Bill in the State Senate in 2019 when he retired. But, I have known him for many years as our professional relationship and friendship began in the Madison County state’s attorney’s office.

"Bill was a dedicated and committed public servant and an even better person. As a U.S. Army veteran and elected official, Bill was a true leader for our region and worked to ensure quality educational opportunities for students across the state. His legacy and accomplishments, as well as many people’s fond memories of his unwavering strength and courage, will last for many years to come."

Bill said he was also proud of his pro-labor work. He said he felt he worked well with both the Democratic and Republican parties and helped guide a lot of strong bills through the Senate.

Some other highlights of Senator Haine’s tenure in the General Assembly include:

  • Maintaining state investment to allow the Edwardsville campus of Southern Illinois University to continue to expand
  • Leading a successful effort to approve a Constitutional Amendment to protect the state’s Road Fund from being raided for non-transportation related spending, and
  • Rallying the Illinois Senate to protest China’s dumping of low quality, cheap steel to protect jobs at the U.S. steel plant in Granite City.

Senator Crowe's closing statement about Haine's many legislative successes, reads, "Bill, thank you for everything you have done for the 56th Senate District, the Metro East and the state of Illinois. My condolences to his wife, Anna and family, as he will surely be missed.”

“His legacy and accomplishments, as well as many people’s fond memories of his unwavering strength and courage, will last for many years to come.”

Sen. William Haine and family