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steans 11132019HAO0070rState Senator Heather Steans stepped down at the end of January from her 7th District seat following a career marked by major changes to the law in her 13 years in office. During that time, she was instrumental in legalizing the adult use of cannabis in Illinois, taking important strides to transforming the state’s hospital system, and negotiating the finer details of the state’s annual budget.

In recent years, Steans was an outspoken advocate on many issues. During the years-long budget impasse, she fought to preserve child care assistance funding, argued on behalf of those who need state aid for their struggles with addiction, and moved forward appropriations to help the state’s most vulnerable. She was a champion for direct support personnel and imposed stiffer fines on vandalism associated with hate crimes.

In addition to pushing for budgets that restored stability and certainty to Illinois businesses and institutions, Steans was also an advocate for women and minorities. Most recently, she passed a law requiring LGBT history be incorporated into the curricula in Illinois classrooms.

Steans is succeeded by Mike Simmons.