SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has named a Chicago Democrat to be the chamber’s majority leader.
Madigan’s naming of Rep. Greg Harris as his top lieutenant makes the legislator the state’s first openly gay House majority leader.
In a statement, Madigan credited Harris with leading the effort to make Illinois one of the first states to pass marriage equality, overhauling Medicaid and taking the lead during the budget crisis.
Harris replaces Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago who became the state’s first female majority leader in 1997.
Harris says a priority is to work with Republicans in the House and Senate as well as the governor to restore the state’s fiscal stability.
Brian Johnson of Equality Illinois says the appointment of Harris further demonstrates the Speaker’s “commitment to LGBTQ equality and representation.”