Schoenberg won’t seek re-election
State Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-9th)
Updated: January 20, 2012 11:17AM
Senator Jeff Schoenberg, D-9th, of Evanston, announced Tuesday that, at the end of his term, he will end his 22-year career in the Illinois General Assembly.
During a Springfield press conference, the veteran legislator and assistant Senate majority leader explained he is not seeking re-election and, instead, is excited at the prospect of entering an exclusive career in philanthropy, according to a news release from the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus.
“While I take very seriously my responsibility to my constituents on the North Shore and to the taxpayers of this states, I also know that my position in the State Senate is only one point of entry into public service,” Schoenberg said in a statement. “The issue has been the center of my passion and what motivates me professionally is improving the lives of children and families – especially in our most vulnerable communities.
“With this in mind, I’ve chosen to accept an expanded full-time role advising J.B. and M.K. Pritzker and their family philanthropy on initiatives in the area of early childhood development.”
At the age of 30, Schoenberg was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1990. There, he served six terms before his eventual election to the Illinois Senate in 2003. Throughout the years, Schoenberg has earned a reputation as leader in enacting sweeping reforms to provide increased transparency and accountability in state government and taxpayer-funded entities, according to the release. Of particular note, the release said, is Schoenberg’s push to change the spending practices and notoriously flawed, unaccountable, policies of the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. More recently, Schoenberg championed a comprehensive overhaul of state purchasing laws.
Schoenberg has also been instrumental in advancing a number of important public health initiatives, including ensuring greater access to quality health care through a hospital assessment law that has secured over $5 billion in new federal Medicaid funds for safety-net hospitals like Mt. Sinai, Mercy and Holy Cross hospitals, among others.
Additionally, the longtime lawmaker gained nationwide attention in his bipartisan efforts to make Illinois a leader in stem cell research, according to the release.
Schoenberg also recently passed a measure to allow schools to keep and administer epinephrine for anaphylactic shock. Working with Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, Schoenberg fashioned the law in response to the death of a 13-year-old Chicago girl who had an allergic reaction to peanut oil at school.
In addition to his Senate leadership role, Schoenber serves as co-chairman of the legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and sits as a member of the Senate Executive, Financial Institutions, Public Health and Appropriations I and II committees.