SPRINGFIELD - UPDATE: House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced two appointments to House GOP leadership Tuesday.
Durkin tapped State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) as new Assistant House Republican Leader. Breen, a constitutional rights attorney, will fill the vacancy created by the retirement this past week of Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. (R-Mundelein), a fourteen-year veteran of the House.
“Since taking office, Peter Breen has worked hard to advance our pro-jobs and balanced budget agenda,” said Durkin. “We look forward to him joining the leadership team.”
Breen was elected to the General Assembly in November of 2014, after serving as a Village Trustee and Acting Village President for the Village of Lombard. During his first term as a legislator, he passed 11 bills that were signed into law, including a measure that curbed pension spiking by municipal employees that used legal loopholes to increase pensionable income at the end of their careers. He also penned a new law that extends the timeframe during which people can file suit to address violations of the Open Meetings Act.
“It is an honor to be joining a leadership team that is focused on a reform and recovery agenda,” said Breen. “I appreciate the trust placed in me by Leader Durkin and look forward to working with the other members of the leadership team to implement our caucus priorities and goals.”
Durkin also appointed State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) as House Republican Conference Chairman to replace Rep. Adam Brown after his resignation.
"Keith Wheeler has made a significant impact on the Illinois House of Representatives in just two short years," Leader Durkin said. "In addition to being a vocal and effective advocate for his constituents, Rep. Wheeler has been a leader in our caucus on issues important to Illinois' small business community and reforming the state budget. He has earned this opportunity to play a larger role in shaping policy moving forward as we work together to make Illinois a place where everyone can be proud to live, work and raise a family once again."
Rep. Wheeler is a former Board Chairman of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce and a past Illinois Leadership Council Chairman of the National Federation of Independent Business. As a freshman member of the Illinois House of Representatives, Rep. Wheeler passed legislation in 2015 requiring all state agencies to review rules and regulations on small business in order to identify those that can be streamlined or eliminated; as well as serving as a key voice in support of workers compensation reform and responsible budgeting.
"I am truly honored to accept the appointment as Republican Conference Chairman," Rep. Wheeler said. "This role will enable me to be an even more effective voice for Fox Valley families as we work to create Illinois jobs for Illinois families and make much-needed reforms to state government. I am grateful to my constituents and my colleagues for the confidence and trust they have placed in me. We have a lot of important work to do in the coming weeks and months to restore stability to the state budget as well as bring opportunity and growth back our economy."
All other GOP Leadership will remain the same.
Legislators are scheduled to be in Springfield on January 9th and 10th for a “lame duck” session prior to the swearing in of the new 100th General Assembly on Wednesday, January 11.