Barbara Flynn Currie Article

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Barbara Flynn Currie
Barbara Flynn Currie 2010 CROPPED.jpg
Majority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 1997 – January 9, 2019
Preceded by Bob Churchill
Succeeded by Greg Harris
Member of the
Illinois House of Representatives
In office
January 1979 – January 2019
Preceded by Lewis A. H. Caldwell
Succeeded by Curtis Tarver
Constituency24th district (1979-1983)
26th district (1983-1993)
25th district (1993-2019)
Personal details
Born (1940-05-03) May 3, 1940 (age 78)
La Crosse, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) David Currie
Education University of Chicago ( BA, MA)

Barbara Flynn Currie (born May 3, 1940) is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 25th District since 1979.

Personal life and education

Barbara attended the University of Chicago Lab School, graduating in 1958. She graduated from the College at the university in 1968 with honors before earning a master's degree in political science in 1973. [1] She is a member of the Chicago League of Women Voters, the Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership, Women United for South Shore, and the Board of the ACLU of Illinois. She is active in many civic, community, and environmental organizations. [2]

On September 14, 2017, she announced she would not stand for reelection in 2018. [3]

Political career

Currie was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1978, and assumed office in January 1979. She represents the 25th District in Chicago which includes the communities of Woodlawn, South Shore, Hyde Park, and Kenwood. Rep. Currie serves as majority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, a role she has had since 1997. She is the widow of the legal scholar David P. Currie.[ citation needed]

Impeachment of Rod Blagojevich

In December 2008, following the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Currie was named by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as the chairperson of the Illinois House committee to investigate Governor Blagojevich for possible impeachment as a result of federal corruption charges against him. [4] Blagojevich was subsequently impeached by the House and removed from office by the Illinois Senate.

Hyde Park 2006 Independence Day parade (left to right starting at center in light green): Chicago City Council Alderman Toni Preckwinkle as the Statue of Liberty, Currie as Uncle Sam, and Alderman Leslie Hairston as Betsy Ross

Burris controversy

In February 2009, Currie was caught in a follow-on controversy over the impeachment testimony of Roland Burris. Burris had been named by Blagojevich to fill President Barack Obama's Senate seat, after the emergence of the corruption charges against Blagojevich but before Blagojevich's removal from office. Burris had neglected to mention fund-raising contacts by Blagojevich's brother, Robert, in his testimony, but then filed an affidavit with Currie, listing three such contacts, shortly after February 5, 2009. [5]

Word of the new information did not reach the public, or the Republicans in the House, until its release in the Chicago Sun-Times on February 13, leading to questions of Currie and the Democrats by Republicans including ranking impeachment committee member Jim Durkin and House party leader Tom Cross. [5]

State employee pensions

Representative Currie supported SB-1; a plan that amended state employee pension plans by drastically reducing the constitutionally protected benefits of Illinois state employees in retirement. [6] The Illinois Supreme Court ultimately found these legislative changes to be unconstitutional. [7]

As the Illinois Supreme Court ruling stated: "These modifications to pension benefits unquestionably diminish the value of the retirement annuities the members…were promised when they joined the pension system. Accordingly, based on the plain language of the Act, these annuity-reducing provisions contravene the pension protection clause's absolute prohibition against diminishment of pension benefits and exceed the General Assembly's authority," [8]


  1. ^ Flynn Currie, Barbara. "State Representative". University of Chicago Alumni Directory.
  2. ^ Flynn Currie, Barbara. flynn currie "State Representative" Check |url= value ( help). Facebook. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Miller, Rich (September 14, 2017). "Leader Currie to retire at end of term". Capitol Fax. Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Sweet, Lynn (2008-12-15). "Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, Majority leader Barbara Flynn Currie on Blagojevich impeachment. Transcript". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times News Group. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
  5. ^ a b Monica Davey, "Burris Defends His Evolving Description of Talks" The New York Times, p. A9, February 16, 2009; accessed December 11, 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ http://www.Chicago Archived 2013-07-28 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^

External links

Illinois House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Churchill
Majority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Greg Harris