Heather Steans has represented Illinois’ 7th District in the Senate since 2008. Currently, she chairs the Appropriations I Committee, vice chairs the Appropriations II Committee and serves on the Executive, Environment and Conservation, Government Reform and Human Services committees. Steans has passed legislation to bring marriage equality to Illinois, reform the state’s Medicaid program, enact significant nursing home reform, and improve the environment by reducing mercury waste, creating commercial composting capabilities and banning microbeads.
Heather Steans graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in Urban Studies and received her M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her professional career has focused on government finance, economic development and education reform. She is the former budget director of the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, served as a strategic planner with the Chicago Public Schools and was a consultant with Ernst & Young. Steans has received numerous awards, including the Legislator of the Year Award from AARP, the Richard Phelan Profile in Courage Award from Planned Parenthood, the Legislative Recovery Award from Trilogy, and the Equality Illinois Freedom Award.
Heather Steans and her husband Leo have lived with their three children in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago for 22 years.