Emmanuel "Chris" Welch State Representative

An area lawmaker was recently named to head a powerful committee in the Illinois House of Representatives, according to a report by Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax blog.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th), whose district includes much of Proviso Township as well as River Forest, was recently named chairman of the powerful House Executive Committee, replacing state Rep. Dan Burke (1st), who resigned earlier this month, more than a week before his term ended.

Burke, who had held the seat since 1991 before losing in the Democratic Primary last year, is the younger brother of powerful 14th Ward Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, who was recently charged with extortion.

Welch won his fourth term last year after running unopposed. He has chaired the House Higher Education Committee for the last two years and sat on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s education transition committee.

According to Miller, the “House Executive has always been where the real action is at the committee level and the panel has always been tightly controlled by [Illinois House Speaker Michael] Madigan.” Miller added that Welch “has a much defter touch than his predecessor.”

In a statement, Welch said he’s honored to be appointed to the position, which “will allow me to have a direct impact on a wide range of important legislation that will impact our district and state. 

“The Executive Committee will likely hear many of the new governor’s top priorities, including legalization of cannabis, gambling expansion, ethics reforms and much more. Excited to be at the table for this historic opportunity to move Illinois forward.”

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