Senator Ira I. Silverstein was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 1998. Throughout his tenure representing the 8th Legislative District, he has been an advocate for good government and a strong voice for making communities safer and protecting consumer rights. Senator Silverstein was singled by a Chicago Tribune editorial as being a "quiet but hard working” legislator and one of the "few members who actually reads all proposed legislation." It is this reputation that helped Senator Silverstein be named Majority Caucus Whip in 2009.
As Chairman of the Senate Executive Committee, Senator Silverstein has overseen the passage of various government reform measures. In 2009, he helped to pass the first campaign contribution limits in Illinois history, as well as legislation providing more government transparency by strengthening the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. He also supported the creation of officers to review the process of awarding state contracts in an effort to drastically curb the effects of “pay-to-play” politics in Illinois.
Senator Silverstein has also been a leading voice for public safety, passing legislation protecting children from known sexual predators and from “cyber-bullies” who use the internet to harass others. In addition, he has been a tireless promoter of consumer rights. Through his effort, the Anti-Phishing Act, which protects citizens from internet identity theft, became law in 2008. He also passed legislation prohibiting utility companies from terminating gas or electric service for nonpayment on any day before a holiday or weekend during extreme heat.
He also serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Gaming Committee, and as a member of the Senate Judiciary, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Committees. He is also a member of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), which reviews regulations imposed by state departments on businesses and citizens to ensure they are in accordance with the departments' legal authority.
Senator Silverstein is currently serving his fourth term as the State Senator for Illinois' 8th Legislative District. He is married to Debra Silverstein, a C.P.A., and they are the proud parents of four children.
Majority Caucus Chair
Years served: 1999 - Present
Committee assignments: Committee of the Whole; Financial Institutions; Gaming (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Judiciary; Executive (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Ethics (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on State & Local Govt.; Subcommittee on State Regulation.
Biography: Attorney; Degrees from Loyola University in 1982 and John Marshall Law School in 1985; past President of the Northtown Community Council; board member of the Korean Senior Center; member of the Greek Pan-Hellenic Laconian organization; Director of the Bernard Horwich JCC; married (wife, Debra), has four children.