Senator Donne E. Trotter was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1988. After serving in the House of Representatives for two terms, he was elected to the Senate in 1992. From 1992-2002, he was elected by his peers to serve as the Chairman of the Joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. From the beginning, Senator Trotter championed healthcare initiatives for women and children and passed legislation closing the worst landfills and incinerators on the southeast side of Chicago. He also spearheaded both legislation and funding to boost and improve economic development opportunities by creating more jobs and greater contractual opportunities for small businesses. As an advocate of gun control, in his first term as a State Representative, Donne E. Trotter ushered in Illinois’ first comprehensive law banning assault weapons.
Currently, Senator Trotter serves as Chairman of Appropriations I and is the Senate’s chief budget negotiator. He also serves on the Revenue Committee, the Economic & Fiscal Commission, and the Oversight Commission on Public Works. As Chair of Appropriations I, he oversees all budget initiatives for the state’s $53 billion budget. He ensures that the disadvantaged are partners in the wealth of the state by enforcing parity in education and health care and creating economic development and redevelopment of depressed communities. As a member of the Oversight Commission on Public Works, Senator Trotter is instrumental in guaranteeing equitable distribution of contracts and jobs to all geographic and ethnic communities.
To enhance the quality of life of children and seniors, Senator Trotter was instrumental in creating and expanding the KidCare (SCHIP), FamilyCare and SeniorCare initiatives. By increasing the eligibility threshold, Illinois was able to add an additional 270,000 children and their parents to the states health insurance program since 1999. Prescription drug affordability will be realized this year with the initiation of SeniorCare by expanding the income eligibility, adding more prescription drugs to the formulary, and creating drug buying clubs. In rewriting the juvenile justice laws, Senator Trotter included funds for the Teen Reach Program to provide prevention and intervention services for at risk youth. The Teen Reach Program model has proven to be successful and has been duplicated in other states.
Senator Trotter has received hundreds of awards from health care, labor, environmental, and rural organizations, recognizing his successful service to the diverse community he represents.
An active leader in the Council of State Governments, Senator Trotter is the Chairman of the Council of State Governments Midwestern Regional Conference (CSG/MRC). Nationally, he co-chairs the Intergovernmental Committee, and is a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, Executive Committee and the International Committee. From 1996-2000, he served as the Chairman of the Health Committee.
Nationally, Senator Trotter actively participates on other Boards and Committees. He serves on the Health Leaders Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and the Executive Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. As a member of the Reforming State Governments (RSG) Steering Committee, he, along with other national and international leaders, sets the agenda for the organization, identifying emerging state challenges.
Senator Trotter is a sought-after speaker making numerous appearances on television and radio as well as traveling nationally and internationally covering topics on health care, human rights, education and economic development.
He recently retired after serving 22 years in the Cook County Health Care System, beginning his career as an Associate Administrator at Cook County Hospital and more recently, as the Director of Minority Health for Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).
Senator Donne E. Trotter was born in Cairo, Illinois. He attended the Chicago Public Schools. He graduated from Chicago State University with B. A. degree in Political Science/History and is a graduate of the Loyola University School of Law with a Masters degree in Health Policy and Law (M.J.). Senator Trotter is married to Rose and has four children and three grandsons.