SPRINGFIELD (25 News Now) – Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch has selected State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) to serve as lead budget negotiator for House Democrats.

The appointment makes Gordon-Booth the first African American and first woman to serve in that role in Illinois history.

“From improving access to nutritious food in schools to negotiating critically needed public safety laws, Jehan has been able to work to bring everyone to the table and deliver productive outcomes. She understands the challenges facing families across our state and will be an outstanding budget negotiator for our Caucus,” speaker Welch said in a prepared statement.

Gordon-Booth will continue in her role as Speaker Pro Tempore. She has been in the state legislature since 2009, and represents the 92nd District, which includes Peoria, West Peoria, Peoria Heights and parts of Bartonville.

“I am appreciative of the faith my colleagues have placed in me and am looking forward to the work ahead to support Illinois families.” Gordon-Booth said in a prepared statement.

She replaces retiring House Majority Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago) as the Democrats’ chief budget negotiator in the House.

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