Longtime Illinois House Rep. Lou Lang resigns, joins lobbying firm

Longtime Illinois House Rep. Lou Lang resigns, joins lobbying firm

The former deputy majority leader resigned his House seat two days prior to being sworn into the 101st General Assembly. A Springfield lobbying firm hired him.

After 32 years in the Illinois House of Representatives, state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, announced his resignation Jan. 7 to become a lobbyist.

Lang was to begin his 17th term Jan. 9 as part of the 101st General Assembly, but resigned two days before the inauguration with an effective date of Jan. 2, according to the Illinois News Network. The powerful lawmaker was formerly second-in-command and the heir apparent to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Advantage Government Strategies LLC, a lobbying firm registered with the state, hired Lang. The firm is led by Nancy Kimme, former chief of staff to the late Republican state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Lang became deputy majority leader in 2009, but resigned from his leadership posts in May 2018 after a medical marijuana activist accused Lang of sexual harassment. Lang denied the charge and the state’s Office of Inspector General in September failed to find evidence of wrongdoing after the activist refused to participate in the investigation.

Lang played a leading role in advancing medical marijuana legislation in Illinois. He was also known for supporting gambling legalization and served on the Legislative Ethics Committee.

Illinois’ “Revolving Door” law bars some former state employees from accepting work from non-state employers, if the employee awarded government contracts to that employer while holding office. Because the state seldom contracts with lobbying firms directly, Lang’s lobbying work – like that of other former lawmakers’ – does not appear to overstep state law.

Lang serves as a committeeman in the Niles Township Democratic Organization and as executive vice chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. He will continue in both positions, which gives him a say in who succeeds him as representative.

Lang told the Chicago Sun-Times he was already accepting applications for his replacement. When asked about speculation that his daughter might replace him, Lang said he’d not discussed it with her but that she was free to apply.

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