Senator Dillard was first sworn-in as an elected Senator to the General Assembly beginning in 1995. In 2013 Kirk Dillard was appointed to serve as Assistant Senate Republican Leader.
Since taking office, Kirk Dillard has been the chief sponsor of many landmark pieces of legislation, including a law banning sex offenders from practicing medicine in Illinois. Sen. Dillard also sponsored Illinois’ first campaign finance/ethics reforms in 25 years, and was the sponsor of the law to create the Illinois Internet Portal to disclose online every salary, contract, tax break, and tax deadbeat.
Kirk Dillard was the sponsor of the truth-in-sentencing law to ensure felons serve their full sentences, mandatory DNA testing of all felons, the “Safe to Learn” Act ensuring school safety, the reorganization of the public higher education system, the tough anti-gun crime law known as “15-20-Life,” and a Dillard law made it a felony to commit a drive-by shooting from a motor vehicle.
Senator Dillard authored the first statute outlawing date rape or designer drugs. A Dillard bill bolstered public access to Internet information about sexual predators and established and improved the Amber Alert Child Emergency Location system in Illinois. He also sponsored a law to give citizens access to more information about sex offenders.
Kirk Dillard cosponsored the comprehensive reform of Illinois’ capital punishment system, and has been a strong advocate for tort reform and medical malpractice insurance reform to ensure access to health care in Illinois, especially for cases involving women, children and in emergency situations.
Dillard created thousands of jobs by shepherding the legislation to expand McCormick Place and Navy Pier. He also sponsored the law encouraging the Boeing Company to establish its headquarters in Chicago, as well as legislation to encourage Navistar to move its headquarters back to Lisle, Illinois. A Dillard bill was responsible for returning the Pledge of Allegiance to Illinois high schools after a 30-year absence, and he successfully sponsored the Secretary of State’s railroad safety initiatives, which have dramatically reduced railroad crossing deaths.
From December 1990 to December 1993, Dillard served with distinction as Chief of Staff to former Governor Jim Edgar. He was a Judge on the Court of Claims from February 1987 to December 1990, and Director of Legislative Affairs for former Governor James Thompson from October 1983 to February 1987.
Kirk Dillard is the Republican Spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and also serves as a member on the Senate Transportation, Energy, Executive Appointments, and State Government and Veterans Affairs Committees.
Dillard serves on the Board of Directors for the Robert Crown Center for Health Education in Hinsdale, as well as the College of DuPage Foundation Board. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the DePaul University College of Law, and the Advisory Board of Friends of Rush Children’s Hospital. The Senator also serves as a mentor for the University of Chicago Graduate School of Public Policies Studies.
Dillard was a member of the “Illinois Coalition,” a corporate, academic and government board that worked to strengthen the Illinois economy by promoting science and technology. He is also a past president of the Western Illinois University Alumni Council, member of the Union League Club of Chicago, Economic Club of Chicago, and chairman of the DuPage County Republican Party. He is a founding member of the Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58.
Honors In 2012, was awarded the “Guardian of Small Business Award” from the National Federation of Independent Business/Illinois and the “Champion of Free Enterprise” distinction from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for his pro-business legislative record. In 2012, Senator Dillard was also honored with the “Friend of Agriculture” award by the DuPage County Farm Bureau based on his support of the agricultural industry, as well as the “Life Services Network Award” for his commitment and dedication to advancing quality older adult services.
In 2011, Sen. Dillard was the recipient of the first-ever Presidential Leadership Medal presented by the College of DuPage. He was awarded the 2009 Award for “Outstanding Service to DePaul University.” Crain’s Chicago Business named Dillard to its “Who’s Who in Chicago Business.” He was inducted into the University of Illinois: Illinois Issues magazine’s Legislative Staff “Hall of Fame” and the Hinsdale Central High School Foundation’s “Hall of Fame.” He was named 2005 “Legislator of the Year” by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his record in combating crime. In October 2005, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation presented Senator Dillard with its 2005 “Champion of Justice Award.” He was named the 2002 “Champion of Free Enterprise” by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for his support of legislation designed to strengthen the state’s job climate. He was named 2005 Friend of Agriculture by the Illinois Farm Bureau. He received the 2005 DuPage County Bar Association’s Board of Directors Award. The Chicago Bar Association awarded him a “Commendation of Merit” for his longstanding service to the legal profession. In 2005, he was named a “Leading Lawyer” in a survey of his peers in the Illinois legal community. The Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association named Dillard an “Outstanding Legislator for 1999.” The National Republican Legislators Association presented him with its prestigious 1996 “Legislator of the Year Award” for his extraordinary achievements in public service. He was chosen the 1995 “Legislative Member of the Year” by the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation’s largest bipartisan legislators’ organization. He has received the American Bar Association Award for “Best Performance” on Land Use and Local Government Law. Dillard was named a “Guardian of Small Business” in 1998 and 2000 by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. He received the 1997 “Jobs Defender” Award from the Employment Law Council. Other organizations honoring Dillard include the Illinois Alcohol and Drug Dependence Association, Family-PAC, DuPage County Farm Bureau, Bolingbrook Medical Center, Hinsdale Hospital and its Cancer Wellness House, Community Hospitals Against the Medicaid Provider Tax, ABATE, and DuPage County Respite House for medically-fragile children.
Dillard lives in Hinsdale with his wife, Stephanie, and daughters, Emma and Ava. A graduate of Hinsdale Central High School, he earned with honors a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Western Illinois University and a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law. He is a partner with Locke Lord, one of Chicago’s largest law firms.