Springfield- Crystal Lake resident Barbara Wheeler on Wednesday took the oath of office to become state representative for the newly created 64th Illinois House of Representatives District.
Wheeler was sworn in during a ceremony at the University of Illinois, Springfield.
Wheeler, who was uncontested in the November election, says she is humbled at the opportunity to serve the interests of her neighbors and friends in Springfield, according to a press release.
“The responsibility of serving as state representative is not something I take lightly,” Wheeler stated in the release.
“I have been honored to serve the people of McHenry County as a County Board Member, now I take the challenge further to serve the interests of McHenry and Lake Counties in Springfield.”
Wheeler has spent her entire adult life in public service, starting as volunteer for the United States Peace Corps. She later served as a school teacher at Wauconda Middle School and was elected to the McHenry County Board in 2002.
As a county board member, Wheeler's top priorities were conservation and fiscal responsibility.
She was awarded the Theta Award from the McHenry County Environmental Society for her conservation agenda. Additionally, the County Board improved the bond rating to Aaa during her tenure. Wheeler stresses that in order to achieve these accomplishments in Illinois, the General Assembly needs to exert legislative courage, according to the release.
“There are major issues facing the State of Illinois,” said Wheeler.
“We have an underfunded pension system, an unwanted income tax increase, and billions of dollars in unpaid bills. Solutions to these problems are not easy. We need to be brave. We need to be courageous. We need to stand up for what is right for the people of Illinois and deal with today’s problems now. The people deserve this from their elected leaders.”
Wheeler says her top priorities in Springfield will be fixing the state’s finances while bringing jobs back to McHenry and Lake counties.
The newly redrawn 64th District encompasses portions of several communities including the north side of Crystal Lake, Bull Valley, eastern Woodstock, Prairie Grove, and parts of McHenry and Wonder Lake. The district, spreading northward, also encompasses parts of Wauconda, Volo, Johnsburg, Fox Lake and Spring Grove.