State Rep. Silvana Tabares (D-21st) has been named the chairperson of the Elections and Campaign Finance Committee in the Illinois House of Representatives. 

Tabares represents a district that stretches from the near Southwest Side of Chicago into the southwestern suburbs and includes the portion of Riverside that is south of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad tracks.

“My priority is to make sure that our voting system is fair and accessible to all Illinoisans, and that our elected officials will place our state’s interests above their own,” Tabares said in a press release her office issued announcing her new position.  

The press release also stated that Tabares is backing House Bill 780 which would require candidates for president and vice-president to file copies of their income tax returns with the Illinois State Board of Elections before they can appear on the ballot in Illinois. 

The bill is clearly a response to the failure of President Donald Trump to release his income tax returns during the 2016 campaign or since he has taken office.

The press release states Tabares believes that House Bill 780 is an opportunity to restore transparency to the electoral process in Illinois.

Tabares, a Chicago Democrat, was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012. In that year she won a hotly contested and expensive primary against Rudy Lozano Jr. 

But she has had clean sailing since then, having not faced an opponent in either the primary or general election since that race in her overwhelmingly Democratic district that was drawn to favor a Hispanic candidate.

At the end of 2016, Tabares had $152,586 in her campaign fund, Friends of Tabares. During the fall of 2016, facing no opponent herself, she dipped into her campaign fund to help other Democrats. 

Friends of Tabares contributed $25,000 each to the Democratic Party of Illinois which is chaired by powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan and gave another $25,000 to the Friends of Michael Madigan. Her campaign fund also contributed a total of $70,000 split among five Democratic candidates who were in contested House races.

During the coming legislative session, Tabares will also serve as vice chairperson of the Health Care Availability and Accessibility Committee and sit on the Labor and Commerce Committee, the Mass Transit Committee, the Fire and Emergency Services Committee and the Police and First Responders Committee.