William R. Haine

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William Haine
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 56th district
Assumed office
November 2002 (2002-Nov)
Preceded by Evelyn Bowles
Madison County State’s Attorney
In office
December 1986 (1986-Dec) – November 2002 (2002-Nov)
Preceded by Adam J. Monroe
Succeeded by William A. Mudge
Personal details
Born (1944-08-08) August 8, 1944 (age 76)
Alton, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anna Haine
Children Seven Children
Residence Alton, Illinois
Alma mater St. Louis University
Profession Attorney
Religion Catholic
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1967–1969
Battles/wars Vietnam War

William Haine (born August 8, 1944) has served as the Illinois State Senator for Illinois’s 56th district since his appointment in November 2002.[1] The 56th district, concentrated in the Metro East area, includes all or parts of Alton, Bethalto, Collinsville, East Alton, Edwardsville, Elsah, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Granite City, Rosewood Heights and Wood River.[2]

Prior to his service in the Illinois Senate, he served as a member of the Madison County Board during the 1980s and as the Madison County State's Attorney from 1988 to 2002.[3]

Background and Early Education


Haine was born on August 8, 1944 in Alton, Illinois to Mary Alice Moran and James Delos Hoare. James Hoare converted to Catholicism when he married the Irish-Catholic Mary Alice. In 1959 the family name was changed to “Haine”. Prior to the change, the four Hoare sons – Jim, John, Bill and Tom – often came to blows with other boys over their phonetically unfortunate surname.[citation needed]

William Haine was first encouraged to take up a career in politics and “make history” by Sister Geraldine, an Ursuline nun at St. Patrick’s Grade School in Alton.[citation needed] After graduating from Marquette Catholic High School in 1963, he earned his B.A. from St. Louis University in History in 1967. In both high school and college, he became involved in local and state politics, including the races of Alton Mayor Clyde H. Wiseman, State Senator Paul Simon and U.S. Senator Paul H. Douglas.[citation needed]

Military Service and Law School

After college, Haine enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in Combat Operations after his tour as an enlisted army soldier in the First Cavalry Division (Air Mobile) from 1968 to 1969.[citation needed] He was still politically active while overseas, and from Vietnam he filed as a candidate for Alderman of the City of Alton, losing by only a narrow vote despite being unable to campaign.[citation needed]

After his tour overseas, Haine attended St. Louis University Law School, where he served with distinction[citation needed] on the Board of Editors of the St. Louis Law Review and earned his J.D. in 1974.[citation needed] Two professors who mentored him there, Rev. Joseph Aloysius McCallin, S.J., and Dr. George D. Wendell, also encouraged him to pursue a career in politics.[citation needed]

Catholic Faith

During his law school years, Haine met Anna Schickel, an undergraduate French major at St. Louis University; they were married on August 7, 1971 in the Grailville Oratory in Loveland, Ohio. Haine and his wife have seven children and 20 grandchildren. They continue to reside in Alton, around the corner from his boyhood home. (designed by her father, the artist William Schickel). Haine refers to his wedding as the defining moment of his Catholic faith.[citation needed]

Madison County Public Service

After law school, Haine worked as an assistant public defender and maintained a small general practice on the side. He later partnered with trial attorney Randall Bono, and it was during their years together that Haine was elected a Madison County Board member and then State’s Attorney.[citation needed]

Already a member of the Madison County Board since 1978, Haine first ran for the office of State’s Attorney in 1980. In the Democratic primary he faced former Assistant State’s Attorney Dick Allen and incumbent State's Attorney Nick Byron. Though he lost the primary by 313 votes in a county of 260,000, Haine had established a Democratic base with the industrial north end of the county.[citation needed] Republican Don W. Weber, a former Assistant State's Attorney, won the general election in the Reagan landslide of 1980.

With newfound political clout from the close primary race,[citation needed] Haine became a leader on the County Board and chaired the newly created Metro-East Transit District.[citation needed] The area-wide public exposure helped make his 1988 run for State’s Attorney a success.[citation needed]

State’s Attorney

In 1988, Haine became State’s Attorney for Madison County, Illinois, a post he would hold for 14 years. In late 2002, he was appointed to fill the seat of retiring Senator Evelyn Bowles.[1]

State Senator

After serving several months as an appointed Senator, Haine won re-election in 2002. His legislative record has established him as a pro-life, pro-gun and pro-labor legislator.[citation needed] Haine was an early supporter of Obama within the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator in 2004.[4] He is currently the chairman of the Insurance Committee.

Among Haine’s most controversial bills was the Medical Malpractice Litigation Reform Act, which was supported by hospitals, doctors and nurses but strongly opposed by trial lawyers, including many of his friends in Madison and St. Clair Counties.[citation needed] Haine also was the chief sponsor of the Illinois Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, the law requiring residents to provide identification when purchasing Sudafed, and limiting their purchases of it. Haine also guided the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act through the Illinois Senate, though it has not yet passed the House.[5]

More recently, Haine designed and sponsored a bill to enhance flood protection along the Mississippi River in his district. Now signed into law, the bill created a new tax district that can issue sales taxes to fund the renovation of local levees. The bill was supported by the Majority and Minority leaders, Democrat Emil Jones and Republican Frank Watson.[citation needed]

Haine has maintained a 100% rating from National Right to Life.[citation needed].


  1. 1.0 1.1 AP/KWMU. "Bowles Retires Early from IL State Senate". St. Louis Public Radio News. Retrieved 2013-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "PA 97-0006 Legislative District 56" (PDF). 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2015-09-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Senator William R. Haine (D)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2013-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/040802/2obama.htm
  5. Taliaferro, Tim (May 27, 2009). "Medical Marijuana Legislation Narrowly Passes Illinois Senate". Huffington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links