The Illinois House today honored former state lawmaker and Arlington Heights trustee Eugene Schlickman, who died last month at age 84.
Schlickman, known to friends as Gene, was remembered as a Republican who would break from his party and reach across the aisle in the name of good policy. He served in the Illinois House from 1964 until 1981, and for five years on the Arlington Heights Village Board before that.
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"He was a member during the time of the three-member districts," state Rep. David Harris, an Arlington Heights Republican, said. "That was a time when individuals really did have to reach across the aisle to get anything done, and Gene did that willingly."
State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat who served with Schlickman, said she most admired Schlickman for his commitment to a "sensible and sane system of corrections" in Illinois.
"Sometimes these days we hear the term 'smart on crime not soft on crime.' It was Gene Schlickman who coined the meaning of that phrase for us in this body," Currie said.
Schlickman pushed hard for prison reform during his two decades in the Illinois House. He worked to get funding for education and art programs in state prisons.