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1
HOUSE RESOLUTION

 
2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of former
4Illinois State Representative and U.S. Congressman Timothy
5Vincent "Tim" Johnson, who passed away on May 9, 2022 at his
6home in Urbana, among family and friends; and
 
7    WHEREAS, Lifelong Champaign County native and resident
8Congressman Johnson was born on July 23, 1946 in Champaign; he
9pursued his education in the twin cities of his birth,
10graduating from Urbana High School in 1964 and then attending
11the University of Illinois; he earned a bachelor's degree in
121969 (Phi Beta Kappa) and a juris doctorate in 1972 (Order of
13the Coif); and
 
14    WHEREAS, Even more significant to Congressman Johnson than
15these academic honors was his family heritage; on his mother's
16side, his grandfather was McLean County Republican stalwart
17Arthur Evans; his own father, Robert Johnson, followed the
18path of public service for many years in Champaign County,
19rising to membership of the Urbana City Council and serving as
20the Chairman of the Champaign County Republican Party; and
 
21    WHEREAS, Even in the 1960's, Champaign County was not
22quite as Republican as other downstate Illinois counties;

 

 

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1Congressman Johnson's father, despite his partisan role,
2developed a reputation as a can-do problem solver who would
3work with neighbors of both parties to get things done for
4Champaign-Urbana; and
 
5    WHEREAS, During his time in law school and after
6graduation, Congressman Johnson served as a teaching assistant
7in the U of I's College of Commerce and College of Law; and
 
8    WHEREAS, While in law school, Congressman Johnson turned
9his attention to politics, seeking and winning his father's
10seat on the Urbana City Council, on which his service began in
111971; and
 
12    WHEREAS, Upon the retirement of Rep. John C. Hirschfeld in
131976, Congressman Johnson sought the nomination for what was
14then an open Republican seat in the 52nd District, which
15encompassed part of Champaign County as well as Douglas and
16Moultrie Counties; in a six-candidate race, he won the
17nomination, having not yet celebrated his 30th birthday; and
 
18    WHEREAS, Elected to the Illinois House of Representatives
19in the fall of America's bicentennial year, Congressman
20Johnson began a 24 year career in Illinois's largest
21legislative chamber; working with the House Judiciary II
22Criminal Law Committee, he made many suggestions to improve

 

 

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1the criminal laws of Illinois; and
 
2    WHEREAS, As a powerful voice for downstate Illinois,
3Congressman Johnson was named Deputy Minority Leader by House
4Republican Leader Lee A. Daniels, serving in this role
5continuously except in 1995-96 when Republicans organized the
6Illinois House and his role was that of Illinois House Deputy
7Majority Leader; and
 
8    WHEREAS, In 2000, upon the retirement of Congressman Tom
9Ewing, Congressman Johnson took the opportunity to seek
10nomination and election from his east central Illinois home to
11the United States House of Representatives; and
 
12    WHEREAS, As a member of Congress, Congressman Johnson
13served on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure
14Committee and the U.S. House Agriculture Committee; in this
15latter committee, he served as the chairman of the
16Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology,
17and Foreign Agriculture; and
 
18    WHEREAS, As a member of Congress and of the Agriculture
19and Transportation Committees, Congressman Johnson placed
20corn-based ethanol and America-grown biodiesel fuels at the
21center of American life; facing down some of America's largest
22business firms, he worked with other corn belt lawmakers to

 

 

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1successfully demand that ethanol-blended motor fuels become
2the octane enhancer of choice at American motor fuel retail
3pumps nationwide; and
 
4    WHEREAS, Congressman Johnson was a member of many
5congressional caucuses; as the partisan gap between the two
6parties widened in Washington and elsewhere, and remembering
7his father's heritage of working across the aisle, he was the
8co-founder and Co-chairman of the Center Aisle Caucus; and
 
9    WHEREAS, Congressman Johnson took care to stay in touch
10with his constituents back home in Illinois; many homes in
11central Illinois remember their phone ringing on some evening
12and hearing the voice of their old friend checking in with
13them, asking how they were doing, and seeking nonpartisan
14advice on the great issues of the day; and
 
15    WHEREAS, After 12 years in the U.S. House, Congressman
16Johnson decided, in 2012, that his work was done; he returned
17home to central Illinois and resumed a schedule of public
18teaching, including appointments at Illinois State University
19(2013-2014), Danville Area Community College (2014), and the
20College of Liberal Arts at his alma mater, the University of
21Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2014); and
 
22    WHEREAS, In 2013, Congressman Johnson was awarded the

 

 

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1Order of Lincoln by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the
2highest-ranking honor that an Illinoisan can receive for
3service to the people; therefore, be it
 
4    RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE
5HUNDRED SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that
6we mourn the passing of former Illinois State Representative
7and U.S. Congressman Timothy Vincent "Tim" Johnson and extend
8our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who
9knew and loved him; and be it further
 
10    RESOLVED, That we recognize the lengthy public service of
11Congressman Johnson; and be it further
 
12    RESOLVED, That the heritage of American elected officials
13reaching out to their constituents of both parties, talking to
14them, asking for advice, and acting as their public servants
15rather than as their masters is a memory that is flickering but
16can never fade away; and be it further
 
17    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
18presented to Congressman Johnson's daughter, Heather
19Stephenson.