Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR1367
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Full Text of HR1367  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of former
4Illinois State Representative and State Senator Tom Johnson,
5who passed away on December 3, 2018 at the age of 73; and
6    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson was born in California on April 30,
71945 and grew up in South Dakota and Illinois; he was raised in
8a Christian household, the son of an ordained minister, Wallace
9Johnson; he graduated from Oak Lawn Community High School in
101963; and
11    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson married his sweetheart, Virginia
12"Ginger" Van Der Molen; they began a life together that
13produced three sons, Soren, Derek, and Kirk, and grew to
14include three daughters-in-law and many grandchildren; and
15    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to
161968, which included service in the Vietnam War from 1967 to
171968; and
18    WHEREAS, After his military service, Sen. Johnson
19continued his education; he earned a bachelor's degree in
20political science from the University of Michigan in 1970 and a
21doctorate of law from DePaul University in 1974; and



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1    WHEREAS, As a young Illinois lawyer, Sen. Johnson joined
2the office of the DuPage County State's Attorney's office and
3gained experience as a prosecutor; he co-founded the
4partnership of Johnson & Westra in 1979; these were boom years
5in DuPage County, and he developed professional standing and
6provided for his family; and
7    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson entered politics and, in 1992, was
8elected to the Illinois House of Representatives; after taking
9office in January of 1993, he specialized in issues of criminal
10law; he served as chairman of the House Judiciary - Criminal
11Law Committee in the 89th General Assembly in 1995 and 1996;
13    WHEREAS, During his tenure as chairman of this key
14committee, it moved numerous laws that remain on the statute
15books of Illinois, including the Sex Offender Registration Act;
16it pioneered laws to expand victim's rights and create the new
17offense of criminal streetgang racketeering; and
18    WHEREAS, One of the foremost achievements of Sen. Johnson's
19Judiciary Committee was the enactment of a Truth in Sentencing
20law to better match the public time of a sentence passed upon a
21defendant at trial with the actual length of time the defendant
22would actually serve in prison upon his or her final



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1adjudication as a convicted person; and
2    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson continued his interest in criminal
3law after leaving the House of Representatives in 2003; he was
4appointed to serve on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, where
5he was able to not only hear from individual prisoners and
6their guards, but also to investigate operational problems of
7the Illinois Department of Corrections; and
8    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson combined being tough on crime with
9genuine compassion for those whose lives had gone wrong; he
10backed the award of good-conduct credits, a program of rewards
11for good conduct shown by some prisoners, that led to their
12early release from state prisons; and
13    WHEREAS, As a lawmaker and advocate, Sen. Johnson was a
14fighter for the Illinois pioneering system of juvenile justice,
15which has turned the lives of many troubled young Illinoisans
16around and given them the chance to set their feet on pathways
17that move away from lives of crime and despair; and
18    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson served not only in the Illinois House
19of Representatives, but also in the Illinois Senate from 2011
20to 2013 as an appointed member following a vacancy; he was thus
21a member of both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and of
22the executive branch through his 14-year tenure on the Prisoner



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1Review Board; and
2    WHEREAS, Sen. Johnson was a member of Wheaton Bible Church;
3his faith guided many of the policy decisions and advocacy
4points for which he fought throughout his life; therefore, be
8mourn the passing of former Illinois State Representative and
9State Senator Tom Johnson and extend our sincere condolences to
10his family, friends, and all who knew and loved him; and be it
12    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
13presented to Virginia "Ginger" Van Der Molen Johnson, the wife
14of the late Sen. Johnson, and his family.