About John Shimkus
John M. Shimkus of Collinsville has been serving as a Member of Congress since his first ellection in 1996 representing the 15th District of Illinois. He won his first election to what was then the 20th District by a narrow margin in 1996 over State Representative Jay Hoffman. In his election to the new 19th District in 2002, John defeated fellow Congressman David Phelps by ten percentage points. All of his other elections have been won by around ten percentage points.
As a result of redistricting, John is now in Illinois' New 15th Congressional District which is comprised of all or parts of 33 counties. It is one of the largest districts in terms of geographical area east of the Mississippi. The New 15th stretches from John's hometown of Collinsville down to Metropolis and then north to Ford County, with the largest city being Danville.
John received his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA)
and earned his MBA from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He served as an Army infantry officer nearly six years in the former West Germany and at various bases in the United States. He retired from the service as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserves.
At his last duty station in California, he met his future wife Karen. He returned to Illinois to begin teaching. He and Karen were married in 1987 when she moved to Collinsville. John and Karen have three sons - David, Joshua, and Daniel. They reside in Collinsville.
John serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Environment and the Economy. He also serves on the Energy and Power Subcommittee, the Health Subcommittee, and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.
In his first year in office, John was featured in a PBS documentary, "Mr. Shimkus Goes to Washington." The program highlighted the hectic lifestyle of traveling to and from the district and Washington, DC along with the effects this had on his family.
From his early years in the House of Representatives to today, as a subcommittee chair and experienced member, John has always enjoyed a very successful legislative record when it comes to getting legislation passed and signed into law.
In 1998 John's legislation changed our nation's alternative fuel policy from one of vehicles purchased to one of actual fuel usage. This pro-biodiesel provision continues to aid farmers, protect our environment, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
In 1999 President Clinton signed into law John's legislation designating 9-1-1 as the nation's universal emergency phone number. And in 2000 the President signed the TREAD Act into law that increased federal oversight of automobile tire problems, which included John's language increasing testing of child car safety seats.
John assisted in getting legislation signed into law in 2002 that would bring fairness to the Superfund program by exempting innocent small businesses from being sued.
On December 4, 2002, John participated in two bill signings at the White House. President Bush signed into law John's legislation establishing a dot kids dot us Internet domain safe for young children and a law that will establish safety guidelines for child booster seats in motor vehicles.
In 2003, John was again successful in having two of his bills signed into law. One law allows a hydroelectric facility at Carlyle Lake to continue in the planning stages, and the other law allows funds to be spent on an information clearinghouse on defibrillator placement in schools.
John was instrumental in the energy bill signed by President Bush in 2005. He gets particular credit for the increase in the renewable fuel standard (RFS) to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. This legislation has been the primary engine to excite ethanol production in Illinois. John has also been a staunch defender of coal.
John has received hundreds of awards over the years from a diverse group of organizations. He routinely travels the district and participates in open office hours, where constituents can meet with him one-on-one.