Daniel Biss, a former mathematics professor at the University of Chicago, represented the 17th District in the Illinois House before his election in 2012 to the state Senate.

During his term in the House, Biss passed legislation on issues including environmental policy, economic growth, political reform, consumer protection and equal rights. With his common-sense approach, Biss emerged as a leader on fiscal matters and has been the forefront of efforts to address public pension debt in a way that will increase fiscal stability and honor the commitments made to workers.

He has also championed groundbreaking legislation giving private-sector workers access to retirement savings accounts through their workplace, making Illinois the first state in the country to enact such a program and earning Biss national renown as a leader in a growing movement to bring retirement security to private sector workers and rebuild the middle class.

Building on his mathematical background, Daniel has become the General Assembly's leader on technology policy. He played a pivotal role in passing legislation that supports Illinois' high-tech entrepreneurs by tripling investments in venture capital at no cost to taxpayers, and he passed legislation to protect innovators from unethical "patent trolls."

He also enacted privacy protections from new technologies, such as drones and GPS devices, and chaired the state's Digital Divide Elimination Advisory Committee, which seeks to grant Illinoisans access to critical resources through the Internet.

Biss' experience in higher education informs his work to support the state's colleges and universities, which enable innovative research and prepare students to compete in an increasingly high-tech employment market.

As a member of the Senate, Biss has focused on retirement security, government efficiency, privacy and technology issues, environmental policy and protecting services for children and individuals with disabilities. He is chairman of the Senate Labor Committee and sits on the Education, Environment and Conservation, Executive Appointments, Human Services, Labor and Revenue committees as well as the Subcommittee on Consequences of Federal Policy.

Biss has received many recognitions for his public service, including the 2015 Alzheimer's Association Illinois Legislator of the Year Award, the 2016 Richard J. Phelan Profile in Courage Award from Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, the 2014 Community Investment Award from the Woodstock Institute and the 2012 John W. Maitland Award from the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization. He was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s 40 Under 40 class of 2014.

Biss grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, and moved to Chicago after completing a bachelor's degree at Harvard University and a doctorate in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At the age of 25, he joined the University of Chicago's mathematics faculty.

His wife, Karin, is a former Peace Corps volunteer now working on her doctorate in history at Northwestern University. They live in Evanston with their two children, Elliot and Theodore.

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