He began his career in public service as an assistant state’s attorney in St. Clair County.
In 1989, Hoffman began working as a law enforcement official as the director of Probation and Court Services for the 20th Judicial Circuit Court. While serving as director, he created a mandatory drug testing program for probationers, which was later used as a model for programs throughout the state.
Hoffman was elected as state representative in November 1990, and after just four years, he was elected floor leader for the House Democrats and later became chairman of the House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee, where he served for five terms. He also served on the committees of Judicial I (Civil Law), Judicial II (Criminal Law), Labor, Consumer Affairs Railroad Safety, appropriations committees and several other committees and task forces.
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Hoffman is a champion for working families, expanding access to early childhood education programs and putting the people of Illinois back to work. Hoffman fought hard for capital construction projects, bringing back much needed state funding to build new roads, school and new bridges across the Mississippi River. He also helped pass tax relief for seniors and senior prescription drug relief.
Hoffman has authored a book, Hope for the Heartland: Jobs, Clean Air, Energy Security that provides a blueprint for utilizing the state’s natural resources to create jobs and reduce dependency on foreign oil.
Hoffman’s numerous awards and honors for his work in the General Assembly include the Legislator of the Year from the Illinois Hospital Association, Outstanding Legislator from the Illinois States Attorney’s Association (two years), Illinois Public Transportation Association Legislator of the Year, RCGA Lewis and Clark Statesman Award (six years), St. Louis Children’s Hospital State Advocate of the Year Award, Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Veterans of Illinois, the Appreciation of Dedication to Children of Illinois from the IEA, Cardinal Glennon Crystal Wagon Award, IEA-NEA Region 45 Political Excellence Award, Southwestern Illinois Development Authority’s Outstanding Individual of the Year, and the Associated Fire Fighter’s Legislator of the Year Award.
Hoffman has been an Illinois state representative for 25 years.