In Memoriam Stephen B. Schnorf

Steve was a giant in Illinois State government for decades, and a part of this firm for 15 years. He was distinguished, respected and highly accomplished throughout his career, which included years at the pinnacle of State government.

Great though his professional accomplishments were, his personal strengths were greater. He was a generous and wise man, dedicated not only to his many friends, but to the idea of good policy and a healthy state. He was accessible, and patient, and understanding, and respectful of the positions of all those he dealt with: characteristics that served him well and benefited Illinois.

We are grateful to have had him as a colleague, but far more grateful for our years as his friend.

Farewell, Steve, you will be missed.


In his distinguished governmental career, Steve Schnorf has held the positions of:

  • Director, Illinois Bureau of the Budget (1997-2002);
  • Director of Policy for Governor Jim Edgar (1994-1997);
  • Director, Illinois Department of Central Management Services (1991-1994, 2002);
  • Director of Drivers Services, Office of the Secretary of State (1983-1990); and
  • Administrator of the Senior Citizens Division, Office of the Secretary of State (1981-1983).

In his various capacities in Illinois state government, Schnorf played lead negotiating roles on many key legislative initiatives, including: Illinois welfare reform (1995); Chicago school reform (1996); reorganization of the Department of Human Services (1997); Illinois FIRST (1999); and Soldiers Field renovations (2001).

He participated in all meetings of the Governor and four legislative leaders for five years, affording him broad exposure to the interactions between the executive and legislative branches. Schnorf’s governmental experience includes:

  • contract negotiations with the state’s largest employee union;
  • developing five state budgets, each totaling approximately $50 billion;
  • supervising all state bond sales for five years (consisting of some 40–50 sales totaling more than $10 billion); and
  • serving as the Governor’s key liaison, on a variety of issues, with business and labor interest groups, as well as political leaders.

He also chaired the Procurement Policy Board of Illinois (1997-2002); chaired the Illinois Debt Collection Board (1991-1994, 2002); and served as a member of the State Employee Retirement Systems Board of Trustees (1997-2002).

Prior to beginning his state governmental career, Schnorf served people with disabilities on behalf of several not-for-profit organizations and associations (1969-1981) and taught History and Social Studies at Robinson High School (1966-1969).

Schnorf received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education from Eastern Illinois University.