Oak-Hines Funeral Home in Smith’s hometown of Canton says the 48-year-old Democrat died Saturday morning at his home of a suspected heart attack.
The (Peoria) Journal Star reports Smith served 16 years in the state Legislature before losing his 2010 re-election bid.
He later was named by Gov. Pat Quinn to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. That appointment drew criticism over whether Smith was qualified for the $94,000 position.
Quinn called Smith “a friend” with a long record of working on education in the statehouse.
Quinn says Smith “set an example for what service to the people of his district and the people of Illinois should be.”
Oak-Hines Funeral Home says funeral arrangements should be finalized Monday.