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Do you know a teacher who doesn't just impart knowledge, but truly inspires students to learn and succeed? Nominate him or her for a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching at goldenapple.org/awards. Winners will receive a $5,000 cash award, experience a spring quarter sabbatical at Northwestern University, become a lifetime Fellow of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators and be honored on a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) TV program. Applications will be accepted through December 15.
On the final day of the fall veto session in Springfield, members of the House of Representatives honored House Republican Floor Leader and State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) for his service to the people of the 48th District, to the House Republican Caucus, and the people of Illinois.

HR 1345, jointly sponsored by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, recognized Breen’s commitment to responsible budgeting and spending and his commitment to easing regulations on the business community. They also recognized Breen for legislation he ushered into law that specifically helped the people of the 48th District.

House Republican Deputy Leader Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) spoke to the honorary resolution for Breen, and said, “His leadership, expertise, and strong public speaking skills allowed him to be elevated quickly to the role of House Republican Floor Leader, where he has vigorously defended our caucus positions on many critical and often controversial bills. Aside from his responsibilities as our Floor Leader, in just four years, Peter ushered 32 of his own bills into law. He has always been an advocate of responsible spending and balanced budgets, and has fought hard to address the crushing tax burden that is causing rising numbers of his constituents to flee to other states.” Click here to view Demmer’s full floor comments on the resolution.
Yesterday a member of the House Democrat caucus issued a death wish against the family of House Republican Floor Leader Peter Breen (R-Lombard) during a debate on a bill. In response to the henious verbal attack, Breen implored his colleagues to follow a path toward civility and decency. Click here to view Breen's floor comments.
State Representative Peter Breen’s 2018 voting record in support of business and manufacturing has earned him high praise from Illinois’ Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA). During Breen’s four years in office his cumulative score with the TMA is 93%, among the highest in the General Assembly.

“A thriving manufacturing industry is critical to improving the Illinois economy,” said Breen. “It’s an honor to be recognized for my work to help these job creators, by improving our manufacturing climate and reducing burdens placed on them.”

This year legislators were scored on their votes on 10 pieces of legislation that impacted the manufacturing sector, and those earning a score of 70 or higher were recognized. Only 39 members of the House of Representatives earned recognition this year.

TMA President Steven Rauschenberger applauded Breen for being a champion for the manufacturing industry, and said, “Representative Breen has distinguished himself as a legislator who cares about jobs and employment opportunities in Illinois. He has an open door and an open mind when issues important to his constituents are at issue.”

The Technology and Manufacturing Association assists Illinois’ $100 billion manufacturing sector through advice, education, and other programs and also advocates for legislation to help the industry succeed in Illinois. Close to 20,000 manufacturing firms provide over half a million jobs statewide in Illinois. Click here to view a list of the legislation included on the scorecard and a full ranking of every Illinois State Representative and Senator.
Breen Addresses Huge Spike in "Failure to Appear in the Court" Cases in DuPage County
The safety of your family is very important to me, so when I learned that DuPage recently experienced a significant spike in instances where accused people who are out on bail have failed to appear in court, I went to work with DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and State Senator Michael Connelly to remedy the problem. Hunting down and bringing bail jumpers to justice uses precious police and prosecutorial resources—and our communities are less safe with these individuals at large.

This week Senator Connelly and I filed identical bills in the House and Senate that seek to amend the Bail Reform Act to help ensure that those charged with crimes actually appear in court when required to do so. The new Bail Reform Act that took effect in Illinois on January 1 of this year was part of a national movement to improve the pre-trial justice system in this country. While that Act includes some beneficial provisions, one specific change has disincentivized defendants from appearing in court. Under these new bail guidelines, they would rather take their chances and flee justice than appear on court-mandated dates to face their charges. This is unacceptable.

Failure to Appear in Court instances in DuPage County for more serious Category A offenses, which include murder, home invasion, and aggravated violent felonies, jumped by 83% during the first seven months of 2018 as compared to the same timeframe in 2017. Category B offenses jumped 71% during that same time. The current law stipulates that failure to appear offenses are imposed at one Class lower than the original crime for which a defendant is charged, and often judges are not sentencing offenders to jail time for skipping bail.

Poposed changes to the Bail Reform Act through my HB 5980 include:
  • Individuals who are out on bail and fail to appear in court would be charged with a “failure to appear” offense of the same Class (instead of the next lower Class) of the original crime with which he/she has been charged 
  • “Failure to Appear” offenders would not be eligible for probation for bail jumping 
State Sells $250 Million in Build Illinois Bonds
Proceeds from the largely tax-free debt offering will be used to finance capital infrastructure investments. No new taxes will be required to pay off the bonds, which will mature in equal stages from 2019 until 2043. The Build Illinois Bond Act sets aside a slice of revenues from existing sales taxes to service the bonds. Prior to using money from its sales taxes for day-to-day operating purposes, the State has pledged to its bondholders that it will use a portion of this sales tax money for long-term capital investment.

Many investors see Illinois sales tax revenues as a relatively secure revenue source, and despite the State’s overall fiscal challenges the bonds were rated several significant notches above the “junk bond” level. S&P Global Ratings rated the new issue at AA-, and Fitch Ratings rated the issue at A-. The bonds were sold to Wall Street investors on Tuesday, October 16. Money from the debt issuance will be used for long-term investments such as roads, bridges, and educational infrastructure.

Senator Nybo and Representative Breen Team Up for 4th Annual “Support Our Troops” Drive
This year State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) and I are once again partnering with the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the local Lilac Post 5815 for our fourth annual “Support Our Troops” collection drive. Items collected through the end of November will be delivered to military personnel serving overseas near or before Christmas. Our shared legislative office at 929 S. Main Street, Suite 105A in Lombard will serve as the drop-off location for items to be donated to U.S. troops. Donations will be accepted through November 30 during normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Senator Nybo and I would also like to send care packages specifically to local soldiers from the area (IL Senate District 24 or IL House District 48). Friends and family with loved ones from the area who are currently serving in the military are encouraged to contact my office at (630) 403-8135 with their names and addresses.

Recommended items to be included in the care packages include:
  • Books, magazines, crossword and word search puzzles, coloring books, colored pencils, dominoes, checkers or chess games 
  • iTunes gift cards, headphones or ear buds, DVD movies or television shows, small video games, international calling cards 
  • Baby wipes, deodorant, Kleenex, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, female hygiene items, shaving cream, razors 
  • Beef jerky, powdered drink mix, coffee, granola or protein bars, trail mix, dry snacks, mixed nuts 
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, air fresheners 
  • Footballs, basketballs, soccer balls and frisbees 
Because the items will be mailed, the collection drive will not accept aerosol cans and containers, food items that could melt or spoil, and fragile items.

Illinois Unemployment Rate Matches Record Low, Tied for 32nd Nationally
The recent 4.1% unemployment figure reported by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) matches the lowest number ever posted for this figure, a widely-cited index of economic health and activity in Illinois. The national average unemployment is now 3.7%, with Illinois ranking 32nd, behind Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Indiana. Preliminary data, which is subject to revision as more numbers come in, indicates that nonfarm payroll total employment increased in the Land of Lincoln by 2,800 jobs from August to September 2018. The same figure, when counted on a year-to-year basis (September 2017 to September 2018) showed a net gain of more than 50,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.

September 2018 job creation was stronger in education, construction, and manufacturing. The Illinois manufacturing economy created an estimated 2,300 net new jobs in September 2018 alone, and created 14,600 new factory jobs over the past 12 months. It should be noted, however, that the Illinois manufacturing sector is not as dominant as it was in February 1999, the last time our State’s unemployment rate was 4.1%. Illinois’ overall job universe has adjusted over the past two decades. In line with overall worldwide trends towards automation, many Illinois jobs have moved from factories to offices and service-related employment opportunities.
State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) and State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) are once again partnering with the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the local Lilac Post 5815 for their fourth annual “Support Our Troops” collection drive. Items collected throughout November will be delivered to military personnel serving overseas near or before Christmas.

“Supporting our troops is as easy as buying some of the suggested items the next time you’re in the store, and bringing them to our legislative offices. Your thoughtfulness will mean so much to the men and women who are a long way from home, especially during the holiday season,” Nybo said. “Rep. Breen and I want the brave young men and women who serve in our military—now and in years past—to know how much we appreciate their leadership and their commitment to freedom.”

The Nybo/Breen shared legislative office at 929 S. Main Street, Suite 105A in Lombard will serve as the drop-off location for items to be donated to U.S. troops. Donations will be accepted through November 30 during normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“By donating to this drive, we can show our appreciation and respect of those serving this country overseas,” said Breen. “It’s a small way to make a big difference as these brave men and women spend the holiday season away from their families and loved ones.”

Nybo and Breen would also like to send care packages specifically to local soldiers from the area (IL Senate District 24 or IL House District 48). Friends and family with loved ones from the area who are currently serving in the military are encouraged to contact the Nybo/Breen office with their names and addresses.

Recommended items to be included in the care packages include:
  • Books, magazines, crossword and word search puzzles, coloring books, colored pencils, dominoes, checkers or chess games 
  • iTunes gift cards, headphones or ear buds, DVD movies or television shows, small video games, international calling cards 
  • Baby wipes, deodorant, Kleenex, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, female hygiene items, shaving cream, razors 
  • Beef jerky, powdered drink mix, coffee, granola or protein bars, trail mix, dry snacks, mixed nuts 
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, air fresheners 
  • Footballs, basketballs, soccer balls and frisbees 
Because the items will be mailed, the collection drive will not accept aerosol cans and containers, food items that could melt or spoil, and fragile items.

For more information about the collection drive, or to leave contact information for a specific member of the service, call Sen. Nybo’s office at (630) 969-0990 or Rep. Breen’s office at (630) 403-8135.
State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) is partnering with DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Lisle) to address a dramatic increase in the number of people in DuPage County who have decided to “skip bail” and not appear in court.

“The Bail Reform Act that took effect in Illinois on January 1 this year was part of a national movement to improve the pre-trial justice system in this country,” said Breen. “While that Act includes some beneficial provisions, one specific change has unfortunately resulted in a significant spike in instances when defendants out on bail fail to appear in court.”

According to Breen, the new Bail Reform Act provides two classifications for criminal offences: Category A (more serious felonies, mostly Class X, 1, & 2) and Category B (mostly Class 3 & 4 felonies). When comparing instances of failure to appear in court offenses from January 1 through July 30 of 2017 and 2018, Category A offenses jumped by 83% and Category B offenses jumped by 71% during the similar seven-month timeframes. Breen believes the increase is a direct result of bond requirements and penalties that no longer provide adequate incentive for the accused person to appear in court. Felonies in DuPage County have spiked in 2018. Category A felonies, which include murder, home invasion, and aggravated violent felonies, have jumped 21% year over year. Category B felonies are up 8% over last year.

“This is a startling increase,” Breen said. “The law stipulates that failure to appear offenses are imposed at one Class lower than the original crime for which a defendant is charged, and often judges are not sentencing offenders to jail time for skipping bail. Hunting down and bringing bail jumpers to justice uses precious police and prosecutorial resources—and our communities are less safe with these individuals at large. At a time when serious felonies are increasing in DuPage County, most of which are committed by offenders from out of our county, we have to get serious about improving public safety.”

Proposed changes to the Bail Reform Act include:
  • Individuals who are out on bail and fail to appear in court would be charged with a “failure to appear” offense of the same Class (instead of the next lower Class) of the original crime with which he/she has been charged 
  • “Failure to Appear” offenders would not be eligible for probation for bail jumping 
When presenting the proposed legislation, Berlin said, “For our system of justice to function properly, those who commit crimes must be held responsible. The legislative changes proposed today will not only encourage defendants to appear in court when ordered, but will also help ensure that those individuals who do skip out on their bail will face significant additional penalties.”

Breen added, “Victims of crimes have a Constitutional right to timely disposition of a criminal case involving themselves or a loved one. When those charged with crimes fail to appear in court, victims are denied those rights.”