Legislative Update: October 9, 2015

Breen Files Bill to Protect Vehicle Owners from Late Registration Renewal Fees
With 90% of our state’s budget dollars flowing even in the absence of an approved budget, most Illinoisans have only been minimally impacted by the budget stalemate in Springfield. However, now the effects are beginning to trickle down and impact vehicle owners. Last week Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office would no longer be able to mail vehicle registration renewal reminders. In his announcement, Secretary White said the suspension of the letters would save his office approximately $450,000 per month, and free up funds that would allow him to continue mailing vehicle stickers to vehicle owners. He encouraged people to use this link to sign up for an email reminder that a vehicle registration renewal is coming due.

The email reminders are a great idea, but what about seniors and others who do not have routine access to computers or email? To keep these people from falling in between the cracks on this issue, this week I took legislative action by filing HB 4306, a measure that would protect motorists from fines and extra fees during this unprecedented budget impasse. Current Illinois law does not allow the Secretary of State to legally waive these late fees.

HB 4306 would prohibit the Secretary of State from imposing a delinquent registration renewal fee when the registered owner of the vehicle has not been provided with either a postage mail or an emailed notice of the date the registration expires. The bill also provides for a one-month grace period for those who have received notice, before a $20 delinquent fee is imposed.

I would encourage everyone to sign up for the email reminders utilizing the link above. For those without email or internet access, you can also renew your sticker either in person at your local Secretary of State office or through the mail. For both options, you need to identify your pin number, which is on your registration card. If mailing, you will need to include your license plate type and number and your renewal check or money order, and mail to Secretary of State, Vehicle Services Department, 501 S. 2nd Street, Room 011, Springfield, IL. 62756. The renewal cost is the same as last year.

Breen Talks with Beacon Hill Residents about the Budget, Taxes and other Springfield Issues
On Monday I had the pleasure of talking with about 50 seniors who live at the Beacon Hill Retirement Center in Lombard. I provided an update about what is (and unfortunately what is not) going on in Springfield, and spoke about how, four months into the budget impasse, Illinois’ pile of unpaid bills continues to grow. I explained that while I am deeply concerned about the current state of Illinois, I am also extremely optimistic that meaningful change to the status quo is right around the corner.
After my 15-minute presentation, I spent a great deal of time answering questions from the intelligent group of interested taxpayers. We discussed pension reform, Governor Rauner’s Turnaround agenda and how his initiatives would positively impact future budgets. It was a delight to meet with these constituents, and I look forward to a return visit.

Legislative Advisory Council Reconvenes for Meeting of the Whole
The Legislative Advisory Council that I created with Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) and State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) presented committee updates at Monday’s meeting. This dedicated group of involved citizens is helping us develop new ideas for legislation and evaluate current proposals being considered in Springfield. The Council’s committees include Education, Health and Human Services, Energy and Environment, Seniors and Veterans, State Finances and Economic Growth, Transportation, and Business and Economic Expansion. Each group spent 10-15 minutes providing an update of their research completed over the last four months, and discussions were held about how to target future research. I was truly impressed by their depth of knowledge and commitment to our state.
At the meeting, Emily Shields, a special education teacher for the DuPage County Cooperative Association for Special Education (CASE), received the first ever Inspiring Educator Award for Senate District 24, which includes the House Districts for Rep. Bellock and me. She was nominated by a Glen Ellyn parent of a CASE student who made tremendous progress during his time in Shields’ classroom. In the photo to the right, Shields and I are shown with Rep. Bellock, Senator Nybo, CASE Executive Director Jim Nelson and CASE Assistant Director Cindy D’Ambrosio.

The Council and its subcommittees will continue to meet monthly throughout the legislative year. New members are always welcome to apply. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talents on one of our committees, please contact my office at (630) 403-8135, or email me using the contact form found at www.reppeterbreen.org.

Lombard Residents Honored at Community Senior Fair
On Wednesday, my office had an information booth at the 10th annual Lombard Senior Fair, and my staff and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with the residents who attended the event. I was glad to be able to talk to so many residents about issues that matter to them. Congratulations to Lombard residents Lonnie Morris and Marv Schulgen for receiving the Senior of the Year awards for 2015! I am grateful to their service to the community. It was an honor to be a part of the award presentation with Lombard’s Village President Keith Giagnorio and Trustee Robyn Pike.