Legislative Update: December 3, 2015

Here in the 48th Legislative House District, we are fortunate to have some very successful sports programs at our public and private high schools. Last week two of our football teams posted perfect seasons which culminated with State Championships in football. Glenbard West High School topped Libertyville in a 34-28 victory in the Class 7A Championship game held at Northern Illinois University on Saturday, November 28. The Hilltoppers, coached by Sam Brodner finished their impressive season 14-0, and the championship on the 28th marked the school’s third State Football Championship.

Montini Catholic High School also finished a dream season this year with a 14-0 record, claiming the Class 6A Title in a convincing 38-15 victory over Crete-Monee. It was the football team’s first perfect season in the program’s 48-year history. The team is coached by Chris Andriano.
Congratulations to all of the athletes and coaches from both of these special teams!

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting Montini President James Segredo with a House Resolution congratulating the staff, faculty, alumni, parents and students of Montini Catholic High School on the 50th anniversary of the high school.

Breen Participates in Nativity Scene Dedication Ceremony at State Capitol
On Tuesday, my wife and I attended the dedication ceremony for the State Capitol’s Nativity Scene, which can be found in the first floor rotunda. The nativity scene, depicting the newborn Christ Child lying in a manger, and a Christmas Tree that stands two stories tall,
provide perspective during difficult days for Illinois. It was my honor to speak at the dedication event. The display is open to the public during normal business hours throughout December. If your holiday travels bring you near Springfield, please try to find time to see the display in the rotunda. My thanks go out to the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee for bringing this symbol of this sacred season to the Illinois Capitol.

Unemployment Insurance Reforms Receive Bipartisan House Support
In a rare showing of bipartisanship in Springfield, lawmakers in the house gave final approval on Wednesday to sweeping reforms to the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act. The reforms, agreed to jointly by the Governor, the business community, and labor organizations, represent a significant step forward to strengthen the backbone of our economy, innovators and entrepreneurs. HB 1285 received unanimous support by the 110 legislators in attendance. Specifically, HB 1285 prevents a $470 million tax increase on employers by eliminating a scheduled increase in employer contributions that would have taken effect in 2016. The legislation also eliminates the Social Security Offset to provide greater security to elderly and disabled workers, and strengthens the misconduct provisions to ensure greater protections to employers.

On Wednesday the House also sent over to the Senate a bill that would allow Motor Fuel Tax receipts and funding for 9-1-1 service to flow to municipalities and townships. The language, which was presented as an amendment to SB 2039, also included funding for lottery winners and for programs that serve veterans and battered women, for low income energy assistance programs, and for mental health services for vulnerable citizens. The bill now awaits “concurrence” by the Senate, and I’m told they will convene early next week to approve the bill. Governor Rauner has already said he will sign it when it lands on his desk. These two successes in Springfield this week show us all what is possible when lawmakers work in a bipartisan manner. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

Breen Reminds Citizens to Sign Up For Email Renewal Notices
In October, Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office was suspending the mailing out of vehicle registration renewal reminders to the public due to the lack of a state budget. By using this link you can register for email reminder notices that will provide an alert when your vehicle registration sticker is about to expire.

I have filed legislation that would prohibit the Secretary of State’s office from issuing late fees during this time, because I do not believe Illinois residents should be penalized for lawmakers’ inability to approve a budget. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the email notifications right away. You will need to locate and have handy your annual vehicle registration document, which contains your "Registration ID" and "PIN," usually located in the top right corner of the registration document. If you receive an email reminder, that will also include the PIN number for on-line renewal of vehicle registration stickers. Click here to view an FAQ about to this issue.