Legislative Update: February 24, 2016

Dear Neighbors,
Last week Governor Bruce Rauner visited Glenbard East High School in Lombard for a meeting with a group of 75 students. I was impressed with the maturity shown by the students and the level of intelligence behind the questions they asked. After the meeting, the Governor held a press conference, where he announced his support of new legislation that reduces unfunded mandates on school districts.

Illinois school districts have been forced to comply with nearly 150 unfunded mandates in the past 25 years, with the General Assembly enacting more than 135 unfunded mandates in the last 15 years. These unfunded mandates drive up property taxes, and as legislators, we need to be doing everything we can to provide taxpayers with relief. People in the district continue to leave the state because they cannot afford the astronomical taxes. I was glad to hear the Governor providing full support to our initiatives to ease that tax burden.

HB 6164 has the potential to save Illinois public schools more than $200 million through mandate relief. The legislation eliminates restrictions on third-party contracting, which eases limitations and financial pressures on school districts. This type of mandate relief is already provided to Chicago Public Schools, and this legislation extends this relief to every school district in Illinois. In addition, it eases some curriculum mandates imposed from Springfield on local districts.

Breen Speaks with Boy Scout Group
On Saturday, I was honored to help a great group of Boy Scouts earn their Citizenship in the Community merit badge at the 19th annual Potawatomi Trails Merit Badge University. We covered topics from how I became a state representative to how one of my bills (SB90) would not have become law without me in the General Assembly. My experiences as a Boy Scout were fundamental to my entrance into politics and public service. I was highly impressed by the character and engagement of these young men and look forward to them doing great things with their lives.

Breen Files Comprehensive 2016 Legislative Agenda
January and February are busy months for lawmakers, as this is the period of time each year when we draft and file our primary bills for the legislative year. My priorities remain taxpayer-focused, and I have once again filed a comprehensive agenda that seeks to provide taxpayers with property tax relief, pension reform, and improved government transparency. My 2016 agenda includes the following bills:
  • HB 5682: Reduces the fees associated with a review of red light camera infractions by motorists. 
  • HB 5683: Adds a layer of fairness to the timeframe during which citizens who file Open Meetings Act grievances with the IL Attorney General’s office can seek a remedy.
  • HB 5684: Addresses the common practice of “pension spiking” for employees who are members of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, by stating that pay raises in excess of 6% during an employee’s final year will not be considered “pensionable income.”
  • HB 5685: Prohibits the Secretary of State from imposing a delinquent registration renewal fee when the registered owner of a vehicle has not been provided with postage mail or email notice of the date a registration is set to expire.
  • HB 5686: Amends and clarifies the IL Anatomical Gift Act as it relates to tissue and body parts that can be legally donated or sold, by expending the definition of “decedent” to include the deceased fetus or unborn child, and expressly prohibits the donation or sale of aborted fetuses and fetal tissue.
  • HB 5812: Makes technical changes to the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act that will save money, improve service and streamline processes.
  • HB 5930: Transfers responsibility for monitoring employment progress of women and minorities in the workforce to the Department of Labor to eliminate a duplicative service and save money.
  • HR 1029: A resolution honoring the life and service of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Breen Talks with Students from Jackson Middle School
On Monday, it was a great privilege to give a talk about government and politics to the 7th grade students at Jackson Middle School. We covered everything from the state budget, to socialism, to Donald Trump. I was very impressed with their knowledge of current events.

As your voice in Springfield, I’m working to make our state and our communities the best they can be. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to invite me to speak to a group in the 48th District, please contact my office at (630) 403-8135, or visit reppeterbreen.org and click the contact button.