On Saturday, September 24, more than 100 taxpayers from the 48th Legislative House District attended a free property tax forum in Glen Ellyn that was sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard). Those in attendance learned about the tax assessment process and how to challenge an assessment that is believed to be inaccurate.

Breen was joined at the event by Milton Township Assessor Chris E. LeVan, York Township Assessor Deanna Wilkins and York Township Assistant Assessor Fred Beno.
Together they spoke to residents and explained the process that ties the value of their homes to the eventual tax bill that arrives in their mailboxes. The community leaders also outlined the steps required for appealing an assessment and took questions from audience members.

“It was a pleasure to partner with these local experts for this successful forum,” said Breen. “The procedure utilized to create assessments and tax bills is confusing, and I was glad to offer a program where people could learn about the process and have their questions answered.”

Click here to view the Power Point presentation that was used during the forum.

Click here to view a video of the presentation.

It is my pleasure to present to you my 2015-2016 Legislative Session Report. My staff and I prepared this report for you, to give you an in-depth look at the 99th General Assembly and to ask for your feedback in the enclosed survey.

These are truly challenging times, but as you will see in the enclosed pages, we had some key successes this year. You may access the report by clicking here.
In acknowledgement of votes taken in 2015-2016 that affect Illinois small businesses, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has been named a “Guardian of Small Business” by the Illinois branch of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Breen scored a perfect 100% in an NFIB review of his voting record.

Honorees were chosen based on their votes on 11 key bills during the 99th General Assembly. The bills included: HB 6162, SB 2964, HB 3887, HB 1285, SB 162, HB 1287, SB 2933, HB 4036, SB 11, HB 5576 and HJRCA 26. Lawmakers who received an 80% or higher rating received the award.

According to Kim Clark Maisch, State Director of NFIB/Illinois, during his first term in the Illinois General Assembly, Breen has emerged as a true champion of small business. “Representative Breen’s 100% voting record on key small business issues demonstrates his strong commitment to our state's job creators,” she said. “Representative Breen has stood up time and again and fought for the rights of small businesses and their ability to keep their doors open in a state and isn't known for being friendly to business.”

Breen said it was an honor to be recognized for his voting record in support of Illinois small businesses. “The men and women who start and run small businesses are the primary job creators in Illinois,” said Breen. “During my time in the Illinois House, I’ve tried to foster a competitive business environment by reducing unnecessary regulations on small businesses and promoting market-driven public policies.”

NFIB/Illinois includes over 11,000 small business members from across the state. A link to a summary of the 11 key business bills and an overall tally and ranking of all Illinois State Representatives and Senators can be found at: http://www.nfib.com/pdfs/Illinois-Voting-Record.pdf.
My wife Margie and I are pleased to announce that we are now the parents of a beautiful baby boy, Matthew Elijah Breen! It has been a difficult path over the past three years, and we had several near misses over that time: even one where we’d loaded up the car with baby items and found out along the way that the birth mom had changed her mind. Throughout, Margie and I have been privileged to have folks throughout the area thinking about us and praying for us.

All those prayers were answered this past August 9th, when our little Matthew burst into the world, 700 miles away in Virginia. We were blessed to be there to meet him soon after he was born, and we spent the first two weeks with Matthew in a hotel room in the Cavalier State, waiting for the interstate adoption paperwork to clear.

You’d laugh if you watched us navigate all the “first-time-parent” cliché moments, from the first sponge bath for the squirming, screaming little guy, to the blurry-eyed cleaning up of his 3 a.m. diaper explosions. And we’ve both been awed at those quiet times late at night when we each realize that we’re no longer (just) “Aunt Margie & Uncle Peter” but now “Mommy & Daddy.”

Probably the toughest part of a new baby is learning to operate on very little sleep. I turned 40 last week: the all-nighters and near-all-nighters are a lot tougher now then they were when I was in my 20’s. I also get varied reports from friends and family on whether the sleeplessness gets any better—as one experienced mom told me, “you won’t sleep soundly again till he moves out of the house!”

The other part you don’t fully realize, until baby arrives, is that every carefully crafted plan you had is out the window. Baby is now in charge of the schedule!

This column is generally about politics and policy, and briefly on that point, I was reminded by a friend that we’ve brought a baby into Illinois at a time when many folks are leaving, all because of a government that has severely damaged our economy and communities. But if you really want to view the most compelling reason to fix our state, look at a brand new baby, bursting with potential and growth. We can’t pass on a corrupt and broken government to these little ones, and we can’t in good conscience load them up with tens of thousands of dollars in debt—all before they’re even potty-trained!

Finally, I’d like to say something about our adoption experience, because it seems that adoption is one of the most misunderstood institutions in modern America. In our case, we’ve gotten to know the birth mom and her family well, and we remain in regular contact with them. Our birth mom, faced with a unique and challenging situation, carefully reviewed her options. She reviewed many hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles of potential adoptive parents, and she chose us to be the parents of her baby boy. We visited before the birth, and she was able to see our joy at becoming parents, and we know that she found strength and comfort in that joy.

And the circumstances of our adoption are not unique. Many birth moms today choose a more “open” adoption, and there are many thousands upon thousands of couples just waiting to be chosen to become parents. So, if one of your family members or friends finds themselves in a difficult or untimely pregnancy, you can feel confident in recommending that they consider adoption, as a positive and viable option for them.

In our case, we’re just over the moon about our little Matthew, and we can’t imagine our lives without him.
Citizens of Illinois’ 48th Legislative House District are invited to join State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) and local tax assessment experts this Saturday, September 24 for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal tax assessments. The 1 ½-hour event will be held from 9:30 AM until 11:00 AM in the Clayton Room at the Glen Ellyn Civics Center, 535 Duane St, in Glen Ellyn.

Joining Breen at the informational session will be Milton Township Assessor Chris E. LeVan and York Township Assessor Deanna Wilkins. “I hear regularly from citizens who say they are overtaxed, and while many claim they would like to file an appeal, they don’t know where to begin because they find the process overwhelming,” said Breen. “It is my pleasure to bring experts together so that residents can gain a better understanding of the assessment and appeals process, and know what remedies are available to them.”

Due to space constraints, RSVPs are requested. If you would like to attend the property tax assessment seminar, please RSVP by calling Rep. Breen’s office at (630) 403-8135.
In response to the recent Illinois Supreme Court decision that found the Independent Maps Coalition’s fair maps proposal unconstitutional, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) is partnering with what he hopes will be a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers on a Constitutional Amendment that would allow citizens to draw legislative maps with the guidance of a non-partisan commission.

“People everywhere are outraged with the 4-3 Supreme Court decision which removed the fair maps initiative from the November ballot,” said Breen, a Chief-Co-Sponsor of the new legislation. “Citizens want to weigh in on this reform and twice now they have been denied their opportunity to vote on it.”

Through HJRCA 60, filed this week in Springfield, issues brought forth in the Supreme Court ruling are addressed. A commission as outlined in the Constitution would provide tools and necessary data to citizens to allow them to create a map that is entirely nonpartisan and meets Constitutional requirements, with the citizen-drawn maps ranked according to an objective scoring measure. The top three ranked maps would then be forwarded to the General Assembly for an up or down vote, with no changes from legislators allowed. In the event that consensus is not reached on one of the three maps, the Secretary of State would step in and certify the map with the highest score.

“HJRCA 60 gives citizens the primary voice in mapmaking. It works within the confines of the legislative article of the Constitution and offers structural and procedural changes that take the map-drawing

responsibilities out of the hands of partisan lawmakers,” Breen said. “It responds to issues identified by the state’s highest court as unconstitutional and would end political gerrymandering of legislative maps. Every Illinoisan who cares about fair elections will win under this nonpartisan measure.”

If approved and implemented, the provisions of HJRCA 60 would be utilized during the next redistricting effort that will occur in 2021 and affect the 2022 elections.