State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has earned a perfect score on the non-partisan Illinois Tax Survey compiled by Taxpayers United of America. His score is based on votes taken during the 99th General Assembly which involve the taxes Illinoisans pay to support state government.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a ‘Taxpayer Friend’ for my work on behalf of the people of the 48th District,” said Breen. “As majority Democrats continue to push their tax and spend agenda, I will fight even harder against their attempts to take more money from the pockets of folks in DuPage County.”

While 32 members of the Illinois House were recognized with a “passing” score of 70% or above, Breen is one of only three lawmakers in the entire General Assembly who earned a perfect score of 100%.

“As a lawmaker, I focus my advocacy for my constituents in three primary areas: reducing the burden of unnecessary taxes, fees and regulations; exposing and opposing the special interest deals that have corrupted our state government; and improving our business climate to create economic opportunity,” Breen said. “Now, as the House Republican Floor Leader and lead debater on all bills, I have an even greater ability to advance the interests of our District, vocally opposing the repeated attempts by Speaker Mike Madigan and his Democrats continue raising taxes on Illinois families.”

For the Taxpayers United tax survey, lawmakers were scored on their votes on ten different bills, on issues ranging from new pension sweeteners for public employees to new unfunded spending programs.

“When we return to Springfield in January for the 2018 regular session, I will continue to stand up for taxpayers in our District, because too many of our friends and neighbors have already had to move due to the tax burdens and poor economic policy imposed by our state government,” said Breen.
This Tuesday, November 28 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving to worthwhile charitable organizations across the state, nation and globe. Celebrated annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is a coordinated event that promotes the act of charitable giving during the holidays. Whether you like to donate to large organizations or prefer to channel your donation dollars locally, Giving Tuesday allows us all an opportunity to participate in holiday and end-of-the-year giving. 

Click here to be directed to a database of local organizations and non-profits.
Fall Veto Session Concludes with Action Taken on Several Vetoed House and Senate Bills
Lawmakers were in Springfield last week for the final days of the 2017 fall veto session. Of the vetoes issued by the Governor during the spring legislative session, a significant number were overridden. I supported a number of the overrides, including the creation of the “Debt Transparency Act.” However, I opposed those overrides that would increase red tape on businesses and hurt our state’s economy. 

Legislators will spend the next few months in their home districts tending to the needs of local constituents. Members of the House of Representatives report back to Springfield on January 24, and Senators will return on January 30 for the 2018 regular session.

“Support Our Troops” Collection Underway in 48th District
There’s still time to make the holidays brighter for U.S. military members serving overseas, by donating items to my “Support Our Troops” drive. We are partnering with the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the local Lilac Post 5815 for this third annual drive, and items collected through November 30 will be delivered to military personnel serving overseas near or before Christmas. We have had good participation so far, but I’m hopeful we will be passing along many more boxes of gifts and supplies when the collection drive is completed at the end of the month. 

People from the 48th House District or the 24th Senate District (Sen. Chris Nybo’s district) may drop off their donations at our shared legislative office at 929 S. Main Street, Suite 105A in Lombard. Donations will be accepted through November 30 during normal business hours of 9:00 AM until 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

As we have done in the past, we would also like to send care packages specifically to local soldiers from our district. Friends and family with loved ones from the area who are currently serving in the military are encouraged to contact our 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/ear buds, DVD movies or television shows, small video games, international calling cards 
  • Baby wipes, deodorant, Kleenex, lotion, toothpaste/toothbrush, 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, aerosol cans/containers, food items that could melt or spoil and fragile items cannot be accepted.

Our troops overseas are very deserving of care packages that let them know that folks back home are thinking of them and appreciate their service and sacrifice. For more information about the collection drive, or to leave contact information for a specific member of the service, please call my office at (630) 403-8135.

General Assembly Sends Comprehensive Sexual Harassment Prevention Legislation to Governor
Members of the House and Senate approved a comprehensive piece of legislation last week that seeks to address the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. SB 402 includes a mandate for annual sexual harassment training sessions for State Constitutional offices, state employees, lawmakers and lobbyists. The bill also includes a provision brought forward by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, which would create a telephone hotline for persons seeking relief in cases of sexual harassment. Examples of help that the hotline could provide include assistance in filing a sexual harassment complaint, referral of a victim to counseling, or referral of a victim to protective services. House members received their training on November 8 and Senators received their training on November 9.

SB 402 was part of a package of sexual harassment reforms passed in the wake of allegations of misconduct at the Capitol. Other bills that seek to change the culture in Springfield include HJR 83, a resolution that condemns the culture of sexual harassment and calls on all lawmakers to work together to change the culture, and HR 687, which creates a task force on sexual discrimination and harassment. I voted in favor of all three items.

Legislative Inspector General Appointed
The Legislative Ethics Commission, a bipartisan working group within the Illinois General Assembly, has appointed Julie Porter as a special legislative inspector general. A former federal prosecutor in Chicago, Porter will play a key role in the General Assembly’s internal disciplinary process for members and staff. The appointment came in the wake of a nationwide inquiry into sexual harassment in American workplaces.

Reports of sexual harassment can be made on a confidential basis to the Legislative Ethics Commission. With approval of the Commission, the special legislative inspector general (LIG) will examine the reports. If a complaint appears to be valid, the LIG may conduct further inquiries, and may initiate a remediation process. In some situations, the remediation process may require a referral of a specific report and case to law enforcement.

Mark You Calendar for Jan. 11 Women’s Self Defense & Self Awareness Class in 48th District
On January 11, 2018, I will be sponsoring a free Women’s Self Defense & Self Awareness Class for adult women in the 48th House District. Teenage daughters will be able to accompany their mothers to this event. My staff and I are finalizing the location, but this will be a 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM interactive class, where participants will learn valuable techniques about where to hit an attacker, how to release a hold, and methods to improve awareness and avoid potential attacks. My hope is that those who attend will leave with a better understanding of how to protect themselves during potentially dangerous situations. Additional information about the event will be posted to my web site at reppeterbreen.org

Bicentennial Campaign will Honor 200 Illinois Veterans
State officials have announced the launch of HONOR 200, a signature program of the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration, honoring the work of 200 veterans whose contributions are above and beyond the call of duty.

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs will work with veteran's organizations throughout the state to promote HONOR 200 and solicit nominations for those who will be recognized as part of the program. Nominees will be evaluated on their achievements and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited and provided inspiration to their community. Anyone can nominate an Illinois Veteran. Written nominations can be sent to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, 69 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60601 or on-line at www.illinois.gov/veterans.

The Official Illinois Bicentennial Celebration will begin this December 3rd, 2017 with events in Springfield and Chicago. The celebration will continue with programs and events throughout 2018, ending with the Bicentennial Birthday Party on December 3rd, 2018 at the United Center. The HONOR 200 veterans will be recognized during the Birthday Gala. For information on the Bicentennial and to find out how your community can participate go to www.illinois200.gov.
There’s still time to make the holidays brighter for U.S. military serving overseas by donating items to a “Support Our Troops” collection being sponsored by State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) and State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard).

The lawmakers are partnering with the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the local Lilac Post 5815 for their third annual “Support Our Troops” collection drive. Items collected through November 30 will be delivered to military personnel serving overseas near or before Christmas.

“We have had good participation so far, but I’m hopeful we will be passing along many more boxes of gifts and supplies when the collection drive is completed at the end of the month,” said Breen. “Our troops overseas are very deserving of care packages that let them know that folks back home are thinking of them and appreciate their service and sacrifice.”

People from the 24th Senate District or the 48th House district may drop off their donations at the Nybo/Breen shared legislative office at 929 S. Main Street, Suite 105A in Lombard. Donations will be accepted through November 30 during normal business hours of 9:00 AM until 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

As they have done in the past, Nybo and Breen would also like to send care packages specifically to local soldiers from the 24th Senate District or 48th House District. 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/ear buds, DVD movies or television shows, small video games, international calling cards 
  • Baby wipes, deodorant, Kleenex, lotion, toothpaste/toothbrush, 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, aerosol cans/containers, food items that could melt or spoil and fragile items cannot be accepted.

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.
Lawmakers return to Springfield this week for the final three days of the fall veto session. In addition to considering some measures that received either a partial or full veto from the Governor during the spring legislative session, some new bills will also be discussed.

During the first week of veto session (Oct. 24-26), members of the House successfully voted to override 11 vetoes, while three additional attempts at overrides failed to garner the 71 required votes. To view the current status of all vetoed bills, click here.

Legislation Filed to Battle Culture of Harassment Against Women in Springfield
Recent national news regarding sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has ignited a debate over the culture of harassment in Springfield. Several pieces of legislation were filed over the last two weeks in response to an open letter by legislators, lobbyists, and others identifying and condemning a culture of sexual harassment in the Capitol. As a result, members of the General Assembly are moving forward in a bipartisan manner to address the serious problem. A few of the measures would require sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and lobbyists, while another would create a harassment hotline number for victims. I support these efforts and hope they will help change this cultural problem in Springfield. No one should ever have to endure sexual harassment in their workplace, and we need to do everything in our power to increase behavioral standards and make sure all who work in and around the Capitol know that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.

Breen Continues to Push for Hearing on “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”
When HB 40 was signed into law several weeks ago, it put Illinois taxpayers on the hook to pay for an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 abortions each year. Shortly thereafter, I wrote and filed HB 4114, which would create the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” HB 4114 would reverse key provisions of HB 40 by prohibiting units of government from using taxpayer funds for elective abortions. Within hours of my filing of HB 4114, I had a long list of bipartisan co-sponsors. In spite of strong bipartisan support for my bill, Speaker Mike Madigan has buried it in his powerful House Rules Committee.

I continue to push for a fair hearing and vote on my bill. Not only would HB 4114 address significant opposition by pro-life Illinoisans who do not wish to have their tax dollars spent on elective abortions, the bill would put Illinois back in line with longstanding federal statutes on this issue. The legislation is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, other than for procedures sought in connection with pregnancies that result from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother.

Breen Legislation that Helps Protect Illinoisans in Wake of Equifax Data Breach Sails through Illinois House
On September 7 of this year, one of the country’s three main credit agencies, Equifax, announced a cybercrime that exposed 145.5 million U.S. residents to the potential of identity theft. Of those who had their names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and other personal pieces of sensitive information compromised, 5.6 million were from Illinois. During the first week of veto session, legislation that helped prevent Illinoisans from becoming victims of identity theft sailed through the Illinois House in a unanimous vote. HB 4095 is a consumer protection bill that would make it easier for people to freeze their credit reports when fraud is suspected. Currently, credit agencies can charge up to $10 each time a consumer freezes their credit report, but HB 4095 would now set that fee at $0, prohibiting credit agencies from charging those who need to freeze their reports. The legislation also requires that consumers be allowed to request a credit freeze by either phone or online communication, not just via certified mail. The bill is now pending in the Senate, where action is expected this week.