Representative Peter Breen Advances Three Bills Through House Committees

During the final week during which bills could be heard in substantive House committees, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) received approval of three House bills. All three measures will now advance to the floor of the House for final action.

“This is the pivotal week when all legislation must advance out of a substantive committee within its chamber of origin,” said Breen. “I am very pleased that three more of my bills have advanced to the next level of the approval process.”

All three bills were heard and approved by the House Judiciary-Civil Committee on Tuesday.

HB 5054 requires a consistent speed limit of 70 m.p.h. on all Illinois tollways, with the exception of I-294, which is due for reconstruction. The bill would also require permission by the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to post limits below 70 m.p.h. on those tollways. “I hear regularly from constituents who wonder why the Illinois Tollway has maintained 55 m.p.h. and 65 m.p.h. speed limits in spite of a law that took effect on January 1, 2014 that raised interstate speed limits to 70 m.p.h.,” said Breen. “Folks on the tollways are already driving in the range of 70 m.p.h., and numerous studies show that a consistent, realistic speed limit improves roadway safety.”

HB 4711 cleans up the Counties Code and Municipal Code to ensure that neighbors bringing lawsuits against a zoning or building code violator sues the correct parties, keeping local tax dollars from being used for unnecessary lawyer costs and fees. “The Appellate Court has repeatedly held that the current law allows residents to pursue legal action against neighbors in serious violation of local codes directly without needing to involve the unit of government doing the zoning,” Breen said. “When residents attempt to join the county or municipality, the cases against them are all eventually thrown out. This bill clarifies the matter for the courts and parties, so governments don’t have to spend tax dollars defending frivolous suits.”

HB 5162 amends the Citizen Participation Act (CPA) to better protect citizen activists from meritless defamation lawsuits, related to their investigations and comments on government issues. “The courts have been inconsistent in their interpretation of the Act. This legislation clarifies the statute to remove ambiguity and ensure clear protections for folks sued over their constitutionally protected participation in government.”

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