On the final day of the 2018 spring session, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) succeeded in sending three more bills to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.

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 and avoid filing suits that will ultimately be dismissed. “The need for this bill was brought to my attention by DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin as a method of reducing the number of lawsuits filed against local government when a complaint concerns perceived violations of another private property owner,” said Breen. “The Appellate Court has consistently ruled that local units of government should not be included in lawsuits when residents pursue legal action against neighbors who they believe are engaging in serious violations of local zoning codes. This bill clarifies the matter for the courts and parties, so governments don’t have to spend tax dollars defending lawsuits that will ultimately be dismissed.”

According to Breen, the bill, which initially passed in the House in a 110-1 vote in April, was amended in the Senate to add a provision requested by the Rockford Park District, to allow it to sell property that it is unable to operate without significant cost to the taxpayers of the district.

HB 2040 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to allow Lombard’s Soaring Eagle Academy, an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved therapeutic day school that caters to the unique educational needs of autistic children, to transport students in grades K-8 to off-site educational activities on their multipurpose bus. The bill initially passed unanimously in the House, but it was amended very slightly in the Senate. “Beneficial learning opportunities are available outside of schools, and I was pleased to carry legislation for Soaring Eagle and the students this school serves.”

HB 1336 amends the Illinois Insurance Code to prohibit car insurance carriers from increasing policy premiums, cancelling policies or refusing to renew policies for individuals who have a car accident while using their personal vehicle in their role as an Emergency Management Services (EMS) volunteer. According to Breen, the need for the bill stems specifically from a Chicago volunteer ambulance service provider. “In addition to providing ambulance services, many of these volunteers use their own personal vehicles to provide emergency services,” said Breen. “These Good Samaritans should not be penalized in the event that they are involved in a car accident while performing their good deeds.”

All three bills are expected to be signed into law in the coming weeks.
Members of the House of Representatives debated the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Constitutional Amendment on Wednesday, and State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) spoke about the impact and Constitutionality of passage of the ERA in Illinois.

"When the ERA came out of the United States Congress in 1972, there was a seven year deadline," Breen said. "And when the Congress tried to extend the deadline, a lawsuit was brought. The lawsuit held that the alleged extension was invalid, unconstitutional, void, illegal."
Click here to view a summary of 34 new laws that take effect in Illinois on June 1.
State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) stood with Illinois taxpayers on Tuesday by opposing HR 1025, which expresses support for the implementation of a progressive or graduated income tax system in Illinois.

“Instead of working on property tax relief, we’re sitting here discussing ways to raise taxes even higher on middle class Illinoisans,” said Breen. “This is one of the worst, most ill-considered and most unwanted resolutions for the people of this state.”

The resolution floated by House Democrats did not include proposed tax rates. The resolution sponsor suggested that the General Assembly should be trusted to set necessary rates. Breen noted, “Why in the world would the people of Illinois hand us the power to raise their taxes to levels previously unseen or unheard of in the history of this state?”

Click here to view Breen’s floor comments on HR 1025.
With just two days remaining until the budget deadline passes, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) urged lawmakers today to reject any FY 2019 budget that includes state funding for elective abortions as outlined in HB 40. "Every human life is a treasure of immeasurable worth," said Breen. "But predictably, this General Assembly is now faced with the question of whether to fund the Democrat program of elective abortions. This is the first year when that question will be answered.” Use the link above to listen to Breen's full floor comments.
Budget Groups Continue to Finalize FY 2019 Budget
With just a few days remaining before the scheduled end of session, the House and Senate continue to work on budget negotiations, in hopes of passing a balanced budget by the end of May. Both houses of the General Assembly adjourned over the weekend, but negotiations continued on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as a bipartisan group of negotiators continued to work towards an agreement on a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019. 

Members of the House of Representatives are back in session today at 3:00 PM. While there are still a few bills to consider, our priority is the budget. While a simple majority is required for budget approval through May 31, afterward, the approval threshold jumps to a three-fifths majority. One critical issue that has arisen is the Democratic majority’s desire to put Republican votes on their program to fund approximately 20,000 to 30,000 elective abortions, as authorized by last year’s controversial “House Bill 40.” We’re neck-deep in debt and bills, so spending tens of millions of dollars on elective abortions makes no sense, even apart from the sincere moral objections that so many of our fellow Illinoisans have to paying for abortions. I hope that my Republican colleagues will reject the majority’s plan to fund their abortion program.

Representative Breen Sends Several Bills to Governor Rauner
While a few of my bills are still pending, I am pleased to report that so far this year I have sent five bills to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. These bills, for which I serve as the Chief House Sponsor, will hopefully soon be signed into law. They include:

SB 2291 Requires the Toll Highway Authority to post to its web site all meeting agendas at least two business days in advance of any meeting, and specifically delineate the details of any contracts of over $100,000 in those agendas.

SB 2524 Creates a task force to inform Illinoisans of the methods and benefits of proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and the risks associated with improper and non-disposal of those products.

SB 2585 Clarifies the statutes as they relate to fees paid for information in a driver’s record by ensuring private companies cannot circumvent the $12 fee for each record by only requesting part of the record.

SB 2660 Protects funds that are dedicated to the support of individuals who are living with a significant disability in an “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) account, by protecting those resources from garnishment by the government on the death of that disabled individual.

SB 2889 Amends Illinois law to allow school children to use newer, less expensive epinephrine delivery technology in schools.

Legislation that Removes Firearms from Individuals who Pose an Immediate and Present Threat Receives Broad Bipartisan Support in IL House
This year I served as the chief Republican negotiator of legislation that preserves Second Amendment rights, while putting protections in place to help curb mass shootings by mentally unstable individuals. I am serving as the Chief Co-Sponsor of this legislation. 

An initial version of this bill, as it came to the House from the Senate, included provisions that would have overburdened law enforcement and our court system, along with being insufficiently respectful of private property rights. But with that bill as a starting point, we negotiated extensively with all parties, including law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates on both sides of the issue. By the end, we reached a bill that even met the concerns of our state’s largest firearms owners’ group, the Illinois State Rifle Association, which lifted its opposition to the measure. This bill is the best of its type in the country, and I believe it will become the national model for similar measures in other states.

Through HB 2354, family members or law enforcement can petition for a “firearms restraining order” on an emergency basis, to prevent a person who is proven to be an immediate and present danger from possessing firearms. A full hearing must be held within 14 days, where the petitioner must prove by strict clear and convincing evidence that the person is a danger to himself or others. If so, the emergency order is extended to a six-month order, which may be renewed on continued proof of danger. But if the allegations are not proven at the full hearing, the record of the case is expunged. Strict penalties for perjury would also apply to those who would falsely swear out a petition for a firearms restraining order. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Breen to Partner with Glen Ellyn Food Pantry for Document Shredding Event and Food Collection Drive
On Saturday, June 16, I am hosting a free paper shredding event and non-perishable food drive that will benefit the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. The event will be held at the Duane and Lorraine Street Metra Station lot in Glen Ellyn from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon. To take advantage of the shredding service or drop off food for the pantry, simply follow the signs that guide cars through the parking lot and watch as event volunteers feed up to two boxes of shreddable documents into a large shred truck, and collect items to be donated to the food pantry. Parking will be available for those who want to watch their documents being shredded. Due to the size of the shred truck and popularity of similar events in the region, each vehicle will be limited to two grocery-sized bags or banker box sized boxes of shreddable documents. 

I’m told the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry is in particular need of the following items at this time:
  • Tuna (canned in water) 
  • Cooking Oil 
  • Pancake Mix 
  • Pancake Syrup 
  • Yellow Mustard 
  • Ketchup 
  • Salad Dressing 
  • Canned Fruit 
  • Hair Shampoo 
  • Dish Soap 
Libraries in 48th District Receive Grants
I was pleased to recently announce that $124,180 in state-sponsored per capita grant money has been approved for libraries located in the 48th Legislative House District. The Public Library Per Capita Grants Program was established to assist public libraries to improve and increase library services within their service areas. Grant amounts of up to $1.25 per person served are available, on an annual basis, to all Illinois local public libraries through an application process.

Libraries within the 48th Legislative House District that will receive funds include:
  • Glen Ellyn Public Library for $34,312.50
  • Lisle Library District for $35,630.00 
  • Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library District for $54,237.50 
Per Capita Grant funding allows resources for expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.

Breen Hosts Page for a Day
On Thursday it was my pleasure to host Katelyn Czarnowski of Elmhurst as my House page. I enjoy spending time with families from the 48th District when they visit the State Capitol. The Page for a Day program allows children to view the House of Representatives in action from the House Floor. If you are interested in scheduling a visit, please contact my Springfield secretary at (217) 782-8037. 

Breen Welcomes Township Officials to Springfield
Earlier this month township officials from across Illinois were in Springfield for their lobby day. I enjoyed visiting with Erica and Steve Militello, of York Township, and John Morrissey, York Township Trustee, (pictured here) along with many others from Milton and York Townships. We are fortunate in the 48th District to have such hard-working and dedicated township officials. 

Summer Reading Program Underway in 48th District
With summer vacation now underway for almost all DuPage County schools, I would like to invite students in pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade from throughout the 48th House District to participate in my Fourth Annual Summer Reading Program. “Summer Reading Safari” is the theme of the program, and those who achieve the summer reading goal of reading eight or more books will be invited to attend a fall reading celebration party.
Participants can register and list their books on a paper brochure that can be returned to my legislative office at 929 S. Main Street, Suite 105A in Lombard, or participation can be logged completely on line through the “Summer Reading” icon found at www.reppeterbreen.org

Program brochures were sent home in backpacks for some students, and a PDF of the brochure is also posted to the digital backpack sections of web sites for other schools. Additional brochures are available at my Lombard office and at the following libraries:
  • Downers Grove: 1050 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove 
  • Glen Ellyn: 400 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn 
  • Lisle: 777 Front Street, Lisle 
  • Lombard’s Helen Plum Memorial Library: 110 W. Maple Street, Lombard 
  • Oak Brook: 600 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook 
  • Villa Park: 305 S. Ardmore Avenue, Villa Park 
  • Wheaton: 225 N. Cross Street, Wheaton 
For more information about this program, please call my office at (630) 403-8135, or visit reppeterbreen.org and click the Summer Reading icon.

FOID Renewals Could be Delayed
In 2008, the law as it pertains to Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) Cards was amended to make FOID cards valid for ten years. As a result of that change, more than 50,000 FOID cards will be up for renewal this year between June 1 and August 1. The volume of renewal requests could lead to delays, and the State Police is encouraging those with renewals coming up to turn in their paperwork a full two months early. If you own a FOID card, please take a moment and check the expiration date on your FOID card, and send in your renewal two months ahead of time, allowing the State Police to have adequate time to process the renewal so that it does not expire. As you know, a valid FOID card is required if you want to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition in Illinois. Click here to go to the FOID Card section of the Illinois State Police web site.

Happy Memorial Day!
Lastly, I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Memorial Day. Today is a day of remembrance for those who have served our country, especially those who have fallen in its service. This day was raised from an informal, local day of observation to a national holiday through the efforts of Illinois native General John A. Logan, a veteran of the Civil War and head of the Grand Army of the Republic. I hope you find time to attend an observation ceremony and to spend time with family, friends and other loved ones.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that clarifies the statutes as they relate to fees paid for information in a driver’s record was approved unanimously today in the House of Representatives.

SB 2585 sets the fee at $12 for the release of information included in an Illinoisan’s driver’s record. Law enforcement is exempted from having to pay the fee, and any public transit system, public defender, law enforcement agency, government agency or Illinois local intergovernmental association can also be exempted if the information is requested for the purpose of a background check of an employment applicant, official investigations conducted by an agency, or to determine a current address for a driver.

“According to the Secretary of State’s Office, individuals and agencies are skirting around the current $12 fee by asking for a portion, perhaps up to 95%, of a driving record rather than requesting a full document, which triggers the fee,” said Breen. “They have also seen instances where people have requested just short of a full driving record and turned around and sold the information to insurance companies. This bill simply ensures that when driver’s record information is requested, there will be a $12 fee.”

SB 2585 also received a unanimous vote in the Senate, and it now goes to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature.
By a vote of 80-32-1, today the House of Representatives took a significant step toward improving public safety by approving a method through which family members or law enforcement can seek an emergency “firearms restraining order” to remove firearms from individuals posing an immediate threat to themselves and/or others. State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) was the leading Republican negotiator for the bill and is a Chief Co-Sponsor.

“This bill is an example of how we can produce great legislation if we work in a bipartisan manner,” said Breen. “These acts of senseless violence are all too often committed by individuals who have shown signs that they are mentally unstable and interested in causing harm to themselves or others. This tightly-worded legislation preserves Second Amendment rights while putting protections in place to help curb mass shootings by mentally unstable individuals. It was an honor to help write this bill.”

Through HB 2354, family members or law enforcement who petition for an emergency order must show that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing harm to themselves or others. If probable cause is established through a court hearing, the judge will enter an order that will allow the Illinois State Police (ISP) to suspend or revoke the Firearms Owner Identification card of the respondent and, if necessary, issuing a search warrant to remove any firearms from the person’s residence.

The respondent must be given a full hearing within 14 days, where it must be proven by strict clear and convincing evidence that the person is dangerous. If so, the emergency order is extended to a six-month order, which may be renewed on continued proof of danger. But if the allegations are not proven at the full hearing, the record of the case is expunged, so as not to do any harm to an innocent respondent. Strict penalties for perjury would also apply to those who would falsely swear out a petition for a firearms restraining order.

“Current law does not have any provisions that allow family members or police officers to take steps to remove firearms from those who would use them to cause harm,” Breen said. “This bill is the best of its type in the country. I believe it will become the national model. I applaud my colleagues for passing it and hope for bipartisan support in the Senate and favorable action by Governor Rauner.

Click here to hear Breen speak about the bill on the House floor.
State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has passed legislation to create a task force to inform Illinoisans of the methods and benefits of proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and the risks associated with improper and non-disposal of those products. Through SB 2524, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) would provide administrative support of a newly-created Pharmaceutical Disposal Task Force, with assistance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education. The task force, which would serve without pay, would be in place through 2022.

“Increased abuse of prescription medications by people other than the individuals for which they were prescribed has reached a crisis point in Illinois,” said Breen. “We’re learning that the medicine cabinet is the primary source of drugs for teens and that older teens and young adults actually engage in ‘pharm parties,’ where kids steal prescription medicines from home, take them to a party, and share them with friends. It’s a dangerous game that sometimes has deadly consequences.”

In addition to the risks associated with people taking pills that were prescribed to someone else, Breen pointed to significant environmental concerns that result when unused pharmaceuticals are poured down sinks or flushed, causing them to enter the public water supply.

“Drugs enter our water supply when people flush their unused pharmaceuticals down the toilet or pour them down the sink,” Breen said. “While water from sewage is filtered and chlorinated, drugs remain in the water, posing a threat to families who drink water from the tap. This issue could be largely preventable if folks take advantage of opportunities to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications.”

With passage of the bill in the House and Senate, SB 2524 now moves to Governor Rauner for his signature.
State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has passed legislation that amends Illinois law to allow school children to use newer, less expensive epinephrine delivery technology in schools.

SB 2889 updates the definition of “epinephrine injector” to include newer forms of auto-injector pens and also pre-filled syringes that were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “During a severe allergy attack, epinephrine injectors deliver life-saving mediation to patients in distress,” said Breen. “Unfortunately, the Illinois School Code and the Epinephrine Auto-Injector Act currently have a limited definition of epinephrine injector that does not account for new pharmaceutical advancements. Some of this newer technology allows for swift treatment at a lower cost.”

According to Breen, epinephrine is commonly used for emergency treatment of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, that results from a severe reaction to insect stings or bites, allergic reactions to foods, drugs and other allergens, as well as exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Unlike the EpiPen, which is an auto-injector, the pre-filled devise is a syringe, which many say is easier to use.

SB 2889 received unanimous approval in the Senate in April, and with the House’ unanimous approval on Monday, the bill now moves to Governor Rauner’s desk for final action.
In an effort to improve transparency with regard to the Illinois Toll Highway Authority, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) received unanimous House approval on Friday of legislation that would require the Authority to post all meeting agendas and contract details on its website.

SB 2291 would require the Toll Highway Authority to post to its web site all meeting agendas at least two business days in advance of any meeting. Agendas would also have to be posted at the Authority’s headquarters building. “The Illinois Toll Highway Authority is an agency funded entirely by taxpayer dollars,” said Breen. “Therefore, the people of Illinois deserve full transparency regarding the business the Toll Highway Authority conducts. This is a good government bill and I was proud to usher it through the House.”

According to Breen, the posted agendas must provide general subject matter of any issue that will be discussed for a potential final vote, and also include specific details concerning contracts for projects to be discussed for amounts over $100,000. The on-line agenda must also include Internet links that provide greater detail on the contracts.

SB 2291 was approved by the Senate in April, and with today’s House approval the bill will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.
As schools across DuPage County finish the 2017-2018 school year, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) invites students in pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade from throughout the 48th House District to participate in his Fourth Annual Summer Reading Program.

“Summer Reading Safari” is the theme of the program, and according to Breen, those who achieve the summer reading goal of reading eight or more books will be invited to attend a fall reading celebration party. “Reading over the summer is vitally important, because it keeps minds sharp and takes kids on amazing adventures, right in the comfort of their own homes,” said Breen.

Participants can register and list their books on a paper brochure that can be returned to his legislative office, or participation can be logged completely on line through the “Summer Reading” icon found at www.reppeterbreen.org.

District 48 encompasses all or part of the following municipalities: Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lisle, Downers Grove, Oakbrook Terrace, Oakbrook, and Villa Park. Program brochures will come home in backpacks for some students and a PDF of the brochure will be posted to the digital backpack sections of web sites for other schools. Additional brochures are available at Breen’s office at 929 S. Main Street, Suite 101-A, in Lombard, and at the following libraries:
  • Downers Grove: 1050 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove 
  • Glen Ellyn: 400 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn 
  • Lisle: 777 Front Street, Lisle 
  • Lombard’s Helen Plum Memorial Library: 110 W. Maple Street, Lombard 
  • Oak Brook: 600 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook 
  • Villa Park: 305 S. Ardmore Avenue, Villa Park 
  • Wheaton: 225 N. Cross Street, Wheaton 
“This is a very popular program, and I am hoping to have large participation from across the 48th District this year,” said Breen. For more information about this program, please call the Breen office at (630) 403-8135, or visit reppeterbreen.org and click the Summer Reading icon.
State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) announced today that $124,180 in state-sponsored per capita grant money has been approved for libraries located in the 48th Legislative House District.

The Public Library Per Capita Grants Program was established to assist public libraries to improve and increase library services within their service areas. Grant amounts of up to $1.25 per person served are available, on an annual basis, to all Illinois local public libraries through an application process.

“Initiatives that improve our local public libraries are vitally important,” said Breen. “Libraries are often a focal point of a community and I am pleased to know that a portion of this year’s per capita library grant allocation will be put to good use right here in the 48th District.”

Libraries within the 48th Legislative House District that will receive funds include:
  • Glen Ellyn Public Library for $34,312.50 
  • Lisle Library District for $35,630.00 
  • Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library District for $54,237.50 
Per Capita Grant funding allows resources for expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.