Legislative Update: May 28, 2018

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.

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