Today Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 5123, which will allow the DuPage County Clerk to absorb the functions of the county’s election commission. State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) was the primary Chief Co-Sponsor of the money-saving bill.

“Nearly every county in Illinois already allows the clerk’s office to handle election responsibilities, so there’s no reason for DuPage County taxpayers to foot the extra bill for an unnecessary commission,” said Breen. “This bipartisan measure will save DuPage residents money and improve the quality of services they receive. DuPage families keep a careful eye on their budgets and spending, and they deserve a government that will do the same.”

Residents of DuPage County passed an advisory referendum in March stating they wanted their county election commission merged into the county clerk’s office, a move that is predicted to save $300,000, improve efficiency and streamline election reporting. Today’s bill action will enable that consolidation to move forward and will also allow a similar action in Peoria County, the only other county in Illinois where a separate county election commission presently exists.

Upon signing the bill at the DuPage County Government Center in Wheaton, Governor Rauner said, “This is another step in the right direction for Illinois. We need to continue to root out duplicative layers of government that serve only to burden taxpayers and hinder businesses. I’m pleased to sign this bill and congratulate the leaders, voters and taxpayers of DuPage County.”

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin welcomed the governor’s action, calling it the culmination of a worthwhile process. “DuPage County has spent several years to approve this consolidation effort,” said Cronin, a former state legislator. “With the support of voters and help from our DuPage legislators, we have advanced another good government reform that will save taxpayers money. Together with Governor Rauner, we are setting the standard of a responsible, effective government, one that adapts and innovates the delivery of its services and works on behalf of the people it serves.”

HB 5123 is now listed in the State Statutes as Public Act 100-0628.
This week Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation that protects Second Amendment rights, while providing law enforcement and family with tools to temporarily remove firearms from unstable individuals who would use guns to harm themselves or others. Representative Peter Breen was the lead Republican negotiator of the bipartisan bill and also served as the Chief Co-Sponsor.

State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) joined law enforcement, advocates, and public officials today for the signing of legislation that will help prevent people who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing guns. HB 2354, which received bipartisan support in the House and Senate, was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner a ceremony in Chicago. Breen was the lead Republican negotiator and the principle Chief Co-Sponsor of the life-saving legislation.

“Acts of senseless violence in schools, churches or other public places 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,” said Breen. “This tightly worded legislation puts critical protections in place to help curb mass shootings by disturbed individuals who should not have access to guns. It’s an excellent example of how we can produce good legislation when politics is set aside, and Republicans and Democrats work together.”

Through HB 2354, now in the statutes as Public Act 100-0607, 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, issue 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.
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed taxpayer protection legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that helps prevent public funds from being spent on unnecessary lawyer costs and fees.

PA 100-0595 cleans up the Counties Code and Municipal Code to ensure that neighbors bringing lawsuits against a zoning or building code violator sue the correct parties, and avoid filing suits that will ultimately be dismissed. “When residents to pursue legal action against their neighbors for violations of local codes, the unit of government setting zoning law is not supposed to be included in the suit,” Breen said. “But residents continue to mistakenly attempt to add the county or municipality to their suit. This new law clarifies the matter, so governments don’t waste taxpayer dollars defending these frivolous claims.”

The need for the bill was brought to Breen’s attention by DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, as a method of reducing the number of lawsuits improperly filed against the county, when the complaint concerns violations by another private property owner.

“At a time when the residents of the 48th District are desperate for tax relief, I want to ensure their tax dollars are not wasted on suits that will be tossed out of court,” Breen said. “By eliminating some of these meritless suits that send taxpayer funds toward unnecessary lawyer costs, we can reduce the amount of money these governing bodies earmark for legal services and provide an opportunity for tax relief.”

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.