This week, more than 100 taxpayers from the 48th Legislative House District attended a free property tax forum in Glen Ellyn sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard). The standing-room-only crowd heard about the tax assessment process and how to challenge an assessment that is believed to be inaccurate.

Breen was joined at the event by Milton Township Assessor Chris E. LeVan, York Township Assessor Deanna Wilkins, and other area tax experts. Together they spoke to residents and explained the process that ties the value of their homes to the eventual tax bill that arrives in their mailboxes. The community leaders also outlined the exemptions that can be used to lower assessments and the steps required for appealing an assessment. Following the presentation, the group took questions from audience members.

“Property taxes are too high, and no one should have to pay a penny more than required,” said Breen. “The procedure utilized to create assessments and tax bills can be confusing. I was glad to offer a program where people could learn about the process, ensure they are receiving all eligible exemptions, and understand how to appeal if their assessment is too high. Everyone left with a better understanding of the process.”

Click here to view the Power Point presentation that was used during the forum.

When State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) learned this year that students from Lombard’s Soaring Eagle Academy were missing out on off-site opportunities for learning, he immediately went to work with the school’s leaders to change Illinois law. Soaring Eagle Academy is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved therapeutic day school that caters to the unique educational needs of autistic children. Whereas previous law limited the school’s ability to transport students off-site to only those in 9th through 12th grade, now, thanks to Breen’s passage of HB 2040 (Public Act 100-0667), Soaring Eagle can now also transport its many students in grades K-8. Soaring Eagle Academy serves students from 40 different municipalities through a curriculum that was developed through guidelines set by the Illinois State Board of Education. The school is a not-for-profit institution that addresses the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of autistic students. On August 30, Breen returned to the school to visit with students and staff members, and to see the bus that will now be used to take students in grades K-12 to off-site learning sites.


Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that simplifies the judicial process for pleadings or other document verified by certification.

SB 3295, now listed in the Illinois Statutes as Public Act 100-1086, provides that a sworn pleading or other document may be used in court without having to go through the additional step of securing a stamp and signature from a notary public. “Especially for those individuals who choose to represent themselves in the judicial process, eliminating the requirement that a notary sign and stamp court documents improves efficiency,” said Breen. “In addition to saving folks time and making the court process less complicated, there are potential savings if an individual’s notary charges a fee.”

According to Breen, the idea for the legislation was brought forward by the Chicago Bar Association and was supported throughout the committee and House/Senate voting process by several organizations, including the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.

“This new law represents one small step toward making the judicial process less tedious for individuals seeking justice for wrong-doing,” Breen said. “It also closes a loophole that can be used against people who may be representing themselves and are unaware of all court requirements that involve sworn pleadings.”

Prior to being sent to the Governor for final action, SB 3295 received unanimous support in the House and Senate. With the signing of SB 3295, all nine of Breen’s 2018 bills have now been signed into law. In the 100th General Assembly, Breen served as lead House Sponsor for a total of twenty bills that have become law.
Governor Rauner Signs Breen Bills into Law
We are at that time of year when the Governor is signing into law the bills that were passed during the legislative session between the middle of January and the end of May. This year I was successful in sending nine bills to the Governor’s desk. As of this writing, all but one has been signed into law. These bills include: 

HB 1336 (Public Act 100-0567): 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.

HB 2040 (Public Act 100-0667): 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.

HB 4711 (Public Act 100-0595): 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 avoids taxpayer money being wasted on suits that will ultimately be dismissed.

SB 2291 (Public Act 100-0867): 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 tell the public the details of any contracts of over $100,000 in those agendas.

SB 2524 (Public Act 100-0925): Creates a task force to inform Illinoisans of the methods and benefits of proper disposal of expired and excess pharmaceuticals and the risks associated with improper and non-disposal of those products.

SB 2585 (Public Act 100-0590): Clarifies the statutes as they relate to fees paid for information in a driver’s record by ensuring private companies cannot circumvent the current $12 fee for each record by requesting parts instead of all of the record.

SB 2660 (Public Act 100-0713): 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 (Public Act 100-0799): Amends Illinois law to allow school children to use newer Epi-Pen technology and less expensive generic epinephrine delivery technology in schools.

SB 3295 (awaiting final action): Provides that a sworn pleading or other document may be used in court without having to go through the additional step of securing a stamp from a notary public.

Rep. Breen to Partner with Local Assessors for Seminar on Understanding/Appealing Property Tax Assessments
I hear almost daily from DuPage County residents who feel overtaxed. Many fear they may lose their homes. One of the most popular events I host each year is a free seminar where residents of the 48th District can learn how tax bills are created and how to challenge an assessment that is thought to be too high. On Tuesday, August 28 I will once again be partnering with Milton Township Assessor Chris E. LeVan and York Township Assessor Deanna Wilkins for this informative event. A brief presentation will be followed by a Question and Answer session. 

                     Tuesday, August 28
                     7:00 PM until 8:30 PM
                     Glen Ellyn Police Department Public Meeting Room
                     65 S. Park Boulevard, Glen Ellyn


Due to space constraints, RSVPs are requested. If you would like to attend the property tax assessment seminar, please RSVP by calling my office at (630) 403-8135.

Illinois Environmental Council Recognizes Rep. Breen for Perfect Score on Environmental Scorecard
The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) recently announced that I earned a 100% perfect rating in 2018 on matters relating to the environment. As lawmakers we must do everything we can to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe. And as a parent, I am particularly interested in preserving the quality of the environment for our future generations. 

In determining the IEC “scorecard” for Illinois lawmakers, the IEC considered General Assembly members’ votes on several bills in 2018. Click here to view the full scorecard and the list of bills that were scored.

Upon announcing the perfect score award recipients, IEC Executive Director Jen Walling said, “Representative Peter Breen demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental issues in Springfield this session. He voted 100% of the time with the environmental community on several pieces of key legislation. The IEC is honored by Representative Breen’s dedication to Illinois’ environment and we look forward to working together in the future.”

End of Session Report to Hit Mailboxes in 48th District
Each year my staff and I compile a comprehensive End of Session Report, which details legislative activity during the year’s legislative session. Be checking your mailboxes in the coming days for delivery of my 2018 Report. 

Breen Publishes 2018 Legislative Survey
Included in my 2018 End of Session Report is a link to an online survey. I hope to receive wide participation by the residents of the 48th District. This year’s survey includes some multiple choice questions and an area for an open-ended response. The survey is now open. Please take a few minutes to share your input. You can click here to get started. 

Bicentennial Commission Announces Plans for August 26 Constitution Day
On August 26, 1818, Illinois adopted its first state Constitution. This anniversary will be celebrated across the state later this month with a variety of events, including the dedication of a new Bicentennial Plaza in Springfield adjacent to the Illinois Governor’s Mansion. 

Governor Bruce Rauner will kick off the anniversary in Shorewood with his annual Route 66 Motorcycle Ride which culminates at the new Plaza where he will preside over the dedication and then host a BBQ for riders at the Mansion. Those interested may register at govsride.eventbrite.com.

Additional celebrations will take place in many other regions of the state – from Kaskaskia to Highland Park – to mark the occasion in 1818 when the state ratified its Constitution. The full list of events and details can be found at www.illinois200.com. The list includes: 
  • Governor’s Route 66 Motorcycle Ride – Shorewood to Springfield, IL 
  • East St. Louis Heritage Festival in partnership with Ameren Illinois and City of East St. Louis- East St. Louis, IL 
  • Where Illinois Began Dedication in partnership with Liberty Bell of the West Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution - Chester, IL 
  • Bicentennial Plaza Dedication in partnership with the Illinois REALTORSÃ’ Association and City of Springfield– Springfield, IL 
  • Du Quoin State Fair Veteran’s Day Celebration in partnership with Illinois Department of Agriculture – Du Quoin, IL 
  • Addison Bicentennial Parade & Bash in partnership with the Village of Addison and the Medinah Shriners – Addison, IL 
  • Galena Constitution Day Celebration in partnership with Visit Galena and the Grant Home– Galena, IL 
  • Dixon Constitution Day Celebration – Dixon, IL 
  • Ravinia Concert featuring New Orleans musical tribute to Chicago Blues– Highland Park, IL 
Breen Hosts Successful Summer Reading Program
Each summer I host a “Summer Reading Safari” summer reading program for students residing the 48th District in grades Pre-K through 5th grade. We had great participation again this year, and those who completed a goal of reading eight or more books during their summer vacation will soon receive information about a fall reading celebration party. If your child participated in this year’s program, the party information will be emailed in the coming days. 

Governor Rauner Signs Bill that Expedites Consolidation Procedures
With more than 7,000 individual units of government in our state, supporting consolidation initiatives that save taxpayers money is very important to me. On August 10, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a piece of legislation for which I served as Chief Co-Sponsor that simplifies and expedites consolidation procedures for certain layers of government. SB 2543 allows mosquito abatement district boards, by a majority vote, to consolidate the abatement district into a municipality, township or county with agreement by the entity that would assume the mosquito abatement responsibilities. Under the previous law, mosquito abatement districts could only be dissolved through a lengthy process of petition, hearing and referendum. There was no procedure for an abatement board to make a consolidation decision. SB 2543 is now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0793.
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that creates a task force to help 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, now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0925, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) will provide administrative support to a new Pharmaceutical Disposal Task Force, with assistance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education. The task force members, who will serve without pay, will serve through 2022.

Upon the bill’s passage, Breen said, “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, and we need to take steps to inform adults about proper disposal of their pharmaceuticals.”

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

“Studies have produced clear evidence that drugs enter our water supply when people flush their unused pharmaceuticals down the toilet or pour them down the sink,” Breen said. “Even though water from sewage is filtered and chlorinated, there is concern that some portion of these drugs remain in the water. This issue could be largely preventable if folks take advantage of opportunities to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications.”
Citizens residing in Illinois’ 48th Legislative House District are invited to join State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) and local tax assessment experts on Tuesday, August 28 for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal tax assessments. The 1 ½-hour event will be held from 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Glen Ellyn Police Department’s meeting room at 65 S. Park Boulevard in Glen Ellyn.

Joining Breen at the informational session will be Milton Township Assessor Chris E. LeVan and York Township Assessor Deanna Wilkins. A brief presentation will be followed by a Question and Answer session. “This event brings taxpayers together with their township tax assessors, so people can learn how their tax bill is created and what remedies are available to those who believe their assessment is too high,” said Breen. “I hear almost daily from constituents who feel their taxes are too high, and these experts will outline steps for how taxpayers can challenge their assessment with hopes of lowering their tax burden.”

Due to space constraints, RSVPs are requested. If you would like to attend the property tax assessment seminar, please RSVP by calling Representative Breen’s office at (630) 403-8135.
As Illinoisans flocked to the State Fair in Springfield to celebrate “Kids Day,” on Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law important legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that improves children’s access to life-saving epinephrine injectors at school.

SB 2889 amends the Illinois School Code and the Epinephrine Auto-Injector Act to allow school children to use newer, less expensive epinephrine delivery technology. Specifically, the new law provides for the use of newer forms of auto-injector pens and also pre-filled syringes that were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). “During an acute allergy attack minutes and seconds matter,” said Breen. “Epinephrine injectors deliver life-saving medication, and this new law ensures families can take advantage of pharmaceutical advancements which are often now available at a lower price.”

According to Breen, in 2017, the USFDA approved for the first time a pre-filled epinephrine syringe, which is a smaller and less expensive alternative to EpiPens, including generic versions of the EpiPen. “This amendment to the previous laws was necessary because schools and families were operating under a very limited definition of epinephrine injector that did not account for the new technology,” Breen said.

SB 2889, which received unanimous support in the House and Senate earlier this year, is now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0799.
The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) announced this week that State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) earned a 100% perfect rating in 2018 on matters relating to the environment.

“I'm proud to have earned a perfect score for 2018 from the Illinois Environmental Council,” said Breen. “As lawmakers we must do everything we can to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe. And as a parent, I am particularly interested in preserving the quality of the environment for our future generations.”

In determining the IEC “scorecard” for Illinois lawmakers, the IEC considered General Assembly members’ votes on several bills in 2018. Click here to view the full scorecard and the list of bills that were scored.

“Representative Peter Breen demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental issues in Springfield this session,” said IEC Executive Director Jen Walling. “He voted 100% of the time with the environmental community on several pieces of key legislation. The IEC is honored by Representative Breen’s dedication to Illinois’ environment and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Breen and other lawmakers who earned perfect scores will be recognized for their 100% scorecard performance at the IEC’s Environmental Leadership Dinner on September 27.
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that adds a new layer of transparency to business conducted by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority.

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. Agendas would also have to be posted at the Authority’s headquarters building. “Agencies funded by taxpayer dollars must be fully transparent with their operations so that those who fund their operations can see how their money is being spent,” said Breen. “This is common-sense legislation I was proud to support.”

According to Breen, the posted agendas must provide general subject matter information about 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 received unanimous support in the House and Senate earlier this year.
Lombard’s Soaring Eagle Academy can soon begin transporting its K-8 students on its multi-purpose bus to off-site educational activities thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that was signed into law on Friday.

Soaring Eagle Academy is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved therapeutic day school that caters to the unique educational needs of autistic children. Current law limited its ability to transport students off-site to only those in 9th through 12th grade. Breen’s HB 2040 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to allow Soaring Eagle to transport students in grades K-8.

“Soaring Eagle Academy serves students from 40 different municipalities through a curriculum that was developed through guidelines set by ISBE,” said Breen. “The school addresses the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of autistic students, and it is important that all of their students can benefit from off-site, curriculum-based learning opportunities.”

Upon learning of the bill’s passage, Soaring Eagle Academy Executive Director Deanna Tyrpak had this to say: “Our school serves students with autism and flexibility is an essential component of our work. Thanks to Representative Breen’s advocacy, we will now be able to use our multifunction school activity bus to transport our students on academically and socially relevant field trips. Being able to use our own bus will give us the flexibility, convenience, and cost saving benefit of frequent outings, which is such a positive experience for our students. Representative Breen is a true advocate for children with Autism and we are extremely grateful.”
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that 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. SB 2660, sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard), puts strict language into the Illinois Statutes that protects those resources from garnishment by the government on the death of that disabled individual.

“This new law is the result of feedback received from citizens who have had problems losing funds designated to provide financial assistance to individuals with disabilities out of fear that the assets will be taken out by Medicaid,” said Breen. “Moving forward, they don’t need to worry about the safety of funds that have been set aside for specific uses relative to the care of individuals living with a disability.”

The ABLE program provides tax-advantaged savings and investment plans to assist persons living with significant disabilities to save for their future expenses without putting their federal means-tested benefits at risk. Eligibility is limited to those who acquired their disability before the age of 26. Up to $100,000 saved in ABLE accounts are not counted toward a disabled person’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other federal means-tested programs.

SB 2660 is now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Pubic Act 100-0713.