Representative Jeanne Ives was proud to present the West Chicago Community High School Theatre with an Illinois House Resolution honoring them for being selected to represent the United States in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in 2016, the world’s largest performing arts festival.
The theme of the 2015-2016 West Chicago Community High School Theatre season is "Character Counts". They were nominated for the strength of their productions and history of public service for such programs as Adopt-a-Sailor, Toys for Tots, Broadway Cares, and more. 
The West Chicago Community High School Theatre is led by director Mark Begovich.
This week State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) recognized two elementary schools in Wheaton-Warrenville’s Community Unit District 200 for their recent designation as a “National Blue Ribbon School” by the U.S. Department of Education.

The two Wheaton schools are among 335 schools nationwide to receive the distinction.
According to Ives, Longfellow and Emerson Elementary Schools received the honor and were recognized in the category of “Exemplary High Performing Schools,” based on student performance on state and national assessments. “The Blue Ribbon School process takes two years, and Longfellow and Emerson received very high marks in their reviews,” said Ives. “The award is a testament to the hard-working students, dedicated staff, and involved parents at both schools.”
State Rep. Jeanne Ives was in awe when she saw firsthand the immense size of the USS Illinois,
the Navy's newest Virginia class nuclear submarine.

Ives, a Wheaton Republican and U.S. Army veteran, was part of a 20-member delegation from the Illinois General Assembly who traveled to Groton, Conn., for the christening ceremony Oct. 10. Ives also attended a February event in Aurora with the boat's captain.

 Read the rest of the Chicago Tribune story here.
Governor Rauner signed pivotal legislation today that will limit the future size and scope of community college severance agreements.

Prompted by a $763,000 contract buyout approved by a former College of DuPage (COD) Board for outgoing College President Dr. Robert Breuder, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) filed HB 3593, which limits future buyout or severance agreements to no more than one year of salary and benefits. Even though a newly-elected COD Board of Trustees voided the Breuder deal, Ives said her bill will prevent other college boards from inking similarly excessive deals for underperforming administrators.

“That agreement was irresponsible and disrespectful to the taxpayers who fund the College of DuPage,” said Ives. “While the new board seems to be acting more in line with the best interests of the college’s stakeholders, this new law will prevent mismanagement at the levels we’ve seen at COD from happening in the future.”

According to Ives, the new law also limits employment contracts with a set start and end date to no more than four years with no provision for any automatic rollover clauses.

Joining Ives at the bill signing in Chicago on Tuesday were Chief Senate Sponsor Michael Connelly and new College of DuPage Board President Kathy Hamilton.

Ives has been the leading force in the House of Representatives in responding to allegations of malfeasance at the College of DuPage. In addition to HB 3593, Ives was also the Chief Sponsor of the unanimously-approved HR 55, which directed the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a thorough performance audit of all State moneys provided to the College of DuPage for fiscal years 2007-2014.

In addition to Ives’ HB 3593 and HR 55, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) also took aim at the College of DuPage this year by sponsoring HB 303, which adds transparency to publicly-funded severance agreements by making them subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). McDermod’s bill was signed into law earlier in the month.

“Given the startling instances of mismanagement of taxpayer dollars at COD, I view this grouping of legislation as a very solid step in the right direction,” said Ives.

To hear more about this new law, click here.
House Republicans Defend Fair Bargaining Process for State Employees & Taxpayers
On Wednesday, House Republicans blocked an attempt by the Democrat majority to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB 1229. The bill would have changed the way that the State of Illinois negotiates with labor unions in cases of alleged negotiation impasses. The measure would have instituted “interest arbitration” as the preferred method, for four years, for the State of Illinois to negotiate with most of its organized workers.

The bill was seen as a pathway for the State’s largest union, AFSCME, to bypass the collective bargaining process and use interest arbitration to impose a labor-management contract on the State. AFSCME’s contract offer, which could have been adopted in its entirety under interest arbitration, could have resulted in an increase of $1.6 billion in salary costs and an additional $700 million in health care costs over the next four years. I spoke on the House floor about the cost of the proposed contract and how it would impact union jobs since Illinois does not have the money to fund the contract. You can listen to my floor remarks here.

SB 1229 is bad public policy aimed directly at Governor Rauner. The Governor has committed in writing that the tolling agreement extending the current contract will remain in place until both sides agree they are walking away from the negotiating table. The Governor will not lock out employees and is committed to remaining at the table until a final deal is reached. He cannot and will not force unions to strike.

The Democrats’ proposal would take away negotiating authority from the duly elected Governor and put state labor contracts in the hands of an arbitrator, not elected or accountable to taxpayers, who would not be allowed to compromise or come up with a reasonable solution. Whereas normally arbitrators are given discretion to forge a compromise, that would no longer be the case (at least not for the current administration). Arbitrators would be forced to choose between labor’s request or the State’s proposal with absolutely no discretion… all or nothing.

After a total veto by Governor Rauner, SB 1229 was returned to the General Assembly for a possible override as provided for in the state Constitution. A three-fifths vote in both houses of the legislature is required to override the Governor’s veto. While the Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto, the Illinois House voted on Wednesday, September 2 to sustain Governor Rauner’s veto, thereby defeating the bill (71 votes had been required). The House vote was 68-34-9.

Teamsters Sign On to Four-Year Labor Agreement with State of Illinois
Governor Bruce Rauner announced the agreement on Monday, August 31. The contract included key concessions by both sides. 4,600 State employees are covered by the new agreement, which must be ratified by a rank-and-file vote by organized Teamsters.

Key features of the new contract include a four-year wage freeze, maintenance of existing health care benefits, and a reduction in the number of unused vacation days that future new State hires in Teamster-organized work spaces will be allowed to carry over. The new State contract with the Teamsters union does not officially affect the status of State employees who are members of other labor unions, including members of AFSCME.

Moody’s Warns of Consequences if Budget Stalemate not Resolved
The global bond rating service, which has imposed several cuts on the debt status of Illinois, warned the State of potential further downgrades in a report published on Monday, August 31. The report called attention to the current budget impasse of the State of Illinois, which is attempting to operate without a legally enacted spending plan for fiscal year 2016. FY16 began on July 1, 2015.

Changes in the debt rating of Illinois as a whole, and of subsidiaries (such as the University of Illinois) affect interest rates that must be paid by Illinois taxpayers. Rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings have given Illinois the lowest debt rating of any U.S. state.

House Moves Forward on Heroin Crisis; Bill Passed over Governor’s Veto
HB 1, which was drafted with the active participation of law enforcement, contains numerous changes to State and local programs aimed at heroin and other opiate drugs. The bill strengthens the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. It creates a program to move towards universal availability of heroin-overdose-reversal medications (opioid antagonists) in the hands of first responders and in the formularies of health insurance policies. The bill will enhance criminal penalties for “prescription shopping,” expands Medicaid to cover opioid dependence medications and opioid antagonists, and makes other changes.

The bill was drafted by the House Bipartisan Heroin Crisis Task Force, a special House committee that held many hearings on opiate drugs and opiate addiction issues. The Task Force heard emotional testimony from the families of loved ones who had overdosed on opiate drugs. After the bill was sent to the Governor’s desk for final action, Gov. Rauner wrote an amendatory veto to remove sections of the bill that had implications for the State’s budget and taxpayers. The amendatory veto would have reduced costs to the Medicaid program by removing medication-assistant treatment for alcohol or opioid dependence, and cutting out opioid antagonists.

Some budget experts saw the Governor’s amendatory veto as a reasonable response to the State’s budget crisis. However, Speaker Madigan made it clear that the amendatory veto motion would not be called and that the House would have to cast an up-or-down vote on the original bill as passed by both houses of the General Assembly. The House voted 105-5-0 to override the Governor’s veto on Wednesday, September 2. The measure now moves to the Illinois Senate for another override vote and possible final action.

The bill to create this program, HB 3219, became law through Governor Rauner’s signature on Thursday, August 27. Lead co-sponsors included House Republican Reps. Michael McAuliffe and Christine Winger.

Website Thumbtack.com Gives Illinois’ Business Climate a Grade of “F” for 2015
The failing grade was the result of Thumbtack’s Small Business Friendliness Survey of nearly 18,000 small business owners nationwide. Survey results paralleled concerns raised by House Republicans about Illinois’ job-creation atmosphere and business climate. Thumbtack respondents also gave failing grades to California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Thumbtack’s survey asked respondents to comment on ten separate criteria, which were aggregated to generate a final total. The variables included ease of starting a business, ease of hiring, regulations, health and safety, employment/labor and hiring, tax code, licensing mandates, environmental regulations, zoning, and training-and-networking programs.

Surveyed small businesspeople gave above-average grades to three of Illinois’ neighboring states: Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin.
The Chicago Tribune published an excellent editorial this week which clearly outlined why lawmakers should stand with Governor Rauner on Wednesday and vote against the Democrat attempt to override his veto of SB1229. Read on:

Don't cave to Madigan: Why independent Democrats should put taxpayers first

On Wednesday, Illinois House members are scheduled to reconvene in Springfield. A showdown between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan could unfold over a bill that would imperil the finances of this already debt-ravaged state. Adding to the intrigue? Campaign season officially kicks off this week, too, as lawmakers begin collecting petitions to get on the ballot for 2016.
Illinois — where policy and politics perpetually collide. Politics often wins.
A dangerous bill that would limit Rauner's authority to negotiate labor contracts — he's currently in talks with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — could get called for an override vote in the House.
This bill has one purpose: to block a governor who's trying to discipline an undisciplined state government. Rauner vetoed the bill because it would let AFSCME declare an impasse during contract talks and head to binding arbitration. Arbitrators — unelected middlemen unaccountable to taxpayers — would choose between AFSCME's demands and Rauner's retort. The Senate has voted to override Rauner's veto. If the House does the same, the bill is law.
Current Illinois labor law requires the two sides to strike a deal. To compromise. Former Gov. Pat Quinn spent more than a year negotiating with AFSCME and at one point grew so frustrated, he canceled AFSCME's existing contract, which he had extended several times during talks. Still, AFSCME didn't try to strip Quinn of his authority to sit at the table.
AFSCME is pushing hard for the override. The union believes an arbitrator would be more generous than Rauner is, potentially granting all of AFSCME's costly demands. So far those demands include salary increases of 11.5 percent — and up to 29 percent for certain positions when seniority is factored in — over four years, Rauner says.
Rauner has proposed a wage freeze, noting that state workers have received raises during the last decade that far outpaced those in the private sector. Seeing as the state already faces a $4 billion budget hole, Rauner says Illinois can't afford union demands that would add another $1.6 billion in spending.
The two sides have been talking since the contract expired June 30. Both agreed to extend its terms until Sept. 30.
That's the policy explanation of what's at stake. Now, the politics:
Madigan and Rauner are fighting a war for the future of Illinois. Rauner ran TV ads over the summer blaming Madigan for Springfield's financial implosion. Madigan has blocked nearly all of Rauner's legislative agenda.
So overriding Rauner's veto would thrill Madigan. Forget the risk to taxpayers and the unprecedented, possibly unconstitutional, intrusion into executive authority. Madigan wants to win.
To override, Madigan needs all 70 other Democrats to stand with him. That includes fiscally conservative, independent-minded Dems who normally would oppose so unfairly pitting the interests of labor leaders against those of taxpayers.
Consider Rep. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills, who's been pro-business and budget-conscious. She sponsored a 2011 bill that became law and assures that contracts governors and other statewide officials cut with unions only extend through their terms and don't hamstring their successors. AFSCME leaders fought her, but she stood up to them: "When a governor comes in, it's a new term. We want the opportunity for him or her not to have their hands tied," she said at the time.
A House override this week clearly would tie Rauner's hands.
Sente voted for the bill in May, but everyone knew Rauner would veto it. It was a safer vote then than it is now. Will she vote to override? We'll see. She and other swing Democrats are tight-lipped.
Adding to the intrigue: Sente faced a tough re-election campaign last fall against Republican Leslie Munger, whom Rauner later appointed state comptroller. The Democratic Party of Illinois, chaired by Madigan, spent more than $300,000 defending Sente's seat.
Two other Democrats, Jack Franks of Marengo and Andre Thapedi of Chicago, didn't vote on the bill in May. Like Sente, Franks has been an independent voice, as has former prosecutor Scott Drury of Highwood. Franks and Drury helped kill Madigan's proposal last year to tax millionaires. That is, both have bucked Madigan before.
This law would sunset in four years. It's aimed solely at Rauner, whom voters elected on the precise promise that he would take a tougher stance against unions during contract talks. If every Democrat caves to Madigan, those voters, aka taxpayers, will pay for every extra dollar the arbitrators award.
Republicans are expected to be unified against this bad bill. It only takes one Democrat — just one — to kill it. Will those independent, fiscally conservative Dems now bow to Madigan? Or will they acknowledge that this is an unprecedented swipe at a governor's ability to negotiate to the end on behalf of taxpayers?
Wednesday, if the override is called for a vote, we'll find out.

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
Once a West Point graduate, an Army drill team instructor, then a wife and mom, and now a state lawmaker, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) doesn't shy away from challenges. Friday, she challenged youngsters to higher levels of fitness and health during her Third Annual Kids' Health & Fitness Boot Camp at Cantigny Park in her home district.

This year, a record 250 children participated.

"I love putting on this event for my district," Ives said. "It's something I started doing just as a mom. Having been in the military, I knew my kids loved fitness and they loved to do it in a fun and exciting way. So we came out to Cantigny to build this bigger event about kid's health and fitness, which we hope to grow every year."

At Ives’ Fitness and Health Boot Camp, recruits participated in a variety of health and fitness events, including:
  • Completing an Obstacle Course by FTX Crossfit
  • Scaling a Climbing Wall
  • Participating in a Fitness Test administered by the Army National Guard
  • Completing a 1-Mile Run Led by Representative Ives
  • Taking part in a scavenger hunt 
  • Jazzing with an aerobic dance
  • Chowing down on healthy snacks from Chick Fil-A
Rep. Ives' Boot Camp was free and open to all who wished to attend.
More than 600 children attended Ives' 2014 Health & Fitness
Boot Camp at Cantigney Park in Wheaton.
Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) invites families with children ages 7-12 to participate in her third annual Kids’ Health & Fitness Boot Camp, which will be held this week on Friday, August 14 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

The free camp will take place from 9:00 a.m. until noon, and the park is located at 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and a registration form must be completed upon arrival at the camp.

“It is very important that children establish a routine that includes regular exercise at a young age,” said Ives. “Setting these good habits early often leads to healthy habits that extend into adulthood.”

Participants will take part in a variety of fun, physical activities, including an FTX Crossfit obstacle course, a climbing wall, a National Guard fitness test, a scavenger hunt, a one-mile challenge run through the park and aerobics with music. There will also be healthy snacks and prizes available for participants.

“This event seems to grow in popularity every summer, and I’m expecting a great turnout on Friday,” Ives said. “I hope families from all over the 42nd legislative district come out for this fun fitness event.”

For additional information about the Health & Fitness Boot Camp, place contact Rep. Ives’ office at 630-384-1108.
After passing legislation that triggered a detailed audit of College of DuPage expenditures and limited the size and scope of community college buyout packages and severance agreements, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) on Monday filed a bill that takes aim at administrative perks that are used to bolster pensionable income for community college administrators.

HB4256 would amend the State Universities Article of the Illinois Pension Code to restrict the definition of “basic compensation,” which is used in calculating pensions, to exclude perks such as car and house payment allowances and allowances for home maintenance, laundry and other items. “Most Illinoisans are not aware that these college presidents, who often make more than $300,000 per year, are also receiving tens of thousands in these additional perks,” said Ives. “The allowances for cars and house payments boost pensionable income and drive up the costs to Illinois taxpayers.”

According to Ives, the provisions would not apply to employees hired before the effective date of the bill. “For college or university employees hired after the effective date, pensionable income would be limited just to the gross basic rate of salary or wages paid by the employer,” said Ives. “These hidden perks have allowed our colleges to inflate pensions to ridiculous levels and my bill will remove the loophole that allows that to occur while providing clarity to just how much money these college and university administrators make.”


This spring the Illinois House of Representatives spent nearly $1 million giving stipends to 89 legislators, over half of the members, for their roles as chairperson or minority spokesperson for one of fifty house committees. Three out of the fifty committees never met - not once. And yet, the legislator received the stipend of $10,327. On average committees met only 9 times, a cost of $1,147 per meeting. The majority of the committees met 7 times or less, equal to $1475 per meeting. This stipend comes on top of regular legislator pay of $67,836 – the 5th highest in the nation for part-time work. In Illinois that work has given taxpayers unbalanced budgets for the last 13 years and the worst credit rating in the nation.

These stipends are excessive and unnecessary. Committee meetings are part of the lawmaking process. Therefore, service on a committee is a part of a lawmaker’s job. Even more significant is the fact that most important legislation, including budget bills, are pushed through at the last minute by the House Executive Committee with nary a discussion, making a mockery of the entire legislative process and fools of those who believe in it. 

Why is it that giving unionized government employees or elected officials additional duties without additional pay is treated as abuse of some sort? In the Army, positions similar to a committee chair but with actual responsibilities and real consequences, such as a company training officer or security officer, are an additional duty with no monetary remuneration. It is expected. It is part of being a leader. For almost a direct comparison, consider that police officers, per their union contracts, receive “Shooting Bonus Pay” for scores above average on a qualification test. While in the military, a soldier is motivated to improve his marksmanship because it is the difference between life and death – not only for him, but for the men in his company. 

It is difficult to see these stipends as anything other than one more Illinois patronage program. It matters not at all if the chairperson or spokesperson has any expertise in the subject matter considered by a committee. It matters not at all how long or often committees meet or what real work is accomplished. Illinois 2.0 is essentially Colonial America. The King’s Loyalists are rewarded handsomely.

Illinois has not even begun to cut expenses or consider necessary structural reforms. And yet these unnecessary stipends remain in place. When legislators are paid so well that they don't need outside employment they risk becoming isolated from the real-world economic climate. It is time for legislators to share the burden. The state needs to make budget cuts, and $1 million is a great start.
Mark your calendars for State Representative Jeanne Ives' Annual Kids' Health & Fitness Boot Camp, which will be held this year on Friday, August 14, at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

The free event will be held from 9:00 AM until noon and is open to children ages 7-12, who must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will take part in a variety of fun, physical activities, including an FTX Crossfit obstacle course, a climbing wall, a National Guard fitness test, a scavenger hunt, a one-mile challenge run through the park and aerobics with music. There will be healthy snacks and prizes for participants.

Cantigny Park is located at 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. For additional information about this event, please contact Representative Ives' office at (630) 384-1108.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) that limits the size and scope of community college buyout packages and severance agreements, and limits the length of employment contracts has passed in the Illinois House and Senate and now moves to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

In response to the $763,000 contract buyout approved by College of DuPage Trustees for President Dr. Robert Breuder earlier this year, Ives carried HB3593, which would limit the amount of future agreements to no more than one year of salary and benefits. “The agreement that the majority of the COD trustees approved for their underperforming president was excessive and not in the best interest of the taxpayers who fund the college,” said Ives. “I would have liked to have been able to roll back his agreement, but at least moving forward there will be taxpayer protections in place.”

The bill limits employment contracts with a set start and end date to no more than four years with no provision for any automatic rollover clauses. “First, I would like to thank College of DuPage Board President Kathy Hamilton for bringing this to my attention, and Senator Connelly for his help in getting this bill through the Senate,” said Ives.

“Long-term contracts have become problematic in instances where an employee is underperforming and a change needs to be made,” Ives said. “It is important to note that the Senate Democrat Caucus commissioned an investigative report on executive compensation in the State’s Higher Education system that clearly pointed out that compensation, total cost of severance, contract length and tenure needed to be addressed statewide. While more work needs to be done, this legislation is a step in the right direction.”

Ives has been the leading force in the House of Representatives in responding to allegations of malfeasance at the College of DuPage. In addition to HB3593, Ives was also the Chief Sponsor of the unanimously-approved HR55, which directs the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a thorough performance audit of all State moneys provided to the College of DuPage for fiscal years 2007-2014.

In addition to Ives’ HB3593 and HR55, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) also took aim at the College of DuPage this year by sponsoring HB303, which adds transparency to publicly-funded severance agreements by making them subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). “Given all that has come to light about the financial mismanagement at the College of DuPage and other government institutions, public trust has eroded,” said McDermed. “Taxpayers have the absolute right to know how their money is being spent, especially when that money accompanies the departure of a government employee.”

Shortly after the successful vote on HB3593, Ives spoke about the importance of the taxpayer protections included in her bill. You can listen to that interview here.
At a time when state government is telling taxpayers, state workers, businesses and organizations that they must - again - play a role in cleaning up the state's fiscal mess, legislators throughout the state should do the same. State Representative Jeanne Ives believes in leading by example. 

Since taking office in 2013, Representative Ives has given money back from her district allotment every fiscal year: FY 2013 she returned $6,152.16 to the state; in FY14 Ives gave back $11,533.76. And, in FY 2015 she will return about $12,000 which represents over 17% of her annual office allotment. Ives and her staff have worked deliberately to identify and implement efficiencies and cost saving measures that allowed them to end each fiscal year with a budget surplus. Additionally, she has co-sponsored legislation that would reduce all House district office allotments by 10 percent. Democrat leaders who control the General Assembly have refused to give that bill a vote.

Furthermore, Ives has refused a pension and pays for her own events out-of-pocket or by partnering with local businesses. Her office furniture and other equipment is either donated or purchased out of pocket.

"My commitment has always been to taxpayers and businesses, who are stuck funding a government that is isn't always respectful of their hard work," says Ives. "Every office of government, at every level of government needs to find ways to save money and operate more efficiently. We have asked families and businesses to bear the burden alone for far too long. The state has a long way to go in winning back the trust of taxpayers and businesses. Reducing office budgets is a small, but important first step."
State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) invites residents of Illinois’ 42nd Legislative House District to join her on July 15 for a Property Tax Town Hall Meeting.

The event, which will be held at 7:00 PM at the Wheaton Park District Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard Road in Wheaton, is free and open to the public.

“This event is the latest in a series of informational forums I am sponsoring in the District 42 area,” said Ives. “There are a lot of important issues that affect Illinoisans right now, and in my role as the State Representative for this area I am bringing experts together to provide information for citizens.”

The meeting will begin with a short power point presentation, and an audience Question & Answer session will follow. In addition to Representative Ives, panelists will include District 200 Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler, Milton Township Assessor Chris LeVan, Naperville Township Assessor Warren Dixon, Wheaton City Manager Don Rose and Wheaton Finance Director Bob Lehnhardt.

“I have assembled a knowledgeable group of experts who will explain how tax rates are created, and they will spend as much time as needed to ensure everyone’s questions are answered,” Ives said. “I hope to see a large turnout for this informative and timely event.”

For additional information about the forum, please contact Ives’ office at (630) 384-1108, or at ives@jeanneives.org
This week in Springfield, the House of Representatives debated a bill sponsored by two Chicago Democrats which would extend by six weeks the deadline by which the City of Chicago would have to make a mandatory $634 million pension payment for Chicago teachers. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had stated recently that the City does not have the money to make the mandatory payment and that a deadline extension was needed. The legislation, SB437, failed in a 53-46-2 vote.

After the vote State Representative Jeanne Ives spoke about the need for the City of Chicago to address its financial crisis. You can listen to her comments here.
State Representative Jeanne Ives is offering residents an opportunity to learn about Governor Rauner's Turnaround Agenda and how it would affect Illinoisans at at June 24 forum in Wheaton.

The event will be held at the Wheaton Community Center, 1777 Blanchard Road, in Wheaton from 7:30-8:30 PM, and a question and answer session will be included. Ives will join representatives from the Illinois Policy Institute and the Illinois Opportunity Project for an informative panel discussion followed by the Q & A session. The event is free and open to the public.

For additional information, please visit www.illinoisopportunity.org/JeanneIves, or call (630) 343-9435.

State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, will represent the Illinois General Assembly on October 3, when the USS Illinois nuclear submarine is officially christened in Connecticut.

Ives is part of a 20-member delegation from the Illinois General Assembly who will travel to Groton, Connecticut, for the ceremony. The christening and celebration will be held at the shipyard of General Dynamics Electric Board, and First Lady Michelle Obama will break the ceremonial bottle of champagne on the bow, proclaiming the ship’s identity.

“This new submarine will join the US Navy fleet as the nation’s first ship since 1897 to bear the name ‘Illinois,’” said Ives. “It is a distinct honor to have been chosen to represent our State at this momentous event.”

Ives, along with State Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), sponsored HR200 this year, which applauded the upcoming commissioning of the vessel and congratulated Commander Jesse Porter and his crew on their appointment to the new ship. Ives and Wheeler also worked with crew members and commissioning team members for the USS Illinois earlier this year to bring a display to the State Capitol. On April 29, crew and commission team members met with lawmakers and with the public and were recognized on the House floor.

“This 13th Virginia Class nuclear submarine will be a real asset to the US Navy fleet,” Ives said. “The submarine is said to be deadly quiet, and I look forward to seeing this vessel as she is commissioned into active service for the US Navy.”

Additional information about the USS Illinois can be found at www.ussillinois.org.

Last week in Springfield majority party Democrats approved a partial pension holiday for Chicago's Police and Fire pension systems. During the debate, State Rep. Jeanne Ives accused leading Democrats of not owning up to a mess they created, and of only making the problem worse by taking a partial pension holiday from required pension payments.
Today House Democrats began bringing budget bills and amendments to the House floor for discussion and votes. In response to the Democrats’ decision to push forward a FY16 budget plan that is close to $4 billion out of balance, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has issued the following statement:


“I find it incredibly irresponsible that the House Democrats have brought forward a FY16 budget they know is unbalanced. They are promoting their spending plan and they have offered absolutely no information as to how they will fund it.”

“The majority party has a history of wreckless spending with no regard for how it impacts the citizens whose taxes fund our government. They have not earned the right to even one more cent of the public’s money.”

“At a time when we should be discussing fundamental reforms that will cut waste, fraud and abuse from our government and maximize efficiencies in how we do business, the House Democrats have instead presented a FY16 budget that shows once again that they have no interest in reining in their spending or seeking any reforms.”
On May 20, State Representative Jeanne Ives was a guest on CNBC's "Squawk of the Street" news program, where she discussed the gridlock in Springfield and the lack of progress toward fixing the State's financial crisis. You can watch a video of her interview here.
State Representative Jeanne Ives was recently interviewed by a national on-line education news source about her role in addressing malfeasance and financial mismanagement at the College of DuPage. “Inside Higher Ed” is an independent journalism organization that publishes news and opinions of interest on topics affecting higher education in the United States. You can read the article, which was published on May 19, here.


In a unanimous showing of support for the taxpayers who fund the College of DuPage, members of the House of Representatives approved a resolution on Thursday that will launch a thorough performance audit of the college.

HR55, Sponsored by State Representative Jeanne Ives, was filed in response to the decision by the COD board to provide outgoing College President Dr. Robert Breuder with a $763,000 severance package in exchange for his early departure as College President. Through the language in HR55, the COD will assume the costs associated with a detailed audit the covers the following:
  • The College of DuPage’s sources of revenues
  • College expenditures, by category
  • Whether the Board is carrying out its responsibilities required by Board policy
  • Whether the Board is meeting its fiduciary responsibilities and ensuring compliance with the Public Community College Act and Board Policies
  • Whether the compensation and severance packages provided to the COD president are comparable to compensation and severance packages provided to Presidents of other Illinois Community Colleges
  • Whether changes to the College President’s compensation package were property approved
An amendment approved prior to the final vote expanded the scope of the audit to include the COD Foundation’s actions in the investigation.

“The majority of the trustees were making some very bad decisions at the expense of the taxpayers who support the College of DuPage,” said Ives. “With the recent election, we now have several concerned taxpayers serving as COD trustees, and they are committed to unearthing the extent of the malfeasance and taking steps to prevent these types of problems from occurring in the future. I expect they will cooperate fully with the investigation.”

In addition to the lucrative contract buyout for Breuder, the media also uncovered information that showed that trustees, administrators and Breuder had enjoyed close to $200,000 in high end dining at the on-campus restaurant, and also spent more than $250,000 on a public relations blitz in the wake of the negative media coverage.

“When the COD trustees made that sweetheart deal with Dr. Breuder, they triggered a public outcry over the manner in which they were making decisions with taxpayer resources,” Ives said. “This detailed and comprehensive audit is an appropriate legislative response to what appears to be a long list of unethical decisions by that board. I look forward to reading the Auditor General’s final report.”
This week State Representative Jeanne Ives sat down with Eddie Arruza of Chicago Tonight to discuss the May 8 Illinois Supreme Court Ruling that the 2013 pension reform law approved by the General Assembly was unconstitutional. You can watch Representative Ives' interview here.

On May 11, State Representative Jeanne Ives joined area legislators at one of The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Capital Development Board series of listening sessions. These sessions aim to to discuss and seek input on the state’s infrastructure needs. At the conclusion of these meetings, Governor Rauner will be presented with a comprehensive package of recommendations.
As House Democrats last week undermined the legislative committee process by bringing a spending bill and several amendments directly to the House floor for votes, State Representative Jeanne Ives railed on the majority party for accusing Republicans of not prioritizing funding for programs that assist Illinois' vulnerable citizens.





As rank and file Democrats this week turned the House Chamber into a political theatre and showed they have no interest the turning the state's finances around, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) urged Democrats to take responsibility for their votes in previous years.
This week while Governor Rauner was in Chicago telling City leaders he won't bail them out of their fiscal mess and urging folks to work together to make tough decisions, Democrats in Springfield were busy telling voters they have no plans to get the budget under control and change the way business is done in Springfield.

State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) called the House Democrats out on their political games in comments made on the House floor.


The Illinois Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Illinois Capital Development Board is sponsoring a series of listening sessions across the state to discuss and seek input on the state’s infrastructure needs. At the conclusion of the meetings, Governor Rauner will be presented with a comprehensive package of recommendations.

Citizens of DuPage County are invited to attend a local meeting on Monday, May 11, at 10:00 AM in the DuPage Chamber of Commerce Conference Room, 306 Main Street in West Chicago. State Representative Jeanne Ives and other DuPage legislators will participate in the panel discussion.

“I strongly encourage the people of DuPage County to attend this meeting,” said Ives. “Valuable information will be shared, and the public will have an opportunity to let leaders from IDOT know what projects are priorities here in DuPage.”
This week in Springfield the majority Democrats who created a financial mess over the last decade showed they are more interested in playing political games than working together to solve the major structural challenges that are holding Illinois back. State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) spoke on the House floor about her desire to prioritize spending to "right-size" our government.



On April 29, crew and commissioning team members for the new USS Illinois nuclear submarine were at the Capitol showcasing a replica model of the Virginia-Class vessel. State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) introduced the group to the Representatives on the House floor.
On April 29, crew members and commissioning team members for the new USS Illinois nuclear submarine were welcomed to Springfield. They were recognized in the House of Representatives and also had a display and replica model of the vessel in the rotunda for the day.

The submarine is approaching two significant milestones in its service life.  The vessel, which will operate as SSN 786, is approaching its launch date on the East Coast.  Following launch, the submersible will be carefully fueled and fitted out for service; when the fitting-out process is complete, the vessel will enjoy a second ceremony, that of being commissioned as an active warship on the rolls of the Navy.  At that time the vessel will be entitled to the full name of “U.S.S. Illinois.”

Friends of the “Illinois” have set up a committee to support the vessel and the personnel that have built and will man it.  By custom, civilian committees like this one are responsible for much of the financial support necessary to celebrate the vessel’s launch and entry into active service.   HR 200, sponsored by State Representatives Keith Wheeler and Jeanne Ives, applauds the approaching entry of the “Illinois” into service.

The Committee told House members they will not only help organize and raise money for events surrounding the launching and commissioning, but also provide ongoing support for the ship and its crew after commissioning. As a nuclear-powered submarine, the vessel will be available for three-month tours of duty, during which time the vessel may not touch the surface of the water.      
On April 27, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) sat down with Carol Marin of Chicago Tonight for a bipartisan discussion about Illinois' budget crisis. You can watch the full interview here.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) that limits the size and scope of community college buyout packages/severance agreements and which limits the length of employment contracts has been approved unanimously in the Illinois House.

In response to the $763,000 contract buyout approved by College of DuPage Trustees for President Robert Breuder, Ives carried HB3593, which would limit the amount of future agreements to no more than one year of salary and benefits. “The agreement that the majority of the COD trustees approved for their underperforming president was excessive and not in the best interest of the taxpayers who fund the college,” said Ives. “I would have liked to have been able to roll back his agreement, but at least moving forward there will be taxpayer protections in place.”

The bill also provides that employment contracts entered into with a community college employee may not exceed three years if it is a rolling contract, with a rollover term limited to one year. Additionally, the bill limits employment contracts with a set start and end date to no more than four years with no provision for any automatic rollover clauses. “Long-term contracts have become problematic in instances where an employee is underperforming and a change needs to be made,” Ives said. “My bill also provides that any contract renewal or extension discussion must take place in an open meeting.”

Ives has been the leading force in the House of Representative in responding to allegations of malfeasance at the College of DuPage. In addition to HB3593, Ives is also the Chief Sponsor of HR55, which directs the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a thorough performance audit of all State moneys provided to the College of DuPage for fiscal years 2011-2014.
In June of this year, the first naval vessel since 1897 which carries the State of Illinois’ name will launch from a harbor in Connecticut. On April 29th, crew members for the new USS Illinois and members of the submarine’s commissioning committee will be in the Capitol Rotunda to meet with lawmakers and the public.

“The USS Illinois is the 13th Virginia Class nuclear submarine to be built,” said State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who helped coordinate the USS Illinois display at the Capitol. “She is only the second U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name ‘USS Illinois’ since a battleship with that name was commissioned in 1897.”

According to Ives, the Capitol display will feature an eight-foot model of the submarine, and the crew members and commissioning committee representatives will provide information about the upcoming commissioning of the ship, which is scheduled for December 20 of this year. The submarine is currently under construction at Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

“Representative Keith Wheeler and I helped coordinate the visit and we are pleased that visitors to our State Capitol on the 29th will be able to stop at the booth and learn about Illinois’ newest namesake ship.”

The booth will be set up in the rotunda on April 29 from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Additional information about the USS Illinois can be found at www.ussillinois.org.
State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) is advancing her agenda for improved transparency and citizen access to government activity with a House Bill filed in Springfield on February 25.

House Bill 3134 would amend the IL Public Labor Relations Act, the IL Educational Labor Relations Act and the Open Meetings Act by requiring that all finalized collective bargaining agreements be posted on agencies’ public web sites for a minimum of 14 days before any vote to ratify an agreement can occur. The bill also would require the public or educational employer to hold a public hearing about the contract after the 14-day posting period and prior to ratification.

“We have seen too many instances where the public is the last to know when their tax dollars are spent on contracts that are not in their best interest,” said Ives. “This bill shines an important light on publicly-funded contracts and allows taxpayers an adequate amount of time to read and research proposed collective bargaining agreements before boards are allowed to approve them.”

According the HB3134, the public posting period and hearing requirement would also apply to contracts between a public employer and an employee where total compensation exceeds $150,000. “The public has a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and the provisions of this bill will go far in improving access to the information.”

The bill is currently sitting in the Rules Committee.
State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has been chosen to serve on a newly-created bipartisan task force that will study how Illinois distributes funding to public schools.

Ives, a leading voice of opposition to last year’s SB16, which sought to fundamentally rewrite the school funding formula, said she looks forward to working with her colleagues on the task force. “Solutions to education funding equity and adequacy issues are far too important to push through without a thorough vetting,” said Ives. “As this is an issue that affects every community in Illinois, I’m pleased to see a bipartisan approach to studying the issue and finding an acceptable solution.”

According to Ives, last year’s SB16 has been refiled as SB1 in the 99th General Assembly. “As I study the new bill, I see a few changes but believe this is still the wrong solution for Illinois school districts,” said Ives. “SB1 still creates ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and I am advocating for a school funding solution that allows all kids optimal opportunities for success. I hope the task force shares that goal.”

The task force, which includes 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans from the House of Representatives, will hold its first meeting at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, March 11, at which time the group will organize and schedule additional hearings.
In response to today’s Chicago Tribune report, Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who just last month sought to advance a package of legislation aimed squarely at a $750K severance buyout that left local taxpayers reeling, had this to say about the new revelations that College of DuPage administrators spent hundreds of thousands on taxpayer-funded outings at the high-end publicly-owned restaurant on the campus of the College of DuPage.

“This is just one more example of the type of malfeasance that has been going on at the College of DuPage for years. It is also an example of exactly why the COD trustees need to comply with the legislative request that the Illinois Auditor General be allowed to come in and do a thorough performance audit.”

“I applaud the work of the Edgar County Watchdog group, whose determination in unearthing ethical and financial issues at the College prompted the Chicago Tribune to expose this latest misuse of public funds. It is clear that the Board of Trustees at COD has lost sight of their primary mission, which is to provide an affordable community college option for area students.”

“These recent revelations of financial mismanagement at the College of DuPage are not only the fault of the Board. I believe the senior administrative staff is also complicit, in that they have failed to protect the taxpayers who fund the institution. They are partially responsible and need to be held accountable.”

Rep. Ives was interviewed today and asked to talk about the new findings. You can listen to that audio here.

The Chicago Tribune story can be found here.  
In an effort to gain a full and comprehensive understanding into the financial activity surrounding the College of DuPage (COD) since 2011, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has amended a House Resolution filed last month to deepen the scope of an investigation by the Illinois Auditor General.

The original resolution, HR55, was filed in response to the COD Trustees’ decision last month to approve a $763,000 contract buyout deal for its current College President Robert Breuder, who will leave is post later this year.

“Those who pay taxes to the College of DuPage were outraged by the reckless decision to provide President Breuder with a $763,000 golden parachute deal on his way out the door,” said Ives. “House Resolution 55 asks the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of the College of DuPage for fiscal years 2011-2014, and the amendment I filed this week adds depth to the areas that can be investigated.”

The Illinois Constitution limits the Auditor General’s audit authority only to public funds appropriated or authorized by the General Assembly, and Ives, along with several of the resolution’s other 57 sponsors, felt the scope of the audit needed to be broadened. The amendatory language filed by Ives this week asks the Auditor General to utilize the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, which would allow him to contract with the College of DuPage to increase the scope of the audit. The new language asks COD to pay for the cost of the audit.

“If the College of DuPage Trustees have nothing to hide they should have no problem partnering with the Illinois Auditor General on a full and comprehensive audit,” Ives said. “In light of the board’s recent poor decisions, the taxpayers who fund the College deserve a thorough audit into how their tax dollars are actually being spent.”

According to the amendatory language in HR55, the audit is to include, but does not have be limited to, the following determinations for the years 2011-2014:
  • The College of DuPage’s sources of revenues
  • College expenditures, by broad category
  • Whether the Board is carrying out its responsibilities required by Board policy
  • Whether the Board is meeting its fiduciary responsibilities and ensuring compliance with the Public Community College Act and Board Policies
  • Whether the compensation and severance packages provided to the COD President are comparable to compensation and severance packages provided to Presidents of other Illinois Community Colleges
  • Whether changes to the College President’s compensation package were properly approved
“When the COD Trustees made that sweetheart deal with Breuder, they triggered a public outcry over the manner in which they make decisions with taxpayer resources,” Ives said. “This detailed audit is an appropriate legislative response and I look forward to reading the final report.”
Following Governor Bruce Rauner's Budget Address on February 18, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) issued the following statement:

"With the release of his 2016 budget priorities and proposed list of spending cuts that are both pragmatic and compassionate, Governor Rauner is demonstrating the type of bold leadership that won him the support of Illinoisans during his campaign. After over a decade of bad fiscal policy and practices, our Governor is stating loud and clear that it is time to re-establish fundamental principles; that it is time to apply common sense to our spending, and implement reforms to strengthen our educational system, our communities, and our economic vitality. These proposals are a good first step towards moving our state towards opportunity and prosperity."



With constituents stinging from the recent severance agreement negotiated by the College of DuPage Board, area House Republican lawmakers stepped up with a range of proposals all aimed at the same goal, preventing these types of “golden parachutes” in the future.

DuPage Republican Jeanne Ives (R, Wheaton), an outspoken critic of the college board, led off the press conference stressing the intensity of her constituents over the matter. “It’s distressing to again be forced to look to setting parameters on local government, but the fact of the matter is that the people of our area are demanding action,” stated Ives. ”We can’t sit silently by without bringing solutions to the table.”

Legislation ranging from capping severance payouts to enhanced public review was thrown out as possible items to prevent such flagrant abuses. Two newly elected neighboring lawmakers, Mark Batinick (R, Plainfield) and Grant Wehrli (R, Naperville), are both eyeing electoral remedies aimed at counteracting the lengthy six-year terms of many local public bodies.

Specifically, Wherli is looking to reduce the length of those terms to four years. “Shortening their terms seems completely reasonable, increasing accountability in these down ballot, low profile races.”

A Batinick proposal, who has been working through a recall provision of all non-home rule entities, strikes a chord both in this situation as well as towards the local park board for which the legislation was originally intended. “Locally, we had a board that has spun out of control, and clearly this situation seems to fit within those same set of concerns,” stated Batinick.

Similarly, the newly elected Will County Republican and former corporate lawyer Margo McDermed (R, Mokena) picked up an initiative of her predecessor and quickly realized the relevance of the initiative towards this particular situation. “The bill here was aimed at the 2013 Metra scandal looking to apply the FOIA act to any severance agreements that include public funds. Once again, we see transparency for severance agreements is still needed in Illinois," McDermed said.

Two other attorneys-turned-lawmakers are both looking to directly target the contracts themselves, with different focuses. Freshman lawmaker Peter Breen, (R, Lombard) is proposing what he calls the "Breuder Rule," which would forbid future severance agreements from exceeding one year’s salary and benefits. For current severance agreements of over one year's salary, the Breuder Rule would prohibit college boards from raising property taxes and tuition for the same number of years as the number of years' severance paid out.

“We need to cut this problem off at the source by capping future severance agreements for local government in Illinois,” stated Breen. “While we can't alter current agreements, we can make sure that homeowners and students don't pay for the poor decisions of community college boards. If these board members agree to extravagant golden parachutes, they can figure out how to pay them without putting the burden on our overtaxed homeowners and hardworking students."

Ron Sandack (R, Downers Grove), the Republican Floor Leader and a veteran of both chambers, will be proposing a state-focused approach by preserving local control while imposing harsh state financial deterrents in the event of large payouts.

“If these local boards proceed, there should be consequences to their state funding. It should be reduced dollar for dollar,” stated Sandack. “I don’t like the idea of tying the hands of duly elected local officials, but I have to say I’m inclined to believe they’d be far less likely to engage in these agreements if there’s a measured financial punishment equal to the payout of the agreement itself.”