Greetings from the heart of DuPage County! I hope this update finds you and your family well, ready for the official start of autumn and enjoying the new school year and family activities. I am coaching the Cross Country team for grades 5th-8th at St. Michael Parish School in Wheaton again this year, one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had in our community. Very proud of both our boys’ and girls’ teams and especially the 8th grade  teams which are undefeated!

I would like to say a quick “thank you” to all of you who attended one or more of my town hall meetings throughout the district. We held town hall meetings this year in Carol Stream, Wheaton, Warrenville, Naperville and Lisle to update local families and taxpayers on major issues in Springfield, from the state budget to school funding and much more. I look forward to meeting more of you at future events and listening to your feedback and concerns. Together we can restore the promise of Illinois and improve the quality of life for every family here in DuPage County. 
Case to be argued in U.S. Supreme Court on October 3
                                                                                                  
WHEATON – State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has formally signed an amicus brief in Gill v. Whitford, a case to be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on October 3 on whether to invalidate the practice of partisan gerrymandering, whereby state politicians draw legislative maps favorable to winning and maintaining control of state government for their own political party after each decennial census.

Ives is one of five members of the Illinois House of Representatives to sign the brief in support of ending gerrymandering once and for all.

“It is long past time that we restore government to the people of Illinois and indeed throughout the country by ending the practice of gerrymandering,” Rep. Ives said. “Republicans and Democrats alike are guilty of perpetrating this cynical and self-serving practice. Few states are as prime examples as Illinois of the devastating impact of politicians choosing their voters by drawing maps that cater to their own political self-interest. The financial ruin and corruption wrought on Illinois taxpayers and families over the past 15 years is a byproduct of allowing career politicians to remain entrenched through their control over the mapmaking process.”
By Justin Stoltzfus | DuPage Policy Journal
State Rep. Jeanne Ives

Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-42nd) was one of 34 House members to vote against the new state school funding formula contained in Senate Bill 1947 because its evidence-based model won't work, she said.

In a written response to the bill’s passage, Ives said that the formula directs property tax relief to 32 specific school districts, and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) benefit disproportionately because of the complexities in the funding equation. 

“The bottom line is that Chicago has enough property wealth to pay for its own schools,” Ives told Prairie State Wire. “It’s outrageous.”

Ives accused Chicago’s leadership of skewing the numbers on property tax to put CPS into “Tier 1” status, which will give it more state assistance. One way to do that is through tax increment financing (TIF) districts, which allows districts to put money into a pot earmarked for specific infrastructure improvements. Ives said that TIF money is exempt from analysis under the new formula.

“It’s a way for them to hide their wealth,” Ives said. “You can hide it from the school funding formula that way...”
The School Funding Bill Passed and the Result is…
CPS Got Bailed Out and We Made Promises We Can’t Keep
I Voted NO – Here’s Why

State Rep. Jeanne Ives
In typical Illinois fashion, Mike Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel got everything they wanted in the new school funding bill – and more.  Madigan got more dollars for the unions, he got the pretense of ending the long debate over education equity funding (this bill won’t end the debate), and most importantly he got to use suburban tax money to bail out CPS. To highlight the bail out, I present these two statements coming out of Chicago leadership: 

From DNAInfo August 24, 2017 – “Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday evening that a bipartisan agreement reached by state lawmakers to fund Illinois' schools would give the Chicago Public Schools everything — "and more"”

From CapFax August 28, 2017 – “School board President Frank Clark said on Monday that Chicago Public Schools may see as much as $450 million from a pending state accord on education funding, about $150 million more than the district had anticipated.”

On top of that Madigan got all the political theater he is known for.  There were three separate votes, the first was a test vote and virtue signal to the unions by Democrat members.  Then, came the fake veto override vote on SB1 to show the unions they would have to settle for the other bill.  And then after more drama, the compromise bill came back on reconsideration and passed.  House members knew before the votes were taken what would pass and what wouldn’t – leadership worked their roll calls and structured their votes – because that’s the way it always happens when taxpayers are about to get their pocket picked and the policy can’t stand on its own.
Today State Representative Jeanne Ives called for an investigation by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) of all 102 counties to determine their compliance with state property tax assessment and valuation laws.  

Her request was made amidst an ongoing debate over how more than $6.7 billion in state tax dollars will be distributed to K-12 schools.  Community property wealth is the predominant variable used to determine how much money each school receives from Springfield. Poorer districts get more, wealthier districts get less.

Property valuations are conducted by Illinois townships and counties and governed by state statute to ensure all taxpayers are treated uniformly and fairly.
LISLE – State Representatives Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) along with State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) will host a Town Hall Meeting on the status of the controversial education funding reform bill, Senate Bill 1, and what is at stake for local taxpayers and school districts at 9:30am on Saturday, August 12 at Benedictine University’s Goodwin Business Building's Hall of Leaders (4th Floor), located at 5700 College Road in Lisle.

The Illinois General Assembly is expected to return to session in Springfield as early as August 14 to deliberate upon the Governor’s partial veto of Senate Bill 1.

“Senate Bill 1 is not about improving education and outcomes in Chicago, or any school in Illinois for that matter,” Representative Ives said. “It is a bailout for CPS’ pension debt. The new money for CPS under Senate Bill 1 would go to service their pensions and debt, NOT into the classroom. It is clear to everyone that CPS has been grossly mismanaged for decades, and now they want Illinois taxpayers to foot the bill. DuPage County families and taxpayers need to know how this impacts them and have their voice heard in this process.” 
Those of us here in Illinois are expected to have a phenomenal view of the solar eclipse that will take place on August 21! Don’t miss this opportunity to view one of nature’s most spectacular occurrences with your family and friends.  

Here’s the roundup of everything you need to know about the solar eclipse and how to view it safely:

Chicago Tribune “Proximity to total solar eclipse prompts flurry of events in Chicago area”

WLS AM 890 News “Illinois health experts warn of unsafe solar eclipse viewing”

Chicago Magazine “Should You Go to Southern Illinois to See the Total Solar Eclipse?”

Also, the Illinois Optometric Association has provided a few tips for safe viewing:

·         Get centered and enjoy the view. Within the path of totality, you can safely witness the two or more minutes when the moon completely covers the sun with the naked eye. Otherwise, your eyes should always be protected by verified viewing tools. Never look directly at the sun without eye protection, even briefly. Visit eclipse.aas.org to access eclipse duration charts.

·         Know your duration. Outside the path of totality, always use solar filters. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters or other ISO-certified filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers.

·         Be aware of harmful solar exposure. If you stare at the sun without protection, you may experience damage to your retina (the tissue at the back of your eye) called “solar retinopathy.” This damage can occur without any sensation of pain, since the retina does not have pain receptors. The injury can be temporary or permanent. Visit your local doctor of optometry immediately if an accident occurs.

·         Visit your doctor of optometry. Check in with your optometrist for information about safely viewing the eclipse. If you experience any problems with your eyes or vision after the eclipse, an optometrist will be able to provide you with the medical care you need.

You can access additional information and educational materials on the solar eclipse by visiting aoa.org/2017eclipse.


The Illinois House of Representatives is back in Springfield for special session today, as Democrats are expected to finally send the controversial education funding bill (Senate Bill 1) to the Governor’s desk, after sitting on it since May 31.

This article explains why Chicago politicians are hijacking the school funding bill to give property-wealthy Chicago more money. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is broke and it is getting worse, not better. CPS has been mismanaged for decades. Senate Bill 1 bails them out. The article linked above explains how CPS taxpayers are getting taken to the cleaners. 

We should all be concerned for another reason. Check out this headline from the Illinois News Network: Education funding bill sets up another tax increase, lawmaker warns. You can click that headline to read the article, or click HERE. The last thing Illinois families need is yet another tax increase.

Here is another good article, where the author rightly calls out the need for school choice legislation, an issue I have championed and led on since I first came to Springfield in 2013. The author outlines two guiding principles: “First, make sure taxpayer money is focused on what’s best for students, not institutions. Second, liberate families by providing equal access to quality education.” We should all be able to get behind those principles.
A 32% Tax Hike wasn't enough, now the Democrats’ school funding formula will take that increase and send it to Chicago.

I have been involved with the school funding discussions since I arrived in Springfield 5 years ago. I led the fight against SB16 in 2014 and against subsequent bills which looked to nearly eliminate state funding from suburban districts.

I have been on three different education task forces.  Unfortunately, I was not appointed to the task force that proposed the evidenced based model being debated now.  I am certain this was done intentionally knowing I would never agree to this type of funding model and would have vigorously questioned every aspect of the formula as I have already done in committee.  Even Republicans were looking to pass "evidenced based" funding which I find concerning.
Rep. Jeanne Ives
WHEATON – Today, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) called on Governor Rauner to veto SB1-- a bill that would reroute state school funds to pay down Chicago Public Schools’ massive debt, resulting in higher suburban property taxes -- as soon as it hits his desk. 

Ives stated, “This bill would enshrine into state law that suburban taxpayers bail out corrupt and mismanaged Chicago Public Schools (CPS) over the next generation.”

CPS holds $17,000,000,000+ in debt.

“They are a bloated, corrupt and mismanaged organization,” Ives said of CPS. “After CPS intentionally skipped pension payments for 10 years, it now owes $10 billion to current and future retirees. CPS has more than $7 billion in other debt at “junk” interest rates.”

Put in perspective, CPS has more than three times its total annual budget in debt.  It owes three times as much as the state will spend on public schools for all districts this year.
Rep. Jeanne Ives
The 583-page state budget bill that most legislators were only given 45 minutes or so to read before having to vote on it contains several “hidden” provisions that will cost taxpayers and local communities millions of dollars above and beyond the income tax hike that was passed the same day in a separate bill. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most egregious hidden costs in the state’s new budget:

Gasoline tax hike
Politicians in Springfield snuck language into the budget that increases the state’s sales tax on gasoline by five cents per-gallon. You might think this additional revenue will go into a fund to pay for much-needed road repairs and highway safety projects, but you would be wrong. The extra gasoline sales tax revenue is going straight into the state’s general fund, where politicians can spend it on whatever they want. So much for transparency.
Click HERE to watch Thursday's special session of the Illinois House of Representatives, scheduled to begin at Noon. Use password "roadblocked".


Day 1 of Special Session Underway

The Illinois House of Representatives returned to Springfield today for Day 1 of a 10-day special session called by a Proclamation from Governor Bruce Rauner for the purpose of passing a balanced state budget with reforms. To read the Governor’s Proclamation, please click HERE.

Special session lasted exactly seven minutes. That’s right – seven minutes. Those seven minutes consisted of an opening prayer, pledge of allegiance, roll call for attendance, and the reading of the Governor’s proclamation into the record – followed by immediate adjournment. If you had any doubts about the House majority’s interest in passing a balanced budget, this tells you all you need to know.

A quick point of clarification – when the Governor calls a special session, the General Assembly is bound to consider ONLY those issues which the Governor specifically identifies; in this case, “legislation, new or pending, which addresses a balanced budget and structural reforms including but not limited to property tax relief, job creation, worker’s compensation reform, government consolidation, education, term limits, pension reform and spending limitations.”
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) hosted a Town Hall meeting in Warrenville on Tuesday evening, updating constituents about the state budget situation and the K-12 education funding bill that passed the General Assembly on May 31. The discussion also included the need for real property tax relief and other issues of importance to local families.
You are invited to join me and Senator Mike Connelly for the "Straight Talk Tour" Town Hall Meeting in Warrenville this coming Tuesday, June 6. Get the hard facts about the state budget, learn how Illinois compares to surrounding states, hear about the new K-12 education funding plan that passed this week and what it means for our local schools and taxpayers; and much, much more.

We hope you will be able to join us for this discussion. Illinois is at a critical crossroads right now and your feedback is more important than ever. Our future is at stake with regard to jobs, taxes, education, pension debt and what kind of a state our kids will inherit -- if they even choose to stay in Illinois for college and to start their careers. We owe it to them to get this right, to pass a balanced state budget that includes long-overdue reforms to make Illinois' economy more competitive, job-friendly, and growth-oriented. Please join us and make your voice heard:

Warrenville Town Hall Meeting
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
7:00pm
Warrenville City Hall
28 W 701 Stafford Place
Warrenville, IL 60555

Please feel welcome to share this message with any family, friends or neighbors who you think may be interested. As always, please feel welcome to contact me at any time with questions or concerns by phone at (630) 384-9719 or via e-mail at ives@ilhousegop.org


Sincerely,

Jeanne Ives
State Representative, 42nd District

Rep. Jeanne Ives
Everything in Springfield is a fight over money.  There is no bigger fight than the one over K-12 education funding.  The 20-year old distribution formula for General State Aid has been distorted beyond its original intent and folks from around the state have increasingly been arguing for a more fair system to distribute state education dollars.

This fight has heated up over the last four years pitting city against suburb against rural districts. It is also a fight between property-rich districts that largely fund themselves and property-poor districts who want more state aid. 

A seminal 2013 report prepared by the Senate Republican caucus in response to Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) continuous request for more money for their bloated system showed even more inequities.  That report indicated the Chicago “free lunch” amounted to $800 million and that, if anything, CPS should receive less state funding.  For example, the report highlighted the following about CPS funding from the state: 

  • CPS has 31% of those in poverty, but receives 47% of the poverty grant money
  • CPS has 17% percent of special education students, yet receives 30% of the that funding
  • CPS has 18% of those in early childhood, yet receives 37% of the funding related to early childhood 
In a recent Chicago Tribune article, State Senator Andy Manar, the lead sponsor of the new funding formula contained in Senate Bill 1 argued that the old formula redistributes hundreds of millions of dollars according to rules where the poor lose and the rich win.  Nearly all agree we need a change; and Democrats, Republicans, school administrators and education policy experts alike have weighed in on legislation to change the formula.  
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) spoke on the House Floor on Sunday in response to Democrats voting to remove her as sponsor of Senate Bill 9, paving the way for them to advance a $5.4 Billion tax increase on Illinois families.

Rep. Jeanne Ives
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Jeanne Ives released the following statement today after the passage of SB 9 in the Illinois Senate on Tuesday, legislation to increase taxes by $5.4 Billion through income tax increases on both individuals and employers in addition to a new “sugar tax” on sweetened beverages. SB 9 now goes to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Ives has pre-filed to be the bill’s sponsor.

“I want to be a part of the conversation when it comes to taxes and how any tax increase would impact hardworking Illinois families and job creators. Senate Bill 9 would give Illinois the highest taxes on employers of any state in the nation and make it more difficult for middle-income families to make ends meet. There is a bigger conversation that needs to be had before the state considers a tax increase; specifically on real property tax relief, responsible spending cuts and pro-business reforms to help create jobs in Illinois. I believe the best way for me to have a voice in that discussion is to control the bill in the House of Representatives as its sponsor.” 

Senate Bill 9 is expected to be assigned to a House Committee as early as Wednesday.

###
The 'Straight Talk Tour', which included stops in Carol Stream, Wheaton and Naperville this spring, is coming to Warrenville on Tuesday, June 6 at 7:00pm. Mark your calendar and bring a friend!

DuPage Policy Journal


State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton)
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) chastised the House for its lack of progress on a state budget estimate, calling it a failure of the chamber.

“The failure of this body, the House, to adopt a revenue number is a complete failure on all of us," she said. “We’re all responsible for pushing our leadership to bring forth a bill and a resolution to do such as that.”

She followed up on remarks by Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), who urged Democrats and Republicans to work together and agree on one of his proposed revenue estimates.

“This body has the requirement to actually set forth the amount that we anticipate will be our estimated receipts," Ives said. "This is part of the [Illinois] Constitution. It’s under the state’s finance section. You can read it yourself. We have failed to do this for two years and 11 days...”
Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) speaks during debate on the House Floor in opposition to Senate Bill 598, legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to serve as student trustees at Illinois' public universities. The bill was placed on the Calendar for Postponed Consideration after it failed to receive enough votes to pass.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives
May 15, 2017

TOP STORY: Illinois’ Business Climate is Hostile, and it’s Getting Personal

**Important for everyone to know!

“Charleston legislator targeted by vandalism; union connection suspectedEast Central Reporter: Rep. Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the capture of vandals who raided one of his senior-assisted living construction work sites and damaged valuable equipment. Authorities are still investigating the incident, which Phillips told the East Central Reporter took place in late April… read the full story here

Update from Springfield

The clock is ticking. We are 16 days until the deadline to pass a state budget on May 31. If we go beyond May 31 yet again without a state budget, the threshold to pass anything goes from a simple majority of 60 votes in the House up to a three-fifths majority of 71 votes. This higher standard would require bipartisan agreement on spending levels, priorities and reforms; consensus which currently does not exist, making it much more difficult to pass a budget after May 31.


This week, an Illinois State Board of Elections hearing judge recommended that the state’s top taxpayer watchdog, Auditor General Frank Mautino, should be fined for willfully violating an order that he provide more information on his former legislative campaign committee's spending. Questions were first raised in early 2016 about why Mautino's campaign fund had reported spending more than $247,000 on fuel and car repairs. Since then, Mautino has been the subject of separate federal and state investigations, during which time he has refused to testify or provide an explanation.
Rep. Ives speaking to the Illinois
Professional Firefighters Association
On Friday I had the privilege of speaking at the Illinois Professional Firefighters Association Spring Pension Seminar in Addison about the profound crisis impacting pension systems at the state and local level. While the focus was on our hardworking and dedicated firefighters, I thought I would share the slides with you that I used, because this issue affects us all as taxpayers.

Upon being asked to give this presentation, I reached out to the Illinois Policy Institute, as they have done important work on the issue of pensions. They put together the slideshow presented HERE.

Here are some quick facts:

ü  Aggregate funding ratios for Illinois’ downstate police and fire pension funds have collapsed over the past 15 years, and are now just 50% funded. (“Downstate” for pension purposes means everything outside of the City of Chicago, which has their own pension systems).


ü  Meanwhile, taxpayer contributions to police and fire pensions have risen 9.3% a year over the past decade, while employee contributions have grown 3.7%.

ü  Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in additional taxpayer contributions over the past decade, police and fire pension debts continue to rise uncontrollably.

ü  Taxpayer contributions have not been able to keep up because police and fire accrued liabilities have grown 700% since 1987, or 8% annually.

ü  Benefits promised to police and fire workers have grown far faster than assets, the economy, inflation, population and taxpayers’ ability to pay for them.

ü  Over 30% of downstate pension funds have less than half the money they need on hand today to pay out future benefits. There are over 25 pension funds that are less than 25% funded.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
May 3, 2017

Daily Herald: Why Your Tax Bill May Go Up If Homeowner’s Exemption Changes

This Daily Herald article gets this political pandering bill exactly right. Political gimmick. We need real property tax reform, not carve outs for special groups of people. This bill would allow wealthy veterans with homes worth $750,000 to receive tax breaks shifting the levy onto poorer middle class families and businesses. None of these breaks are "means tested" - a progressive "Holy Grail." Glad I voted NO - the only one to do so in the House. Other Republicans spoke against the bill, but voted for it - afraid of political mail pieces. This is entirely what is wrong in Springfield. Meanwhile the sponsors will pander in the next election that they passed a property tax reform bill, but the sponsor admitted on the House floor that the bill does not freeze taxes or ensure they will be lower.
DuPage Policy Journal

Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) reiterated her call for Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino’s resignation in an interview after the State Board of Elections hearing on Mautino’s questionable campaign contribution spending recently.

Speaking to the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW), a government oversight group that has covered the unfolding scandal, Ives joined Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) in expressing her continued skepticism of Mautino’s ability to hold the state’s top auditing position.

“We’ve been the most vocal, Grant and I,” Ives said. “I called for his resignation over a year ago. We signed on to having him resign by mid-summer. We’ve definitely been trying to hold their feet to the fire.”

Those efforts have not gone unnoticed: Ives and Wehrli were the only two representatives among all 118 to have their campaign reporting brought to the table at the hearing...
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
April 27, 2017

WATCH LIVE: Illinois House Session

To say this week’s legislative session has been a disappointment thus far would be an understatement; unless you support taxpayer-funded abortion, regulating more aspects of the private-sector economy, passing more unfunded mandates on schools, or further undermining the men and women of Illinois’ business community. All the while, still no discernible progress toward a state budget.  If a Hollywood screenwriter wrote a script about real-life inside the Illinois Capitol, it would be an embarrassing farce.

While I wish I had better news to share, it is my responsibility to keep you informed about what’s happening in Springfield and how I’m voting. Please scroll below for more updates on specific issues.

The Illinois House of Representatives is back in session today. You can watch LIVE by clicking HERE and entering password “3rdreadingdeadline”. Session is scheduled to begin at 10:30am. 
Chicago…At a hearing in Chicago today before the State Board of Elections, Illinois’ embattled Auditor General Frank Mautino continued his refusal to answer questions concerning campaign expenses that have sparked criminal investigations at the Federal and State levels. State Representatives Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) attended this morning’s hearing, and stressed that Mautino’s decision today to “plead the Fifth Amendment” to again avoid providing answers must result in his removal from office.
DuPage Policy Journal

The Edgar County Watchdogs reported recently that Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino is being deposed in connection with a complaint filed by David Cook that led to an investigation by the State Board of Election (SBE) into Mautino’s campaign spending during his tenure as a state representative.

The watchdog group also reported that the SBE hearing officer has issued a protective order so that information from the deposition is kept from the public.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 20 in Chicago and is open to the public.

The DuPage Policy Journal reached out to state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) to get her take on the issue…
This is a Must Read.

This article gets this political pandering bill exactly right. Political gimmick. We need real property tax reform, not carve outs for special groups of people. This bill would allow wealthy veterans with homes worth $750,000 to receive tax breaks – shifting the levy onto poorer middle-income families and businesses. None of these breaks are "means tested" – a progressive "Holy Grail." Glad I voted NO - the only one to do so in the House. Other Republicans spoke against the bill, but voted for it – afraid of political mail pieces. This is entirely what is wrong in Springfield. Meanwhile the sponsors will pander in the next election that they passed a property tax reform bill, but the sponsor admitted on the House floor that the bill does not freeze taxes or ensure they will be lower.

Low-income seniors need real and substantial relief from property tax burdens – so does everyone else.  Veterans - and I am a veteran, as is my husband and we have two children on Active Duty – already have enough of a tax break on taxes in Illinois – and they are not means tested.

You may view my exchange with the sponsor here:  



Here's what the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA) a business group said about it: "While residents will receive a break, this will shift their tax burden to commercial and industrial taxpayers resulting in a nearly 2 percent hike in property tax bills for employers." You can read more at this link:  http://ima-net.org/springfield-highlights-april-7-2017/

It is a shift in burden - not a freeze or hard cap in property taxes.


Taxpayers could again end up holding the bag as a result of yet another bad decision by state lawmakers, who voted in committee Thursday to authorize the Illinois Treasurer’s office to invest in high-risk debt in the form of cash notes sought by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). This legislation, House Bill 3004, would also allow RTA to borrow more money for a longer period of time than allowed under current law.

The bottom line here is, the Illinois Treasurer’s office would be able to buy the CTA’s and RTA’s bad debts to bail out the CTA, RTA and their investors. The bill says that if the state treasury invests money in CTA’s interim financing notes and CTA is unable to pay back those debts, the treasury can skim the state dollars that are distributed to CTA. This has never been done before, due to the fact that this type of debt is considered very high-risk.
It is no secret that the State of Illinois is facing a massive burden in the form of more than $130 Billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledge the severity of this challenge, although we have significant differences on how to address it. The City of Chicago has its own separate pension debt problems which are similar, if not worse. Yet instead of working in a bipartisan manner to achieve comprehensive pension reform that respects taxpayers, Illinois lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to let Chicago raise taxes to put a band-aid on their own pension debt while ignoring the need for reform to state pension systems.

On April 6, an Illinois House committee approved the legislation in question, Senate Bill 14, which would make various changes to the Chicago municipal pension funds through a state-authorized increase on Chicago property tax payers. I am voting NO, in part because Chicago politicians created the problem that they are now asking the state for permission to fix on the backs of property tax payers; while the General Assembly fails to address much-needed reform to state pension systems. Enough is enough. We need to get serious about dealing with constitutional pension reform as a whole, not piecemeal.

Click below to watch me question the Democrat sponsor of the bill in Personnel & Pensions Committee on Thursday. SB 14 was passed out of committee by a vote of 8-6 and now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives
April 4, 2017

WATCH LIVE: Illinois House Session

Another week in Springfield produced yet more examples of a lack of priorities.  You would think that working toward a responsible bipartisan solution to the state budget impasse would be priority #1; yet once again last week, the House of Representatives frittered away precious time on less significant issues. Here are some examples, as cited in the Peoria Journal-Star:

“The House also approved a bill to designate cycling as the official state exercise. The bill now goes to the Senate. Oh, and the House previously approved bills to make milkweed the official state wildflower, and shelter dogs and cats the official state pet. It has yet to vote on a bill designating corn as the official state grain.”

I did not vote for any of these ridiculous bills. There has also been controversy regarding legislation urging Congress to grant U.S. statehood to Puerto Rico, HR 164. As if we don’t have much more important issues to be focusing on right now.

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session today. You can watch the action LIVE by clicking HERE and entering password “prairieland”. Session is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm. 
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) held their third and final Town Hall Meeting of the month of March 2017 at Naperville City Hall on Monday evening. Over 150 local residents attended to participate in a discussion of the state budget and other state issues. Rep. Ives and Sen. Connelly held similar town hall meetings in Carol Stream and Wheaton earlier this month. A copy of the PowerPoint slides shown at the meeting can be viewed HERE.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) spoke on the House Floor on Tuesday to recognize Mr. Bob Adams, a U.S. Navy combat veteran of the Vietnam era and co-founder of the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton. The shelter is celebrating their 10th anniversary serving the needs of veterans in our community.

Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans mission is to provide veterans and their families with housing and supportive services that lead to self-sufficiency. They work to ensure that no veteran is left behind due to homelessness, joblessness, poverty and/or mental-health issues. Click below to watch the video of Rep. Ives' remarks as she welcomes Mr. Adams to Springfield.

To learn more about this organization or to get involved, please visit www.helpaveteran.org/.

Session Alert – Watch Illinois House Session LIVE
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
March 21, 2017

WATCH LIVE: Illinois House Session

Another week in Springfield produced yet more examples of a lack of priorities.  You would think that working toward a responsible bipartisan solution to the state budget impasse would be the highest priority, yet once again last week, the House of Representatives frittered away precious time on issues that illustrate bureaucracy at its worst. Here are two examples:

The House debated a bill that would spend an estimated $1.5 million to translate the Illinois General Assembly website into Spanish. My colleagues, Representative Keith Wheeler and Representative Mark Batinick got up to speak and demonstrate how we can already provide this service to our constituents for FREE, not only in Spanish, but in up to 57 different languages! When asked to withdraw the bill from consideration in light of this fact, the bill’s sponsor, Chicago Democrat Rep. Silvana Tabares, stubbornly refused, insisting that spending taxpayer dollars on something we can do for free is necessary. Click HERE to read the story and watch the video.

Less egregious, but still an example of absurd bureaucracy, was a bill to provide that from December 3, 2017 through December 31, 2018, a United States flag bearing 21 stars will be flown from the flag pole of the Illinois State Capitol in celebration of Illinois' bicentennial as the 21st state to join the Union. You would think a decision like this should be an administrative one, not something that requires the time of the state legislature to debate and approve, especially when we still don’t have a budget.

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session today. You can watch the action LIVE by clicking HERE and entering password “zephyr”. Session is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm.
ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Rep. Jeanne Ives
There’s a new proposal in the House to reform the long-debated school funding formula, but one state lawmaker says it’s only throwing money at a problem and offering little that will actually improve schools...

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the measure tells school superintendents how to spend certain dollars, removing local decisions on where resources should be spent.

“They can tell superintendents how many janitors they need per square foot. Now, if that’s not central planning on steroids, I don’t know what is,” Ives said.

Instead, there needs to be an expansion of charter schools and tax credits for school choice, Ives said, as well as other efforts to produce competition and better results to boost outcomes...
Session Alert – Watch Illinois House Session LIVE
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
March 14, 2017

WATCH LIVE: Illinois House Session

I would like to report that the Illinois House of Representatives is hard at work focused on passing a responsible state budget solution that respects taxpayers and makes long-overdue reforms that contribute to economic growth and opportunity for families. Unfortunately, the House spent a great deal of its time last week on legislation that names milkweed a noxious weed; and passing a bill to make the official state pet a generic shelter pet. This absurdity has to be seen to be believed.

I recently held two town hall meetings on the state budget; in Carol Stream on March 2 and in Wheaton on March 4. None of the very critical budget issues facing the State of Illinois have been addressed in Springfield. In fact, the House of Representatives has not even taken the first step, which is to adopt a revenue estimate. We need to agree on how much revenue the State will take in this year before we can pass a budget. Meanwhile, the situation continues to get worse. The nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability (COGFA) released a report last week noting the State’s revenue forecast has been reduced by an additional $657 million.

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session today. You can watch the action LIVE by clicking HERE and entering password “mackie”. Session is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm. 
WATCH LIVE: Illinois House Session

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session today as the pace of legislative activity picks up.

You can watch the action LIVE by clicking HERE and entering password “cubswin”. Session is scheduled to begin at 11:00am. 

House Committees to Hold Hearings on Bills

Illinois House committees are holding hearings on dozens of bills this week. For a complete list of bills that I have introduced or am co-sponsoring this year, please click HERE.

I will keep you informed throughout the spring session on my legislation and the priorities I am fighting for on behalf of DuPage County families and taxpayers as your voice in Springfield.
By Amanda Robert | Madison-St. Clair Record

Can the average Illinoisan identify the opportunity costs when the state sends 25 percent of general revenues to its massively under-funded public pension systems?

Rep. Jeanne Ives
Illinois State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, one of the most fiscally conservative members of the General Assembly, believes there are two ways law makers can help citizens understand the ongoing financial crisis in Illinois.

One is by pointing out that the $400 million needed just for teachers’ pensions could fund a lot of other needs in Illinois, including Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for nearly 700,000 college students, more than 10,700 new teachers or 320 miles of resurfaced four-lane highway.
“Or, secondly you can just wait for the collapse when government cannot borrow any more money and folks lose their jobs, then maybe the electorate wakes up,” Ives said...
WHO:                        State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville)
State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton)

WHAT:                      Straight Talk Tour: a set of town halls giving constituents straightforward answers to all their state-related questions.

WHEN/WHERE:      Thursday, March 2 at 7pm
Carol Stream Park District Fountain View Rec Center
910 N Gary Ave, Carol Stream, IL 60188

Saturday, March 4 at 9am
Wheaton Park District Community Center
1777 S Blanchard St, Wheaton, IL 60189

Monday, March 27 at 7pm
Naperville City Hall, Council Chambers
400 S Eagle St, Naperville, IL 60540
Session Alert –Taxpayer Funded Abortion Bill (HB 40)
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
February 16, 2017

WATCH LIVE: Illinois House Session

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session this morning.  The controversial House Bill 40 may be considered today. This bill would remove all bans on using taxpayer funding for abortion for basically any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy under Medicaid; and would remove the ban on state employees’ insurance policies paying for abortions. House Bill 40 passed the Human Services Committee last week and is now on the House Floor.

You can watch today’s House session LIVE clicking HERE and entering password “capitol”. Session is scheduled to begin at 10:00am.  
Session Alert – Governor’s Budget Address
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
February 15, 2017

WATCH LIVE: Governor Rauner Delivers Budget Address

Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address to a joint session of the 100th General Assembly in Springfield at Noon today.  You can watch the speech LIVE from the floor of the House of Representatives by clicking HERE and entering password “budget”. Session is scheduled to begin at 11:30am. 
Session Alert – State Employee Pay, Abortion, Immigration
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
February 9, 2017

Members of the House of Representatives recently received their new committee assignments for the historic 100th General Assembly (2017-2019). I am pictured here presenting a bill in committee. For my complete list of committee assignments, please scroll below.

House to Consider Bills on State Employee Pay & More

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session on Thursday. Several controversial bills have been introduced, distracting from what should be our top priority: working together to achieve a resolution to the ongoing state budget impasse; finding a solution that respects taxpayers and enacts long-overdue reforms to state government that are holding back our economy. Here is a synopsis of a few of the new bills certain to generate heated debate:

House Bill 1787 / House Bill 1798 – State Employee Pay 
Competing versions of legislation to continue paying state employees in the absence of a budget. House Bill 1787 is a Democrat-sponsored bill, whereas House Bill 1798 is a Republican-sponsored measure.

House Bill 40 – Taxpayer-funded abortion
Would remove all bans on using taxpayer funding for abortion for basically any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy under Medicaid; and would remove the ban on state employees’ insurance policies paying for abortions.

House Bill 426 – Immigration “Safe Zones” 
Would grant illegal immigrants refuge from state and local law enforcement personnel in Illinois schools, places of worship, and medical treatment and health care facilities; creating so-called “safe zones”. This bill in intended to prevent state and local law enforcement agencies from assisting federal authorities with enforcing U.S. immigration law.

You can watch the debate LIVE from the floor of the House of Representatives by clicking HERE and entering password “grandbargain”. Session is scheduled to begin at 1:00pm. 
Week in Review
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
February 6, 2017

I was pleased to speak at a press conference at the State of Illinois Building in Chicago
on January 31 to unveil a state budget proposal with the Illinois Policy Institute. 

Rep. Ives Unveils State Budget Plan with IPI

I joined Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman to unveil a state budget proposal in Chicago last Tuesday. This plan would balance the state budget without tax increases, reform pensions in a way that complies with the Illinois Constitution, and offers property tax relief to struggling homeowners in Illinois. The plan closes Illinois’ $7.1 billion budget deficit by enacting very specific spending reforms and calls for other changes to state government that will put Illinois on a better economic path going forward. 

You can watch the full press conference by clicking HERE and clicking on “Rep. Jeanne Ives propose Illinois budget reform package”.   
By Karen Kidd | DuPage Policy Journal

With the so-called "Grand Bargain" compromise budget deal expected on the Senate floor next week, an Illinois House representative from Wheaton says it's harder to get people to understand an alternative proposal than it is to get it to the House floor. 

"You talk about our struggle," Illinois State House Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) told the DuPage Policy Journal during a phone interview. "Our struggle is just getting people to understand what we're trying to do and actually report on it in a reasonable way. That's our struggle."

Ives has thrown her support behind legislation derived from a proposal developed by a Chicago-based conservative think tank that -- unlike the Senate's Grand Bargain -- would reduce spending, provide property tax relief and implement needed reforms. However, Ives said, she also has no illusions about the chances of an alternative budgetary proposal: it will have a tough fight just to be heard...