Commentary by Rep. Jeanne Ives
Published in the Chicago Tribune

Rep. Jeanne Ives
Sick of the status quo, Illinoisans are leaving our state in record numbers. But politicians continue to peddle the same old snake oil.

The reasons for the exodus aren't a mystery. Public polling shows the No. 1 reason Illinoisans want out is high taxes. So what's the response from the Illinois Senate? Raise taxes again, forcing the families that stay in our state to pay more for the sins of the political class. It's insanity. Illinoisans deserve better. 

The Senate plan now on the bargaining table in Springfield has been branded a "grand compromise." A grand compromise with whom? Taxpayers clearly don't have a seat at that table. The multibillion-dollar tax-hike plan is a handshake between politicians and special interests that does nothing to fix our state's structural overspending. In fact, another tax increase will be the final nail in the coffin for Illinois.
Session Alert – State of the State Address
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
January 25, 2017


WATCH LIVE: Governor Rauner Delivers “State of the State”

Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual “State of the State” 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 “100thgeneral”. Session is scheduled to begin at 11:30am. 

House Votes to Impose Speaker Madigan’s Rules

On Tuesday, as expected, the House of Representatives voted to impose Speaker Madigan’s rules for the next two years. The resolution containing Madigan’s Rules, HR 46, was adopted by a vote of 63-53, with only Democrats voting in favor of maintaining the Speaker’s 100% control of the legislative process.

You can watch my remarks on the House Floor during the Rules debate by clicking HERE. I will continue to stand up and fight for the residents and taxpayers of the 42nd District in spite of the Speaker’s undemocratic and onerous Rules.
Session Alert – House Rules Debate
State Rep. Jeanne Ives
January 24, 2017

WATCH LIVE: House Vote on Speaker Madigan’s Rules

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to Springfield today, with a critical vote set to take place on the House Rules, the procedures by which legislation is considered. This has very important implications for every Illinois family and taxpayer.  

Every two years, the people of Illinois elect representatives from 118 districts across the state to serve as their voice in Springfield. Once sworn in, these representatives have the opportunity to take two important votes. The first is to elect a Speaker of the House, which typically goes to the leader of the majority party. The second important vote, which will occur today, is to adopt a set of procedural rules to govern the House for the subsequent two years.

For 32 of the last 34 years, those rules have been drafted in a manner that consolidates control with one individual - Speaker Michael Madigan - allowing him to circumvent our representative democracy and make the House subject to the power of one. For a good synopsis of how these rules are detrimental to our democracy, please click HERE.

Today we have the opportunity to return representative democracy to the people by rejecting Speaker Madigan's rules and making reforms to restore fairness that will allow legislators of both parties to advocate for the people of their districts.You can watch the debate LIVE from the floor of the House of Representatives by clicking HERE and entering password “100thgeneral”. Session is scheduled to begin at 1:00pm. 

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

The controversial Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit for select Illinois businesses could be extended beyond its expiration if the governor signs on, but opponents say there’s no way to determine the program’s success...

...state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said EDGE is a failed program. “This state has spent $1.3 billion to bring in 34,000 jobs through this tax credit since 2001, but overall Illinois is still down 100,000 jobs on net during this same time period,” she said.

Ives said EDGE should be reformed to include credits for all businesses — not a select few...

State Rep. Jeanne Ives
January 11, 2017
WATCH LIVE: Inauguration of 100th General Assembly

The 100th Illinois General Assembly begins today, with new and returning members of the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois State Senate gathering in Springfield to take the oath of office surrounded by family and friends. I would like to say “Thank You” to the families and taxpayers of the 42nd District for once again giving me the privilege of serving as your voice in our state capital for the next two years. Since 2013, I have fought for our shared values and common-sense reforms to state government.

You can watch the swearing-in ceremony for the House of Representatives LIVE by clicking HERE. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at Noon.

This 100th General Assembly will coincide with Illinois’ Bicentennial celebration next year. We will be sharing memorable historical facts throughout the year to commemorate Illinois’ 200th birthday in 2018, giving you an opportunity to learn about the men and women who have shaped our state over the years and whose legacy we inherit. It is up to us to preserve and strengthen that legacy, and to pass on to our children a State of Illinois where all our citizens can live, work and raise a family in liberty and prosperity. 

Share Your Feedback: Ives 2017 Constituent Survey

It is vitally important for me to receive input from constituents like you. Your feedback helps me to know where residents of our district stand on a wide range of policy questions of concern to Illinois families and taxpayers. For that reason, I have posted a 2017 Survey on my website, www.jeanneives.org. Please take a few moments at your convenience to complete the survey and share your questions and comments directly with me.

All of the issues covered in the survey have been considered by the state legislature in the past; and are likely to be again in 2017. To take my survey, please click HERE. Thank you in advance for your feedback. It is sincerely appreciated.  

Lame Duck Session: Bills To Watch

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to Springfield today for a two-day “lame duck” session. Lame ducks are legislators who are retiring at the end of this term, which expires this week on Wednesday, January 11. Of the 16 lame ducks, three have resigned their seats early, meaning they are no longer eligible to vote on legislation.

Several important bills are on the calendar for this week’s lame duck session, scheduled to begin at 12:00pm today. You can watch the House session LIVE by clicking HERE, selecting “01-09-2017 House Floor Debate” and entering password “99thgeneral”. 

Here are four of the most important bills you may want to keep an eye on:

HB 4013 – 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.

SB 1824 – Mandatory Sentencing Guideline for Firearm Offenses
Would establish mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for those convicted of one or more firearm offenses.

SB 1919 – Property Tax Freeze
A property tax freeze proposal that fails to include any underlying reforms to mitigate the impact on local governments

SB 2901 – House Democrat Workers Comp Reform Proposal
Would make minor, insignificant changes to the workers compensation system in Illinois
Happy New Year!

From our family to yours, we wish you a successful 2017.  The start of a new year usually brings forth new plans, an optimistic attitude and an internal appeal for self- discipline in a quest for achieving those midnight resolutions.  For Illinoisans, there is little reason for optimism in a state that long ago showed no budget discipline and now finds itself on the brink of fiscal calamity.  In Illinois, 2017 will require much more than midnight resolutions.  It will require new plans, new ideas about government responsibilities and new ways of delivering services.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve you as state representative and I invite you to be part of the solution.  I believe, one barrier holding us back from making the difficult choices needed to take this state from bottom 5 in the nation - on job growth, property taxes, pension funding, state school funding, and credit worthiness - to just middle of the road, is miscommunication about the nature of our fiscal problems, the depth of the problems, and the various solutions and their consequences.  During this Spring legislative session I, along with Senator Connelly, will host a number of town halls in the district to let you know what is happening in Springfield.  This is a continuation of our “No Easy Answers – Straight Talk” town halls we have done in the past.  These town halls will begin after the Governor’s Budget address currently scheduled for February 15th.  Once we confirm locations, a full schedule of our town halls will be posted on our websites and noted in our email newsletters.  We want you to attend and bring a friend or neighbor along.
191 new laws take effect January 1, 2017. Here is a preview of 26 Illinoisans should know about:

Social media right to privacy
Public Act 99-610, House Bill 4999
Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to make it illegal for an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or applicant to access a personal online account (such as Facebook) in the presence of the employer. It is also illegal to request or require that an employee or applicant invite the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the employee, or applicant, or join an online account established by the employer. 

Employee Sick Leave Act
Public Act 99-841, House Bill 6162
Under the new law, employees may now use personal sick leave benefits for purposes dealing with a child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or step parent. The employee can use such time as may be necessary on the same terms that employee would use the time for their own illness or injury.