Ives Session Alert: House Rules Debate

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. 


STAY TUNED: Governor to deliver “State of the State” on Wednesday

Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his “State of the State” Address from the Illinois Capitol in Springfield on Wednesday, January 25. I will be sharing a live video link tomorrow morning if you are interested in watching the Governors address and hearing his priorities for 2017.

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. 

Rep. Ives’ New Bills

Legislators have begun began filing new bills for the 100th General Assembly. I would like to share with you the first round of new bills I have introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives. My new bills cover a wide range of important public policy issues, from school choice and preserving physical education to “good government” reform bills that will make state government more efficient, accountable and transparent.  

Here is a brief description of my new bills thus far:

HB 436/HB 445 – Pension Reform: Tier 3
Would give state employees more control over their own retirement contributions by giving them the option of choosing a “Tier 3” plan instead of the existing defined benefit plan. The “Tier 3” option would allow employees to have an individual participant account to safeguard their retirement funds.

HB 437/HB 449 – End TRS Pension “Pick-Ups”
Would put more money into K-12 classrooms throughout suburban and Downstate Illinois schools and bring common-sense back to the state’s teacher pension system by eliminating the practice of employer (or school district) sponsored  teacher pension “pickups” for all future contracts and collective bargaining agreements.

In Illinois, local school districts do not pay the employer’s share of cost of teacher retirement in Illinois. Instead, the State of Illinois pays the employer’s portion of teacher pension costs, even though teachers are employees of the local school districts and not the state. Nearly 2/3 of school districts across the state pay a portion, or all, of the teachers’ share of their own pensions. By law, teachers are required by law to pay 9%-9.4% of their salary into the retirement system. However, over the years, school districts began paying, as a benefit, the teacher’s required contribution. This practice is referred to as a “pickup.”

HB 438 – Helping Local Governments Meet Their Financial Obligations
Would establish a process for local governments to seek “neutral evaluation” to help assess their fiscal condition and options for meeting their financial obligations. The neutral evaluator, a specially trained, neutral third party, can assist the local public entity and its creditors and stakeholders to fully explore alternatives, while allowing the interested parties to exchange information in a confidential environment with the assistance and supervision of a neutral evaluator to determine whether the local government's contractual and financial obligations can be renegotiated on a consensual basis.

HB 439 – Preventing Voter Fraud, Ensuring Integrity of Elections  
Would create a pilot program for DuPage County that allows the election authority to obtain driver's license pictures to help verify a voter's identity.

HB 440 – Eliminates Unfunded Mandate on P.E. in Illinois Public Schools
Would eliminate the unfunded mandate on Illinois public schools regarding physical education and make P.E. a local decision, in the hands of parents and locally-elected school boards, which is where it belongs.

HB 441 – Abolish Legislative Pensions for Future Members
Would abolish the pension system for future legislators by closing the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) to new members.

HB 442 – Online Records of Public Meetings
Would increase public transparency by requiring local governments and school districts with budgets of $1 million or more to maintain an Internet website and post records of meetings subject to the Open Meetings Act.

HB 443 – School Choice
Creates the Illinois School Choice Program to allow any State-recognized, non-public school at which a parent chooses to enroll their children to be reimbursed by the State for the cost of that child’s tuition as part of a voucher program.

HB 444 – Education Tax Credit
Would increase the maximum amount of the education expense credit to $1,500 (currently, $500). Adds athletic fees, driver's education fees, and fees and costs associated with certain out-of-school activities to the list of qualified education expenses. 

HB 446 – SSA Reform
Would ensure and strengthen the protection of rights of homeowners who live in a neighborhood designated as a Special Service Area (SSA).

HB 447 – Public Transparency in Labor Agreements
Would provide that, once an agreement is reached between a public or educational employer and its employees regarding all of the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, the agreement shall be published on the website of the public or educational employer; and requires the public or educational employer, not less than 14 days after publishing such an agreement, to hold an open public meeting on the ratification of that agreement.

HB 448 – Public Transparency in Labor Agreements

Would provide that, once an agreement is reached between a public or educational employer and its employees regarding all of the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, the agreement shall be published on the website of the public or educational employer; and requires the public or educational employer, not less than 14 days after publishing such an agreement, to hold an open public meeting on the ratification of that agreement. 

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