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:

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.