Latest News

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has received wide, bipartisan House support for legislation that eases the process for school districts to fill vacancies on boards of education when no one from the school district has expressed an interest in serving.

According to Reick, some school districts find it difficult to fill positions on their boards of education. Currently, when no one steps up to serve, the board members appoint an individual to fill a vacancy. SB 2900 provides school districts with an additional tool to ensure school board positions are filled. “Especially in rural districts, this is often a significant problem,” said Reick. “Given the impact on tax bills that are tied to school district operations, it has become necessary for the General Assembly to step in and help ensure these boards are operating with full membership.”

Through SB 2900, if a school board is forced to fill a vacancy due to a lack of available candidates, the board would then, by resolution, submit a referendum question to voters at the next general election that would allow for the at-large election of a board member from within the boundaries of the school district.

“Obviously, the best scenario is for school boards to be comprised entirely by individuals who meet the residency requirements for the office,” Reick said. “But in the instances when that is not possible, this bill provides a valuable tool to help fill vacancies.”

SB 2900 received unanimous approval in the Senate in April, and now moves to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk for his signature.
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has received the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Award for Conservative Achievement for his voting record in 2017.

The Foundation scored every State Representative and Senator according to their votes on 23 key bills, and Reick earned an 88% approval rating. Click here to view the Foundation report. The 23 bills that were scored can be found on pages 12-13, and Reick’s individual scoring can be found on page 16.

“I am a strong advocate for conservative values and my voting record reflects that,” said Reick, who is serving his first term in the Illinois General Assembly as the Representative for the 63rd District. “It is an honor to be recognized for the votes I took in this area and I appreciate this recognition from the American Conservative Union Foundation.”

According to the Foundation, the overall average score in the Illinois House of Representatives was just 46%, with House Republicans recording an average score of 80% and House Democrats recording an average score of 19%.
By a vote of 80-32-1, the House of Representatives today struck a balance between civil liberties and Second Amendment rights and improved public safety by approving a method by which family members or law enforcement can seek an emergency firearms restraining order to remove firearms from individuals posing an immediate threat to themselves and/or others. State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), an avid supporter of gun rights, was a leading Republican negotiator of the language in the bill. He is also a Chief Co-Sponsor.

“Our Second Amendment rights are under threat- not because of random gun violence, because statistics tell us that acts of random gun violence are going down in this country,” said Reick. “What’s going to destroy the Second Amendment is the public outrage that comes when we see senseless mass shootings like we saw in Parkland, in Texas, and in other locations around our country. The people who did those shootings gave off signals. They let people know that danger was imminent. Family members see that and need tools to help them separate their loved one from their weapons during their time of urgent need.”

Through HB 2354, family members or law enforcement can petition the court for an emergency firearms restraining order. There then must be a hearing as soon as possible but no later than 14 days requesting a six-month restraining order at which time the respondent will have the right to attend and respond. The standard of proof for an emergency order is probable cause that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing injury to themselves or others by owning or having access to firearms. If probable cause is found, the court will issue an emergency firearms restraining order and shall issue a warrant directing law enforcement to search the respondent’s property and seize his/her firearms. At that point, the Illinois State Police (ISP) will have the authority to suspend the respondent’s Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card and concealed carry license.

If an emergency firearms order of protection is issued, the respondent is guaranteed the right to a full hearing, at which time it must be proven by clear and convincing evidence that the person poses a danger to him/herself or others. If the allegations are not proven at the full hearing, the record of the case is expunged, so as not to do any harm to an innocent respondent. Strict penalties are also written into the bill that provide for penalties of perjury for any individual who would falsely swear out a petition for a firearms restraining order.

“I believe this negotiated bill is the best of its kind in the nation,” said Reick. “I fully expect it to become the national model. It includes strong civil liberty and Second Amendment protections while responding to the sad reality that mentally unstable people will and do use their guns to harm themselves and others. It was a privilege to help write this bill.”

HB 2354 now moves back to the Senate for reconsideration. If approved, it will be sent to the Governor for final action. Click here to listen to Reick’s floor comments about the bill. Click here to listen to Reick’s response to the NRA’s last-minute decision to oppose the bill and comments by a colleague that question the court’s right to interfere.
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) is joining Governor Bruce Rauner in announcing that Harvard has been chosen as one of 327 “Opportunity Zones” approved by the U.S. Treasury. The Opportunity Zones program encourages long-term investment and job creation in low-income areas of the state, by allowing investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in designated census tracts.

According to Reick, the Harvard parcel is bordered on the north by the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, on the west by the McHenry-Boone County line, on the east by IL Route 14, and on the south by IL Route 173. “This parcel in Harvard is ripe for job growth and economic opportunity,” said Reick. “I am pleased to see that Governor Rauner shares that opinion and included this tract of land in his final recommendation to the U.S. Treasury.”

Established by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones present an opportunity for private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need, benefitting residents living in the zones and private investors. Through the selection process, Governor Rauner was eligible to nominate 25% (327) of the state’s 1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts as Opportunity Zones.

“Illinois is the epicenter of commerce in the Midwest and, as such, our people and our businesses are uniquely positioned to leverage the state’s assets into enterprise and job creation,” Rauner said.

To determine the most effective tracts for nomination, a three-phase approach was implemented to identify need and potential, adequately represent the entire state, and account for public input. Phase one involved need-based indexing depending on factors like poverty rates, specifically those among children, unemployment rates, crime rates and population.

Phase two and three were used to further identify the 327 tracts Illinois could nominate under the federal program guidelines. To ensure a statewide benefit, each county with qualifying tracts received at least one zone and towns and cities across the state were limited on the number of zones included.
The McHenry County Department of Transportation has imposed a weight restriction on the Johnsburg Road bridge over Dutch Creek between Route 31 and Spring Grove Road. New limits are 32 tons for single-unit vehicles and 37 tons for vehicles with three or more axles.
Supporters of independent redistricting (fair maps) in the State of Illinois have once again been denied an opportunity to vote on whether or not the map-making process for Illinois should be removed from the hands of politicians. The deadline for putting such a measure on the November 6 ballot was Sunday, May 6.

Article XIV of the Illinois Constitution requires a minimum six-month window between when a constitutional amendment ballot referendum is approved by three-fifths of both chambers of the General Assembly and the next General Election. Consequently, there will be no “Fair Maps” referendum on the November 6 ballot this year.

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), who co-sponsored two pieces of fair maps legislation this year, said the lack of legislative action signals “business as usual” in Springfield. “The controlling party in Springfield has no interest in instituting a fair and transparent process for the drawing of legislative districts,” said Reick. “It is just one more example of politics trumping good policy in our state. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for fair maps, yet those in charge of bringing a fair maps initiative to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote chose to ignore the public’s support. Instead, Democrat leaders from both chambers decided it was more important to keep control of that process for their own political gain.”

Reick is a Chief Co-Sponsor of HJRCA 46, which would provide for the creation of an independent legislative redistricting commission that would lead a detailed review process of maps submitted by any Illinoisan who would wish to suggest a map. The commission, appointed equally by the four legislative leaders from the Republican and Democratic caucuses, would provide the public with necessary data and tools with which to create map proposals, and a multi-faceted scoring rubric would be used to rank all submissions with higher scores generated by maps that keep municipalities and counties together and which are compact in nature.

He is also a co-sponsor of HR 995, which expresses support for independent redistricting reform and advocates for a non-partisan map-making process for the upcoming redistricting cycle. Both proposals would have applied to redistricting beginning in 2021 for the elections to be held in 2022.

Reick posted an online petition for those who oppose gerrymandered legislative maps and support a fair maps process, and encourages all Illinoisans who support fair maps to sign it.
This week a few House Republicans got together and put together a short video which explains their opposition to a proposal floated by House Democrats that Illinois move to a progressive, or graduated income tax system. They sell this as a "tax on the rich," but in reality, their proposal attacks middle class Illinoisans who are already paying some of the highest taxes in the nation. Rep. Steve Reick is one of the lawmakers featured in the video.