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State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) will be holding mobile office hours next week on Monday, September 24, from 10:00 AM until noon at the Woodstock Public Library, 414 W. Judd Street in Woodstock.

“I enjoy these outreach events because they provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield,” said Reick. “I look forward to talking one-on-one with constituents so I can learn about the issues that are important to them. I can also help constituents with issues they may be having with state agencies.”

Reick will personally be staffing the event. No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 63rd Legislative House District.
State Representative Steve Reick recently sat for an interview where he discussed his first two years in the General Assembly and how his life experiences and more than 30 years as a tax and real estate attorney helped shape his perspective as a lawmaker. Click here to listen to the full interview.
In recognition of his advocacy on behalf of McHenry County’s farming community, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has received the “Friend of Agriculture” award from the McHenry County Farm Bureau.

“It is an honor to receive this award from leaders in the McHenry County agricultural community,” said Reick. “Agriculture is our top industry in Illinois, and McHenry County is home to some of the richest farmland in the country,” said Reick. “As a legislator I am committed to helping our farmers with their goal of improving food production practices and ensuring a plentiful and safe food supply.”

Legislators receiving this award recognize the far-reaching benefits of Illinois' agricultural products and the important role farmers play in providing quality food, fiber and fuel for the state, nation, and world. Created in 1912, the McHenry County Farm Bureau is one of the oldest bureaus of its kind in the United States. The McHenry County Farm Bureau currently assists approximately 850 local farm families. An additional 8,500 non-voting members support the local Farm Bureau through annual dues.

The McHenry County Farm Bureau provides members with legislative representation on trade, transportation, education, renewable fuels, land use, taxes and governmental regulation. The Bureau also provides members with the opportunity to participate in educational events, conferences, seminars and tours.

“Our local Farm Bureau is a leading voice of agriculture and I appreciate their informational and educational efforts throughout the County,” said Reick.

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) said its time for Illinois lawmakers to “put their money where their mouth is”, to stop talking about rooting out “waste, fraud and abuse” in Illinois government and actually do something about it.

“Taking a cue from President Regan’s 1982 executive order calling for a private sector study on cost control which resulted in the 1984 ‘Grace Commission’ report, I have filed two pieces of legislation that call for and create a commission that would conduct an independent cost study of our state agencies,” said Reick. “Its goal is to identify inefficiencies, redundancies and insufficient control over the operations of state agencies which result in inadequate services being provided at too high a cost.”

HB 5957 creates the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Act, creating a private sector panel to undertake a thorough review of Illinois agencies and provide recommendations for improvement. The panel would consist of 18 voting members, including three members each appointed by the House Speaker, House Minority Leader, Senate President and Senate Minority Leader, and six members appointed by the Governor with not more than four members from the same political party. Like the Grace Commission, this Commission would be privately funded by soliciting contributions to be made to a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization as called for in the bill. Commission members would not be paid.

The independent commission would conduct an in-depth review of State agencies with a focus on finding improvements that would increase efficiency, reduce costs, enhance accountability and improve administrative control. The group would also provide opportunities for managerial improvements over the short and long term and suggest specific areas where further study could result in additional savings. Results would be presented to the Governor and the General Assembly by October 1, 2019.

“The work of this commission will allow us to determine where we can cut spending in ways that still allow us to provide an adequate level of state services,” Reick said. “It seems that the default message from Springfield is to ask the taxpayers for more money, but before taxpayers can be asked for more, we have an obligation to ensure that State government is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. We must do this deep dive into our agency operations with a focus on finding where outdated and redundant processes can be eliminated or combined. We must also set policies in place which demand greater accountability from those stakeholders which come to the state asking for appropriation of taxpayer money. It’s time for them to show us how well they’ve spent the money we’ve given them before we give them more. As a member of the K-12 Education Appropriations Committee, I know firsthand that it’s not now being done.”

HR 1217 provides the legislative intent for the establishment of the Commission and points to the State’s obligation to provide public services necessary to ensure the Illinoisans can live in dignity and safety in a manner that does not overburden taxpayers.

“Our budgeting process all too often fails to examine the inefficiencies brought about by the existence of redundant and outdated programs, and we have agencies that currently do not use best practices or operate with an eye on cost control,” continued Reick. “The failure over decades to examine measures to control costs has led to ever-increasing demands for more tax revenue, and we’ve reached the point where productive, taxpaying Illinoisans are saying ‘I’ve had enough,’ and they’re leaving the state to find better opportunities elsewhere.”

Reick said he will push for consideration of his new legislation during the upcoming Fall Veto Session, and says it will be very telling if the majority party tries to block these taxpayer-friendly pieces of legislation.
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) announced today that the Governor’s office on Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on the release of State funds to assist McHenry County College with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements for the community college’s “A Building.”

According to Reick, the college is renovating areas within its A Building and the improvements include replacing aging roof-top units (RTUs) and duct work to improve air circulation and temperature in the building. “The RTUs are over 27 years old and are operating beyond their life cycle,” said Reick. “They require more and more maintenance to keep operational, have lost some functionality and are inefficient for today’s energy standards. In addition, the duct work is over 40 years old and has failed in several locations.”

The total project cost is estimated at $800,000 and the college has agreed to pay $646,870 while the State pays the remaining $153, 130. “The people of McHenry County pay a lot in taxes, and while this is not a huge allocation of funds from the State, I am pleased to see some taxpayer money coming back to our county to benefit an institution of higher learning that benefits many McHenry County families.”

The McHenry County College HVAC project allocation is part of $11.3 million in project funds that were released for use by community colleges throughout Illinois. Additional funds for other community college capital projects are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Illinois farmers, including those in McHenry County, can now seek free permits from the Department of Transportation to exceed weight limits on Illinois highways during the 2018 harvest season thanks to a harvest emergency declaration issued recently by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“The 63rd District is home to an abundance of farmland, and this has been a tough summer for our farmers. By lifting these transport weight limits, Illinois farmers- including those right here in McHenry County- will now be able to move their crops from the field to the market more efficiently,” said State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock). “Farmers in other states already enjoy higher weight limits for transport during harvest season, and the Governor’s recent action will help our farmers be more competitive.”

The Governor’s September 7 announcement came just days after he signed legislation creating a permanent system of permits for Illinois farmers to obtain higher weight limits for the vehicles which transport crops during the harvest season. The new legislation, HB 5749 (Public Act 100-1090), takes effect on January 1, 2019. The Governor’s most recent action makes the permits available immediately, just in time for the 2018 harvest.

More information on obtaining the permits can be found at the Illinois Department of Transportation’s website at https://webapps.dot.illinois.gov/ITAP.