State Representative Steven Reick (R-Woodstock) addressed his Springfield colleagues on Thursday and urged them all to start legislating without fear of losing their next election.

Reick, a freshman lawmaker from McHenry County, said he was disappointed by some of the conduct shown on the floor of the House during the first several weeks of the spring session. He pointed to an instance two weeks ago when an hour was spent railing against the new President’s federal immigration policy, an issue over which Illinois legislators have no authority, and another occasion where the Governor was disrespected by some on the Democrat side of the aisle as he entered the House Chamber to present his budget address. “That display by a few reflected upon us all, and did nothing but reinforce our reputation as an unserious body which is allowing our state to slouch toward insolvency,” said Reick.

Reick explained that while the 118 House members represent very diverse constituencies, all were sent to Springfield to do three fundamental things: find a way to fund education so that all children have the best opportunities for success in a manner that relieves the property tax burden, enact constitutionally-sound pension reform and approve a balanced budget. “There are 118 of us in this chamber, and if enough of us choose to legislate without the fear of losing the next election, we can make those things happen,” Reick said. “That is what I choose to do and if you’ll do the same, let’s get started.”

You may watch his floor comments here.
New legislation filed by State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) would amend Illinois tax law and put a few more dollars into the pockets of seniors on fixed incomes.

HB 3013, filed on February 9, would provide seniors on fixed incomes with the ability to enjoy a tax credit equal to 5% of the taxes paid on their principal residence. “Today, Illinois taxpayers get a bit of property tax relief through this credit, but the credit is ‘non-refundable,’ which means that if it exceeds one’s income tax liability, the balance isn’t refunded to the taxpayer,” said Reick. “This affects seniors particularly, since a great number of them live on pension and social security income, which is not taxable in Illinois. My bill would remedy that.”

Specifically, HB 3013 would extend the property tax credit to include people over the age of 65 whose federal adjusted gross income is under $50,000. “Until we find a way to reduce property taxes for everyone, I’m making an effort to reduce taxes for seniors living on fixed incomes,” Reick said. “In Illinois, where property taxes continue to creep upward, those on fixed incomes are desperate for relief. This credit usually won’t be much, but it may help a senior citizen with an electric bill, some groceries or a prescription. It’s a good small step that can be taken right away while we figure out how to provide substantive relief to everyone in the state.”

HB 3013 is pending assignment to a substantive committee for review.
With 35 years of experience as a tax and real estate attorney, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has a deep understanding of the Illinois statutes as they relate to the taxes people pay. Through his work he has also discovered problem areas of the law that are in need of reform. During his first term as an Illinois lawmaker Reick said he hopes he can use his knowledge of the tax code to put improvements in place to help all Illinoisans.

“Tax law is tedious, and over the years I have dealt with provisions that I have felt were overly burdensome for Illinois residents and families,” Reick said. “I’m hoping my experiences can facilitate some much-needed reforms that will provide some real tax relief while also simplifying processes.”

HB 3013, filed by Reick this week in Springfield, would provide property tax relief to Illinoisans over the age of 65 who have a federal adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less. “The property tax burden falls hard upon seniors on fixed incomes, and while the credit will in most cases be modest, it will help them stretch their limited incomes,” Reick said. “It may help a senior citizen with an electric bill, some groceries or a prescription. Anyway, we’ll keep taking small steps until we figure out how to provide substantive relief to everyone in the state.”

A second bill, HB 380, seeks to amend the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act by bringing Illinois law in line with processes used by the other 49 states in the nation. “When it comes to death taxes, also known as estate taxes, the Illinois process is extremely laborious and time consuming,” said Reick. “Through HB 380 I would like to change the death tax provision in Illinois law so it mirrors what’s already being done in every other state. Generally speaking, the changes I’m proposing would lower the amount of death taxes owed for most Illinoisans.”

Reick has also filed HB 2576, a bill that would add a county designation to all individual income tax forms. “This simple change could provide a great deal of benefit for those who study the movement of Illinoisans from county to county within the state,” Reick said. “Today we can tell who moves into or out of Illinois, but we are unable to easily collect data about trends related to migration within our state.”
In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the filming of the movie “Groundhog Day,” State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has brought forward a House Resolution honoring the City of Woodstock’s role in the filming of the iconic movie.

HR 97, approved in the House of Representatives today, recognizes the City of Woodstock and the Woodstock Square area as the primary 1992 filming location for the film, and applauds the volunteers who organize the community’s annual multi-day celebration of “Groundhog Days” each February. “This movie was among the highest grossing films in 1993, and it remains a pop culture favorite today,” said Reick. “People from across the country travel to Woodstock at this time every year to visit key filming locations throughout the Woodstock Square area, to watch free screenings of the movie and to enjoy the community celebration.”

On the north side of the Woodstock Square, a plaque including a footprint and the words “Bill Murray Stepped Here” denotes the exact location where actor Bill Murray stood and stepped into a puddle of water in the street at the beginning of each day in the film. Other locations in the Woodstock Square area are also marked with signage denoting their significance in relation to the movie.

Dr. Brian Sager, Mayor of Woodstock, said the filming of the movie and the annual celebration that has ensued has had a tremendous positive impact on the community. “Woodstock was thrilled to be the location for the filming of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ and enjoys annual celebrations of that event with visitors from many states as well as other countries,” he said. “Each year we find renewed energy and enthusiasm for what it means to come together as a community in celebration of our hometown.”

“Groundhog Day” was directed by Harold Ramis and starred actors Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott.
When lawmakers return to Springfield this week, Representatives will begin the process of vetting the hundreds of bills that have already been filed in the 100th General Assembly. State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), who has been outspoken about the need to fundamentally change how we fund education in Illinois, has been chosen to serve on the influential Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.

“This committee has a direct impact on critical areas of state spending and I look forward to having a role in shaping the area of the budget that deals exclusively with funds that will be allocated for K-12 Education,” said Reick. “With education having such a huge impact on local property taxes, it’s obvious that we have to do something to bend the cost curve of education downward by completely revising the way we pay for it.”

In addition to the Appropriations Committee for K-12 Education, Reick will also serve for the next two years on the Elementary & Secondary Education: Curriculum and Policies Committee. “This will be an interesting assignment, as the Republicans and Democrats who serve on this committee will vet bills that seek to make changes to the educational curriculum delivered to students,” Reick said. “Unfunded mandates and the toll they take on taxpayers is an issue that is very important to the district I represent, so I am pleased to have an opportunity to weigh in on these issues as bills make their way through the committee hearing process.”

Reick will also serve on the Labor Committee, the Economic Justice Committee, and on a Special Committee on Restorative Justice.