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.
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) is launching a Fall Mobile Office Hours Tour this week with a two-hour event Wednesday morning at the Nippersink Library.

Reick and a member of his staff will have a table set up at the library, located at 5418 Hill Road in Richmond, from 10:00 AM until noon. “The 63rd District includes portions of 18 different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Woodstock District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents,” said Reick. “By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come and share their concerns and ideas at a location that is convenient for them.”

The Nippersink Library event is one of several mobile office hours events scheduled over the next few months in Reick’s legislative district. Other mobile office hours have been scheduled at the following locations:
  • Monday, September 24: Woodstock Library, 414 W. Judd Street, Woodstock 
  • Thursday, October 11: Marengo-Union Library, 19714 E. Grant Highway, Marengo 
  • Thursday, November 8: Harvard-Diggins Library, 900 E. McKinley Street, Harvard 
  • Monday, November 19: McHenry Library, 809 Front Street, McHenry 
All events will take place from 10:00 AM until noon.

“I look forward to talking one-on-one with people as I bring my office to them in their own community,” said Reick. “I can help explain the services my office can provide while learning about their personal priorities.”

No appointment is needed for any of the mobile office hours events. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Reick’s web site at www.repstevenreick.com.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) that clarifies dental care insurance benefits for dentists and patients was signed into law this week by Governor Bruce Rauner.

SB 2851 requires dental insurance cards to now include specific information on the card that identifies whether the coverage is subject to regulation by the Illinois Department of Insurance. “Through the previous law, dental services providers did not know if a dental plan includes protections afforded by the Department of Insurance,” said Reick. “In cases where a dental plan was subject to the Department’s regulations, certain coverage and offerings are mandated and billing and benefits are spelled out and regulated by the Department. If a plan is only an administrator and not subject to the Department, then the provider’s only recourse for a dispute is to contact the employer directly.”

Reick went on to explain that individuals who have dental plans not subject to Department regulation can use providers that are not in their network and the plan reimburses the patient directly, leaving the provider to attempt to collect payment from the patient. “By requiring a dental benefit card to display whether a plan is subject to regulation by the Department, the dental provider will be fully informed as to what type of plan he is accepting prior to taking on the patient,” Reick said. “Patients too will have a better understanding of what their out-of-pocket or up-front costs will be.”

Close to 8,000 pounds of paper documents were shredded and 979 individual food and personal items were collected for a local food pantry on Saturday at an event sponsored by State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock).

Reick partnered with the Woodstock Food Pantry and the City of Woodstock for the three-hour event, which was held in the rear lot of Reick’s legislative office. Between 9:00 AM and noon, 204 cars flowed through the event.

“The outpouring of support for the food pantry was overwhelming,” said Reick, who greeted motorists as they dropped off donations for the pantry and delivered documents for shredding. “The generosity shown was very heartwarming. My staff and I will be delivering quite a load of donations to the Woodstock Food Pantry this week.”

AT&T underwrote the cost of the shred truck, which was 95% full as the event ended at noon. “Everyone has old bank statements, receipts and other sensitive documents that they don’t want to throw in the trash, so I was pleased to work with AT&T to provide this valuable community service,” Reick said. “The feedback was extremely positive, so I hope to make this document shredding and food collection drive an annual event in the 63rd District.
Reick Document Shredding and Food Collection Event Set for This Saturday
This Saturday, August 18th, I am partnering with the Woodstock Food Pantry and the City of Woodstock for a free paper shredding event and non-perishable food/personal items drive. 

The event will be held in the rear parking lot of my legislative office at 1072 Lake Avenue in Woodstock from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon. Residents from throughout the 63rd Legislative House District simply need to follow the signs that guide them through my parking lot and watch as event volunteers feed up to two boxes of shreddable documents into a large shred truck, and collect items to be donated to the food pantry.

Parking will be available for those who want to watch their documents being shredded. Due to the size of the shred truck and popularity of similar events in the region, each vehicle will be limited to two grocery-sized bags or banker box sized boxes of shreddable documents. 

Items collected for the food pantry will assist local families in need, including families residing within the Woodstock-based District 200 School District. It’s a pleasure to provide this free document shredding opportunity while also collecting goods for a community organization that provides a critical service for the residents of Woodstock and District 200 families.

Reick Leads Effort to Protect Students from Sexual Abuse at School
In June before a joint committee of the House and Senate K-12 Education Committees, members of the House and Senate K-12 Education Committees heard testimony from two incredibly brave survivors of sexual abuse from teachers or other employees within the Chicago Public School System (CPS). Both young ladies outlined systemic and repeated abuses by adults at their CPS schools. 

Outraged over the findings, after the hearing I filed two pieces of legislation to address the issue:
  • HB 5923: Provides for the immediate suspension or revocation of the license of any Illinois educator or other school district employee who negligently fails to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect 
  • HB 5929: Provides for the forfeiture of pension benefits for any Illinois teacher who is found through an administrative hearing to have sexually abused a student 
I am continuing to work with Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Education Committees to seek further legislative interventions and solutions to this most grave issue. It is my hope that both bills will be passed during the upcoming Fall Veto Session.

Governor Signs Reick Bill that Helps School Districts Fill School Board Vacancies
Due to the impact school districts have on local property tax bills, it is of paramount importance that we have school boards operating with full membership. Sadly, in many parts of Illinois, districts have a tough time filling vacancies. Last week Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill I sponsored that provides school districts with an additional tool to help fill board vacancies in the event that no qualified candidates step forward to serve. 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. But in the instances when that is not possible, this bill provides a valuable tool to help remedy the problem.

Governor Signs Teacher Licensure Bill into Law
Legislation I championed this year to address the Illinois teacher shortage was recently signed into law. HB 5627 (now Public Act 100-0596), for which I served as Chief Co-Sponsor, removes red tape that is keeping well-trained educators out of Illinois classrooms.

The need for this type of legislation was brought to my attention earlier this year by a retired teacher from Woodstock who was named one of the top ten educators in the state during his tenure. This individual found the process to become a substitute teacher to be tedious and extremely expensive. I was pleased to help pass legislation that addressed this and other issues that have made it difficult for schools to find and retain an excellent workforce.

The new law provides for the following:
  • Full reciprocity of out-of-state applicants for an Illinois Professional Educator License, which would allow out-of-state licensed educators to teach in Illinois without meeting additional requirements
  • Makes numerous changes to the Substitute Teaching License law to ease the process for out-of-state licensed teachers and retired teachers with lapsed licenses to work as substitute teachers
  • Eases requirements for the timing of completion of professional development 
  • Retired educators could work in school districts through June 30, 2020 a total of 120 paid days or 600 paid hours each school year without infringing on earned pension benefits 
  • A short-term substitute teaching license would be established for individuals who hold an associate’s degree or have earned at least 60 hours toward a degree from an accredited institution of higher education 
These are excellent changes that should ease the process for those who would like to teach in Illinois schools. The standards remain high for the caliber of individual we would entrust to our public school classrooms, but much of the red tape and expense is removed. The provisions of the new law took effect on July 1.
School Districts that have difficulty finding qualified residents willing to serve on the Board of Education will now have an easier process for filling vacancies, thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) that was signed into law on Friday.

SB 2900 provides school districts with an additional tool to ensure school board positions are filled. “Especially in rural districts, vacancies on school boards are often a significant problem,” said Reick. “Given the impact on tax bills that are tied to school district operations, we need to do what we can to 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 remedy the problem.”
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), in partnership with the Woodstock Food Pantry and the City of Woodstock, is hosting a free paper shredding event and non-perishable food/personal items drive on Saturday, August 18.

The event will be held in the rear parking lot of the Reick Legislative Office, 1072 Lake Avenue in Woodstock, from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon. Residents from throughout Reick’s 63rd Legislative House District simply need to follow the signs that guide them through the parking lot and watch as event volunteers feed up to two boxes of shreddable documents into a large shred truck, and collect items to be donated to the food pantry. Parking will be available for those who want to watch their documents being shredded. Due to the size of the shred truck and popularity of similar events in the region, each vehicle will be limited to two grocery-sized bags or banker box sized boxes of shreddable documents.

“People often hold onto their old, sensitive documents because they have nowhere to safely dispose of them,” said Reick. “I’m glad to be working with the City of Woodstock and our local food pantry to offer this service for the citizens of the 63rd District. Residents don’t even have to leave their cars. Our volunteers will lift the boxes and feed them into the shredding truck while drivers watch their documents go through the shredder. Our volunteers will also take items to be donated to the food pantry out of people’s cars for them.”

Items collected for the food pantry will assist local families in need, including families residing within the Woodstock-based District 200 School District. “It’s a pleasure to provide this free document shredding opportunity while also collecting goods for a community organization that provides a critical service for the residents of Woodstock and District 200 families,” said Reick.

This week Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation that protects civil liberties and Second Amendment rights, while providing law enforcement and family with tools to temporarily remove firearms from unstable individuals who would use guns to harm themselves or others. Reick was one of the lead Republican negotiators of the bipartisan bill, and ensured that the final product preserved the rights of lawful gun owners and included due process for any individual who would have their guns temporarily seized.
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) joined Governor Bruce Rauner today for the signing of legislation that will help prevent people who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing guns. HB 2354, which received bipartisan support in the House and Senate, was signed in Chicago at a ceremony attended by Democrat and Republican lawmakers and representatives from several branches of law enforcement. Reick was a Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill.

“The legislation signed into law today addresses the growing problem of unstable people using guns to cause harm, while also protecting gun owners’ rights,” said Reick. “The firearms restraining order bill that was sent to us by the Senate represented an extreme overreach into the civil liberties and Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. It also lacked adequate due process for the individuals from whom firearms would be removed. I was pleased to work with the Chief sponsor of the bill to create language that helps remove guns from mentally unstable individuals without trampling on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

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. “It is already being viewed as a national model.”
At a recent joint meeting of the House and Senate K-12 Education Committees, a former Walter Payton College Preparatory student testified that the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) teacher who sexually abused her at school when she was 14 is now collecting a taxpayer-funded pension. Outraged by her testimony, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has filed legislation that would strip teachers who molest school children of their public pensions.

“I was shocked to learn that there was no provision in Illinois law to take these child predators’ pensions away,” said Reick. “School is a place where students should feel safe, and we’ve learned of numerous instances where the teachers charged with protecting kids have actually been sexually abusing them. And this is not just limited to CPS. There are cases right here in McHenry and Kane Counties alleging sexual misconduct by teachers toward students. It’s sickening.”

HB 5929, filed July 9 in Springfield, would amend the Chicago and Downstate Articles of the Pension Code to allow the forfeiture of pension benefits of any teacher who is found through an administrative hearing to have sexually abused a student. “This legislation puts Illinois teachers on notice that when they sign up for a public pension, they do so knowing that the benefit will be taken away if they violate a child,” Reick said. “It’s a real shame that we even need to legislate this. In the case of former Walter Payton College Prep student Morgan Aranda, it’s as though her abuser was rewarded for his despicable acts.”

While Reick said he would have preferred to write legislation that would retroactively remove pensions from child abusers, the pension guarantee written into the Illinois Constitution prohibits it. His bill would apply to any teacher hired after the effective date of the bill. Reick expects wide, bipartisan support of his legislation and hopes it will be heard during the legislature’s upcoming fall veto session. If passed and signed into law, the provisions of HB 5929 would take effect immediately.
Legislation championed by State Rep. Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) that will help ease Illinois’ teacher shortage has been signed into law. HB 5627 (now Public Act 100-0596), for which Reick served as Chief Co-Sponsor, removes red tape that is keeping well-trained educators out of Illinois classrooms.

“This is common sense legislation that ensures that quality teachers are in Illinois classrooms,” said Reick. “My office was working with a retired teacher from Woodstock who was named one of the top ten educators in the state during his tenure. This individual found the process to become a substitute teacher to be tedious and extremely expensive. I was pleased to help pass legislation that addressed this and other issues that have made it difficult for schools to find and retain an excellent workforce.”

According to Reick, the new law provides for the following:
  • Full reciprocity of out-of-state applicants for an Illinois Professional Educator License, which would allow out-of-state licensed educators to teach in Illinois without meeting additional requirements 
  • Makes numerous changes to the Substitute Teaching License law to ease the process for out-of-state licensed teachers and retired teachers with lapsed licenses to work as substitute teachers 
  • Eases requirements for the timing of completion of professional development 
  • Retired educators could work in school districts through June 30, 2020 a total of 120 paid days or 600 paid hours each school year without infringing on earned pension benefits 
  • A short-term substitute teaching license would be established for individuals who hold an associate’s degree or have earned at least 60 hours toward a degree from an accredited institution of higher education 
“These are excellent changes that should ease the process for those who would like to teach in Illinois schools,” said Reick. “The standards remain high for the caliber of individual we would entrust to our public school classrooms, but much of the red tape and expense is removed.”

The provisions of the new law took effect on July 1.
A recent Chicago Tribune investigative report uncovered 523 cases of sexual violence committed against students who attended Chicago Public Schools (CPS) between 2008-2017. In many instances, school officials who were required by law to report the suspected or alleged abuse, failed to do so. Today, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) filed legislation that would provide for the immediate suspension or revocation of the license of any Illinois educator or other school district employee who negligently fails to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect.

While the statutes already provide for dismissal of a school employee who willfully fails to report suspected abuse, through HB 5923, acts of negligent failure to report would be added to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

“In cases when abuse is suspected in a school, teachers and other employees are mandatory reporters,” said Reick, who sits on the Illinois House of Representative’s Elementary & Secondary Education- Curriculum & Policies Committee. “Current laws only provide a path for removal of those who willfully make a choice not to report suspected abuse. My bill expands the ability to remove an employee to also include those displaying simple negligence. Whether the failure to report is willful or not, it is inexcusable, and school boards need broad tools at their disposal to dismiss those who fail to fulfill their responsibilities as mandatory reporters.”

During a June 20 joint hearing before the House and Senate K-12 Education Committees, Reick asked Stephanie Jones, General Council for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), if adding “negligent failure to report” to the list of reasons why an employee could have their license suspended or revoked would be beneficial. Jones said it would be extremely helpful.

“We don’t want these child predators to get off the hook due to a technicality,” Reick said. “Failure to report is a criminal offense, and this complete failure to protect the children in their care should lead to an immediate suspension or firing. I have no doubt that these horrific crimes against children are not limited to CPS. My bill would grant broader dismissal authority statewide when mandatory reporting requirements are ignored.”

Reick expects the bill to be heard during the November veto session. If approved and signed, its provisions would take effect immediately.
Today in Chicago, a joint committee of the House and Senate K-12 Education Committees began gathering information and testimony about ongoing instances of sexual abuse against students who attend Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The subject matter hearing was prompted by a recent Chicago Tribune investigative report that unveiled 523 instances of sexual abuse against CPS students over the last ten years.

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), who sits on the House K-12 Education- Curriculum and Policies Committee, grilled representatives from CPS about ongoing abuse that has been highlighted in newspaper articles that span more than 30 years, and the lack of corrective measures that have been implemented. “I am outraged,” said Reick. “Not by the fact that we don’t have the policies and procedures in place, but by the fact that your people, and people going back 32 years, did nothing. You shoved it under the rug. You took those young ladies and told them that ‘it’s your fault.’ You let those teachers resign instead of holding them accountable and taking away their pensions.”

Reick went on to say, “I want to see in any piece of legislation that comes out of this that anybody who is accused of doing this and there’s any reason to suspect that they actually did it, those people are going to lose their pensions if I have anything to say about it.”

Committee members heard from several panels during the 6 1/2-hour hearing. The first to testify was a panel of two victims of sexual abuse from CPS teachers. Lawmakers also heard testimony from CPS, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

In questioning an attorney for CPS, Reick said, “I cannot believe that (CPS schools CEO) Janice Jackson is not sitting there right here, right now taking responsibility for her part in this because she’s been in CPS for a long time,” Reick said. “I cannot believe that the people who have been in CPS all these years haven’t known what’s going on.”

The joint committee chairs said their goal is to use the testimony to help craft new public policy to improve protections for students, and strengthen accountability measures within school districts where sexual abuse charges are brought forward by students or families. Click here to watch a segment of Reick’s questioning of CPS representatives.
House Adjourns 2018 Spring Session
Following more than four months of committee and floor action, the Illinois House adjourned on Thursday, May 31, after passing a $38.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019. At the sound of the adjournment gavel, members of the General Assembly passed a total of 421 bills for the year. Of these, 332 originated in the House and 89 originated in the Senate. Governor Rauner has already begun taking final action on these bills.

On Monday, June 4, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Fiscal Year 2019 budget bills into law. Without this bipartisan agreement, Illinois would have been saddled with an “auto-pilot” budget that would have increased spending by $1.2 billion. The budget includes no new taxes or fees, and marks the first time in several years that lawmakers have come together and approved a balanced budget prior to the scheduled May 31 adjournment date of the General Assembly. Here are a few highlights from the new budget that will take effect on July 1:

Investment in K-12 Schools and Colleges/Universities
  • Additional $350 million investment into K-12 education; 
  • $50 million in support of early childhood education; 
  • 2% increase in funding for higher education institutions—to reduce pressure to raise tuition; 
  • A new, merit-based scholarship program, “AIM High,” funded by $25 million from the state and $25 million from universities to help keep students in-state; 
  • $4.3 million for veteran grant reimbursements to apply to all Illinois community colleges, and continues to fund the MAP Grant Program for students with financial need. 
Pension Reform
  • Caps end-of-career salary increases to prevent pension spiking; 
  • Funds a voluntary pension cost of living adjustment (COLA) buyout, modeled after Missouri's successful plan (Estimated savings of buyout: approx. $455 million); 
  • Makes a full pension payment (rather than skipping it or making a partial payment). 
Capital and Roadways
  • $2.5 billion into the Department of Transportation’s road program to make much-needed repairs to roads across the state; 
  • Provides funding for State Police to hire 100 new police cadets to keep roadways and communities safer; 
  • $53 million for Quincy Veterans’ Home (largest veterans’ home in Illinois) to fund its renovation and eliminate the presence of Legionnaires' disease. 
While the budget is not perfect, and we have much work still to do with regard to reforms to stimulate Illinois' economy and provide real property tax relief, it provides a foundation to build upon in the future, and is a product of true partisan compromise at the Capitol.

The House and Senate will return to Springfield on Tuesday, November 13 for Veto Session, which is the six-day period set aside for consideration of the Governor’s vetoes of bills passed by both houses. In addition, committees and task forces will continue working throughout the summer and fall.

I will be spending a great deal of time in my district office so I can meet with constituents about issues of concern. If you would like to come in and talk, please call my office at (815) 880-5340 to make an appointment.

Free Senior Fair Set for June 28
Plans are coming together for my Second Annual Senior Resource Fair, which will be held on Thursday, June 28 from 10:00 AM until noon at Johnsburg High School, 2002 W. Ringwood Road in Johnsburg. 

Those who attend can visit more than 20 booths staffed by agencies that assist seniors, and register for a chance to win a door prize. Helpful guides, literature and other resources from state, county and local government agencies will also be available. Free blood pressure screenings will also be available at the event. No pre-registration is necessary.

Rep. Reick Seeks Community Input through Legislative Survey
If you live in McHenry County, I’d appreciate your input on a 2018 legislative survey I recently posted to my web site (www.repstevenreick.com). The results will be a valuable tool as I represent the issues and priorities of the 63rd District and all of McHenry County in Springfield. Difficult votes are coming, and I want to be sure I have a solid understanding of my constituents’ expectations. The survey includes several multiple choice questions, and participants will also be offered an opportunity to subscribe to an E-newsletter that includes regular updates on legislation and other issues affecting McHenry County and the State of Illinois. I will read every survey that is completed, and I look forward to seeing the results. If, after completing the survey, you would like to add additional comments, please send me an email at reick@ilhousegop.org

“ON TO 2050” Draft Plan Comment Period Open
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is nearing completion of the “ON TO 2050” comprehensive regional plan. A draft version is available for public viewing until August 14. CMAP is holding a series of ten open houses and one public hearing, so people can discuss the proposal with CMAP staff. CMAP will also present for comment the draft 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Program and air quality conformity analysis of proposed transportation projects. The draft plan is posted at this link, which will also include an area where the public can submit written comments. All open houses will take place from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. While only one open house is scheduled for McHenry County, two others are nearby in Kane and Lake Counties: 
  • Tuesday, June 19, McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock 
  • Wednesday, June 27, Kane County Government Center, 719 South Batavia Avenue in Geneva 
  • Thursday, July 12, Libertyville Village Hall, 118 West Cook Avenue in Libertyville 
The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the MAP headquarters in Chicago, located at 233 South Wacker Drive, 8th Floor.

$69.5 Million in IDOT Funds Coming to 63rd District Between 2019-2024
I’m pleased to announce that close to $69.5 million of an $11.05 billion statewide road and bridge improvement program will be spent on projects in the 63rd District between 2019-2024. The projects are part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) six-year Proposed Highway Improvement Program, which is funded annually through IDOT’s budget. 

District 63 projects included in IDOTs six-year program include:
  • $890,000 for resurfacing, ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on US 12 from IL 173 to Tryon Grove Road in Richmond 
  • $2,600,000 for resurfacing on US 12 from IL 31/Tryon Grove Road to the Lake County Line in Richmond and Spring Grove 
  • $529,000 for milled rumble stripping on US 12 from Wilmot Road to Fox Lake Road and Kuhn Road to North Solon Road, and on IL 173 from west of Lake Avenue to 7th Avenue in Richmond 
  • $2,000,000 for bridge deck overlay, joint repair and bridge repair on US 14, IL 173 and on Division Street at the railroad crossing at McComb Street in Harvard 
  • $2,995,000 for resurfacing on US 14 from Bunker Hill Road to IL 47 
  • $1,110,000 for resurfacing on US 14 from IL 47 (Eastwood Drive) to Lake Shore Drive in Woodstock 
  • $5,060,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on US 20 from the Boone County line to I-90 in Marengo and Hampshire 
  • $1,300,000 for channelization on US 20 at West Union Road and at Coral Road in Marengo 
  • $1,426,000 for culvert replacement on US 20 at the creek west of Beck Road in Marengo 
  • $3,240,000 for intersection reconstruction on US 20 at Marengo-Beck Road and Union Road in Marengo 
  • $2,350,000 for intersection reconstruction on US 20 at Harmony Road in Coral Township 
  • $600,000 for land acquisition and culvert replacement on IL 23 near the drainage ditch at IL 176 in Marengo 
  • $2,040,000 for resurfacing on IL 31 from US 12 to south of Johnsburg Road in Ringwood 
  • $650,000 for resurfacing on IL 31 from Diamond Drive to McCullum Lake Road in Ringwood and McHenry 
  • $5,800,000 for engineering for safety improvements on IL 31 south of IL 120 to north of IL 176 and near the drainage ditch four miles south of US 12 in McHenry, Prairie Grove, Crystal Lake and Ringwood 
  • $770,000 for culvert replacement on IL 31 at the drainage ditch six miles north of IL 176 in McHenry 
  • $695,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on IL 47 from State Line Road to IL 173 in Hebron 
  • $1,050,000 for land acquisition and culvert replacement on IL 47 at the drainage ditch west of Wilke Road in Hebron 
  • $1,075,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47 from Charles Road to north of IL 120 in Woodstock 
  • $1,025,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47 from north of IL 120 to US 14 in Woodstock 
  • $2,850,000 for resurfacing, ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on IL 47 between IL 120 and IL 176 in Woodstock 
  • $2,430,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47/IL 176 from US 14 to south of IL 176 in Woodstock 
  • $3,536,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47/IL 176 from south of IL 176 to Reed Road in Lakewood and Huntley 
  • $230,000 for culvert replacement on IL 120 at the ditch 1.2 miles east of US 14 in Woodstock 
  • $7,400,000 for resurfacing and a railroad flagger on IL 120 from Charles Road to west of 3rd Street and from the Fox River to the Lake County line in McHenry and Lakemoor 
  • $5,840,000 for resurfacing ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on IL 173 from Alden Road to the Lake County line in Hebron and Richmond 
  • $385,000 for land acquisition and culvert repair on IL 173 at the north branch of the Nippersink east of Hunt Club Road in Richmond 
  • $1,600,000 for land acquisition and channelization on IL 173 at Solon Road at Lakeview Road in Richmond 
  • $7,600,000 for land acquisition and left turn lanes, a milled rumble strip, a guardrail and pavement widening on IL 176 from Deerpass Road to Dean Street in Marengo and Woodstock 
  • $400,000 for culvert replacement on IL 176 at the ditch 1.1 miles west of IL 47 and the drainage ditch 8.6 miles east of IL 23 in Woodstock and Marengo 
Based on current funding levels, the FY 2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program aims to improve a total of 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the State. The multi-year program also includes funding for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges.

Reick to Partner with Woodstock Food Pantry and City of Woodstock for Free Shred Event and Food Collection Drive
Please mark your calendar for Saturday, August 18, when I will host a free document shredding event in the rear lot of my legislative office at 1072 Lake Avenue in Woodstock. From 9:00 AM until noon, residents can drop off up to two garbage-sized bags or two banker-sized boxes of documents to be fed into a large shred truck that will be on site. Just follow the sign that directs cars through the lot, and my volunteers will take your documents for shredding. 

We’ll also be collecting non-perishable items for the Woodstock Food Pantry, so please plan to stop by. We’ll shred your documents and collect a few items for the food pantry. Visit my website at http://www.repstevenreick.com often for additional information about these and other upcoming events.

Rep. Reick Demands Public Hearings in Light of Tribune Investigative Report Detailing Ongoing Sexual Violence against CPS Students
I was deeply troubled by a recent Chicago Tribune investigative report that outlined hundreds of cases of sexual violence and abuse against students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. As a member of the House of Representatives’ K-12 Curriculum and Policies Committee, after reading the initial article, I immediately contacted the chair of the committee and demanded public hearings into this sickening abuse of power over children. It’s a betrayal of the highest level, and the members of the General Assembly deserve some answers. 

The June 3 article unveiled sexual abuse in CPS through an examination of crime data between 2008 and 2017. The investigative report outlined how ineffective background checks, sloppy oversight and blatant efforts to hide instances of sexual abuse led to ongoing acts of sexual violence against students. According to the Tribune, police investigated 523 reports of children claiming to be sexually assaulted or abused inside CPS buildings between 2008-2017.

It is clear that CPS has done very little to address these crimes against children. It seems there are adult predators in positions of authority in CPS schools and in some cases teachers and principals failed to alert child welfare investigators the moment a situation was reported. The negligence shown by CPS cannot be allowed to continue. Since it is clear that CPS did not take adequate steps to change this sickening culture in the schools, the General Assembly will. The Tribune reported only on the instances of abuse they uncovered through police reports. I have to wonder how many students also suffered, or continue to suffer, abuse within the walls of CPS but have not come forward. Sweeping changes need to occur in order to change this culture where predators are allowed access to students during the school day, and public hearings before the General Assembly’s Education Committee are a good start.

$16 Million in Agriculture Grants Released
In March of this year, I petitioned Governor Bruce Rauner to release current budget year funds earmarked for agriculture support in Illinois. The money was included in the budget, but never delivered. I’m pleased to announce that that the $16 million in agriculture grants included in this year’s budget have finally been released. This money will fund soil and water districts, county fairs and agriculture societies, and the University of Illinois Extension services. 

Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which protects our state’s farmland through strategic conservation efforts, will receive $6 million. The 97 districts around the state play a central role in efforts to protect and sustain the viability of Illinois soil and water resources in order to preserve our farmland for future generations. The Department will be issuing more than $61,000 to each of the districts to help fund operations.

More than $54,000 will be sent to each of the 92 county fairs across the state. It will help operations at the fairs and may be used to support critical facility rehabilitation needs. Illinois county fairs are economic drivers for rural Illinois. A study from the University of Illinois shows county fairs generate more than $90 million annually and create more than 1,000 jobs each summer. In addition to providing family friendly entertainment, county fairs provide an outlet for our state’s youth to become involved and engaged in Illinois agriculture.

More than 1.5 million Illinois residents take part in programs offered by the University of Illinois Extension Service. Extension provides educational assistance in the areas of energy and environmental stewardship, food safety and security, economic development and workforce preparedness, family health, financial security and wellness, and youth development. The Department of Agriculture will disperse $5 million dollars to assist the organization with its core mission.

Seniors from the 63rd Legislative House District in McHenry County are invited to attend a free Senior Fair sponsored by State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) on Thursday, June 28. The fair will take place from 10:00 AM until noon at Johnsburg High School, 2002 W. Ringwood Road, in Johnsburg.

Seniors and those who help care for them can visit more than 20 booths staffed by agencies that assist seniors, and register for a chance to win a door prize. Blood pressure screenings will also be available. In addition, helpful guides, literature and other resources from state, county and local government agencies will be distributed.

“My staff and I are bringing several not-for-profit organizations, businesses and medical professionals together under one roof,” said Reick. “These professionals focus on improving the lives of senior citizens, so I expect it will be a very well-attended event.”

No pre-registration is necessary. For additional information, please contact Rep. Reick’s district office at (815) 880-5340.

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) announced today that almost $69.5 million of an $11.05 billion statewide road and bridge improvement program will be spent on projects in the 63rd Legislative House District. The projects were announced recently as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) six-year Proposed Highway Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2019-2024.

“I’m happy to see so many projects coming to the 63rd District over the next six years,” said Reick. “Keeping our infrastructure in good condition not only provides safety to our residents, but it also helps the economy thrive by providing good-paying jobs for Illinois’ work force.”

District 63 projects included in IDOTs six-year program include:
  • $890,000 for resurfacing, ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on US 12 from IL 173 to Tryon Grove Road in Richmond 
  • $2,600,000 for resurfacing on US 12 from IL 31/Tryon Grove Road to the Lake County Line in Richmond and Spring Grove 
  • $529,000 for milled rumble stripping on US 12 from Wilmot Road to Fox Lake Road and Kuhn Road to North Solon Road, and on IL 173 from west of Lake Avenue to 7th Avenue in Richmond 
  • $2,000,000 for bridge deck overlay, joint repair and bridge repair on US 14, IL 173 and on Division Street at the railroad crossing at McComb Street in Harvard 
  • $2,995,000 for resurfacing on US 14 from Bunker Hill Road to IL 47 
  • $1,110,000 for resurfacing on US 14 from IL 47 (Eastwood Drive) to Lake Shore Drive in Woodstock 
  • $5,060,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on US 20 from the Boone County line to I-90 in Marengo and Hampshire 
  • $1,300,000 for channelization on US 20 at West Union Road and at Coral Road in Marengo 
  • $1,426,000 for culvert replacement on US 20 at the creek west of Beck Road in Marengo 
  • $3,240,000 for intersection reconstruction on US 20 at Marengo-Beck Road and Union Road in Marengo 
  • $2,350,000 for intersection reconstruction on US 20 at Harmony Road in Coral Township 
  • $600,000 for land acquisition and culvert replacement on IL 23 near the drainage ditch at IL 176 in Marengo 
  • $2,040,000 for resurfacing on IL 31 from US 12 to south of Johnsburg Road in Ringwood 
  • $650,000 for resurfacing on IL 31 from Diamond Drive to McCullum Lake Road in Ringwood and McHenry 
  • $5,800,000 for engineering for safety improvements on IL 31 south of IL 120 to north of IL 176 and near the drainage ditch four miles south of US 12 in McHenry, Prairie Grove, Crystal Lake and Ringwood 
  • $770,000 for culvert replacement on IL 31 at the drainage ditch six miles north of IL 176 in McHenry 
  • $695,000 for resurfacing and ADA improvements on IL 47 from State Line Road to IL 173 in Hebron 
  • $1,050,000 for land acquisition and culvert replacement on IL 47 at the drainage ditch west of Wilke Road in Hebron 
  • $1,075,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47 from Charles Road to north of IL 120 in Woodstock 
  • $1,025,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47 from north of IL 120 to US 14 in Woodstock 
  • $2,850,000 for resurfacing, ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on IL 47 between IL 120 and IL 176 in Woodstock 
  • $2,430,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47/IL 176 from US 14 to south of IL 176 in Woodstock 
  • $3,536,000 for engineering for improvements on IL 47/IL 176 from south of IL 176 to Reed Road in Lakewood and Huntley 
  • $230,000 for culvert replacement on IL 120 at the ditch 1.2 miles east of US 14 in Woodstock 
  • $7,400,000 for resurfacing and a railroad flagger on IL 120 from Charles Road to west of 3rd Street and from the Fox River to the Lake County line in McHenry and Lakemoor 
  • $5,840,000 for resurfacing ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on IL 173 from Alden Road to the Lake County line in Hebron and Richmond 
  • $385,000 for land acquisition and culvert repair on IL 173 at the north branch of the Nippersink east of Hunt Club Road in Richmond 
  • $1,600,000 for land acquisition and channelization on IL 173 at Solon Road at Lakeview Road in Richmond 
  • $7,600,000 for land acquisition and left turn lanes, a milled rumble strip, a guardrail and pavement widening on IL 176 from Deerpass Road to Dean Street in Marengo and Woodstock 
  • $400,000 for culvert replacement on IL 176 at the ditch 1.1 miles west of IL 47 and the drainage ditch 8.6 miles east of IL 23 in Woodstock and Marengo 
Based on current funding levels, the FY 2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program aims to improve a total of 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the State. The multi-year program also includes funding for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges.

Upon announcing the statewide infrastructure plan, Governor Bruce Rauner said, “Illinois is a transportation hub for the nation, facilitating commerce from coast to coast. By investing in that infrastructure and regularly repairing and upgrading our roads, we preserve a vital resource that brings jobs and economic opportunity to our state, and ensures roads are safe for Illinois families.”
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), who serves on the House of Representatives’ K-12 Curriculum and Policies Committee, is demanding hearings into information made public over the weekend that involves multiple cases of sexual violence against students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system.

“The Tribune’s investigative report was difficult to read. It made me sick to my stomach,” said Reick. “The parents of these students send their kids to school believing the adults in the buildings will keep them safe. Instead, we’re learning that some students were groped and even raped, while school leaders tried to hide systemic instances of abuse. It’s a betrayal of the highest level, and the members of the General Assembly deserve some answers.”

Reick pointed to a Chicago Tribune report published on June 3 that unveiled sexual abuse in CPS through an examination of crime data between 2008 and 2017. The investigative report outlined how ineffective background checks, sloppy oversight and blatant efforts to hide instances of sexual abuse led to ongoing acts of sexual violence against students. According to the Tribune, police investigated 523 reports of children claiming to be sexually assaulted or abused inside CPS buildings between 2008-2017.

“It is clear that CPS has done very little to address these crimes against children,” Reick said. “It appears there are adult predators in positions of authority in CPS schools and in some cases teachers and principals failed to alert child welfare investigators the moment a situation was reported. Failure to report is a criminal offense.”

According to Reick, the Tribune uncovered several instances where individuals working within the CPS system who were accused of abuse had prior arrests related to alleged sexual offenses involving children, or other arrests that should have disqualified them for employment or volunteer work within CPS.

“The negligence shown by CPS cannot be allowed to continue. Since it is clear that CPS did not take adequate steps to change this sickening culture in the schools, the General Assembly will,” added Reick. “The Tribune reported only on the instances of abuse they uncovered through police reports. I have to wonder how many students also suffered, or continue to suffer, abuse within the walls of CPS but have not come forward. Sweeping changes need to occur in order to change this culture where predators are allowed access to students during the school day, and public hearings before the General Assembly’s Education Committee are a good start.”
On May 29 the family of one of Woodstock's greatest community volunteers traveled to Springfield as Harlow "Bud" Swartout Jr. was recognized through an honorary House resolution sponsored by State Representative Steve Reick. In attendance for the reading of the resolutions were Bud's daughter Nancy Lawson, her husband Bernie Lawson, their son Ethan Lawson and their daughter Sarah Lams.

Click here to view a video of Reik's floor comments.

Click here to read the resolution.

Citizens from Illinois’ 63rd Legislative House District are invited to join State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) and local tax assessment experts on Wednesday, June 6 for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal property tax assessments. The event will be held from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM in the 2nd Floor Conference Rooms at the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock.

Joining Reick at the informational session will be McHenry County Chief Assessment Officer Robert Ross and several township assessors who service taxpayers living in the 63rd District. “At a time when many homeowners feel they are being taxed out of their homes, it is important that they understand the assessment process and know what remedies are available to them,” said Reick. “It’s my pleasure to bring these tax assessment experts together to explain how tax bills are created and outline the process to follow if a taxpayer believes they are being over-assessed.”

After a presentation and facilitated questions, attendees will have an opportunity to ask specific questions to a panel of township assessors representing most townships within the 63rd District.

For more information about this free event, please contact Representative Reick’s office at (815) 880-5340.
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) is sending legislation to Governor Bruce Rauner that clarifies dental coverage so that dentists are better able to follow up if payment issues arise.

SB 2851 would require dental insurance cards to include specific information that identifies the insurance coverage is part of health benefit plan offering dental services or a dental plan subject to regulation by the Department Insurance. “Because there are different types of dental plans available, dentists who perform dental care services often don’t know who to contact when payment is delayed or rejected,” said Reick. “The new card data would provide dentists with information so they would know up front if a payment is supposed to be coming straight to the dentist or if the check would be sent to the patient who would then be responsible for paying the bill.”

According to Reick, the idea for the legislation was brought forward by the Illinois State Dental Society. With unanimous support in the both the House and Senate, SB 2851 now moves to Governor Rauner for final action.
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.