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GENERAL ASSEMBLY
House Republicans Call for Independent Redistricting Reform. Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, along with all members of the House Republican Caucus, has filed a resolution demanding an independent redistricting reform solution.

“It is unacceptable that partisan politics involved in the map drawing process have skewed years of election results throughout Illinois,” Durkin said. “We are long overdue for an independent map drawing process that will protect voter rights, create a more transparent process and make legislative races more competitive with more qualified candidates running for office.” 
Our children’s education remains a top priority for Illinois House Republicans, which is why they have taken action to address the growing teacher shortage in our state. First and foremost, our members are committed to ensuring highly prepared and effective educators are teaching our children. To do that, Illinois must address the teacher shortage.

Background
The Illinois State Board of Education said the 2017-18 school year began with about 2,000 unfilled teaching positions across the state.* And a recent survey conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools found that school districts were increasingly having difficulty finding qualified candidates to apply for teaching positions.
Proponents of changing the way Illinois draws political maps had their moment Wednesday, but they appear no closer to getting the issue before voters.

Proposed constitutional amendments have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would take the remapping process away from politicians and put it in the hands of an independent commission.

Senate leaders allowed proponents of the amendment to make their case at a subcommittee hearing Wednesday. However, in the House, the proposals have been locked up in the House Rules Committee and time is quickly running out.

Both the House and Senate would have to vote by May 6 to put the issue on the ballot. The House is not scheduled to be in session the week of April 30 through May 4. Read the rest of the story.
Ensuring the health and safety of Illinois families has long been the hallmark of Rep. Michael McAuliffe’s tenure in the Illinois General Assembly. This session McAuliffe has introduced two bills intended to improve health outcomes for Illinois women and children.

One piece of legislation now moving through the General Assembly removes the obstacles to the implementation of newborn screenings.

Early identification of certain disorders means children will get treatment before the disease progresses and causes irreparable harm. In some instances it will even save lives. One of those disorders is Krabbe disease, a rare neurological illness that is treatable if caught soon after a baby is born but which can be deadly if not treated early. 
TAXES
House Republicans oppose progressive income tax. Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, along with members of the House Republican Caucus, filed House Resolution 975 Tuesday to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax on Illinois residents.

“The General Assembly cannot continue spending money frivolously and expect Illinois taxpayers to pick up the tab with more tax increases like this progressive income tax proposal from the Democrat party,” Durkin said. “It is our constitutional duty to protect our constituents, and we will remain firm as a caucus on blocking any progressive tax measures.”
With Democrat J.B. Pritzker saying a progressive state income tax is his top priority, House Republicans are uniting behind yet another resolution pledging their opposition to the idea.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs and all but one of the other 50 House Republicans signed onto the resolution pledging to oppose a graduated state income tax...

...“Taxpayers cannot afford the current increase in taxes,” Durkin said at a Statehouse news conference. “There’s no way the Democrats should even be floating an idea of the progressive tax. Both opponents and proponents know how debilitating this tax would be to Illinois taxpayers.” Read the story in SJ-R.
Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, along with 49 other members of the House Republican Caucus, filed House Resolution 975 today to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax.

Below is video from the press conference where Leader Durkin along with Reps, Wehrli, Jesiel and Reick introduced the resolution.