House Republicans urge Gov. Pritzker to veto flawed criminal justice bill. Illinois House Republicans held a press conference Wednesday to urge Gov. JB Pritzker to veto a sweeping criminal justice bill passed by bare Democrat majorities in the waning hours of the lame duck session of the 101st General Assembly.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the state must “thoroughly and carefully address police reform and criminal justice reform. It is the right thing to do.”
State Representative Mark Luft is focused on bipartisanship, ethics reform, and economic recovery for our state as he begins his first term in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Photo from the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library & Museum. 
Illinois is certainly not a stranger to cold winters, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

Throughout history the state has endured some truly brutal and bone-chilling winters. Just two years ago, on January 31, 2019, a weather station in the northwestern Illinois town of Mt. Carroll reported the coldest temperature ever recorded in Illinois: -38 degrees. It broke the old record of -36 which had been set in Congerville, near Peoria, on January 5, 1999.

But these record-setting cold snaps do not stand alone in Illinois’ frosty history.
Law enforcement officials and public safety agencies across Illinois believe HB3653 as written, will threaten the safety of Illinois families. This flawed bill will make it more difficult for law enforcement to keep communities safe and gives more rights to criminals than to their victims. 

We urge the governor to veto HB3653 and bring all stakeholders together to craft real criminal justice reform and police accountability legislation that will truly make our communities safer.

Top Row: Leader Jim Durkin, Reps. Dan Brady, Tom Demmer, Tom Bennett, Avery Bourne & Tim Butler
Bottom Row: Reps. CD Davidsmeyer, Deanne Mazzochi, Ryan Spain, Keith Wheeler, David Welter & Mark Batinick

Today House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced the appointment of his leadership team for the 102 General Assembly.

New members of the House Republican Caucus. Ten new Illinois House Republicans took their oaths of office on Wednesday, January 13, in Springfield. Joining their colleagues were new Representatives Chris Bos, Amy Elik, David Friess, Jackie Haas, Paul Jacobs, Seth Lewis, Mark Luft, Martin McLaughlin, Adam Niemerg, and Tim Ozinga. Making up almost one-quarter of the members of the new Illinois Republican Caucus, the freshman members of the Illinois House of Representatives are a demonstration of the Caucus’ forward-looking, growth-oriented identity.
Political conventions in the 19th century were wild, chaotic affairs. Unlike today’s quadrennial events which ratify nominees chosen weeks or months earlier, conventions in the 1800s saw enormous amounts of wheeling and dealing among those vying for nominations, as well as for cabinet posts, patronage and a myriad of other potential spoils from the victor.

Ironically enough, the President who has gone down in history as the most honest man ever to sit in the Oval Office secured his nomination through this traditional method of horse-trading, and it was a Bloomington judge named David Davis who helped him to do it; ensuring that Abraham Lincoln would be the Republican nominee for President at the 1860 convention in Chicago.
Illinois State Representative Martin McLaughlin serves the 52nd District. He is a strong advocate for small business and better management of the state's finances. As a Village President for the past 8 years, he lowered the tax levy six times, by 25%, and he is looking forward to bringing that experience to Springfield. 

Senators Charles Percy and Everett Dirksen, 1967. 
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
On January 3 in Washington DC the members of the 117th Congress were sworn in. As the members of the House and Senate took their seats they followed a long line of legislators which extends so far back through history that it pre-dates the Capitol building itself. Among these historic figures are the 51 United States Senators from the state of Illinois.

We are proud to introduce the newest House Republican members of the 102nd General Assembly. 

Sworn into office on January 5 of this year, State Representative Tim Ozinga of the 37th District hits the ground running. In this Leading Voices podcast episode he talks about using his business and civic experiences to help make the state a more attractive and affordable place to live. 

Learn more about Rep. Tim Ozinga.

Len Small (center) Governor of Illinois 1921-1929. 
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
As the 204 members of the 52nd General Assembly took their seats in the state Capitol on Wednesday, January 5, 1921, it was a hopeful time filled with the potential of new beginnings.

This optimism wasn’t felt just in Illinois. One hundred years ago this month many believed that the entire world had changed for the better and was entering a new era of peace and prosperity. The calamitous “war to end all wars” had come to an end and a peace treaty had been secured after a months-long conference. Scientific innovations were being repurposed from the development of battlefield technology to creations for the betterment of societies. The deadly Spanish Flu pandemic which had swept the globe was by this time mostly a thing of the past.

State Representative Jackie Haas of the 79th District was sworn into office last month. In this Leading Voices podcast episode she talks about jobs, taxes and working in a bipartisan manner.