Protecting the public from crime and keeping communities safe is among the highest priorities of Illinois State Representative Patrick Windhorst and House Republican lawmakers. Windhorst talks about the efforts of House Republicans to curb rising crime rates in Illinois on Have All Voted Who Wish.

A former prosecutor, Windhorst leads the House Republican's Truth in Public Safety working group (TIPS) which focuses on enacting solutions to combat rising crime and improve public safety in Illinois. Windhorst provides a synopsis of the legislative solutions introduced by members of the TIPS working group that includes measures to hold criminals accountable, provide mental health services, recruit and train law enforcement professionals, reduce recidivism and protect crime victims. Rep. Windhorst believes that passing the legislative package produced by the working group would improve the safety of all Illinoisans.

Illinois State Representative Bill Hauter's legislation making it easier for those with bleeding disorders to receive medical care without the delay of insurance preauthorization, awaits the Governor's signature. 

Hauter's bill puts patients first by removing the emergency room visit requirement for insurance pre-authorization ensuring patients with bleeding disorders get the prompt acute care they need.

Legislation carried in the Illinois House of Representatives by State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) and co-sponsored by fellow Peoria area State Representatives Travis Weaver (R-Edwards) and Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), as well as the delegation of legislators from the Peoria area, passed the House today and is now ready to be signed into law. The legislation, Senate Bill 2936, expands a property tax abatement process to improve investment opportunities.

Illicit fentanyl is being distributed across the country including here in Illinois. Sold on the illegal drug market, Fentanyl is often mixed with other illicit drugs to increase its potency. It is sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids or rainbow colored tablets that look like candy.

The tragic reality:  A very small dose of Fentanyl can be lethal.

State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) and Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) are one step closer to improving traffic safety around O’Hare Airport.

In response to reports of dangerous conditions around the airport, Harmon and Stephens passed legislation prohibiting drivers from stopping their vehicles on the shoulder of the road anywhere within a half-mile radius of O’Hare.

Deputy Republican Leader Norine Hammond was a guest on the Season 39 premiere of “Illinois Lawmakers.” The long-running series is now being produced by Capitol News Illinois.

Representative Hammond and host Jak Tichenor discussed concerns with the pending Illinois State Budget for Fiscal Year 2025. Hammond indicated that House Republicans have not yet been included in budget negotiations. She expressed the Caucus’ opposition to Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed tax increases on Illinois businesses, as well as the Governor’s proposal to transfer $175 million from the Road Fund for Chicago-area mass transit. 

With the State of Illinois facing an estimated $775 million budget deficit and Governor JB Pritzker calling for more than $1 billion in tax hikes on Illinois families and businesses, State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Murrayville) has filed legislation to end Illinois’ healthcare benefits program for undocumented immigrants.

Last week, Rep. Davidsmeyer introduced House Bill 5846 which would repeal the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults and Seniors (HBIA/HBIS) Programs. The State of Illinois currently provides free healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrant adults at an annual estimated cost of nearly $700 million. Over the first four fiscal years of the HBIA/HBIS programs, the State will have spent more than $2 billion in taxpayer funds on healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrants.

In this latest episode of our Have All Voted Who Wish podcast, we hear from Illinois State Representative Jed Davis

Representative Davis talks about his first term in the Illinois General Assembly and how he is laser-focused on keeping kids safe. This session he introduced a legislative package of bills crafted to provide greater protections for children. 

Rep. Jed Davis' protecting children legislative package includes the following bills:

CRIMINAL LAW

Illinois Republicans Urge Action on Bipartisan Bill to Protect Students. At a press conference this week in Springfield, Rep. Amy Elik and Sen. Terri Bryant urged the Senate to act on House Bill 4241, which unanimously passed the House last month. The bill, which protects high school students age 18 and older from sexual abuse by an educator, currently sits in Assignments in the Senate. Rep. Jackie Haas and Sen. Erica Harriss also attended the press conference and are co-sponsors of the bill.

On April 15, dozens of pro-Palestine protesters blocked Interstate 190, an expressway that leads toward O’Hare International Airport. With no regard for commuters or emergency services that may have needed to use the road, the protest completely halted all traffic on the road for more than an hour. As a result, travelers were forced to leave their vehicles and trek along the road towards the airport, many of whom missed their flights.

The disruption that took place on I-190 in April is just one of many examples of the far-left using protest tactics in Chicago to coerce appeasement in Springfield. Even after concerted efforts to bully their way into legislative change, these protesters have begun to lose ground in the Illinois General Assembly.

Earlier this spring, Illinois Governor Pritzker announced his plan to demolish and reconstruct the Logan Correctional Center. The prison is currently situated in the center of Logan County in the City of Lincoln, but it may not be rebuilt there.

On May 10, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) testified in a legislative hearing that it is considering relocating the correctional center closer to the Chicago suburbs. That move would affect the livelihood of hundreds of families and would be a blow to the economically struggling community of Lincoln.

In this recent op-ed, State Representative Charlie Meier implores the Illinois General Assembly to defeat legislation that would put workshops that employ the developmentally disabled out of business. Meier has long been a champion for the rights of the developmentally disabled.

Throughout my time in Springfield serving southern Illinois and portions of the Metro-East, I have worked hard to represent the best interests of the citizens in our state that live in the care of the state, live in Community Integrated Living Arrangements, and for those developmentally disabled individuals that perform light tasks at “14c Workshops” throughout the state.

Legislation filed by State Representative Norine Hammond to assist local road districts with funding challenges was unanimously passed by the Illinois House last month.

House Bill 5190 provides that the allocation to road districts shall be made in the same manner and be subject to the same conditions and qualifications as are provided by current law concerning the allocation to road districts of the amount allotted from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund for apportionment to counties for the use of road districts. It further provides that any funds allocated to a county that are not obligated within 48 months shall be considered lapsed funds and reappropriated in the same fund. The lapsed funds shall be used to provide additional monetary assistance to townships and road districts that have insufficient funding for the construction of bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

BUDGET

House Republicans call for enactment of a $52.1 billion balanced State of Illinois budget for FY 2025. Under subsection (b) of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Illinois Constitution, appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.

House Bill 4662, sponsored by State Representative Amy Elik, unanimously passed the House on April 18. The bill extends the sunset of an existing program that allows retired educators to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without negatively impacting their pension or benefits. It was one of several efforts put in place to combat a growing teacher shortage in Illinois. The current program is slated to end on June 30, 2024. If the program is permitted to sunset, retired educators who had returned to the classroom to help with the shortage will have to leave their positions or risk negative pension consequences.

The Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation in April sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski that would allow the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Service Boards (Metra, CTA, and Pace) to donate rolling stock, including locomotives and equipment, to museums in Illinois that are not-for-profit organizations. 

Under current law the RTA is not permitted to donate items before putting them up for private sale or auction.

State Representative Jackie Haas' legislation making it easier for retired law enforcement professionals to work as school safety officers cleared the House last month. 

“This bill will incentivize retired law enforcement officers to return to work as school safety officers by ensuring their pension benefits are not suspended," said Haas. 

The sight of trash blowing off waste-hauling trucks headed to landfills has become an all-too-common sight. Besides the unsightly nature of blowing trash, it has raised safety and environmental concerns for many communities, as well as caused damage to local farmers’ operations and their fields. State Representative Jeff Keicher has spent more than a year working with local officials throughout the 70th House District to increase enforcement of current law and develop new policy proposals to help stop the problem.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY/ELECTIONS

Democrats muscle through changes to Illinois election law; Republicans denounce political games. This week, Democrats passed brazen legislation to change Illinois election law to their own self-serving political advantages, stifle the ability of the Republican Party to fill office vacancies, and place meaningless non-binding questions on the ballot to drive Democrat voters to the polls.

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier intended to help fund emergency service districts has passed the House of Representatives with unanimous support. 

“House Bill 4179 was brought to me because of all the problems we’re starting to have in rural Illinois,” said Rep. Meier. “The federal government, when they make their payments back from Medicare and Medicaid ambulance trips, is only paying a maximum of 40% of that money. The for-profit ambulances are leaving rural southern Illinois. Our fire departments are not allowed to transport people to the hospitals from wrecks or calls that they go on. The EMTs can go there, but they can’t transport them.” 

House Bill 4255, introduced by State Representative Amy Elik, unanimously passed the House in April. The legislation will make Illinois roadways safer for motorists as they approach stopped or parked emergency vehicles that are responding to accidents or emergency scenes. The bill also helps protect tow truck operators and emergency responders who are working at emergency scenes while vehicles pass by them.

A bill sponsored by State Representative Dan Swanson to better educate drivers about the state’s “Move Over” highway safety law has passed the Illinois House.

“I’m glad the House has joined in taking this important step toward making Illinois motorists more aware of what to do when they see a vehicle stopped on the roadside,” Swanson said. “We have seen far too many crashes, injuries and even deaths that could have been prevented with a little more knowledge.”