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Springfield, IL – Members of the House Republican Caucus today called on House Democrats to respect the wishes of Illinoisans by allowing redistricting reform, HJRCA17, to be called for a vote immediately.  

“This is one of the strongest statements we can make about reforming Illinois,” said State Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield). “This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, so it’s time for the Democrats to decide if they stand for the status quo or for a stronger, better Illinois for generations to come.”
HJRCA 17 would allow voters to decide, by statewide referendum, to amend the Illinois Constitution to create the Independent Redistricting Commission for the purpose of drawing legislative districts. A poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute last fall found that 72% of voters, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, supported the creation of an independent commission to draw legislative district maps.

Members noted that redistricting reform is directly tied to the state budget and the failure of having unbalanced budgets for more than 10 years.

“When people are no longer able to hold their representatives accountable due to the political leanings of their district, the people have lost,” said State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon). “That’s especially true when it comes to the fiscal issues of this state. Instead of being held accountable for taking vote after vote after vote to spend money that the State doesn’t have, far too many elected officials get a pass as soon as they go home for no other reason than the letter behind their name on the ballot.”
SPRINGFIELD- On Tuesday, March 14th, Representative Sam Yingling (D-62), Chairman of the Government Consolidation and Modernization Committee and Representative Tom Demmer (R-90) worked across party lines to pass the first in a series of government consolidation bills. The bill passed out of committee with unanimous support.

“Illinois has too many layers of government and we’ve got to get serious about consolidation,” said Yingling. “As Chairman of the Government Consolidation and Modernization Committee I will hold hearings and move legislation to consolidate government and reign in the soaring costs of local property taxes.”

The bill, HB 496, is sponsored by Representative Tom Demmer (R-90) and provides that a coterminous township may be dissolved after voter approval.  The question for dissolution may be placed on the ballot upon adoption of an ordinance by the city council of a township, or upon submission of petition of at least 10% of the registered voters of that township.

HB 496 follows up on a recommendation made in the December 2015 report of the Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates.

“It’s time to modernize Illinois by consolidating and lowering the cost of government,” said Demmer. “This bill gives local officials the tools and resources they need to lower costs and create real savings for the taxpayers they serve.”

Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of local government-- the highest in the country.  Duplicative layers of government lead to inefficient service delivery and higher property taxes.

HB 496 now moves to the House of Representatives for a vote by the full chamber.

Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) announced the winners of his recent photo contest for photos that best represents the rich history of the 90th District, in celebration of the inauguration of the 100th General Assembly. The winning photos are displayed in both of Rep. Demmer’s Springfield and Rochelle offices. 

“We live in a unique part of Illinois,” said Rep. Demmer. “This contest has allowed people to showcase the rich history of our area to others from around the State. I am displaying the winners of the contest in both my Springfield and Rochelle offices."

Rep. Demmer went on to say, "I want to thank everyone who submitted photos. There were so many wonderful entries that made these choices difficult this year."

The winning entries included:

Aims to lower Local Government costs

Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) today announced the filing of four bills designed to lower the cost of government and provide property tax relief to overburdened Illinois taxpayers.

“We need to do right by the taxpayers- that means not just changing who pays for what, but actually lowering the cost of government. This Property Tax Relief Bill Package gives local officials the tools and resources they need to lower costs and create real savings for the taxpayers they serve,” said Rep. Demmer

Included in the package of legislation filed by Rep. Demmer is House Bill 496, which allows townships with a coterminous, or substantially coterminous, municipality may be consolidated if that decision is made at the local level. House Bill 788 allows local governments to hold a public hearing and vote to opt-out of unfunded mandates if the costs of complying are not economically feasible for taxpayers. House Bill 792 allows additional local government consolidations, again, if approved by local officials or taxpayers. House Bill 793 allows local governments, school districts and public colleges to opt-out of certain unfunded mandates.

“This package of bills is aimed at reducing the burdens of unfunded mandates on
Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) issued the following statement after Governor Rauner’s Budget Address on Wednesday:

“I was glad the Governor presented a balanced budget proposal, as he has the past two years. More importantly, though, he highlighted some of the key points needed to get a budget done. The State Senate has been working on a grand bargain and it was helpful of the Governor to talk about the elements he supports, what he won’t support, and our next steps moving forward. His comments can serve to help breathe additional life into these negotiations,” said Demmer.

Demmer continued, “However, a final budget solution will require the Senate, the House, and the Governor agreeing on a path forward. Today’s speech was a