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Today I was named to the House Republican Leadership Team for the 101st General Assembly. It is an honor to to serve my caucus and the people of Illinois in the role of Deputy Republican Leader. The House Republican Leadership team for the 101st General Assembly includes:

Deputy Republican Leaders
Rep. Dan Brady
Rep. Tom Demmer

Assistant Republican Leaders
Rep. Avery Bourne
Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer
Rep. Norine Hammond
Rep. Michael McAuliffe
Rep. Grant Wehrli
Rep. Keith Wheeler

Rep. Tim Butler will serve as Conference Chair
Rep. Mark Batinick will serve as Floor Leader

101st General Assembly Takes Oath of Office in Springfield
On Wednesday, January 9, it was an honor to be sworn into office for a fourth term in the Illinois General Assembly. The House of Representatives of the new 101st General Assembly includes 74 Democrats and 44 Republicans, and I will continue to represent approximately 108,000 residents from Ogle, Lee, DeKalb and LaSalle Counties. During the inauguration ceremony, Representative Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) was re-elected Speaker of the House and Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) was re-elected House Minority Leader. In his remarks to the newly-convened House, Leader Durkin pledged to uphold Republican principles and to work together with newly-elected Gov. J.B. Pritzker whenever possible for the good of the State of Illinois. 

The newly-convened 101st General Assembly faces challenging problems of governance, including Illinois’ structural budget deficit, underfunded tax-supported pension systems, and a growing pattern of out-migration to other states by young, ambitious adults eager for success in the private sector. House Republicans are determined to make Illinois a good place for hard-working people to live and raise families.

Within our caucus, 13 new Republican lawmakers took the oath of office and joined the ranks of the freshman class of the 101st General Assembly. Click here to learn about the new members of the House Republican Caucus.

I am in the process of finalizing a comprehensive 2019 legislative agenda that focuses on improving access and delivery of health care services, protects taxpayers, eases consolidation processes and improves government operations. I welcome your input and suggestions. If you have an idea to share, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at tom@tomdemmer.com, or by phone at (815) 561-3690. You can learn more about my legislation by visiting www.tomdemmer.com.

Rep. Reick appointed to serve on bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has announced the appointment of State Representative Steve Reick to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislative oversight committee. Three House Republicans serve on JCAR, and Reick will join Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) and me on the Committee.

The members of JCAR oversee the rule-making process by state agencies, making sure the rules abide by the original intent of legislators when laws are passed. The committee is composed of 12 legislators who are appointed by the legislative leadership, with the membership apportioned equally between the two houses and the two political parties. It is co-chaired by two members representing each party and each legislative house. The members of JCAR are also charged with making sure the General Assembly is adequately informed of how laws are implemented through agency rulemaking and facilitating a public understanding of rules and regulations.
State Representative Tom Demmer has announced the start of his fourth annual “Rich History of the 90th District” Photo Contest. Winning photos will be displayed throughout all of 2019 at the Representative’s Springfield and local District office.

“In the past I have had a great response to this contest,” said Demmer. “I am always impressed by the quality and creativity of the entries. The 90th District is filled with eye-catching beauty, and contest participants have continually captured the heart and splendor of the 90th District through the lenses of their cameras.”

Contest participants should submit their photos of historical sites, buildings and landmarks that highlight the rich history of the district and the region. A map of the 90th District can be found at www.tomdemmer.com. Participants may submit as many entries as they would like before the deadline of 6:00 PM on Friday, February 8. Participants should include their name, phone number and location where the photo was taken with each entry. Entries should be emailed to photos@tomdemmer.com.

“I will choose winning entries and invite photographers for a photo and unveiling at my district office or in Springfield,” said Demmer.

For additional information about the photo contest, please call the Demmer Rochelle office at (815) 561-3690.
State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) was sworn into a fourth term in the Illinois House of Representatives Wednesday at a ceremony held at the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium.

The House of Representatives of the new 101st General Assembly includes 74 Democrats and 44 Republicans, and Demmer will represent approximately 110,000 residents from northwestern Illinois’ Ogle, Lee, DeKalb and LaSalle Counties. During the inauguration ceremony, Representative Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago) was re-elected Speaker of the House and Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) was re-elected House Minority Leader.

“As we enter this new General Assembly, I look forward to many opportunities for bipartisanship that can lead Illinois down a better path toward economic prosperity,” said Demmer. “We face many challenges, but our best work takes place when we set partisanship aside and work collaboratively.”

Demmer pointed to several bills from the previous General Assembly that were approved with bipartisan support and are now law, and said, “We came together on several instances to enact meaningful reforms to health care delivery systems and to approve measures that addressed public safety. I am hopeful that same spirit of cooperation can be used to address other pressing issues, such as pension debt and the need for term limits and fair maps.”

Within the House Republican Caucus, Demmer serves on the nine-member leadership team as Deputy Republican Leader. As the second-highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, Demmer will have a key voice in setting the House Republican agenda for the next two years. He was elevated to the position of Deputy Leader in July of 2018 after previously serving as the House Republican Caucus Chair.

As the 118 members of the General Assembly begin their work, Demmer is finalizing a comprehensive 2019 legislative agenda that focuses on improving access an delivery of health care services, protects taxpayers, eases consolidation processes and improves government operations.

Residents of the 90th District can learn more about legislation sponsored by Demmer during the spring legislative session on his website at www.tomdemmer.org.
There are 253 new state laws with a January 1, 2019 effective date. Many of these new laws simply clarify existing statutes, while others improve transparency and overall government processes. Still others represent entirely new ideas that are now becoming law. This year I was successful in passing three bills and several resolutions. Most of my legislation for 2018 improved processes for the health and human services area of state government. Click here to view a list and summary of the 253 bills that become law on January 1.

I am in the process of drafting my legislative agenda for 2019, and will begin filing those bills in early January. For 2019, I will be sponsoring legislation that further seeks to improve access and delivery of health care services, protects taxpayers and improves government operations. Your input and suggestions are always welcome. If you have comments or ideas to share, please feel free to call my legislative office at (815) 561-3690.

New laws taking effect on January 1
There are 253 new state laws with a January 1, 2019 effective date. Many of these new laws simply clarify existing statutes, while others improve transparency and overall government processes. Still others represent entirely new ideas that are now becoming law. This year I was successful in passing three bills and several resolutions. Most of my legislation for 2018 improved processes for the health and human services area of state government. Click here to view a list and summary of the 253 bills that become law on January 1. 

I am in the process of drafting my legislative agenda for 2019, and will begin filing those bills in early January. For 2019, I will be sponsoring legislation that further seeks to improve access and delivery of health care services, protects taxpayers and improves government operations. Your input and suggestions are always welcome. If you have comments or ideas to share, please feel free to call my legislative office at (815) 561-3690.

Health Care fraud prevention initiatives save the state over $218 million
In its latest report, the Governor’s Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force showed that it successfully avoided or recouped $218 million in wasteful or fraudulent Medicaid spending. The effort resulted in 39 fraud convictions including $27.8 million in recoveries through criminal prosecutions, civil actions, and/or administrative referrals. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) saved or recouped an estimated $190 million in Fiscal Year 2018. The task force has saved the state more than $665 million since its inception in 2016. 

The Governor’s Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force was created in April of 2016. Chaired by Executive Inspector General Susan Haling, its purpose is to develop and coordinate a comprehensive plan to prevent and eliminate health care fraud, waste and abuse by deploying a cross-agency, data-driven approach. The Task Force specifically focuses on reducing wasteful spending and fraud in Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation, and State Employee Group Insurance.

In Fiscal Year 2017, members of the Task Force participated in the 2018 National Health Care Fraud Takedown, which was the largest health care fraud enforcement action in U.S. Department of Justice History. The Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s participation led to the indictment of 14 people responsible for approximately $430,000 in fraudulent claims in the Medicaid Home Services Program. Task Force members also participated in the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care Fraud Task Force meetings to share information about data-driven approaches to fighting fraud.

Demmer named “Legislator of the Year” by Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois
Last week I was proud to receive one of two “Legislator of the Year” awards from the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association (CBHA) of Illinois. State Representative Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) also received the award. Representative Conroy and I work together on the House Mental Health Committee, where she serves as the Committee Chair and I serve as the Republican Spokesperson. Bipartisanship is key to this committee’s success, and I am glad to share this recognition with her. 

I was nominated for the award by the staff and administration of Sinnissippi Centers, Inc., a community-based behavioral healthcare system in Northwest Illinois. It is an honor to be recognized for my work in this important area of public policy and I look forward to continuing to work on legislation that helps reform delivery systems and improve patient outcomes. I’m shown in the top photo with CBHA CEO Marvin Lindsey and Patrick Phelan, President and CEO of Sinnissippi Centers, and in the bottom photo with Representative Conroy, Patrick Phelan and members of the CBHA. 

Illinois hunter lays claim to what could be the largest buck ever shot in United States
The deer, taken at an unnamed location by a hunter from Johnston City, bore a rack that shows up in photographs at 51 points. The trophy buck’s record is not yet official and has not yet been certified. The current U.S. record is a 47-point buck shot by a hunter from Gallatin, Tennessee.

The potential record-breaking buck was harvested during the first Illinois shotgun season. Hunter Keith Szableswki talked to personnel from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), who strongly urged him to get the trophy ranked and scored. Szableswki told a reporter his intent was to submit the trophy rack to judges at the Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo to be held in July 2019 in Peoria. He added that the animal, which weighed in at about 265 lb., has been processed and most of the meat donated to charity.

Happy Holidays!
As we end 2018 and prepare to usher in 2019, I hope you are able to spend quality time these next few weeks with family, friends and other loved ones. While this has indeed been a difficult year for the State of Illinois, we have very much for which we can be truly grateful. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year! 

Snow and wind that is common this time of year often makes travel difficult and dangerous. Please be safe in your holiday travels. You can use this link to access alerts about current road conditions that could make travel challenging.

The countdown to Christmas has begun! You can use this NORAD Santa tracker on Christmas Eve if you would like to follow Santa’s trip around the globe.

Warmest wishes to you and yours during this blessed season.
Rep. Tom Demmer receives the 2018 Legislator of the Year Award from the
Community Behavioral Healthcare Association at the CBHA annual
conference. He is shown here with CBHA CEO Marvin Lindsey and
Sinnissippi Centers, Inc. President and CEO Patrick Phelan.
In recognition of his advocacy on behalf of some of Illinois’ most vulnerable residents, State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) has been named Legislator of the Year by the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association (CBHA) of Illinois. Demmer was nominated for the award by the staff and administration of Sinnissippi Centers, Inc., a community-based behavioral healthcare system in Northwest Illinois.

“Representative Demmer has a deep understanding of behavioral health issues, especially as they relate to regulatory and funding challenges,” said Patrick Phelan, President and CEO of Sinnissippi Centers. “He has been a tremendous advocate for the behavioral health community and has championed critical legislation to strengthen community services and provide sustainable and reliable funding. It was our pleasure to nominate him for this much-deserved recognition.”

The award was presented at the CBHA Annual Conference, which was held this week at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield in Schaumburg. “It is an honor to be recognized for my work in this important area of public policy,” said Demmer. “I look forward to continuing to work on legislation that helps reform delivery systems and improve patient outcomes.”

In announcing the award, DBHA CEO Marvin Lindsey said, “Commitment, dedication and hard work to a cause we all believe in can sometimes be hard to find. Occasionally, an individual will distinguish himself from others through his leadership and ability to achieve results.”

In Springfield, Demmer serves as the Republican Spokesperson for the Appropriations- Human Services, Healthcare Availability & Access, Human Services, and Mental Health Committees.