State Representative Tom Demmer successfully negotiated a bipartisan State Budget agreement which results in “No New Taxes” and provides stability and predictability as well as takes steps to put Illinois on a far better fiscal footing.

“This is the first bipartisan negotiated budget agreement in years,” said Rep. Demmer.  “This budget is not reflective of everyone’s desires, but it is a realistic plan that is the product of compromise and negotiating between both chambers as well as both sides of the aisle.”

The $38.5 billion spending plan offers new pension reform measures like voluntary buyouts and capping end-of-career salary increases that cause pension spiking, which should help local school district control costs.  The new school funding formula is fully funded in this budget, ensuring K-12 schools receive the funding promised to them.  State Elected Official pay raises for legislators are prohibited.  Local Governments will receive an over $120 million increase over the current budget.  A new Adoption Tax Credit is created and a new scholarship program to retain students in Illinois higher education system was created and funded with matching funds from universities.

Rep. Tom Demmer was the chief negotiator for the House Republicans in the budget negotiations along with Rep. Greg Harris negotiating on behalf of the House Democrat caucus.  Both negotiators were very complimentary of the good faith negotiations between all sides.

Honoring the quick thinking and brave actions of the Dixon, Illinois school resource officer who thwarted a school shooting two weeks ago, Gov. Bruce Rauner has proclaimed May 30, 2018, Officer Mark Dallas Day in Illinois. Rauner, along with State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) and State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) met with Dallas, his family, and members of the Dixon Police Department in his Capitol office on Wednesday.

"Mark Dallas was not only a hero to the hundreds of lives he protected at Dixon High School, but he serves as a great example to us all of putting service above self," Demmer said. “Mark has brought the best law enforcement has to offer as a school resource officer and we are a grateful state for his decisive action and service. We all celebrate Mark Dallas Day in Illinois today. May we also work for a world that never needs this type of heroism again."

On May 16, 2018, Dallas confronted an armed former student who had fired a gun at Dixon High School where students were gathered for a graduation rehearsal. As a result of Dallas’ decisive action, no students were harmed.

“We can no longer deny that school shootings have become a horrific part of our new national normal. It is a normal that we must change,” said Dallas, advocating for school resource officers in Illinois public schools.

“Today, I come before you not as a police officer who loves his job, but as a dad who loves his kids. I ask you to support the placement and training of school resource officers in schools throughout this state. You will save our children’s lives by doing so.”

This legislative session, Rauner is urging support for measures to free up local revenue to hire more resource officers, like Dallas, who can intervene and prevent school violence before it happens. Rauner’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1468 and standalone measure House Bill 5887 would allow school authorities to, by referendum, use existing sales tax revenue to hire school resource officers and mental health workers based on local determinations of need.

“Our schools need more heroes,” Dallas said. “Our elected officials have the power to be just that. You are, and you will be, the true heroes for our children when you support the training and placement of school resource officers in our public schools.”

“Every school should have a Mark Dallas,” Rauner said. “These officers are experienced resources that can keep our students and teachers safe and focused on learning.”

Dallas has 24 years of law enforcement experience, serving 15-years on the Dixon Police Department and the last five years as the school resource officer for Dixon High school. As the school resource officer, he serves as a law enforcement officer, law-related counselor, and a law-related education teacher working closely with the students and staff while acting as a liaison for the police department.

Full Press Conference video below:

State Representative Tom Demmer voted YES on House Bill 4290 on May 24 to release $63 million in back pay to state employees for money they earned under the contract negotiated with previous Governor Pat Quinn.

“This is the state’s oldest unpaid bill and a debt owed to our employees for services already provided,” said Rep. Demmer following his vote. “Governor Quinn broke his word on this agreement and it is past time to clean up the financial consequences of those dealings.”

In January 2011, then Governor Quinn and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) struck a deal in which union state employees would give up half the value of their contractually mandated pay raises in exchange for a promise that Quinn would not lay off 2,600 workers or close any state facilities until July 2011. AFSCME also accepted furlough days and other concessions to save the state about $50 million.

However, in July 2011, Governor Quinn reneged on scheduled pay raises, and state workers have never received the money they earned. The passing of HB 4290 ensures state workers will be paid. HB 4290 will now to the Senate for approval.

State Representative Tom Demmer announced the official launch of his Summer Reading Club Program for grade school students who live within the 90th Illinois House District.  The program is offered to encourage summer reading among local youth and promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.  Free brochures are available for download on Rep. Demmer’s legislative website at or by calling his Rochelle District Office at (815) 561-3690.

“Students who read over the Summer are better prepared to return to school in the Fall.  Reading is fun, as well as being great for education, enjoyment, and lifelong learning.  I am proud to join area schools and libraries in helping promote summer reading to area students,” said Rep. Demmer.

Participating students are tasked with reading eight books over their summer break.  Books from local library programs are accepted; and books of 150 pages or more count as two books.  After a student completes his or her reading list, they must have a parent or guardian certify the reading was accomplished and return the signed form on the brochure to Rep. Demmer’s office by the deadline of Friday, August 10th.

Rep. Tom Demmer with 2017 Summer Reading Club Party winner Haleigh Stenzel (Amboy Junior High School), May 7, 2017.
Students who successfully complete the reading club will receive a certificate of participation and one reader will be selected to win a party for their entire class during the upcoming school year.  Details will be worked out directly with the winning reader and their school.

 Participants may submit completed applications online here.


State Representative Tom Demmer welcomed new “Opportunity Zones” in Illinois, including two zones in the 90th District covering portions of the communities of Dixon and Rochelle.

“These zones were created with the intention to spur private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need.  This new program attempts to benefit residents in the zones as well as buoying additional private development and job creation,” said Rep. Demmer.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for communities throughout Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.  “These zones include some of the most underserved areas of the state that have the greatest potential for improvement.  They represent a broad cross-section of Illinois that includes rural, urban, and suburban in-need communities that are ripe for investment and job creation.”

Governor Rauner announced 327 census tracts were submitted by the State of Illinois to the U.S. Treasury Department for consideration as Opportunity Zones.  The U.S. Treasury Department approved the recommendations, as permitted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts were available for selection, of which only 25% could be nominated by the Governor for inclusion in the program.  The zones cover more than 85 counties throughout the state and aim to support the future of Illinois through economic growth and investment.

For more information on Opportunity Zones, please visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) website

State Representative Tom Demmer joined Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz in urging Illinois firearm owners to file paperwork early to renew their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Cards as the first wave of the 10-year renewal will create a backlog of renewal applications.

“More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and August 1 due to amendments to State laws on the 10-year renewal process in 2008.  I am urging my constituents who are FOID holders to renew as early as possible to allow adequate time for processing before expiration,” said Rep. Demmer on Tuesday.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz recommends, “gun owners get their renewal application in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card our before expiration.”

The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are required to buy or posses a firearm or ammunition in Illinois.  FOID card applications require state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years.  Persons with common names may find additional delays as identities are confirmed.

Illinois State Police have already sent renewal notices to those whose cards will expire June 1.  Applicants can visit the ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau website at to renew online.  The cost of the card is $10. 

Applicants must be Illinois residents and include their Drivers License or State ID card number.  Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parents’ signature on the application.  Anyone who needs assistance with the FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, may call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.  Applicants should also make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State’s Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed further.