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 tomdemmer.com 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.

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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 https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/OppZn.aspx.


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 ispfsb.com 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.