A message from State Rep. Mike Tryon to his constituents:
As the General Assembly heads into its final weeks of the legislative session, I wanted to update you on some important pieces of legislation.
Budget talks are taking center stage this month and I will continue to provide a voice of fiscal conservancy in the Illinois House.
It appears that Governor Quinn is still out of touch with the realities of today’s economy and remains an advocate for runaway spending.
At home in District 64 and across the state I have seen firsthand how families have responded to the current economic conditions by getting by on less and I believe they want their government to do the same.
I will not support a budget that further increases debt.
Significant budget reductions are in order if we are ever to make Illinois a financially-stable state.
To that end, I will do my best to advocate for programs and agencies which rely on state funding, but will be a vocal supporter of initiatives that
- reduce waste,
- eliminate outrageous salary increases for State employees and
- fairly address the failing pension system.
Last week two key votes took place on controversial issues in the House.
HB 148 would have permitted people 21 and older to carry guns if they were properly registered and had completed eight hours of training, including target practice. Applicants would have also needed to pass a background check and a review of their mental health history. The bill came up six votes shy of the 71 affirmative votes that were needed to bring Illinois in line with the 48 states that currently allow concealed carry in some form. I was a co-sponsor of this bill and will continue to fight for the Second Amendment rights of all Illinois citizens. Another high profile vote last week regarded the medical use of cannabis.
HB 30 would have created a three-year pilot program to allow people with certain medical conditions to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana from registered non-profit dispensaries. I voted against the bill because I still have significant concerns about federal enforcement of medical vs. recreational marijuana and also about how the drug would be distributed.
Over the last few months I served as chief sponsor of several bills that passed through the House and which now are pending in the Illinois Senate. Here is a summary of a few of those bills:
- HB 308 would protect the quality of groundwater in Illinois by providing regulation of the installation of geothermal heat pump systems. The construction of these systems can impact nearby septic systems and water wells, creating a risk to the water supply, and proper regulation would prevent potential problems. Twenty-nine other states protect their groundwater by providing some form of registration or licensure of closed loop well contractors.
- HB 309 would expand the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal (ITAP) to include information about the recipients of gubernatorial and legislative member initiatives. State law does not currently prescribe procedures to be followed in the administration of these grants, and HB 309 would provide full and complete disclosure to the public about gubernatorial and legislative member initiatives and hopefully eliminate the misuse of public funds by listing the expenditures in a searchable database.
- HB 3103 would further expand the ITAP to include all floor and committee roll call votes from the House of Representatives and Senate. The bill would make State government more accessible to the people of Illinois and hold legislators accountable for their attendance and activity, or lack thereof.
- HB 2915 also enhances transparency to the taxpayers of Illinois by adding the salary, insurance benefit, and pension/annuitant payment information for all State employees of the legislative branch of government. This would include members of the House and Senate. The bill would also provide that the ITAP must include a database of all current State grants, sorted separately by grantee name, awarding agency, grant value, and the purpose for which the grant is awarded and also a public forum and commenting interface on the site.
- HB 1101 was filed in response to Governor Pat Quinn’s proposal to sell the Thomson Correctional Center to the federal Bureau of Prisons last year. There are substantial public policy implications in selling any valuable piece of State property, and I believe the General Assembly deserves to have a say in large transactions like these. Under this bill the Governor would be required to seek General Assembly permission before selling any state asset with a value of $1 million or more.
- HB 2558 would address the perceived financial issues that arose during the recent corruption trial of the McHenry County State’s Attorney. The bill would mandate that when a sitting public official is investigated and tried on charges, the courts would look to other public prosecutors to do the work. The bill would also require that the scope of the investigation be well-defined and that county boards be given estimates on costs so they could plan for the expense. The bill would also allow county boards to receive itemized bills for the fees.
As always, do not hesitate to call or email me if you have additional questions or if you would like to discuss any other issue. I can be reached at (815) 459-6453 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael W. Tryon, State Representative, District 64
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I have searched in vain for Senate committee votes.