Analysis of Some of What’s Happening in Springfield

Freshman State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has sent out an email, the contents of which I think you might find of interest.

It follows:

A Series of Firsts

While the Illinois budget shutdown is center stage right now, the General Assembly has sent Governor Bruce Rauner hundreds of bills to either sign or veto.

Three of my first bills made it to the governor’s desk, and two of them have been signed so far:

  • one eliminates an unnecessary unit of DuPage County government and
  • the other one, signed into law this past Thursday, will prevent situations like those that befell the estate of Ernie Banks. Click here to read all about how that bill will prevent disabled seniors from having their estate plans changed by scammers.

My third bill is still awaiting gubernatorial action.

In the past, the governor’s signing or veto was a foregone conclusion.

If the bill made political sense or someone needed a favor, he signed it. If not, he vetoed it.

Governor Rauner has taken a different approach. For every bill, he has ensured that there are multiple layers of staff studying, debating, and reviewing the bills. They ask a lot of questions.

For instance, will the bill help the economy to create jobs? Will the bill reduce government bureaucracy or grow it? Does the bill serve special interests or the people’s interest?

Some bills, however, don’t need a lot of debate before vetoing. One that has received a lot of press is the governor’s recent veto of Senate Bill 1229.

This bill actually upends the historical balance of the labor-management relationship, just for state government unions. Instead of a negotiation on fair terms between representatives of labor (the AFSCME union representatives) and representatives of “management” (our elected officials), the bill would put the terms of labor contracts in the hands of an unelected arbitrator. In other words, the taxpayers will foot the bill for the contract, even if their elected representatives—in this case, the Governor and members of the General Assembly—don’t agree to the terms of the contract.

You can click here to watch me address this bill during the first round of debate in the House on SB 1229.

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

The Governor recently negotiated an agreed contract with Teamsters union leaders, who represent several thousand state workers, so it’s not as if the Governor can’t or won’t negotiate in good faith.

Governor Rauner wants fair wages and benefits for government workers, and with our state nearly bankrupt, that’s not being “anti-union” or “unreasonable.”

It’s just common sense.

The backstory is that the bill was intended as a political move by Speaker Michael Madigan and his members to generously pay back the AFSCME union leaders for their support in past (and presumably future) elections.

AFSCME wants an up to 29% pay increase over 4 years, generous pension payouts, and overtime after 37.5 hours (instead of the usual 40 hours).

This bill wouldn’t ensure a “level playing field,” which everyone supports.

This bill would be a massive giveaway, at your and my expense!

Local editorial boards have seen through this charade, using words like “unsettling” and “flawed” to describe the bill and the process used to pass it through the House and Senate.

However, Speaker Madigan and his majority caucus are expected to bring the bill back in the next couple weeks to seek to override the Governor’s veto.

New Bill to End Planned Parenthood’s Selling Baby Parts

Peter Breen

Peter Breen

You may have seen the disturbing videos of a recent undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood, showing high level executives and doctors crassly discussing the trafficking of aborted baby parts and tissue. This past Wednesday, I filed a bill to end this gruesome practice in Illinois.

My House Bill 4266 would amend the Anatomical Gift Act to ensure that aborted children’s bodies are treated with dignity and not dismantled for research.

You can click here to read more about this bill in a recent Illinois Review article.

In addition to this bill, I am chief co-sponsor of House Resolution 671, calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood by the State’s Department of Public Health, Executive Inspector General, Attorney General, and Department of Revenue.

2016 Campaign Season Begins Soon

Even though we’re only 7 months into the legislative session, petition gathering for the 2016 election starts in a few weeks this September. Please save the date to join us on Saturday, September 12, at 10:00 a.m. for our 2016 campaign kickoff. Stay tuned for more details!

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