A message from State Rep. David McSweeney:
I would like to express what an honor it is to serve as your State Representative. I was sworn in on January 6th and immediately focused on fulfilling my pledges. I declined a legislative pension, voluntarily took a 10% pay cut, reduced my office budget by 10% and filed a bill to repeal the 67% income tax increase of 2011. I’m proud of those actions and I believe it set a positive tone for my performance during the entire session.
The state’s financial situation remains dire. There are $7 billion of unpaid bills; the unemployment rate is 9.5%; Illinois’ credit has been downgraded and the pension crisis looms. Yet in spite of all this, the Legislature’s reckless spending habits continue to spiral out of control. Most importantly, the Legislature failed to adopt badly needed pension reform.
I also plan to continue to lead the fight against the adoption of a graduated income tax in Illinois that would hurt families and kill jobs. My fight for meaningful property tax relief continues and I will strive for better government efficiencies while leaning on my financial expertise to carefully analyze bills that come before me on the House Revenue Committee.
By visiting www.davidmcsweeney.org you can click on the legislation tab to see my accomplishments this session, including passing bills to protect against property tax hikes and eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor, which would save the state approximately $2 million a year.
In this newsletter, please find an update on the state’s budget, concealed carry, fracking, pension reform and an invitation to my next townhall meeting.
It is a pleasure to serve you in Springfield. Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date. Please contact me anytime with your thoughts or concerns.
State Representative – 52nd District
The General Assembly enacted a fiscal year 2014 $35,446,000,000 State budget.
The spending plan for fiscal year 2014, which will begin on July 1, 2013, increases the drain of the state budget by approximately $2 billion more than was originally passed for fiscal year 2013. The state is insolvent and we can’t continue to spend taxpayer’s money like drunken sailors.
We need to cut spending.
Considering my financial expertise, I was assigned to serve on the House Revenue Committee, a slot not traditionally assigned to freshman members.
For weeks, I worked with Representatives on both sides of the aisle on my constitutional amendment to abolish Lt. Governor’s position, which advanced with overwhelming House support. I have been told that it is a rare feat for a freshman legislator to pass a constitutional amendment. There are now 35 Senate sponsors of my constitutional amendment and it will likely be enacted next spring and if so, will be on the ballot in 2014.
Eliminating the office of Lieutenant Governor will save approximately $2 million per year.
I’ve also filed and supported a series of property tax relief measures.
- a three year freeze on all property tax levies
- freezing property tax levies when housing values decline
- a two year freeze on Township property tax levies.
I’m pleased to report that my HB 983 passed both the House and Senate and is now on the Governor’s desk to be signed. HB 983 reforms the process for governmental units to issue alternate revenue bonds and makes it easier for taxpayers to stop bad projects that could result in higher property taxes.
Specifically, the bill reduces the number of signatures required to force a referendum on the issuance of alternate revenue bonds. A special thanks to, Sen. Pam Althoff (Chief Senate sponsor), Sen. Dan Duffy and Rep. Jack Franks who helped with its passage.
General Assembly, in the final day of 2013 session, enacted concealed-carry bill. The concealed-carry language was approved by both houses as HB 183 on Friday, May 31. The House vote was 89-28-0.
This is a shall issue bill and there are no home rule exemptions. It will set one statewide concealed carry standard. The legislation requires 16 hours of training and a criminal background check for a person to carry. The bill also prohibits concealed carry in certain location such as schools, government buildings and gambling venues.
Jobs will be created in Illinois as the General Assembly legalizes production of oil and gas through the modern technology of horizontal, chemical-enhanced drilling. Called “fracking,” this process is already in wide use in North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and many other states. These new technologies are the centerpiece of SB 1715.
Approved by the House on Thursday, May 30 by a vote of 108-9-0, the measure could generate a lot of new revenues for the state and approximately 45,000 new jobs. In an unusual nod towards compromise, the negotiations over the fracking bill brought together U.S. oil and gas industry and representatives of some of America’s largest environmental-advocacy groups, such as the Sierra Club. I strongly supported this bill.
Pension reform was my absolute top priority this session.
I serve on the Personnel and Pensions Committee and was a leader in the fight for real pension reform.
Our state cannot move forward until we address this crisis that is darkening the economic future of our state and crowding out other essential government services.
Nothing substantial was accomplished on pension reform this session, but I remain committed to being part of the solution.
We need to stop the madness and immediately adopt pension reform in a special legislative session.
date, I have hosted three town hall meetings in which I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with district residents to hear their concerns and ideas on how to address the state’s most pressing issues. My next Town Hall meeting will be on Saturday, June 29th from 10-11AM at Cary Park District Community Center located at 255 Briargate Road in Cary. I encourage all constituents to attend and look forward to meeting you in person.