Tryon Gives Legislative Update

Below is McHenry County State Representative Mike Tryon’s press release on his recent legislative activity I note the first one is an idea I passed on to Tryon.

Tryon Advances Several Bills Through House Committees

Funding Local Road Projects

Last week in Springfield, I introduced creative legislation that creates the Local Transportation Match Fund to help counties find state money to pay for local and state road projects. House Bill 1322 allows revenue generated from county sales tax and supplemental motor fuel tax to be eligible for matching federal funds dedicated for transportation.

The purpose of this bill is to enable local governments to utilize locally-raised resources to jumpstart road projects which have been held up in Springfield. Our needed road projects have been delayed year after year by the inability of the state to allocate sufficient funds for a local match for federal road project aid. There is no reason why this local match has to be state money. I advocate using existing local tax revenue to assist in performing this function. This will ensure that money paid by residents of Chicago-area suburban counties for road projects close to home stays at home.

The roads in McHenry County are in deplorable conditions and are becoming hazardous to our residents. In the absence of a capital plan, McHenry County would be able to use tax revenue to gain access to federal road funds.

House Bill 1322 was approved unanimously in the Counties & Township Committee last week. Committee members agreed that this legislation was in the best interest of taxpayers and commended the idea as thinking outside the box.

Illinois Accountability Portal

Also during the 96th General Assembly, I re-introduced sweeping transparency legislation. House Bill 35 creates the Illinois Accountability Portal, an online website that details state expenditures, contracts, salaries of state employees and state tax credits. Illinois has become known for its politically corrupt culture of pay-to-play schemes, insider deals and wasteful government spending. A transparent website would show taxpayers how their money is being spent and help hold elected officials accountable.

The legislation was suggested to me last year by Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots activist organization leading the charge for transparency in Illinois and throughout the nation. I introduced the bill last year as HB 4765, where it passed the House unanimously but was never called for a vote in the Senate.

With the recent impeachment of a scandal-plagued Governor, there is a very real need to restore public trust in government. Illinois should become a leader in transparency. The Illinois Accountability Portal has met resistance from labor unions that want to continue to operate under a culture of secrecy. I will fight for this legislation as it moves to the House Floor.

This week in Springfield, I also advanced several other pieces of legislation through House Committees including:

  • House Bill 170 prohibits the installation of surface discharging septic systems without a NPDES permit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
  • House Bill 1135 makes a municipality liable for damages to real estate caused by negligent operation or maintenance of the municipality’s sewer systems.
  • House Bill 3785 provides that no municipality may prohibit the display of outdoor political campaign signs on residential property during the 45 day period prior to a consolidated primary, general primary, consolidated, or general election.
  • House Bill 3787 will make it easier for school bus drivers to maintain their licenses while serving on active duty, by allowing the Secretary of State’s Office to characterize the license as valid but inactive.
  • House Bill 4035 requires state agencies to procure environmentally preferable supplies and services, and to give a price preference of up to 10% for these types of supplies and services.
  • House Bill 4212 aims to establish a veterans court where veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and other issues have certain offenses adjudicated in a veterans court. This is an initiative of the McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission and I have been working with the Governor’s office and other veterans’ advocacy groups to get this accomplished.

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