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Springfield, IL...State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) released the statement below following the House's passage of Senate Bill 2048, a $40 billion dollar State budget:

"If there was ever any proof that Speaker Madigan isn’t interested in compromise or fiscal responsibility, look no further than what happened in Springfield today and yesterday. After a horrendous show of disrespect to the democratic process last night the House today approved an over 500 page “budget”. To call it a budget would be a falsehood; it is a spending plan that would drive up taxes by $7 billion dollars and drive out Illinois citizens. I’m not sure what kind of fantasy land Speaker Madigan is living in, but the General Assembly needs to get serious about working together and fixing this State’s fiscal mess before it’s too late."
My office will be closed next Monday for Memorial Day. Spring session is scheduled to conclude at next Tuesday, but it remains to be seen whether that will be the case, or if like last year, we will remain in session throughout the summer.

New State IDs
       In an effort to comply with new federal standards resulting from the REAL ID Act of 2005, Secretary of State Jesse White announced changes to Illinois State ID’s and driver’s licenses. These new changes include security features that will help protect citizens from fraud and identity theft. With these changes we do not fully comply with the federal law, but we are a significant step closer. Click here for more information on the changes being implemented and what you need to know.
Springfield, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has filed legislation to ensure that there is better accountability and transparency at public research facilities that use dogs or cats. House Bill 6580 creates the Higher Education Research of Dogs or Cats Reporting Requirement Act. It requires higher education research facilities that receive public funds to submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly beginning in 2017. Any facilities that don’t provide a report by March 1 of each year will receive a daily penalty; fines that will be deposited into the General Revenue fund.

“Recently in attempting to pass legislation to help make sure these dogs and cats get a second chance at life after being used in research, I hit roadblocks getting important information from public facilities and that’s unacceptable,” Rep. McDermed said. “This bill reflects my commitment to transparency in all aspects of government and the use of taxpayer funds.”

The report will include information on the rationale of the use of dogs and cats for research purposes and descriptions of the humane treatment practices being used. Public research facilities must also submit financial information relating to the research projects, including the identities of any external funding sources.

“With this bill I also want to make sure that in the noble pursuit of progress we are treating these animals as humanely as possible,” Rep McDermed continued.

House Bill 6580 has been filed and is awaiting committee assignment.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office announced new changes to Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards designed to protect against identity theft and to bring Illinois into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The enhanced security features will include a new photo structure, a design that includes patterns, lines and images to make it more difficult to counterfeit, a laser perforation and an ultraviolet feature.

There’s no need to replace your driver’s license or ID card immediately, but there are a few changes to the process you should be aware of when it comes time to renew your license or ID. 

The transition will take place in phases. Beginning immediately, Safe Driver Renewal applicants will receive by mail their new driver's license with the upgraded security features. Beginning in late June 2016, through a gradual rollout, DMV’s throughout the state will implement the new process. By the end of July 2016, all DMV’s will have transitioned to the new process.

Click here for a step by step guide to the new process.

Click here for more information on the changes.

On the House floor, Rep McDermed spoke on House Resolution 1044. The resolution honors the memory of Olivia Kresach, who passed away two years ago from brain cancer, and recognizes May 17, 2016 as Gray Day in the State of Illinois.

There are just 13 scheduled session days before the General Assembly is to adjourn for the summer. 

Human Services Stopgap
            The House and Senate approved $700 million dollars in emergency appropriations to various human service providers and community based programs. The bill, SB 2038, uses no General Revenue Fund money, instead relying on the over $400 million in the Commitment to Human Services Fund and the rest from a variety of other smaller state funds. Since the bill is fully funded, groups will receive their money almost soon as the Governor signs the bill, instead of being added to the back of the line of a growing list of unpaid bills. Agencies and groups appropriated include programs to help support mental health, homelessness, families of persons with developmental disabilities, and breast and cervical cancer screenings.