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Rep. McDermed in Springfield with Ashley Crossett and her family

On Tuesday State Representative McDermed passed House Resolution 40, designating October 2017 as "Dysautonomia Awareness Month" in the State of Illinois.

Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe several different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
The ANS is responsible for controlling the "automatic" functions of the human body, including, but not limited to, heart rate, blood pressure, and kidney function. Various types of Dysautonomia result in the inability of the body to regulate these systems which may lead to lightheadedness, fainting, unstable blood pressure, abnormal heart rates, malnutrition, and even in some cases death. 

The resolution was inspired by Ashley Crossett, a constituent in Frankfort, who suffers from Dysautonomia and is committed to raising awareness in Illinois. Over 70 million people worldwide have some type of Dysautonomia. There is no known cure for Dysautonomia.

The legislature has been on ‘Spring Break’ for the past two weeks. I’ve been out and about touring the district, meeting with groups, and talking with constituents.

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We return to begin voting on bills today.

Rep. McDermed, Minority Spokesperson, and Rep. Evans, Chairman, of the House Transportation Committee discuss statewide infrastructure issues


Please join Rep. Margo McDermed at a Transportation TownHall Meeting:

Tuesday, April 18,  6:30 PM
Frankfort Township Old Hall
11008 W. Lincoln Hwy., Frankfort IL

For more information, contact Rep. McDermed's office through her website or by calling 815-277-2079.

The townhall will be focused on transportation issues and include a discussion of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s plans for the 37th district. This will be the first of several townhalls Rep. McDermed will host over the course of the year. She will be available to hear from constituents on all issues, but each townhall will focus on a particular topic.

“The 37th district is an important transportation crossroads between Chicago and the rest of the State,” said Rep. McDermed. “I want residents to have this opportunity to talk with me about their local and state transportation concerns.”

Rep. McDermed is the House minority spokesperson on the Transportation; Regulation, Roads, and Bridges Committee.

From the Caucus Blog:

Governor Bruce Rauner announced today the State of Illinois will work with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to expand anti-hate education to Illinois students. This is part of Governor Rauner’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism and other hate crimes in Illinois.

“As Simon Wiesenthal and others frequently said, ‘For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.’ We’re here because we’re doing something. Illinois will not stay silent in the face of hate, bigotry and persecution,” Governor Rauner said. “Illinois is a leader in anti-hate education, and we will work with organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center to continue to lead by example.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today presented Governor Bruce Rauner with its 2017 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report at the State Capitol. He is the first Midwestern governor to be presented with the report.

"The Simon Wiesenthal Center is grateful for Governor Rauner taking a leadership position today, in supporting our ongoing efforts to combat racism, anti-Semitism and extremism, especially on social media." said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, and founder of the Digital Hate and Terrorism Project, twenty two years ago.  "The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Midwest Director, Alison Pure-Slovin, has already begun to train facilitators for our new Students Tools for Tolerance program that will empower young people to deal with the tsunami of online hate. We look forward to working with Governor Rauner and Secretary of Education Beth Purvis to educate our children on the perils of social media.”

Earlier this month, Governor Rauner unveiled a four-part initiative to combat the rise in anti-Semitism and hate crimes both in Illinois and around the country. His directives include:

  • Strengthening Illinois’ hate crime law to prevent and prosecute hate crimes targeting specific religions
  • Improving law enforcement training to properly identify, investigate and prosecute hate crimes
  • Expanding K-12 education to combat hate
  • Prohibiting state contracts with companies that boycott Israel




Image result for illinois pension crisisTogether with a number of other colleagues, Rep. McDermed has introduced legislation in the House to implement reform to stem the state's ballooning pension liability. Illinois' pension liability has spiked to $130 billion. House Bill 4027 would provide significant savings for taxpayers and grant Chicago Public Schools $215 million for a one time pension parity payment. Filed by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, the bill is modeled after bipartisan legislation previously introduced in the Senate. 


Specifically, HB 4027 includes: 

  • Senate President John Cullerton’s “consideration model” that would require members of TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, and CTPF to exchange their Tier 1 COLA for the right to have future raises to be counted as pensionable, or keep their COLA and sacrifice future raises as pensionable. This concept previously received union support by the We Are One Coalition 
  • Provides a one-time normal cost payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund of $215.2 million for FY 17
  • Closes new member participation in GARS
  • Offers Tier 1 TRS, SURS, SERS and GARS employees the option to participate in a defined contribution (DC) plan
  • Creates a voluntary Tier 3 Hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plan for new Tier 2 employees under TRS, SURS, and certain SERS members who do not participate in Social Security 
‘Quit Exploiting Will County’
          A recent Chicago Tribune Editorial discussed the practice of dumping construction debris in to old, unused quarries.  Will County has 9 such quarry sites that accept debris, the most in the State. Many of our local communities rely on groundwater for drinking and given recent national concerns about contaminated water I filed a bill to ensure that the water near these sites is properly monitored. Read the editorial here.
 
Republicans Offer New Pension Reform Proposal
          I joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, and a number of other colleagues in filing legislation to address Illinois’ staggering pension crisis. The pension reform would save taxpayers an estimated $2.25 billion dollars in the short run and grant Chicago the one time pension pickup of $215 million they need to finish the school year as part of a bipartisan good faith effort. The legislation uses Senate President John Cullerton’s “consideration model” that would require members of TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, and CTPF to exchange their Tier 1 COLA for the right to have future raises to be counted as pensionable, or keep their COLA and sacrifice future raises as pensionable. In addition it would close new member participation in GARS, the pension system for General Assembly members.
 
Chicago, Illinois Population Continues to Decline
          Chicago, one of the nation’s largest cities, was the only top ten city to see a drop in population between 2015 and 2016, losing 19,570 residents. In addition, for the third straight year Illinois has lost more residents than other state. In 2016 there was a net loss of 37,508 people. The decline coincided with patterns of stagnant job creation in Illinois. Groups leaving Illinois include young adults searching for employment elsewhere.  While the unemployment rate is down -0.7 percentage points from a year ago, at 5.4% it is still above the national average (4.7%) and monthly payroll gains continue to significantly lag behind the rest of the country. 
 
Upcoming Townhall
          I am hosting a town hall next month in Frankfort. This will be the first of several townhalls I will hold over the course of the year. I will be available to hear from constituents on all issues, but each townhall will focus on a particular topic. The focus of this first townhall will be transportation issues. The 37th district is an important transportation crossroads between Chicago and the rest of the state and I serve as the minority spokesperson on the House Transportation; Roads and Bridges Committee. The townhall will be held on Tuesday, April 18th at 6:30pm in the old blue Frankfort Township building, 11008 W Lincoln Hwy.