Earlier today Governor Rauner signed House Bill 40, a bill which will open up Medicaid and state employee health insurance coverage to elective abortions. State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) released the following statement in response:

"I voted against House Bill 40 and urged the Governor on multiple occasions not to sign the bill. I am incredibly disappointed in his decision to ignore the facts of this bill. This is not about women's health, but instead is a measure that will dramatically increase taxpayer funding of elective abortions. His decision to sign the bill goes against his promise to legislators and his commitment to fiscal responsibility. I still support Governor Rauner's agenda, but I am very upset and discouraged by his actions today."

Springfield, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) filed legislation last week to further separate political party interests and state interests. House Bill 4097 says that no member of the General Assembly shall concurrently serve as the chairperson for a statewide political party.

“For a state legislator, a public servant, to head a state political party and essentially hold the purse strings isn’t right,” Rep. McDermed said. “It is an unnecessary and improper consolidation of power. For those two roles to go hand in hand, it naturally invites conflicts of interest and possible corruption.”

According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, among the 100 current Republican and Democratic State Party chairs in the nation, only nine also currently serve as state legislators. Of the nine, only two also serve in their party’s legislative leadership. In Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan has served as the Illinois Democratic Party’s Chair since 1998. He is the only statehouse chamber leader, House Speaker or Senate President, in the United States to also be the head of his state’s political party.

State party chairmen dictate the message and strategy of their party. Perhaps most importantly, they also organize party members and control millions of dollars in campaign funds. According to Illinois Sunshine, the Democratic Party of Illinois has $3.1 million in cash and the political committee Friends of Michael J. Madigan has $2.6 million on hand. As Speaker of the House, Madigan also controls the legislative process.

“The role of a state representative, especially a House Speaker, is to represent the best interests of the state, not engage in politics,” Rep. McDermed continued. “While I do believe Speaker Madigan has used his dual role to further cement his power in this state, it is not just about him. State party chairmen are focused on the next election and wherever possible we need to separate politics from governance.”

Cicero, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed toured the largest wastewater facility in the world on Friday. The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) is one of seven wastewater treatment facilities owned and operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). The MWRD is the largest landowner in Cook County and in the top ten statewide.

“The operational capacity of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is a true feat of civil engineering,” Rep. McDermed said. “It’s not something most people like to consider, but what happens to the water that goes down our drains and our sewers is essential to a productive, clean community.”

The MWRD is the wastewater treatment and stormwater management agency for the City of Chicago and 125 Cook County communities. It was created by the General Assembly in the 1890s and was responsible for the infamous reversing of the Chicago River. Today it has an 883 square mile service area.

The average WRP in the state of Illinois treats one million gallons per day. At maximum capacity, the Stickney WRP can treat that volume in one minute. The plant can handle well over a billion gallons in wastewater a day.  
“The sincere steps they are taking at Stickney to increase efficiency and re-use are almost unheard of in government,” Rep. McDermed continued.

The MWRD is one of the 20 biggest users of electricity in the state, but is making great strides in their effort to turn their wastewater processes electricity neutral. Bio-solids and other residuals removed from the water are recycled and sold to outside contractors. 

Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans. Such information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach. 

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The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened an investigation into the recent security breach, and called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents in the wake of the breach. Illinois residents should take the Equifax breach seriously and take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:

  • You should put in place measures to protect and monitor your credit. Seriously consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;
  • Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them closely, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;
  • Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;
  • Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;
  • Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links. Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and
  • Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are those that make minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure that the sender is truly legitimate.

With questions on the data breach you can contact the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1(866) 999-5630 or review the Identity Theft resources on her website.