In his first two years in office, only 3 of Governor Rauner’s 111 vetoes were overridden. After Democrats were emboldened by the passage of the tax increase over the summer and outrage by Republican lawmakers over the governor’s signing of an abortion bill, this veto session was expected to be incredibly difficult for the Governor.
 
*In the House, 71 votes (¾ majority) is needed to override any gubernatorial veto. The House is composed of 67 Democrats and 51 Republicans*

Vetoes:
Debt Transparency Act
bill_backlog.PNGIllinois unpaid bill backlog is now at a staggering $16 billion dollars. The Debt Transparency Act would require monthly instead of annual reports from state agencies to the Comptroller's Office and allow more comprehensive financial information to be included. The governor vetoed the bill because state agencies already report annually on their liabilities and interest. This legislation would dramatically increase their reporting requirements. Additionally it neglected to account for the realities of agency record keeping and reporting which make compliance with this mandate difficult, time consuming, and expensive. The Governor vetoed the bill believing the primary effect of this mandate would be to divert limited funds and staff attention away from their core functions in providing services to the citizens of Illinois.
 
However, many thought it is reasonable to require state agencies to disclose certain information to the public on a regular basis, including the amount of bills being held by each agency and an estimate of late payment interest penalties for eligible liabilities. The override of the Governor’s veto was unanimous.
 
Local Right to Work Lives to See Another Day
Governor Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 1905, a bill that prohibits local governments from enacting “Right to Work” zones in their communities. This means that local communities would not be able to allow individual workers a choice in whether or not they want to pay a union as a condition of employment.
 
I believe that Illinois communities should have the freedom to determine the best interests of their workforces and employers, especially cities on the border with neighboring states that have already enacted Right to Work laws. These cities are losing thousands of jobs every year to more competitive locations.
 
One of the most egregious components of SB1905 is that it would make violations of this Act a Class A misdemeanor. It is outrageous that we would jail local elected officials for up to a year for acting in the best interests of their communities.
 
The Senate voted to override 42-13. I believe in local control. For that reason I voted against the veto override, which failed to pass the House by 1 vote. Another attempt at an override is expected when we return in November.
 
Miss last week's Property Tax Townhall? Click here to view the powerpoint presentation



“Pop Tax”
This Wednesday the Cook County Board is meeting to consider action on an ordinance to repeal the controversial Sweetened Beverage Tax. In the short time since its botched implementation, the tax has been met with an overwhelmingly negative reception and there has been much public backlash.

I have spoken with many constituents about the negative effect this burdensome tax is having on their families and small businesses. I am a co-sponsor on 3 pieces of legislation to address the issue. House Bill 4082 filed by Rep McAuliffe(R) and HB 4083 filed by Rep. Mussman(D) would immediately repeal the tax and prevent any home rule community from imposing a tax on sweetened beverages based on volume sold. House Bill 4084 filed by Rep. Breen (R) goes a step further and prevents the implementation of a tax based on weight or volume of any purchase in a home rule municipality.

State Representative McDermed was recently appointed as the lone House Republican member to serve on the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission. The commission was recently created when Governor Rauner signed House Bill 528 in to law in August. Rep. McDermed was the lead sponsor of the bill and shepherded the bill through the legislative process with unanimous votes in both the House and Senate.  

This task force will work together with the Illinois State Police to improve the processing and review of sexual assault evidence. It will bring together relevant actors from the state police, testing labs, local law enforcement, the court system, hospitals, and victim’s rights groups to discuss how to handle transfers of evidence, testing, payment for testing, and other important factors. The commission will also make sure that the courts, testing labs, and law enforcement are all adequately communicating with each other so that evidence does not get lost or end up creating a backlog crisis. 

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State Representative Margo McDermed served as Principal for a Day at a local middle school in the 37th district on Tuesday. Brian Horn, principal of Century Junior High School in Orland Park invited Rep. McDermed to serve as honorary school principle.

“Every time I get to serve as Principal for a Day, it's a treat. It is always a pleasure visiting our local schools and engaging with students,” said Rep. McDermed. “It really gives me a chance to see firsthand the great job our hardworking educators are doing and interacting with young students always inspires me as a legislator to ensure for them a quality education and bright future."

Rep. McDermed met with four classes of social studies students. She discussed the differences between state and federal government and went through the process of how a bill becomes a law. The students were eager to learn and asked questions about state government and current events.
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Senior Fair
This Thursday I am hosting my 3rd annual senior fair. This fair will feature numerous state and local vendors and will have helpful information for seniors and their caregivers. In addition, representatives from AT&T will put on a presentation about new legislation impacting land lines, new technology, and answer any and all questions.
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The fair is from 10am-noon on October 5th at the Frankfort Square Park District at 7540 W. Braemar Lane in Frankfort. The fair will have refreshments and is free and open to the public.
 
Property Tax Townhall
On Wednesday October 18th at 6pm I am hosting a property tax townhall with an overview of the property tax system and the appeals process. A better understanding of the tax assessment process and the rights of homeowners can help you and your family save your hard earned money. The main focus and presentation of the townhall will be on property taxes, but I will be available to answer any and all questions regarding state government. The event is co-hosted with Frankfort Township Assessor Joseph Kral and will be held at Mokena Public Library. It is open to all residents of the 37th district and will have information on both Will and Cook Counties.