Springfield, IL… Today State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) unanimously advanced House Bill 4404 to remove unduly burdensome regulations on mortgage loan workers applied by Illinois and only Illinois.
“Illinois’ Residential Mortgage License Act was enacted to protect consumers in residential mortgage loan transactions, but its license requirements lack any distinction for an independent loan processor who merely handles paperwork.” Rep. McDermed said. “We’re putting an unnecessary onus on these workers and consequently discouraging these jobs in Illinois.”
Mortgage loan processors handle clerical paperwork involved in taking out a mortgage and verify wages and employment among other loan indicators. They do not handle the mortgage itself and do not have an incentive to issue or procure mortgages.
After the housing bubble burst in 2008, the U.S. Congress passed the SAFE Act, which required states to increase their regulations on mortgage loans. Illinois’ legislation regulates processors in the same way as mortgage loan brokers. The latter position must meet stringent licensing requirements from IDFPR and has resulted in significant outsourcing of mortgage loan processing work to other states.
Rep. McDermed worked with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office over the course of three years to come to a compromise. HB4404 removes the stricter requirements on processors while still ensuring they are regulated by the IDFPR and supervised by mortgage loan officers.
HB4404 passed the Illinois House of Representatives on a 110-0 vote. It now heads to the Illinois Senate.
mcdermed_pages.jpgThank you to Michael Thompson and Kristin Lutz, both students at Lincolnway East, for being my ‘Pages for a Day’ last week in Springfield

Pension Problems
A long-term plan approved when Jim Edgar was governor in the 90’s created a spending ramp on pensions to alleviate then budgetary pressures and essentially push pension obligations off until the future. The ramp started in 1995 and under it the State is scheduled to hit 90 percent funding level by 2045. The original forecasts of this plan expected liabilities to reach about $50 billion under the ramp before dropping back down. The State’s actual unfunded liabilities is $123.8 billion as of the latest report in 2016 and there are still 17 years to go before the ramp is scheduled to peak. The projections were off by so much because they assumed an overly optimistic 8.5% yearly return on investments and lawmakers have failed to follow the ramp in many years and instead spent money that should have gone toward pensions on other, more popular items.

The recent allegations about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s improper handling of misconduct on the part of staffers in his political operation has prompted many to call on Madigan to resign his position as Democrat State Party Chairman.

Madigan, of course, has refused. Instead, he has responded to the recent controversy by launching his own investigation into his staff.

Does anyone really believe a Madigan-funded investigation into the handling of sexual harassment accusations on his staff is going to come close to being a truthful presentation of the facts?

Predictably, Speaker Madigan has released several findings showing how his office responded to several allegations and everything was handled perfectly. Imagine that. A Madigan-paid for investigation shows an impeccable record of responsiveness to allegations of misconduct.

Mike Madigan is the only legislative leader in any statehouse in the 50 United States who also serves simultaneously as the state political party chair. As Chairman of the Democrat Party, Madigan has complete control on how Party resources are spent.

This is simply too much power to be put in the hands of one individual. If we are going to reform our state, we need to start by preventing one individual from accumulating so much power, which is why I introduced legislation, HB 4097, last year to ban legislators currently serving in the Legislature from also serving as the State Political Party chair.

My bill is about preventing the abuse of political power in Illinois. Legislators already wield a lot of political power. There is no reason to legally allow sitting legislators to acquire even more clout by heading up their respective state party organizations.  

Margo McDermed,
State Representative 37th District

EBF Money Distributed
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) just finalized the numbers for the evidence-based funding formula for FY18. The State Comptroller was then able to start sending out the new money promised by the tier funding portion of the formula to the most under-resourced districts. 
The EBF formula defines an adequate funding target for each school district, based on enrollment numbers and the cost of 34 factors proven to deliver the greatest positive impact to students. The formula compares each district’s current resources to its unique adequacy target. Increases in state education appropriations go to the most under-resourced districts. An additional $367 million dollars was distributed to schools this year. Lincoln Way SD should see an addition half a million dollars and New Lenox and Mokena should see an additional $130k and $30k respectively. Calculations for all 852 school districts can be found on ISBE’s website.

This new funding formula is ambitious and to fully fund it will require significantly more resources, possibly as much as $7.2 billion dollars, which the state ultimately doesn’t have. To put this in perspective, the state currently spends around $9 billion on education.