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The final item considered by the House of Representatives on the evening of May 31 was a wildly out-of-balance K-12 education bill which included a massive bailout for Chicago schools and pensions. HB 2990 would have spent roughly $1 billion more than available funds, including at least $500 million for Chicago schools and pensions.

During his floor comments which encouraged a "no" vote on the bill, State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) outlined the current inequities in how properties in Cook County are assessed compared to how they are assessed in other Illinois counties. You may listen to his floor debate with House Democrat Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie by clicking here.

In spite of the fact that 60 House districts include all or portions of the City of Chicago, HB 2990 failed 27-92 in the House.
Legislation that passed unanimously in the Illinois House today would prohibit candidates from serving as a county-wide elected county board chairman and as a regular county board member simultaneously. The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), was filed in direct response to a McHenry County candidate’s decision earlier this year to serve in both roles at the same time.

“When the county board created the stand-alone position of county board chair, board members wanted the new chairman to preside over the county as a whole and not be beholden to any specific county board district,” said Tryon. “Serving in both positions at the same time would lead to conflicts of interest and the people of McHenry County and all of Illinois deserve to have a county board chairman who is free from conflicts.”

According to HB 6418, the restriction on serving in both roles simultaneously applies to all Illinois counties, but in counties with a population of between 300,000 and 3 million, the chairman may vote to break a tie. Current law extends that tie-breaking voting authority only in counties with populations between 400,000 and 3 million.

The House vote on HB 6418 was 116-0-1, with State Representative Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), who is running for McHenry County Board Chairman in November, voting present. The measure will now move to the Senate for consideration.
Today at the Capitol, State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) made a plea on the House floor for Democrats to stay in Springfield over the weekend and continue working toward a balanced budget before adjournment on May 31. In spite of Tryon’s passionate speech and similar comments made by several other House Republicans, their call for continued budget negotiations was ignored. Session was adjourned at 1:30 PM on Friday and a Saturday, May 28 session day that was on the original session calendar was cancelled. Lawmakers will return to Springfield on Sunday, May 29 at 3:00 PM, just two days before adjournment of the spring session.

You may listen to Tryon’s floor speech by clicking here.
Legislation that was filed as a direct response to the intense legal battle between Crystal Lake-based School District 155 and the City of Crystal Lake over bleachers that did not adhere to the city’s zoning code is on its way to Governor Rauner for his signature.

State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) served as the Chief House Sponsor of SB 2186, and said the provisions of the bill should prevent a similar issue from occurring in the future. “This was a highly charged issue in Crystal Lake, and the legal battle was very costly,” said Tryon. “On one hand you had the District 155 school board and the Crystal Lake South administration, parents and students, who felt the new, larger bleachers were needed to accommodate large crowds at sporting events, and on the other hand you had the city and the nearby property owners, who felt the district was not exempt from its regulations and that property values were diminished by the bleachers which encroached above their property lines.”

In 2013, District 155 constructed a new set of home bleachers near the Crystal Lake South football field, and the new bleachers sat only 41 feet from neighboring property lines. Crystal Lake zoning ordinances require a 50-foot setback. The bleachers and press box were also of a size and height that would require zoning variances from the city. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which affirmed lower court decisions that school districts are subject to local zoning laws.

“To remove any level of doubt moving forward, Senator Althoff (R-McHenry), who carried this bill in the Senate, and I wanted to clarify the expectations in the statutes,” Tryon said. “Taxpayers were on the hook for both sides of the law suit, and we wanted to make sure this type of fiasco never happens again.”

SB 2186 will require school districts and their school boards to adhere to the zoning requirements of the municipality, county or township where the pertinent part of a building, structure, or addition is built. The bill further states that municipalities will make efforts to streamline the zoning process and ensure that any fees or costs tied to the review will be reasonable and not burdensome.

Once signed by the governor, the new law will take effect immediately.
This month in  Springfield, State Representative Mike Tryon sat down with Elle Pai Hong of Comcast Newsmakers to discuss the Diabetes epidemic in Illinois and across the nation, and to explain some of his personal legislative initiatives to improve Illinoisans' access to to care, information and healthy food choices. You can listen to the interview by clicking on the image to the left.
This week, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office announced a change to Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards designed to protect against identity theft and to bring Illinois closer to compliance with the 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.

When you visit the DMV, take any tests you may normally be required to, but when you leave you will no longer be issued a new driver’s license or ID card at the end of the process. Instead, you will leave the facility with a temporary secure paper driver's license, which will be valid for 45 days and will serve as your license or ID for driving purposes and proof of identification. You will also receive your old license back with a hole punched in it. Your information will then be sent to a centralized, secure facility to conduct fraud checks and ensure your identity. The new, more secure license or ID will be printed and sent via U.S. mail within 15 business days to your address. For air travel, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said that it will accept the temporary document in conjunction with the old license or ID to board an aircraft until the permanent card arrives in the mail.

Click here for a step-by-step brochure from the Secretary of State’s Office on how the new process will work.

The transition will take place in phases. Beginning today, 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.

For questions, call the Secretary of State’s Office at (217) 782-7044.
Bipartisanship and compromise prevailed in Springfield this week when lawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate came together to provide $700 million in emergency funding for Illinois human service agencies that are on the brink of collapse due to the budget stalemate.

SB 2038 will funnel vitally-needed resources to agencies statewide to keep them afloat through the end of this fiscal year. State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) joined the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in supporting the bill. “Agencies like Pioneer Center in McHenry County, which provides critical services for disabled and struggling families, have been caught in the crossfire of the budget battle,” said Tryon. “While SB 2038 does not provide a permanent solution to the fiscal crisis, it does represent a lifeline that will allow these kinds of agencies to continue with the delivery of services.”

Through SB 2038, the following funds are allocated:
  • Department of Human Services: $247,989,000
  • Healthcare and Family Services: $5,400,000 
  • Department of Public Health: $17,988,300
  • Department on Aging: $243,492,100
  • Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority: $9,098,600
  • Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: $458,000
  • Department of Military Affairs: $1,266,500
  • Department of Transportation: $343,500
  • Department of Revenue: $170,500,000
“The key element of this bill is that spending was matched to an available revenue stream,” Tryon said. “Just as we did with higher education stopgap funding three weeks ago, Republicans and Democrats worked collaboratively to find available money that we could channel to these important agencies.”

Tryon expressed his disappointment that the bill did not address funding issues with state prisons and with other human service facilities that were not part of the bill, but applauded the respectful and inclusive process that led to the version of SB 2038 that came to the floor for a vote. “While we still have gridlock at the top between Speaker Madigan and the Governor, it is nice to see rank and file lawmakers from both sides of the aisle coming together to pass these balanced emergency funding bills,” Tryon said. “There is still a great deal of work to be done, and I hope Republicans and Democrats can build off of this recent good will and work together toward a balanced budget that includes cost-saving reforms. These reforms will free-up money and ensure that those who rely on state funding for their programs are not put in a situation like what they're experiencing this year ever again.”

After its approval in the House, SB 2038 was promptly approved in the Senate. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.