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State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) received the “Champion of Free Enterprise” award, in recognition of his support for voting to further economic opportunities for Illinoisans. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce released their legislative ratings today for the 100th General Assembly, Rep. Phillips was one of 34 representatives to receive the distinguished award.

The Illinois Chamber’s Legislative Ratings tracks votes important to the state’s business community and grades legislators based on their support of pro-business issues during the two-year legislative session.

The Illinois Chamber honored 34 members of the Illinois House of Representatives and 13 members of the Illinois Senate with its biennial “Champion of Free Enterprise” award.

“The Chamber’s Legislative Ratings lets Illinois families, small businesses, and taxpayers know if legislators voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger economy,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “While most Illinois lawmakers continue to provide lip service to the need for pro-growth reforms, these 47 lawmakers are committed to supporting and defending Illinois employers throughout the State.”

To be eligible for the “Champion of Free Enterprise” award, a lawmaker must have received an average of 85 percent or better voting record over the previous two General Assemblies with the Illinois Chamber.

To view the breakdown of members of the House of Representatives, click here.
Here are the 34 new laws that take effect on June 1 that you should know about:

Local governments cannot prohibit autonomous vehicles
(Public Act 100-352, House Bill 791)
No unit of local government, including home rule units, may enact a local ordinance which prohibits the use of vehicles equipped with automated driving systems.

Designating lottery funds for education
(Public Act 100-466, House Bill 213)
This legislation amended the Illinois Lottery Law to direct that any money transferred from the lottery fund over to the Common School Fund be considered supplemental to any money due to be transferred into the fund, rather than in lieu of those funds.

Publicizing the child abuse hotline
(Public Act 100-468, House Bill 370)
The Department of Children and Family Services is empowered to cooperate with school officials to distribute in school buildings materials which list the toll-free telephone number established by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. This information can also include the methods of making a report under the Act.

Changes to some boat safety registration information
(Public Act 100-469, House Bill 434)
Boats operated, used or stored in Illinois must have on board a valid certificate of number issued under the Boat Registration and Safety Act or another federally-approved numbering system. The identifying number must be displayed on both sides of the bow of the boat. Fees for obtaining these numbers will increase slightly, and expiration of certificates will be extended to September 30 of the relevant year instead of June 30. The legislation also limits the requirement for a certificate of title for watercraft required to be numbered to those over 21 feet, rather than all watercraft as in the current law.
State Representative Reggie Phillips pictured with Mattoon Middle School students on Thursday May 17, 2018. Students participated in the legislative process at this year’s 10th Annual “Our American Voice Summit” in Springfield.
State Representative Reggie Phillips pictured with Riddle Elementary School students on Thursday May 17, 2018. Students participated in the legislative process at this year’s 10th Annual “Our American Voice Summit” in Springfield.

Rep. Phillips presenting HB 4236 to bring new
clean coal power plan to Coles County
The House Agriculture and Conservation Committee approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) to allow the construction of a small scale clean coal power plant in Eastern Illinois. According to Rep. Phillips, “This is great news for Eastern Illinois, anytime we have an opportunity to bring more jobs to our region; it’s a win-win.”

Representative Phillips introduced House Bill 4236, at the request of Angela Griffin, President of Coles Together, the Economic Development Corporation for Coles County. According to Angela Griffin, the new power plant could create an estimated 400 temporary construction jobs and 40 to 60 full time jobs - with average salaries of $80k a year.

The intent is to build a small 77 megawatt (MW) net clean coal generation plant in Eastern Illinois at the site of the old FutureGen clean coal power plant facility. The power plant would be built solely with private funds. Current law states a goal that Illinois generate 25% of its energy from clean coal facilities. Due to the fact that no clean coal facilities currently exist, this goal has never been met.

Rep. Phillips added, “I was happy to carry this bill for the Economic Development Corporation of Coles County. This new development will bring much needed jobs to our state. If we are successful, this new clean coal power plant would be the first one to operate in Illinois, a historic opportunity not only for our region – but for our state as well.”

House Bill 4236 is now headed to the House floor where it will be voted on by the entire Illinois House of Representatives.
From left to right, State Representative Reggie Phillips, Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs, and EIU President David Glassman.

State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) congratulated the City of Charleston on obtaining the 2017 Governor’s Hometown Award at a ceremony held Wednesday, November 8th at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

“I am very proud of the City of Charleston, the volunteer community and local businesses that make the community a special place to live,” said Rep. Phillips. “The 2017 Governor’s Hometown Award shows how much the residents care about Charleston and their commitment to volunteerism and community service.”

More than 2.4 million Illinoisans volunteered in 2015, and Illinois was ranked the No. 1 volunteering state amongst the five most populous states in the country, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The issue of funding K-12 schools is heating up around the state given the fact the Democrat controlled legislature has yet to send Governor Rauner their education funding proposal (SB1) approved in late May. SB 1 is not good news for central and southern Illinois schools as they would lose out on millions to Chicago schools if the bill were signed into law. State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) voted against SB 1, calling it a “bailout for Chicago public schools.”

“Taking nearly $2.5 million from schools I represent and sending our tax dollars to Chicago was easy enough for me to vote against SB 1,” said Rep. Phillips. “Making sure the schools I represent get their fair share of funding from the state is high priority. By saying no to bailing out Chicago schools, we can secure more money that our local classrooms so desperately need.”

SB 1 directs millions of dollars to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and away from other deserving central and southern Illinois school districts. Under SB 1, the other 851 school districts in Illinois will receive less funding while CPS receives a $506 million historical pension payment.

According to the Governor’s office, when SB 1 reaches his desk, Governor Rauner plans to issue an amendatory veto that will result in higher state funding for almost every school district in Illinois. The bill includes a bailout of Chicago’s broken teacher pension system, so Governor Rauner plans to amend SB 1 to remove this from the bill.

Rep. Phillips added, “I support the Governor’s amendatory veto and plan to fix SB 1. Governor Rauner’s plan to fix SB 1 will provide nearly $2.5 million more for schools in Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Lawrence, and Edgar counties.”

Enclosed is a chart illustrating how much local schools would lose under SB 1 and how much local schools would gain once Governor Rauner issues his amendatory veto to fix SB 1:

Fresh thinking will fix Illinois
A column by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno

For too long, Springfield politicians have been stuck in the past. They think the pressing issues of our day — large budget deficits, unfunded public pensions, and dangerously high out-migration — are similar to the ones Illinois has faced in eras past.