“The first step to solving any problem is a thorough, honest assessment of the situation; and we got
that today in Governor Rauner’s first State of the State address.

I couldn’t agree more with the Governor that to turn Illinois around we must focus on expanding job opportunities for our families and easing their property tax burden. And, as he said, it will be about empowering working families and employers who create jobs. A great place to start is by enacting real workers compensation reform that will help make us competitive again with our neighboring states.

We also agree on the need to downsize government, starting with combining the State Treasurer and Comptroller’s office to save $12 million annually. Finally, we’re headed in the right direction.” 

                                          -State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston)
State Representative Reggie Phillips has secured positions on key House Committees that will tackle issues crucial to our local communities including job creation and funding for higher education.

In his first term in the Illinois House, Representative Phillips (R-Charleston) garnered a coveted spot on the House Labor and Commerce Committee, which reviews many initiatives focused on creating jobs as well as issues concerning labor union rights and restrictions. Representative Phillips said his experience as a small businessman who employs several hundred workers make this committee assignment a perfect fit.

“There’s no doubt that the best way to grow our economy is to create jobs. To do that, we need to be able to compete once again with our more jobs-friendly neighbors,” Representative Phillips said. “I know first-hand which policies help or hinder those who want to do business here and create jobs for our families. I am very pleased that the new administration is prepared to take a different, more jobs-friendly approach to governing, and I’m ready to get down to work with them to bring good jobs back to our communities.”

Representative Phillips said he is also looking forward to his work on the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee which gets a first review of legislation regarding funding for Illinois Colleges and Universities. “Eastern Illinois University and our local community colleges are cornerstones of our communities, and they’re also powerful economic engines that provide jobs and revenues. This assignment gives our district greater input throughout the process on issues that impact their funding,” Representative Phillips said.

During the 99th General Assembly Representative Phillips will also serve on the House Transportation-Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee, the House Counties and Townships Committee, the House Environment Committee, and the House Special Committee on Healthcare Disparities.
State Representative Reggie Phillips today announced that he will refuse state pension and insurance benefits associated with his new position as State Representative. Phillips (R-Charleston) stressed that previous administrations have left Illinois with one of the worst funded state pension systems in the nation, and he is focused on seeking solutions.

“It’s just common sense that it’s bad policy to add-on more financial obligations when you can’t meet those you already have,” said Phillips. “I was sent to Springfield to work on solutions to our financial mess. I won’t put more stress on our already underfunded pension systems, or add to our insurance costs.”

Currently, legislators who participate in the pension program contribute 11.5 percent of their annual salary to the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS). A legislator’s base annual salary is $67,836. Members with committee chairmanships and/or leadership positions earn more.

Under pension reform legislation enacted in 2010 that applies to new members who have entered the General Assembly since 2011, legislators can retire at age 67 with a minimum of eight years of service (or at age 62 with reduced benefits) and earn up to 60 percent of their final average salary after 20 years of service. Legislators who took office prior to 2011 remain eligible to retire at age 62 with a minimum four years of service (or age 55 with a minimum eight years of service) and earn the maximum 85 percent of their final average salary after 20 years, with annual cost-of-living adjustments.

Representative Phillips’s decision is final and irrevocable; as administrative rules within the state pension system do not allow him to ever opt back in.
The 110th District has a new State Representative. Before family and friends, Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) took the oath of office to represent the district in the new 99th General Assembly. All 118 house members were sworn in at noon at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The new 99th General Assembly will serve until January 2017.

“It’s a great privilege to represent our local communities in the House, and it’s also a great responsibility. We’re facing fiscal and economic challenges that are serious, but not insurmountable. I’m looking forward to working with the new Rauner administration and my new colleagues in the General Assembly to restore some common sense to our budget process, help create jobs and build strong communities. This can truly be a new beginning for Illinois,” Phillips said.

Representative Philips is a native of Central Illinois and is an Eastern Illinois University Alumnus. He and his wife Martha reside in Charleston where they own and operate a residential and commercial building business that employs approximately 400 local residents.

Representative Phillips encouraged residents of the 110th district to contact him with questions or concerns as the session moves forward. Representative Phillips’s district office can be contacted at 217-348-1110 or 217-690-5781.  Residents may also visit his legislative website at www.repphillips.com.