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.