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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Republicans want House to focus on tax reform, ethics and fair maps in 2020


By Kyla Asbury | Jan 30, 2020

Springfield capitol

House Republicans in Illinois want to focus on ethics, tax reform and fair maps during the new legislative session.

GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) says those are three issues that, if both parties work together, can be resolved.

"In the last few years, we’ve seen bipartisan accomplishments that have made our state better," Durkin said.

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs)

Durkin said the education funding-reform formula, two balanced budgets and the state’s first capital program in a decade were among the accomplishments from recent sessions.

"We were able to do that because Republicans were brought to the negotiation table," Durkin said. "But our work is not done. Our priorities for this session are property tax reform, putting an end to politically drawn legislative districts and, most importantly, passing significant ethics reforms to stop the corruption in Illinois."

House Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) said that Illinois families deserve better than what they're currently getting regarding property taxes.

"Our [Democratic] colleagues need to get serious when talking about property tax reform," Brady said.

House Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) said that over the years, Republicans have repeatedly drawn attention to how district maps have been drawn.

"Even Gov. Pritzker said as a candidate that he would not sign a map drawn by politicians," Demmer said. "We should ensure that those maps are not drawn politically. Fair maps are not a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats have both signaled a need for fair maps. This is something we should be able to come together on."

House Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) touched on former Democratic Sen. Martin Sandoval pleading guilty to one count of bribery on Jan. 28.  

"We can all only imagine what is yet to come," Wehrli said. "There is more for sure to come."

Wehrli also said that during the fall veto session, Republicans put together and filed several ethics measures that were never put up for vote.

"These are common-sense measures," Wehrli said. "It is time to take action on these. These are things that we all agree upon — bipartisan support. Let's get them done."

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