Latest News

Fall Veto Session Concludes with Action Taken on Several Vetoed House and Senate Bills
Lawmakers were in Springfield last week for the final days of the 2017 fall veto session. Of the bills that received a partial or full veto by the Governor during the spring legislative session, more than a dozen were brought forward for successful overrides. While Rauner vetoes were overridden in many cases, I am pleased to report that an effort to override his veto on a complete prohibition of “right to work” zones in Illinois failed to garner the required 71 votes for an override. 

Legislators will spend the next few months in their home districts tending to the needs of local constituents. We will also spend this time finalizing our legislative agendas for 2018. Members of the House of Representatives report back to Springfield on January 23, and Senators will return the following week for the 2018 regular session.

General Assembly Sends Comprehensive Sexual Harassment Prevention Legislation to Governor
Members of the House and Senate approved a comprehensive piece of legislation last week that seeks to address the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. SB 402 includes a mandate for annual sexual harassment training sessions for state constitutional offices, state employees, lawmakers, and lobbyists. The bill also includes a provision brought forward by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, which would create a telephone hotline for persons seeking relief in cases of sexual harassment. Examples of help that the hotline could provide include assistance in filing a sexual harassment complaint, referral of a victim to counseling, or referral of a victim to protective services. House members received their training on November 8 and Senators received their training on November 9.

SB 402 was part of a package of sexual harassment reforms passed in the wake of allegations of misconduct at the Capitol. Other bills that seek to change the culture in Springfield include HJR 83, a resolution that condemns the culture of sexual harassment and calls on all lawmakers to work together to change the culture, and HR 687, which creates a task force on sexual discrimination and harassment. I recently spoke on camera about the sexual harassment problems in and around the Capitol, and how, when all is said and done, it comes down to an issue of personal character. Click here to watch those comments.

Legislative Inspector General Appointed
The Legislative Ethics Commission, a bipartisan working group within the Illinois General Assembly, has appointed Julie Porter as a special legislative inspector general. A former federal prosecutor in Chicago, Porter will play a key role in the General Assembly’s internal disciplinary process for members and staff. The appointment came in the wake of a nationwide inquiry into sexual harassment in American workplaces.

Reports of sexual harassment can be made on a confidential basis to the Legislative Ethics Commission. With approval of the Commission, the special legislative inspector general (LIG) will examine the reports. If a complaint appears to be valid, the LIG may conduct further inquiries, and may initiate a remediation process. In some situations, the remediation process may require a referral of a specific report and case to law enforcement.

Attempts to Prohibit “Right to Work” Zones in IL Fail During Veto Session
Members of the Illinois House failed to override a gubernatorial veto of union-backed legislation that would prevent local governments from establishing “right to work” zones. The override vote failed on two separate days during the veto session. Right to work zones would allow communities to choose whether to create jurisdictions where employers and unions are prohibited from entering into agreements that require workers to either join a union or pay related fees. I voted “no” both times this legislation was brought forward for override consideration. As lawmakers, we should not be approving laws that make Illinois less competitive for businesses. It hurts our State and it also hurts residents who are looking for work.

Bond Sale Allows State to Pay Off More Than $3 Billion in Past-Due Bills
The money was transferred to the Office of the Illinois Comptroller, which was authorized to sign checks to make the payments. The payment cycle reduced the estimated quantity of past-due bills owed by the State from more than $16.5 billion to less than $13.3 billion. Even after this payment cycle, Illinois continues to owe a significant amount in past-due bills. Illinois has the lowest credit rating of the 50 states, with ratings posted by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s at the lowest rank available for investment-grade entities qualified to borrow money in the debt markets.

Bicentennial Campaign will Honor 200 Illinois Veterans
State officials have announced the launch of HONOR 200, a signature program of the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration, honoring the work of 200 veterans whose contributions are above and beyond the call of duty. 

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs will work with veterans organizations throughout the state to promote HONOR 200 and solicit nominations for those who will be recognized as part of the program. Nominees will be evaluated on their achievements and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited, and provided inspiration to their community. Anyone can nominate an Illinois Veteran. Written nominations can be sent to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, 69 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60601 or online at www.illinois.gov/veterans.

The Official Illinois Bicentennial Celebration will begin this December 3rd, 2017 with events in Springfield and Chicago. The celebration will continue with programs and events throughout 2018, ending with the Bicentennial Birthday Party on December 3rd, 2018 at the United Center. The HONOR 200 veterans will be recognized during the Birthday Gala. For information on the Bicentennial and to find out how your community can participate go to www.illinois200.gov.
In this edition of the Morrison Report, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) talks about the bills and resolutions that were approved last week during the fall veto session that address the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. Click here to watch the video of the report.
Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their driver’s licenses. "This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. "Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations."

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver's license.

In order to receive that designation, veterans of the Guard and Reserve are required to present a copy of their certificate of release or discharge from initial active duty, certified and stamped by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), to the Secretary of State.

Prior to receiving this stamp they must provide documentation of satisfactorily completing the time for which they were contracted to attend monthly drills and annual training. Presentation of one of the following documents will be accepted as proof of service:

1. Army or Air National Guard NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service

2. Army Reserve DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of
Retirement Points.

3. Navy Reserve NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record

4. Air Force Reserve AF 526 Point Summary Sheet

5. USMC Reserve NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report

6. Coast Guard CG 4175 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal
Statement of Retirement Points.

Veterans are encouraged to contact or visit a local IDVA office for assistance obtaining any of the above documents. To find the closest Veteran Service Officer (VSO) go to www.illinois.gov/veterans or call 800-437-9824.
Unneeded or expired prescription drugs are often hoarded, sent to an insecure landfill, or flushed down the toilet to potentially contaminate local water supplies. These substances should be placed in secure, monitored landfill storage sites that do not leach into groundwater. Access to these sites is expensive, but law enforcement is taking steps to ensure that owners of unwanted prescription drugs will have free access to safe, secure disposal. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is co-sponsoring the 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to be held on Saturday, October 28. Click here and use the “Locate a Collection Site Near You” link to find a convenient drop-off location.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is seeking input on the state's rest areas.

To enhance traveler safety and comfort, IDOT maintains a system of 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers on highways throughout the state, which serve more than 36 million visitors annually. IDOT wants to make sure these service centers are kept clean, safe, and updated with travel-related amenities to enhance the travel experience for Illinois residents and visitors.

Illinois' rest areas and welcome centers are open 24 hours a day and feature restroom facilities, picnic areas, lighted walkways, maps, security cameras, parking for recreational vehicles, and commercial trucks, among other services.

Help shape the future planning of rest areas by completing IDOT's Illinois Rest Area Survey.

For a paper copy of the survey please call 402-399-1405.
Lawmakers Return to Springfield for Fall Veto Session
After spending the last few months in our home districts, lawmakers will return to Springfield next week from October 24-26 and then again from November 7-9 to take action on pieces of legislation that received either an amendatory (partial) or full veto during this year’s spring legislative session. During the veto session, legislators can agree with a full or partial veto, or we can override it. Not all bills that receive a gubernatorial veto are brought back for reconsideration. A full list of bills that may be brought back for reconsideration appears at the end of the newsletter. 

There are also some pieces of new legislation that may be considered during the six-day fall veto session, including HB 4114, a bill I am co-sponsoring which would create the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” When HB 40 was signed a few weeks ago, it put Illinois taxpayers on the hook to pay for an open-ended number of abortions each year. HB 4114 would reverse key provisions of HB 40 by prohibiting units of government from using taxpayer funds for elective abortions. I believe it is unconscionable to force pro-life residents to fund the taking of innocent life that harms the individuals involved as well as society as a whole. Furthermore, the state is in no position to absorb additional tens of millions in Medicaid costs.

HB 4114 is seeking to put Illinois back in line with longstanding federal statutes on this issue. The legislation is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, other than for procedures sought in connection with pregnancies that result from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Identical legislation is also pending in the Senate as SB 2241.

Again, a full list of vetoed bills appears at the end of this newsletter. If you have an opinion about a bill that received a veto this year, please share your comments with me so I can keep your opinion in mind if the bill is brought to the floor of the House for reconsideration.

Representative Tom Morrison to Host Mobile Office Hours at Rolling Meadows Public Library
Thank you to the individuals who came out to my recent mobile office hours in Hoffman Estates. I will be hosting a second mobile office hours event at the Rolling Meadows Public Library on Monday, October 30th. A member of my staff and I will be available from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the library, located at 3110 Martin Lane in Rolling Meadows. In addition to being available for short one-on-one conversations with constituents, we will be available to help residents with their concerns and issues involving state agencies and programs. Appointments are encouraged, so please call my office at (847) 202-6584 if you would like to meet with me on October 30th in Rolling Meadows.

Rep. Morrison Participates in Principal for a Day Program
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to participate in the "Principal for a Day" program which is hosted each year by the Illinois Principals Association. This year I visited St. Thomas of Villanova School in Palatine and Carl Sandburg Junior High School in Rolling Meadows. 
From giving the morning announcements, to speaking in 7th and 8th grade social studies classes, to meeting hospitable and talented teachers and administrators, it was great to get an inside look into the workings of these dynamic local schools.

This marks the sixth year I have participated in this program, and as a former school teacher I always enjoy going back into the classroom so that I can talk with students about government. The conversations I’m able to have with teachers are also very beneficial. It is a great opportunity to build important relationships while connecting with an crucial part of my constituency.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Every year in October we acknowledge Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Illinois. 

The following statistics illustrate the severity of the issue:
  • Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in five men
  • Domestic violence takes lives: innocents and bystanders
  • Domestic violence has been found in the background of perpetrators in an estimated 56 percent of mass killings
  • Domestic violence ruins lives and creates traumatic after-effects that can last a lifetime, such as mental and physical illness, drug abuse and early mortality
In this region there are shelters available for those who need to escape a domestic violence situation. Visit https://www.womenshelters.org to find shelters in the suburban Cook County area.

Full List of Vetoed Bills
The following bills were vetoed by the Governor and may be brought back for reconsideration during this year’s fall veto session:
  • HB 302: Unclaimed life insurance benefits (Amendatory)
  • HB 348: Changes in publication of a constitutional amendment (Amendatory)
  • HB 688: Firefighter/police pension transfer service credit (Full)
  • HB 732: Residential roofing repairs (Full)
  • HB 1797: Equal Pay (Full)
  • HB 2462: Workers Compensation (Full)
  • HB 2567: Creates Automobile Dealers' License Task Force (Full)
  • HB 2622: Creates a state-sponsored workers’ compensation insurance company (Full)
  • HB 2778: Fire protection district to annex under ETS (Full)
  • HB 2977: Cursive writing mandate (Full)
  • HB 3004: RTA Bonds (Amendatory)
  • HB 3143: Adds teen treatment providers to the Prompt Payment Act (Full)
  • HB 3167: DHS childhood workforce study (Full)
  • HB 3211: SNAP benefits to college students (Amendatory)
  • HB 3216: Place additional requirements on third-party contracting by the State (Full)
  • HB 3298: Reimbursement of the substitute teacher licensure fee (Full)
  • HB 3376: DHS personal assistant hours limitation (Full)
  • HB 3419: Prohibits expatriate entities from doing business with the State (Full)
  • HB 3449: Geolocation (Full)
  • HB 3649: State agency financial reports to the Comptroller (Full)
  • HB 3745: Requires a school board to permit community groups to advertise events and after-school programs (Full)
  • HB 3897: Trampoline regulation (Full)
  • SB 41: Allows municipalities to assign, sell, or transfer their interest in funds received from the State (Full)
  • SB 81: Minimum Wage (Full)
  • SB 315: FOID for purchase of explosives (Full)
  • SB 321: Auditor General shall initiate a performance audit of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (Full)
  • SB 326: Interior Design regulation (Amendatory)
  • SB 419: Amends the Downstate Firefighter Article of the Illinois Pension Code (Full)
  • SB 669: Elect Lake Co. Board Chair (Full)
  • SB 789: Expands the authorized uses of motor fuel tax funds (Full)
  • SB 910: County board redistricting based on minority status (Full)
  • SB 1351: Student loan servicing rights Act: (Full)
  • SB 1353: Personal Needs Allowance increase (Full)
  • SB 1446: Changes to the Procurement Code (Full)
  • SB 1462: Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program (Amendatory)
  • SB 1714: Reporting requirements for consultants retained by retirement system, pension fund, or investment boards (Full)
  • SB 1720: Failure to pay wages a Class 4 felony instead of a misdemeanor (Full)
  • SB 1905: Collective bargaining (Full)
As always, please do not ever hesitate to call me or write to me about issues that are important to you. You may reach my Palatine District office at (847) 202-6584 or email me by going to www.repmorrison54.com and clicking on the “Contact” button.
State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) will be hosting mobile office hours at the Rolling Meadows Public Library on Monday, October 30.

Morrison and a member of his staff will be available from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the library, located at 3110 Martin Lane in Rolling Meadows. In addition to making himself available for short one-on-one conversations with constituents, Morrison and his staff will be available to help residents with their concerns and issues involving state agencies and programs.

“By hosting mobile office hours in the various communities located within the 54th District, my constituents have easy access to their representative voice in Springfield,” said Morison. “I enjoy meeting the people who live in the district and learning about their concerns and priorities.”

While appointments are not required, they are encouraged. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call Morrison’s office at (847) 202-6584 or visit www.repmorrison54.com.