Latest News

Morrison Sworn Into Office for 4th Term in General Assembly
On Wednesday, January 11, I stood with House Republicans and Democrats from across Illinois as we were sworn in to office for the 100th General Assembly. The two-hour inauguration ceremony was held at the University of Illinois Springfield campus. As my first vote of the 100th General Assembly, I voted for Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) to serve as Speaker of the House for 2017-2018. While all 51 Republicans supported Durkin in the House Speaker vote, 66 of the 67 Democrats voted for Mike Madigan to retain his position of power. As a result, Speaker Madigan will now become the longest-serving Speaker of the House in the history of our nation. While disappointed with the final choice for Speaker, I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion with all members of this new General Assembly.

Jim Durkin will continue in his role as House Republican Leader. In his inaugural remarks, Leader Durkin redoubled his call for budget reforms to end the current fiscal crisis facing the State. These are priorities for me as well.

The House Republican Caucus now includes 10 new members who attended their first session days last week. These are freshman members who were elected by their neighbors throughout Illinois, including the Chicago area and Downstate, to fight for economic growth and a taxpayer-friendly government that can live within its means.

General Assembly Passes Bill to Extend Life of EDGE Credit Program that Favors Big Business
During the “lame duck” session of the 99th General Assembly last week, I was a vocal opponent against extending the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program until April 30, 2017. This tax incentive program, which expired on December 31, 2016, provides perks for big businesses with clout while not addressing the needs of small business owners across Illinois. Small businesses, not large ones, are the primary employers of Illinois workers and it is unfair to raise taxes on everyone and then give special “carve-outs” to larger businesses that threaten to leave Illinois. You can watch my floor debate on the bill here.

In spite of arguments by a few lawmakers against it, SB 513 was approved in a 101-12 vote. It was also approved in the Senate. The extension bill now awaits action from the Governor.

Morrison to Co-Host Second Annual Self-Defense/Self-Awareness Class for Women
Next week on Thursday, January 26, I will partner with J.P. Wood Martial Arts America for our second annual Self-Defense and Self-Awareness Class for Women and girls. The two-hour class will take place from 7:00-9:00 PM at J.P. Wood Martial Arts America located at 249 E. Northwest Highway in Palatine. Girls must be at least 13 years of age to participate. While the event is free, a suggested $10 donation will be collected at the door, and that money will be sent to WINGS, a local organization supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence situations.

Space is limited and registration is encouraged. To learn more about this event or to register, please contact my office at repmorrison54@gmail.com or by phone at 847-202-6584.

New Law Requires Testing of Many Illinois School Buildings for Lead in Tap Water
SB 550, signed into law this week as Public Act 99-0922, creates a statewide system for all school systems, other than Chicago, to test the water of each school building. The Chicago Public School system says they have tested their schools already. Other school systems that have already tested their water would also be exempted from this state mandate and lead testing results would have to be made public.

Studies show that Illinois has one of the largest numbers of lead service lines in the United States. A lead-in-water scandal in Flint, Michigan has earned substantial news coverage throughout the Midwest. Both Illinois and Michigan underwent fast economic development and boom conditions in the first three-quarters of the 20th century. During this period lead pipes and fittings were standard building supplies in building projects of all sorts, including school buildings.

The cost of testing, which would be borne by school districts, would be from $500 to $5,000 per school building. 2,500 elementary schools and 11,000 licensed day care centers and homes would be covered by the legislation.
Immediately following the inauguration ceremony for the 100th General Assembly on Wednesday in Springfield, State Representative Morrison (R-Palatine) was interviewed and asked about his goals and priorities for the next two years. You can watch that interview here.



This week members of the House of Representatives took action on legislation that would temporarily extend an EDGE credit program that provides tax incentives to help retain and attract large businesses in the state. In his arguments in opposition of the bill, Morrison pointed out that small businesses, not large ones, are the primary employers for Illinoisans. "It doesn't make sense to raise taxes on everyone and then give special 'carve-outs' to larger businesses that have clout," he said.

You can watch a video of his debate here.
On Thursday, January 26, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) will partner with J.P. Wood Martial Arts America for his second annual Self-Defense and Self-Awareness Class for Women and girls.

The two-hour class will take place from 7:00-9:00 PM at the J.P. Wood Martial Arts America building located at 249 E. Northwest Highway in Palatine. Girls must be at least 13 years of age to participate. While the event is free, a suggested $10 donation will be collected at the door, and that money will be sent to WINGS, a local organization supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence situations.

“Last year this class was very successful, so I am pleased to once again be co-hosting these lessons on how to be aware of possible threatening situations and how to respond to an attack,” said Morrison. “Our goal is that every participant will leave this class with a basic understanding of how they can be proactive in avoiding an attack or other violent situation.”

Space is limited and registration is encouraged. To learn more about this event or to register, please contact the Morrison office at repmorrison54@gmail.com or by phone at 847-202-6584.
Thursday in Springfield the House of Representatives approved a comprehensive energy bill that will allow nuclear energy plants in Clinton and in the Quad Cities to remain online. In response to the 63-38 vote in the House, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has issued the following statement:

“I was not in support of SB 2814 because I do not think rate payers should shoulder the responsibility of subsidizing a company that made over $2 billion in profits last year.”

“This bill picks winners and losers and handcuffs us for years to come. Here in Illinois and also at the federal level, we have a very bad track record when it comes to choosing winners and losers and I believe this is one more example of bad policy that will have bad outcomes.”

"I believe wholeheartedly that in the aggregate Illinois will be less competitive as a result of the passage of this bill. Freedom and choice have been extremely beneficial for electricity consumers in Illinois, and by passing this bill we are undermining those policies.”
One issue that is getting a lot of attention in Springfield this week is a contentious energy bill that would allow nuclear power plants in Clinton and in the Quad Cities to remain online. Some believe it is a necessary step in keeping the power grid stable while saving jobs, while others, including State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine), believe the bill equates to a taxpayer-funded bailout for Exelon, a multi-billion dollar energy company.

Click here to watch a video of Representative Morrion explaining his opposition to the bill.
Since the General Assembly doesn't return to Springfield until veto session in November, I have been taking advantage of a less busy schedule to meet with constituents in my office and speak at local events in the district and out-of-state. 

Within the district, I spoke on legislative panels hosted by the Palatine and Hoffman Estates Chambers of Commerce in the month of September, and in the next two weeks, I will be speaking at legislative panels in Barrington and at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

In addition to speaking on various panels, last week I was invited to local William Fremd High School to engage in a stimulating debate with Rep. Will Guzzardi, which was hosted by the Social Studies Club. Despite our different party allegiances and policy perspectives, it was encouraging to realize that we share a desire to combat corruption and legislate for the sake of principle, not personal advancement.
I also had the exciting opportunity to travel to Colonial Williamsburg mid-September as part of the Illinois delegation at a Simulated Convention of States. Here in Illinois, I am a co-sponsor of House Joint Resolution 115, a measure that calls on Congress to hold a Convention of States so that we can impose fiscal restraints and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government while putting term limits in place for members and officials of Congress.

This effort is a grassroots movement to call a constitutional convention via the state legislatures (as delineated in Article V of the Constitution) so that we can impose constitutional restraints on our runaway federal government. Even though the problems we face as a state are pressing and it is unlikely that Illinois will be one of the 38 necessary states to pass the resolution to call a convention, if this effort does pick up momentum, an Illinois delegation will necessarily be part of this convention. I wanted to learn as much as possible about the effort so that I can draw from this experience if the time comes.

Before we return to Springfield in November and things begin to pick up on the legislative front, I would like to hear from my constituents about issues of state government that are important to them. Please call my office (847-202-6584) if you would like to schedule a meeting in my office or would like to set up a time to speak on the phone.