It was nice to see Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen in Springfield this week.

House Republicans have worked for years to provide Illinoisans with much-needed property tax relief, and in most instances those bills have been blocked from advancing to the House floor. In response to the House Democrats’ effort Friday to use the issue of property tax relief in their latest round of political theatre, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has issued the following statement:

“Throughout my tenure in the House, I have been a vocal advocate for the property taxpayers in the 54th legislative district. I have spoken with elected officials and administrators from every level of local government and shared my opinion that they need to control costs so that additional tax burdens are not passed on to home and business owners. So to see the majority party treat the serious issue of property tax relief as a game was very disappointing.”

“I am a Chief Co-Sponsor of a comprehensive piece of legislation that would provide taxpayers with real tax relief. HB136 would freeze tax rates during times of declining property values and utilize a three-year average metric for determining when the freeze would be lifted. This is a fair solution, yet when Democrats had an opportunity today to release that bill for consideration and debate, they blocked it.”

“I always encourage my constituents to get to know their elected officials so they can let them know how increases in tax rates affect them personally. This is especially true for elementary, high school and community college districts, whose taxes comprise the majority of peoples’ tax bills. I will encourage them to continue doing this, because today’s actions by the majority party in Springfield made it very clear that they are not sincere about providing tax relief.”

At a time when legislators should be working in a bipartisan manner to create the FY16 budget, House Democrats have been making a mockery of the legislative process. Rather than allowing the budget working groups to complete their work and send appropriation bills through the committee process for proper vetting, Speaker Madigan has instead decided to engage in a process meant to divide, not unite the House of Representatives.

Last week House Democrats short-circuited the budget process by bringing the Human Services budget directly to the House floor with little notice and no committee deliberations. They brought the multi-billion dollar spending bill to the floor before a revenue number was determined and before spending priorities were identified by the Appropriations-Human Services Committee. After insisting the bill be brought to the floor, Democrats voted unanimously against it. Because the action was not genuine, House Republicans voted “Present.”

Immediately after that vote, House Democrats filed 15 additional amendments, choosing various State programs and running funding amendments one at a time. With no general revenue number set and a refusal to view the specific funding areas as part of a larger budget package, Republicans again voted “Present” on the amendments.

Today the games continued as House Democrats brought additional human service amendments to the floor for votes. They continued to cherry-pick select programs and ignore the lack of a general revenue number, so again, House Republicans voted “Present.”

I take my role as a State Representative very seriously, and when I come to Springfield I arrive ready to engage in serious discussions on matters of importance. But when those on the other side of aisle refuse to respect our rules and procedures, they are doing a great disservice to the people of Illinois. As long as the majority party continues to engage in unprofessional and counterproductive activities such as those that have unfolded on the House floor during the last two weeks, House Republicans will continue to vote “Present.”

Click here to hear Rep. Morrison's recent interview about the issue.
On Friday, May 8, just hours after the IL Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling that the General Assembly's 2013 Pension Reform Bill is unconstitutional, State Representative Tom Morrison sat down with Chicago Tonight's Eddie Arruza to discuss the ruling and what is next for the State of Illinois. You can watch the video here. Rep. Morrison's segment begins at just after the seven-minute mark of the broadcast.

In response to today’s Illinois Supreme Court rejection of Illinois’ 2013 pension reform law on grounds that it is unconstitutional, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) has issued the following statement:

“Now that our state’s highest court has agreed with a Sangamon County judge’s decision that the pension law is unconstitutional, we must renew our efforts to address the pension crisis. The daunting $111 billion unfunded pension obligation is siphoning money away from key budget areas of education, public safety, transportation and services for our vulnerable citizens. Our budgets will suffer until this crisis is properly addressed.”

“Pensions are consuming too much of the state’s revenues and until we get to the root of the issue, which is the unyielding pension language in the Illinois Constitution, we will continue to be saddled with too much debt. The justices pointed to specific language in the Constitution which states that benefits cannot be ‘diminished or impaired’. Until we amend that language, efforts to reform the pension systems will likely fail.”
In June of this year, the first naval vessel since 1897 which carries the State of Illinois' name will launch from a harbor in Connecticut. On April 29, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) had an opportunity to visit with some of the crew members.

Crew members and members of the nuclear sub marine's commissioning committee were at the Illinois Capitol to showcase an eight-foot replica of the Virginia Class nuclear submarine and to talk with visitors. Additional information about the USS Illinois can be found at