This Week’s Hot Topic: It’s the Beginning of the End 

For those of you who subscribe to this newsletter and wonder where I’ve been, I wish to apologize for not having written to you since late February. I know it’s not a good excuse, but my other job is preparing income tax returns, and I became buried in paperwork during March and April. With filing season at an end, let’s look toward the end of session.

This Week’s Hot Topic: It’s the Beginning of the End 

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen – we’re beginning the wild ride toward the end of the legislative session. By now, we’re all used to the drill: the mad rush at the end of May, the cobbled-together, out-of-balance budgets, and the midnight surprises. But this year has a different feel to it. A lot of it has to do with this being an election year, where the Speaker puts a lid on any bills coming out of the majority caucus which might be so embarrassing as to end up on a campaign mailer, such as a bill (H.B. 4876) from a DuPage County representative that defines “abused child” as a child whose parent, immediate family member, or any person responsible for the child’s welfare denies the child access to, among other things, gender-affirming care. In other words, if you deny puberty blockers to your minor child, you might be visited by DCFS.

I spoke yesterday with a member from the other side of the aisle who told me that when the Democrats meet for caucus these days, it’s usually for the purpose of telling their more radical members (which becomes a bigger number after every election) why they can’t have all the shiny things they’ve been asking for in their bills. This is from a member who is way out on the left end of the political spectrum but is being treated in her own caucus like she’s a Republican.

That’s not to say that we haven’t seen legislation that is nothing short of a naked exercise of raw political power. Let me tell you the story of Senate Bill 2412. It started life as a “shell bill” that allows for rapid amendment and transfer to the other chamber. S.B. 2412 passed out of the Senate a year ago and went straight to the House Executive Committee, where it sat until May 1st of this year. On that date it was amended and sent to the House floor for an immediate vote. It passed the House without a single Republican vote and was sent to the Senate the next day for concurrence. It passed the Senate on May 2nd and was signed into law by the Governor on the 3rd. All of this happened within 36 hours.

You might wonder “What was so urgent about this bill that it had to move so rapidly through both houses and to the Governor’s desk? Is there another pandemic? Have we declared war on Iowa?”

No, this bill does away with the “slating” option, which allows candidates to pass petitions and be added to the ballot after the primary election if no one from a major party ran in the primary. It applies only to races in the General Assembly. So why are they doing this? They did it to avoid challenges and to give voters fewer options. This was a favored tactic of former Speaker Mike Madigan. Without the slating process, all candidates for the House and Senate would have to make their intentions to run for office clear a year before the General Election. This is a free pass for incumbents, because if no one runs in the primary, they’re free to vote in Springfield however they want without being held accountable. With slating, if they vote out of step with their district, a challenger can take them on after they see the bad votes they have taken. They can be held accountable. It’s not that the bill only applies to future elections, it prohibits slating of candidates for this election, meaning they’re changing the rules in the middle of the game. It was passed primarily to help one incumbent in the Metro East area and has been dubbed the “Katie Stewart Incumbent Protection Act.” Unfortunately for Katie, a Republican filed his petitions mere minutes before the Governor signed the bill into law. Several other Republican candidates filed shortly after the bill was signed and weren’t so lucky. Litigation is forthcoming.

A Warning on the State’s Overspending 

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability is a bipartisan legislative commission intended to give nonpartisan analysis on the State of Illinois’ economic outlook, spending and revenue. CGFA recently released a report that confirms what I have been warning about for years and that most Illinoisans know – Illinois government has a spending problem. 

In its report, CGFA lays out certain opportunities for growth and potential challenges Illinois will face over the coming few years. Included in the list of challenges was a potentially slowing economy, employment numbers that lag the rest of the Midwest, outmigration, and the history of Illinois’ spending.

The report lays out three possible future spending scenarios, showing that the current spending trajectory is unsustainable. After years of spending growth and bailouts from the federal government, we must get our spending in check, or our financial picture is going to get worse. In the third scenario offered by CGFA, (which is the worst case and probably the most likely), if Illinois continues to grow state spending at the same pace as it has for the last 20 years, the annual deficit will reach over $6.5 billion by fiscal year 2027. This is wildly unsustainable. 

The full report is here

Congratulations to Cary-Grove on its IHSA Class 6A State Football Championship! 

In November I went to Bloomington to watch as the Cary-Grove Trojans won their second Class 6A State Football Championship in three years by beating a very good team from East St. Louis.

On April 10, I hosted Athletic Director Ryan Ludwig, Head Coach Brad Seaburg, Assistant Coach Dean Schlueter and Senior Quarterback Brady Seaburg on the House floor, and offered House Resolution 644 to commemorate their achievement. You can view my entire remarks here

Mobile DMV Event 

On Wednesday, June 5 from 10 am- 2 pm, I’m hosting a mobile DMV event at the Cary Village Hall located at 755 Georgetown Drive in Cary.  If you require a service from the Secretary of State’s office, you can register at the link below and join us at the Village Hall with a mobile team from the Secretary of State’s office. Click Here to Set an Appointment

Visit www.ILSOS.GOV for identification requirements.

Around the Community – Woodstock Rotary Club Raffle

On May 24th, the Woodstock Rotary Club is holding its major fundraiser and time is running short to participate! Tickets are $100 apiece for a chance to win a Jeep Wrangler or $40,000 while at the same time helping the Woodstock Rotary Club do good work within the community and around the world. Click here to learn more and to buy your ticket online.

Stay Up to Date: 

Like what you see? Please share this update with your friends and family. If someone forwarded this e-mail to you, please sign up for my newsletter or send me a message by clicking here: With this weekly Reick Report, I aim to give you a quick and easily digestible update on what is happening at the State Capitol, the top issues in our local area, and how you can get engaged.