Rep. Bryant: Spring Session must Focus on Ethics Reform, Property Tax Relief, and Fair Legislative Maps

SPRINGFIELD…. State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement after Governor JB Pritzker delivered his 2nd State of the State Address to a joint Session of the Illinois legislature on Wednesday.

“Although I do not agree on every priority laid out by the Governor, I was encouraged to hear him touch on a couple of legislative items that I believe should be the major focus of the 2020 spring legislative Session,” Bryant said. “As for myself, I would like to see the Session focus on reforming ethics laws, providing our citizens with property tax relief, and a move to change the way legislative maps are drawn to make the process more fair and equitable.”

Property tax relief, Bryant says, will be key to stemming the tide of outmigration that has caused Illinois to earn the dubious distinction of leading the nation in population loss in the last decade.

“People are being priced out of their homes and unable to afford to continue to run their businesses because of the high cost of property taxes” Bryant said. “We have to work in a bipartisan way to provide relief to taxpayers. House Republicans have proposed multiple ways we could achieve relief and cut the cost of local government. We have to start with unfunded mandate relief to get Springfield off the backs of schools and local government units.”

“With a State Senator pleading guilty to accepting bribes in Federal court on Tuesday, with the whirlwind of federal investigative activity that has happened in the last year, and with the House Republicans introducing more than a dozen corruption-focused bills, the Governor used his speech to promise movement on ethics reforms. This is a step in the right direction and a position that I hope he will continue to take as the Session moves along.”

As a candidate for Governor, Pritzker pledged to veto any legislative map that is not drawn in a fair way. Bryant says she was disappointed that the Governor failed to mention support for various Fair Maps amendments pending in Springfield sponsored by House Republicans.

“If you study the legislative maps passed by Speaker Madigan and the Democrats that control Springfield, you’ll find crazy puzzle piece looking districts that are not contiguous, that split communities among multiple legislators,” Bryant said.  “A ‘Fair Map’ process would mean an independent commission drawing legislative maps that are less gerrymandered, and more likely to allow voters to pick their representation rather than politicians in Springfield drawing their own district maps. I will continue to call on the Governor to keep his promise to ensure that the next round of legislative maps are drawn in a fair and honest way.”