Getting State Government Back on Track

Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) today announced the filing of four bills and two Constitutional amendments designed to fix a broken system and get state government back on the right track. The first step is House Bill 787 which creates the Joint Committee of the General Assembly on Rules and Operations, a bipartisan panel of legislators who would review and make recommendations on House and Senate rules, committees, procedures, and structure of the General Assembly.

“The current system isn’t working. The House rules consolidate too much power in the hands of leadership. Rank-and-file legislators of both parties are often frustrated when they file a good bill only to have it buried in a subcommittee that never meets, or sent to a committee that never allows a vote,” said Rep. Demmer. “Additionally, the House alone has 56 committees and many more subcommittees, which makes it hard for people to participate constructively in the lawmaking process.”

“It’s time for us to modernize the House and Senate. The current system is a relic of the backroom deals and power grabs of years gone by. If we want a different result, we have to build a different system,” said Rep. Demmer.

Next is House Bill 3119 which gives the Governor the ability to call for a vote on a specific bill through a new “fast-track” authority. Currently the Governor is empowered to call a special session of the legislature and to identify the topic for the special session, but historically special sessions have been called and immediately adjourned without the legislature taking any action whatsoever.

“Fast-track authority would give the Governor the ability to propose specific legislation and get an up-or-down vote. The legislature retains its power to vote yes or no, but they can’t simply ignore a proposal,” said Rep. Demmer.

Fast-track authority is based on an idea that has been offered for the President of the United States as a way to spur Congress into action.

The “Get Government Back on Track” package contains two Constitutional amendments, one is HJRCA 25 which combines the offices of state treasurer and state comptroller—the product of a longtime effort to streamline government. Another, HJRCA 19, builds on the Constitution’s balanced budget requirement by adding strength to the enforcement and closing loopholes that have led to unbalanced budgets for decades.

The package also contains House Bill 789 to create a Board of Repealers to review and make recommendations on how to eliminate outdated, irrelevant, or conflicting laws, instead of just adding more to the books every year. Finally, there’s House Bill 495 which would make Illinois more relevant and more accurately represented in the Electoral College by awarding Presidential Electoral Votes by Congressional district instead of the current winner-take-all formula.

Constituents can find further information, participate in Rep. Demmer’s 2017 Legislative Survey, and contact Rep. Demmer at his legislative website-

Rep. Demmer can also be contacted at his district office located at 1221 Currency Court, Rochelle, IL 61068 or by calling the office at (815) 561-3690.