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In his State of the State speech Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner singled out for praise new legislation introduced by State Representative Grant Wehrli to help protect property taxpayers from legislators’ conflicts of interest that may negatively impact their tax bills. Representative Wehrli has introduced House Bill 4435 that will prevent members of the General Assembly who make decisions on legislation that impacts property tax rates from also representing clients before a property tax appeals board in Illinois.

“Any legislator who is also a property tax appeals attorney has a vested interest in keeping property taxes high enough to generate appeals cases for his or her law firm. In my opinion, that’s a clear conflict of interest that hurts the very working families we were elected to represent and it needs to stop,” Representative Wehrli said.

“Two weeks ago, we issued an executive order that prevents legislators from practicing before the state property tax appeal board. And today Senator Oberweis and Representative Wehrli will introduce legislation that asks you to apply this same reform to every legislator who might practice before an assessment appeal board anywhere in the state,” Governor Rauner remarked in his speech to a joint session of the General Assembly.

“It’s long past time for this General Assembly to truly put the taxpayers first, and that will continue to be my priority in Springfield this year,” Representative Wehrli said.

Representative Wehrli said he will be working with members on both sides of the aisle to begin moving House Bill 4435 through the committee process in the House in the coming weeks so that it may receive a fair hearing on the House floor this spring.

Rep. Wehrli this week toured the DuPagePads (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) Shelter in Wheaton and met with Executive Director Carol Simler about the facility's current projects and ongoing needs.

DuPagePads provides interim and permanent housing and support services to end homelessness. To learn more click here.
Recent reports that incidents of sexual harassment in the Illinois General Assembly are not promptly investigated, or are not even reported due to fear of retaliation, are proof that the legislative ethics review system is in need of a complete overhaul, stressed State Representative Grant Wehrli. Wehrli, along with Representatives Keith Wheeler and Mark Batinick, today introduced a series of reforms that will give deference to complainants in such cases, and ensure their claims receive a fair and unbiased review.

“I’m very pleased that after more than a year we finally have a Legislative Inspector General in place this week. I’m confident Julie Porter will do an excellent job. But there’s more we must do to correct the fundamental flaws in the process that for years have made harassment victims hesitant to come forward because they felt the system was stacked against them. It’s that bias that we’re targeting with these reforms,” said Rep. Wehrli (R-Naperville).
Statement of State Representative Grant Wehrli:

“This week’s testimony in the House Personnel and Pensions Committee detailing accounts of sexual
harassment in state government was enlightening, and it left me feeling both angry and sad. Sexual harassment in any form must not be tolerated – ever. I applaud victims for coming forward and speaking out. Moving forward, we must have a clear procedure in place where they, and those who witness the harassment, can immediately report the incident without fear for their safety or their livelihood.

I was glad to hear Speaker Madigan agree that we also need to promptly fill the position of Legislative Inspector General that has been vacant for several years. Witnesses testified that without an Inspector General in place, they didn’t know where to go to report what had happened to them.”
 -State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville)
State Rep. Grant Wehrli and State Sen. Michael Connelly toured the Camelot Therapeutic Day
School in Naperville Wednesday and enjoyed great conversations with both students and staff.

Camelot Therapeutic Day School provides academic and therapeutic services for children, adolescents and young adults, ages 5 through 21 with extraordinary needs including Emotional Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism, Speech and Language, Developmental Delays, Intellectual Disabilities, and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

DuPage County has many great things, including our volunteer spirit! 

The City of Naperville has a link on their website outlining the best way to help those recovering from Hurricane Harvey. The city will keep updating this webpage with events, ways to donate not only money but time, goods, services, etc. Click here to see how you can help!
Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed House Bill 418, which prevents retired police officers from opting into the pension system a second time if they return to the force as a police chief or join another municipality’s force.

This bill will protect taxpayers from situations in which police officers are collecting two pensions from the same pension fund — a problem known as “double dipping.” Police officers that are promoted to police chief or join a different force will enroll in 401(k)-style retirement plans instead of opting into the pension fund again.

“Illinois taxpayers can’t afford to pay the same person twice,”Gov. Rauner said. “This bill is an important step to help control Illinois’ unsustainable pension costs. It will protect taxpayers from pension fund abuse while still ensuring our police officers are fairly compensated for their service.”

The bill was sponsored by two Naperville Republicans after controversy over whether a Naperville police chief should be able to accrue new pension payments while simultaneously earning a salary of over $168,000 and collecting payments from his first pension.

“There is a loophole in current law that allows double-dipping into the police pension systems, and it’s costing municipalities and local taxpayers a fortune.  Retired law enforcement officers have earned their pensions, but they should not be able to claim multiple pensions that we can’t afford,” said Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), the primary sponsor of this legislation. “Closing this loophole is one step toward keeping our struggling pension systems solvent.”

 “Illinois’ pension systems are in dire need of repair as our pension liabilities at both the state and local levels continue to rack up,” said Sen. Connelly (R-Naperville). “While I recognize that many changes need to occur within the current system, this law at least gets us going in the right direction.”