The legislative session for 2013 is in full swing. Dozens of brand new legislators have been sworn in, committees are meeting in earnest and there have already been numerous votes on firearms issues and pension matters. I continue to serve as Chair of the House Personnel and Pensions Committee and Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Those roles have put me in the forefront on both the firearms and pension debates. But I am also working on some other matters.
Campaign Funding Disclosure
The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case opened the flood gates for unlimited and undisclosed campaign spending by the so-called Super PACs. We saw in the 2012 election cycle the impact that Super PACs had on the electoral process. I do not believe it was a healthy impact on our democracy.
While there is very little to be done to control Super PAC spending without a United States Constitutional amendment, we can at least find out how the money is being raised and shine a light on it. I have introduced House Bill 3256 to require public disclosure of monies donated to Super PACs. Any amount donated in excess of $5,000 must be disclosed if it is used on behalf of or against a candidate or a question of public policy. The legislation also imposes stricter requirements to make sure that Super PACs are not coordinating with an individual campaign. This is a critical component of the legislation that assures Super PACs are truly acting independently. You can view HB 3256 athttp://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=3256&GAID=12&GA=98&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=75115&SessionID=85
Appointment to House Leadership
I am honored to have been recently named as House Assistant House Majority Leader. While much of my role as a legislator remains unchanged, I feel like I can be a stronger voice for the north and northwest suburbs in the House and have greater input in to policy and legislative process. There are eleven members of House leadership in addition to the Speaker.
Upcoming Coffee & Conversations
Starting in March and over the next few months, State Senator Julie Morrison and I will be hosting various Coffee & Conversation events throughout the new 57th District. We are hopeful it will be both informal and informative. When the dates and locations are confirmed, we will be following up with the details. I hope to see you there!