Statehouse Republicans said they would advance a legislative agenda to protect at-risk kids from abuse and neglect and act to improve the state’s business climate.
First-term House minority leader Tony McCombie of Savanna announced the formation of four working groups to put forth the party’s agenda for the 103 General Assembly.
Republicans in both the House and Senate set forth their priorities a day before Gov. JB Pritzker was scheduled to make his Budget and State of the State Address.
“Republicans are here to work and these groups reflect not only that commitment but also our governing priorities,” McCombie said. “We are ready to be part of the solution on some of our state’s biggest challenges. These working groups are our first steps toward solving the problems impacting residents throughout Illinois.”
McCombie outlined the five working groups:
- Sustaining and protecting at-risk kids.
- Supporting women and families.
- Reigniting Illinois’ economy.
- Promote literacy.
- Improve public safety.
The economic agenda includes establishing worker protections while using the state’s resources and Midwest location to make the state attractive to job creators.
Helping families would be achieved by making Illinois attractive as a place to move to.
The literacy agenda says the state must address learning loss, improve learning literacy and restore students so they are competitive in the modern workplace.
The policing agenda aims to make neighborhoods safe, protect law-abiding citizens and respect law enforcement.
McCombie said state representatives Tom Weber of Fox Lake, Jackie Haas of Kankakee, Dan Ugaste of Geneva, Dave Severin of Benton and Patrick Windhorst of Metropolis would serve in leadership positions for the working groups and solicit the input of policy experts and residents from across the state.
State Sen. Win Stoller of Germantown Hills, who represents the 37th District, said rising energy costs was a priority of the Republican caucus in the Senate.
“Far too many Illinois residents are facing the difficult choice of paying their power bills or paying for other basic necessities like food and medicine,” Stoller said in a news release.
Stoller promoted Senate Bill 2200, which allocates $200 million in rebates to affected customers.
Republicans want to pair the bill with the Ameren rate relief package passed during the lame-duck session that provides households with an average of $170 in rate relief.
Republicans in the Senate also proposed a bill intended to ease Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regulations on power plants and a bill that would create a power grid task force that would require lawmakers to review the effects energy policies have on energy production.
Stoller said Republican lawmakers will be sending a letter to the governor requesting emergency rulemaking procedures to push more power onto the grid and revise permit procedures that would pave the way to develop natural gas plants.