...“Trying to adopt a budget without pension reform is like trying to do surgery with a butter knife,” state Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Republican, said long before last week’s show of a faux budget confab.

McSweeney is among the lawmakers who believe pensions could be brought to a more manageable burden by restructuring the payment cycle and by trying to see if Illinois Senate President John Cullerton’s notion of offering “consideration” to public workers might be doable. That involves offering workers a choice of different options that could cut pension debt, too....

Read the entire Op-ed from Madeline Doubek, editor of Reboot Illinois here.
A bipartisan coalition of 70 Illinois House members is publicly opposing putting a sales tax on advertising as a way to help the state deal with its crushing financial problems.

House Resolution 889, filed Wednesday by local Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, puts a majority of the House on record as opposing the idea, which has been floated by the administration of Gov. Bruce Rauner as part of expanding the state sales tax to services as other states do.

Read more from the NW Herald here.
Illinois law allows either the governor or the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate together to call a special legislative session, and I agree with the handful of lawmakers now demanding they do so.

"Please call us back," said Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, who is one of them. "The state's being trashed, our most vulnerable citizens are being hurt and we need to do our job. We need a budget. Let's vote on things. Let's get this out of the way."

McSweeney, who reiterated his loyalty to Rauner's agenda, proposes suspending the rules against floor amendments in order to facilitate freewheeling debate and compromise."

Read the rest of the column at the Chicago Tribune
We’ve now passed the 90-day mark without a state budget. With bill backlogs, a mounting deficit, and social services headed for a free-fall, General Assembly members are talking revolt. There’s mounting pressure for Gov. Bruce Rauner to call a special session and keep members in the capital – not for one day a week like this summer – but for as long as it takes to cut a grand bargain.

“This has gone on long enough. It’s time for the members to rise up and demand action,” Republican state Rep. David McSweeney tells POLITICO. “I think the governor should call a special session. Bring us back until we agree on a budget.”

....

“It's outrageous we won’t have anything until January. We’re trashing our state,” McSweeney tells POLITICO. “Right now, we’re funding a broken pension fully and we're not funding sick children. It’s backwards. I didn’t run for office … for this.”

Read more from Politico
Suburban officials and lawmakers say a Chicago alderman's idea to tax suburbanites who dare drive on city streets would likely backfire.

....

State Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, called the plan a terrible idea Saturday.

"If Chicago is going to talk about raising money, they should be encouraging everyone to visit, not discouraging everyone who drives in," McSweeney said. "This congestion tax currently being discussed is an absolutely terrible idea that would hurt Chicago and the state by, ultimately, making Chicago less competitive."

Read more here.
Illinois will start paying for a program to help care for young children with disabilities, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger announced Wednesday.

The early intervention service is one of many on the list of state programs not getting money since July 1 as Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers battle over the state budget.

But Munger said Wednesday that the services can be paid through a federal consent decree, and she said she'll start the process of arranging for the payments.

Read more from the Daily Herald
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Illinois taxpayers spent $1.23 million last year to provide health insurance to state lawmakers despite the fact that the jobs are part-time and the state is broke...

“This is a part-time job. There is absolutely no reason that it should have health insurance and a pension provided, especially at a time like this when the state is hurting financially,” said State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills.

McSweeney, along with 33 other lawmakers — about one-fifth of the General Assembly — are refusing to accept the health insurance benefits.


“If it is more generous than what other people are getting, they should at least scale it back, but I say eliminate it,” he said.

Read more from The Mt Vernon Register-News here
State Representative David McSweeney spoke yesterday morning on WGN's Radio, The Sunday Spin with Rick Pearson. 

Listen here
"House Bill 175, filed by state Rep. David McSweeney and signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, extends the reporting time to within 60 days of a potentially illegal meeting’s discovery, rather than 60 days from the date the meeting took place.

Because most public bodies typically don’t approve and release meeting minutes until the next month, the old law left little to no time for alleged violations to be discovered, let alone reported.

McSweeney filed the legislation in response to a private and potentially illegal July 2013 meeting of the Village Board, during which members discussed the monetary windfall that would come from building a $450 million power plant.

....

“We’re glad that transparency is going to increase in this state. I certainly am very happy that we were able to pass this legislation and make sure that people are able to pursue Open Meetings Act violations. The situation in Oakwood Hills is an example of when government doesn’t work, and hopefully this will help change that,” said McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills."

Read more on the NW Herald here
Two Letters to the Editor in the Northwest Herald praised the recent work of State Representative McSweeney: 

"...  I’m happy that my colleague, state Rep. David McSweeney, filed House Bill 4253 in an effort to halt legislative salaries. I am a chief co-sponsor. This bill would apply the pressure needed to get the bipartisan budget passed the state desires."

- State Representative Mark Batnick

"Our sincere thanks go to state Rep. David McSweeney and State Sen. Pamela Althoff for shepherding this important legislation through a challenging process.
Thank you both for your efforts on behalf of Algonquin Township, McHenry Township and Nunda Township residents. We appreciate your hard work, lobbying and leadership. We are indeed fortunate to have such an effective representative team working for McHenry County in Springfield."

- Robert J. Miller, Algonquin Township Highway Commssioner
Excerpt from the NW Herald:

"One of the lead co-sponsors of the bill, state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, said it is “absolutely outrageous that members of the General Assembly should get a pay increase” when the state has not yet passed a budget.

“They should lock us in the capital until we pass a budget without a tax increase,” McSweeney said. He said that without passage of a budget, social service agencies are starting to feel the pressure."

Read more here
"Representative David McSweeney joined the show to talk about a mandatory pay raise that is coming to those in Springfield and his belief that Illinois needs a budget deal before any representative should take that raise. He’s giving his raise away, and he criticized both sides of the aisle for putting this state in the financial position that it is."

Listen to Rep McSweeney on WGN Radio this morning. 
The NW Herald editorial board gave State Representative David McSweeney a "Thumbs Up":

"Thumbs up: To state Rep. David McSweeney for denouncing the pay raises lawmakers passed for themselves and donating the raise to social service agencies. “I think it is outrageous that we, as legislators, are getting a pay raise even though we are not down in Springfield every single day doing our job to get a budget passed,” said McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican. “We should be down there every day working to resolve the budget crisis. People are going to get hurt if we don’t do our job and pass a budget soon.” Legislators are receiving a 2 percent automatic cost-of-living adjustment, which amounts to about an additional $1,563 annually. The comptroller’s office has said the law prohibits McSweeney from rejecting the pay increase outright. So he is donating $781.50 each to Pioneer Center for Human Services and Night Ministry, a nonprofit group that helps homeless children and adults."
SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) says lawmakers should not be receiving a pay raise when the State does not even have a balanced budget. By law, he is not able to reject the pay raise and announced today he is donating the full amount of the yearly extra pay to charity.‎ “I think it is outrageous that we as legislators are getting a pay raise even though we are not down in Springfield every single day doing our job to get a budget passed,” said McSweeney. “We should be down there every day working to resolve the budget crisis. People are going to get hurt if we don't do our job and pass a budget soon."

Read more here 
A good-government bill inspired by the Oakwood Hills Village Board’s closed-session handling of a power plant proposal is awaiting action by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

House Bill 175, which will give people a larger window to report potential violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to the Illinois Attorney General’s public-access office, was sent to Rauner’s desk at the end of June, about a month after it unanimously cleared the House and Senate.

Read more from the NW Herald
State Rep. David McSweeney, who already has voluntarily given up his paycheck, filed a bill that would suspend legislator pay during the budget impasse. House Bill 4253 would remove members of the General Assembly from the list of continuing appropriations, forcing legislators to pass a balanced budget before they could receive their paychecks.

Read more at Illinois Policy.
From the Daily Herald

State Rep. David Harris, an Arlington Heights Republican, has asked the state to withhold his paycheck if state workers miss theirs later this month because of the ongoing budget fight in Springfield...

Later, state Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, said he'd follow Harris' lead and send a similar letter in the afternoon...
A resolution introduced Monday by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, urges South Carolina’s Legislature to replace the Confederate flag flying in that state capitol with the U.S. flag.

“Events connected with this tragedy have raised questions about the so-called ‘Battle Flag of the Confederacy’ as a suitable element in public displays of honor … Many feel that this flag has become offensive and should no longer be a symbol on state property,” states House Bill 604, which has strong bipartisan support.

Read the rest of the story at the Sun Times.
State Representative David McSweeney stopped by Fox 32 on Sunday to talk with Mike Flannery about taxes, the budget, and the current situation in Springfield. Click on the link below to watch the interview:

FOX 32 Sunday: State Rep. David McSweeney - FOX 32 News Chicago
The Oakwood Hills-inspired Open Meetings Act reform measure passed the House unanimously Sunday, sending the bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.


Extending the window of time people have to report possible violations of the act to the attorney general’s public access counselor, House Bill 175 was approved by the House in a 112-0 vote. The vote ratified an amendment that clarifies that the new time limit cannot be applied to meetings that took place before the law goes into effect.

The bill returned to the House on Sunday for a concurrence vote after the Senate voted 57-0 Friday.

Read more about the bill here.
"The proposed Open Meetings Act improvement inspired by the debacle surrounding the Oakwood Hills power plant has found new life in the final week of the spring legislative session.

... Duffy credited the "hard work and diligence" of House bill author David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, for getting it moved out of subcommittee. Both lawmakers' districts include Oakwood Hills."

Read the full article on the NW Herald
CARY, IL - In response to the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s pension reform legislation, State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) says he is renewing his effort to pass a resolution opposing ongoing attempts to shift education pension costs to local schools.
“I believe the recent ruling from the Supreme Court is likely going to trigger aggressive efforts to shift billions of dollars of education pension costs onto local schools,” McSweeney said. “If these efforts are successful, we would see a massive increase in property taxes and local education cuts. We cannot afford an additional increase in property taxes. This is why I'm taking a strong stand to protect taxpayers by opposing cost shift legislation.”
Read the rest on the Illinois Review


In a column for the NW Herald, State Representative David McSweeney makes the case against raising taxes as a way to solve the budget crisis. 

Read the column by Rep McSweeney here
"We watched with interest last week as the Illinois House passed, by a wide margin, a bill authored by State Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills to outlaw red-light cameras in communities with smaller populations such as Bensenville, Lake Zurich, Libertyville and Roselle."

You can read the full editorial here.
The NW Herald's Editorial Board writes that the House's passage of Representative McSweeney's HB173 is a step in the right direction. 

You can read the editorial here.

The House voted today 79-26-4 to ban red light cameras in non home rule municipalities beginning January 1, 2017. HB 173 was an initiative of Rep McSweeney. Senator Dan Duffy is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate. 

The Chicago Tribune has more on the story here
House Bill 173, a bill which would ban red light cameras in non home rule municipalities, passed out of committee with a vote of 4-3. The bill is now headed to the floor for consideration. 

Read more on the story from the NW Herald here.
Rep. McSweeney's office will be holding traveling office hours next week on April 16th. They will be held from 2-4pm at Island Lake Village Hall located at 3720 Greenleaf Ave in Island Lake, IL.
The NW Herald today stated its support for Rep. McSweeney's call for the State Auditor General to investigate a $10 million dollar grant given to a company for land acquisition in Chicago by the Quinn Administration. The check, which was written just a month before Quinn left office, has been cashed, but no land has been purchased and is unlikely to be anytime soon. 

Read it on the NW Herald here

Representative McSweeney has sent a letter to the State Auditor General, William Holland, requesting an investigation into a 10 million dollar grant given to a Chicago based TV and film studio by the Quinn Administration. The grant was awarded after Quinn lost in November and a number of questions are being asked in the wake of the discovery that, though the check for the grant was cashed, the money has not been used for its stated purpose and is unlikely to be used as such in the future.

Read more on the story at the Sun Times
The Daily Herald today praised Rep. McSweeney's efforts to increase government transparency by getting HB175, amending the Open Meetings Act, passed through the House. Calling for more government officials to practice what they preach and do more to increase government transparency, they urged the strengthening of the Freedom of Information Act. 

Read the editorial here
"Thumbs up: To House Bill 175 passing unanimously in the state House and moving to the Senate. State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and state Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, are spearheading the legislation, which closes a loophole in the Illinois Open Meetings Act and will allow people to report a possible violation of the act within 60 days of its discovery, rather than 60 days from the date of the meeting."

To read more of this weeks editorial, click here

A bill to amend the Open Meetings Act passed the House yesterday. HB175, filed by Rep McSweeney, was inspired by the Oakwood Hills power plant mess. 

You can read more about the bill here

A number of bills are on the legislative agenda in the House this session intending to tamper down Illinois' rising property taxes. 


The NW Herald takes a look at these bills, including HB 177 and HB 178 filed by Rep McSweeney

Proposed just before the House filing deadline on Friday, House Bill 4106 would give voters the ability to put the question of whether to issue any Tax Increment Financing(TIF)-related bonds, which are issued on the faith and credit of their municipality, on the ballot. The bill addresses concerns that residents have about being liable in the event projects spurred on by these bonds fall through. 

For more information on the bill, click here to read about it on the NW Herald
"Emboldened by a new governor prioritizing property tax relief, several local lawmakers are filing bills aimed at curtailing how much local governments can collect."

"House Bill 177, filed by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, imposes a freeze on levy increases altogether until fiscal 2019."


To read more from the NW Herald, click here



A bill giving citizens a longer window to report Open Meetings Act violations is headed to the full Illinois House floor for a vote after clearing committee Thursday morning.

House Bill 175, sponsored by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, unanimously passed the House Judiciary - Civil Committee and could come to a vote in the coming weeks. The bill, inspired by the debacle surrounding the Oakwood Hills power plant proposal, would allow people to report a possible violation of the act within 60 days of its discovery, rather than 60 days from the date of the meeting.

Cary, Illinois— Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) has filed a constitutional amendment (HJRCA 24) to limit the terms of General Assembly members.

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 24 mirrors the term limits ballot initiative that was attempted last year by limiting legislative terms to eight years.

“The ballot initiative attempt last year was well received across the state,” McSweeney said. “I supported Governor Bruce Rauner’s efforts to get term limits on the ballot last year and my support for term limits has not changed.”

Cary, Illinois...In an ongoing effort to reduce the cost of state government, State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington) is once again sponsoring legislation to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor.

The same McSweeney sponsored constitutional amendment passed the House in the 98th General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support on a vote of 83-28-2.

“The unfortunate reality is that the office of Lieutenant Governor has very few duties under our constitution and I think, given the severe financial problems the state is facing, we have to always put taxpayers first and do everything we can to save money. My only purpose in filing this Constitutional Amendment is to save taxpayers money and reduce the cost of state government,” McSweeney said.

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 5 (HJRCA 5) would eliminate the office of the Lieutenant Governor beginning with the term of office commencing in 2019. The bill provides for a new Gubernatorial succession with Attorney General, Secretary of State, and then as provided by law, respectively.

“By eliminating this unnecessary office we will save the state about $1.5 million dollars a year,” said McSweeney. “We are in a fiscal crisis and this is a positive step in the right direction. The state's fiscal crisis requires bold initiatives which include the elimination of unnecessary or redundant government spending. No state government agency should be spared the scrutiny of a cost-benefit analysis. ”

The Lieutenant Governor’s office has little authority and responsibility other than being involved in the Rural Bond Bank of Illinois, Illinois Main Street program, and the Illinois River Coordinating Council. All of these functions could be absorbed by other agencies.

Like the former iteration, the current HJRCA 5 is quickly garnering bipartisan support, with State Representative Jack D. Franks (D-Woodstock) recently joining as a Lead Co-Sponsor.
Springfield...State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) is making property tax relief one of his top priorities and is pushing two legislative measures that will help reduce property taxes for many Illinois families.

“High property taxes are a major reason people have been moving out of the state,” McSweeney said. “That is why we need an immediate property tax freeze.”
Cary, Illinois – State Representative David McSweeney (R- Barrington Hills) has voluntarily cut his pay and district office budget and has refused to participate in the legislative pension system. He has also filed legislation to eliminate pensions for legislators.

House Bill 179 would eliminate legislative pensions for all new members elected in the 2016 election and beyond. A bill introduced by McSweeney last legislative session that would have also halted legislative pensions for existing members did not receive adequate support. "We are in a financial crisis and we must cut unnecessary spending, not raise taxes," McSweeney said.

McSweeney also praised the growing number of members who have also chosen not to accept pensions. "Legislators must lead by example during this financial crisis." McSweeney said.
Cary, IL...A recently released study has cast doubt on the viability of red light cameras to improve traffic safety. In an effort to reduce the financial burdens on Illinois residents, State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) is sponsoring legislation to eliminate red light cameras.

McSweeney filed House Bill 173, which would repeal the State law allowing automated red light cameras at intersections. McSweeney will also continue to actively support efforts by Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) to eliminate red light cameras.

“A recent Chicago Tribune sponsored study has shown that Chicago’s red light cameras fail to deliver the safety benefits claimed by proponents,” stated McSweeney. “House Bill 173 would prevent all local units of government from using red light cameras.”

The new research has called into question whether red light cameras are providing real safety benefits. The study also revealed that Chicago’s use of short yellow lights and red light cameras have become a dangerous combination.


CARY, IL – State Representative David McSweeney (R-Cary) says when it comes to the state budget crisis, he believes government officials should lead by example. That is why he is again voluntarily cutting his legislative salary and district office budget by 10 percent and returning the money back to the state.

CARY – State Representative David McSweeney (R-Cary) says when it comes to the state budget crisis, he believes government officials should lead by example. That is why he is again voluntarily cutting his legislative salary and district office budget by 10 percent and returning the money back to the state.

 “While many families are making cuts to stay within their budget, our elected officials have a responsibility to reduce their official expenditures” said McSweeney.

An Illinois Representative’s salary and district office allotment are $67,836 and $69,409 respectively. With McSweeney’s salary reimbursement action last week, both will be reduced to 90% of those initial figures for calendar year 2014 with the salary number adjusted for taxes paid.

 McSweeney also plans to cut his calendar year 2015 and 2016 salary and office budget by 10%. Those reductions come in addition to his initial action of voluntarily opting out of the State’s General Assembly Retirement Pension System.  McSweeney will not receive a legislative pension.

 McSweeney continued, “I’ve said from day one, government officials must lead by example in stabilizing our State’s finances. The bottom line is that Illinois is in a financial crisis and business as usual isn’t working."