From the NW Herald:

The odds of a lame-duck income tax increase, already pretty remote, became even more of a long shot with a significant majority of Illinois House lawmakers now on the record opposed to it.

House Resolution 1494, which opposes any effort to raise taxes in the final days of session in January, passed on an 87-12 vote Wednesday. With almost three-fourths of the House backing the House bill, local Reps. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and Jack Franks, D-Marengo, consider a lame-duck tax increase dead in the water. McSweeney filed the resolution, and Franks the constitutional amendment, and both lawmakers have co-sponsored each other’s bills.

With a six-month stopgap budget set to expire at the end of the year, and ongoing talk of a “grand compromise” budget deal between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, McSweeney and Franks were concerned that an effort would be made to ram a deal through in the final days of session.


“I hope this kills a massive tax increase. Eighty-seven members stood up and said no tax increase during a lame-duck session,” McSweeney said.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has named State Representative David McSweeney a Champion of Free Enterprise. It is given to the types of lawmakers who will encourage investment in Illinois and help it become more competitive with other states. The Champion of Free Enterprise Award is awarded biennially to recognize Illinois Senators and Representatives who have committed to support and defend the employers of Illinois and support the policies of a free enterprise system to help Illinois’ economy grow and prosper. In order to be eligible for the award a lawmaker must have received an average of at least 85% positive voting record as rated in the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Legislative Rating, which is published at the end of each session. The ratings are based on votes on key business legislation selected for their impact on the business community. 
State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) filed House Bill 6613 last Friday to prohibit subruban and downstate school districts from including port retirement bonuses in contracts, a practice that costs local taxpayers thousands of dollars. The practice was recently highlighted in a Chicago Tribune article. The bill does not yet include CPS but Rep. McSweeeney is open to the idea. 

"I would definitely consider adding Chicago, but I want to see all the facts and read the (new CTU) contract," McSweeney said Tuesday. "I certainly do not like the practice."

Read more on the bill at the Chicago Tribune.
A new state law allows Illinois high school students to earn college credit while in high school, ultimately making college tuition more affordable.

Gov. Bruce Rauner last week signed the legislation calling on community colleges to make courses available to high school students for free.

....."College tuition is only getting more and more expensive each year," McSweeney said. "This new law will open the door for Illinois high school students to earn dual credit for certain classes while they are still in high school. It is an effort to help students save money on their college tuition costs and to better assist their transition from high school to college."

Read the full story at the Daily Herald.
From the Daily Herald:

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday signed legislation from a bipartisan duo of suburban lawmakers geared toward cutting local government costs.

One new law was sparked by the reporting of Daily Herald columnist Jake Griffin and would limit spending on travel for local officials and prohibit using taxpayer money for entertainment costs.

"Illinois has the highest property taxes in the nation," state Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, said of the plan he sponsored. "We need to make sure our tax dollars are being used wisely and we need to reduce property taxes."

Another new law signed Friday would require counties to write a report for state lawmakers about what local governments they make appointments for. The idea is to try to identify unnecessary local agencies.
The clamor in Springfield for a tax increase has reached a near fever pitch. The conventional wisdom, we are told, is Illinois’ budget is so out of balance, so out of whack the only hope of solving this crisis is a massive tax increase on Illinois families and small business employers. A tax increase is the wrong answer for Illinois.

In the last few weeks, various tax increase proposals have emerged. News reports say a recent secret working group document calls for increasing the personal income tax rate by nearly 30 percent, from 3.75 percent to as much as 4.85 percent, and expanding the sales tax to include certain services.

The truth is Illinoisans cannot afford another tax increase. WalletHub.com recently named Illinois the state with the highest combination of local and state taxes in the entire nation. The last thing Illinois taxpayers need right now is for lawmakers to add to an already high tax burden in Illinois. 

State Rep. David McSweeney is calling on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to examine lead levels in Illinois’ drinking water supplies, he said in a news release.

“We are learning through media reports that some water systems could have lead levels exceeding federal standards,” McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, said. “This is our drinking water we are talking about here. The IEPA needs to investigate this closely and report back to us on how widespread this problem really is. This problem needs to be addressed now.”

Read more at the NW Herald.


State Representative David McSweeney recently sat down with fellow Representative Patti Bellock and State Senators Andy Manar and Daniel Biss at the City Club of Chicago's luncheon on the state budget. 

Watch the entire panel here.
House lawmakers unanimously passed a proposal Tuesday calling on community colleges to make courses available to high school students for free.

Sponsored by state Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, the measure calls for the creation of a statewide pilot program modeled after Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300's Accelerate College program, which allows qualifying high school students to take a full-year of college classes tuition free during senior year.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law, Illinois high school students can earn dual credit for taking community college classes. Participation in the Accelerate College pilot program would be voluntary for community colleges.

Read more from the Daily Herald.
A bill that would make it harder for local government officials to travel and dine at taxpayer expense sailed through the Illinois House and is on its way to the state Senate.

House Bill 4379, filed in January by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, would limit the amount of money that non-home-rule governments can spend on travel, meals and lodging. The bill was inspired by a slew of reports and investigations revealing questionable travel and entertainment expenses racked up by government officials.

Read more at the NW Herald
From the State Journal Register:

A measure to eliminate the office of lieutenant governor in Illinois has gotten initial approval in the state House.

The bill from Republican state Rep. David McSweeney would not apply to the state's current lieutenant governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti.

The House State Government Administration Committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday on a 12-0 vote.

McSweeney says the office has limited responsibilities and eliminating the position would save the state about $1.6 million annually. The change would be a constitutional amendment so voters would ultimately decide whether to eliminate the office starting in 2019, the end of Sanguinetti's term. The question will go to voters if three-fifths of each chamber supports the proposal.

An identical measure is pending in the Senate.
State Representative McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) joined Rick Pearson on the Sunday Spin on WGN radio last weekend. He discussed the budget and what to expect now that session is back after a month-long absence. 

Listen here
The Illinois State Board of Elections at the behest of a state lawmaker is looking into the problems that plagued Tuesday’s primary.

State Rep. David McSweeney asked board Chairman Charles Scholz in a Thursday evening email for a close look at how the McHenry County Clerk’s Office handled the election.

“It’s important that the public has full confidence in the integrity of the election process. It’s also essential that training is improved to make sure that this never happens again,” said McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills.

Read more at the Northwest Herald.
From the Daily Herald:

An Algonquin area school district's initiative has prompted legislation calling on community colleges to make courses available to high school students for free.

State Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, has proposed the measure [House Bill 5561] pushing for the creation of a statewide pilot program modeled after Community Unit District 300's Accelerate College program, which allows qualifying high school students to take a full-year of college classes tuition free during senior year.

...

"I think it's a great program," said McSweeney, who worked closely with District 300 Superintendent Fred Heid to craft the legislation. "It efficiently uses state resources. It's a great model for what we should be doing (statewide) to make sure we are giving (students) the best opportunities for college. It makes sense that our students are incentivized to attend college, do college-level work and receive credit for that."

State Representative David McSweeney's office will be participating in this year's Winterfest Home and Business Expo. This showcase of services from throughout the area will be held at the Jacobs H.S. Fieldhouse, 2601 Bunker Hill Dr. in Algonquin. The expo hours are from 9am to 4pm. The event will be collecting food items for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Food Pantry so if you can please bring non perishable items.
Gov. Bruce Rauner and like-minded lawmakers unveiled four proposed pieces of legislation Friday aimed at helping reduce the state’s 7,000 units of government.

The legislation is the first inspired by the final report released last month from the Task Force on Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti. The report, which included a 27-point action plan, concluded that the sheer number of taxing bodies and the unfunded mandates imposed on them by Springfield play a significant role in the state’s high property taxes.

State Representative McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) filed the Citizens Empowerment Act, HB 4967, to allow citizens to consolidate “duplicative, excessive or unnecessary” governments by referendum.

Read more from the Northwest Herald
There are many ideas on the table to attempt to fix the state of Illinois’ budget problems, but perhaps one of the worst ideas being pushed is a proposal to tax retirement income in Illinois.

Retirees in Illinois pay federal taxes on their retirement income, and they also pay state and local taxes, such as motor fuel taxes, property taxes and utility taxes. It’s been reported secret working groups have been discussing a massive retirement tax.

Taxing retirement income would be disastrous and would hurt Illinois senior citizens. I’m committed to stopping any Illinois retirement tax. I’m chief sponsor of House Resolution 890, which strongly opposes efforts to tax retirement income. I currently have 56 sponsors for my resolution, and it’s supported by the AARP, which represents 1.7 million members in Illinois.


Read the full letter to the editor from Rep McSweeney at the Daily Herald
Local government officials and employees would have a harder time traveling and dining on the taxpayer's dime under a bill filed by a McHenry County lawmaker.

House Bill 4379, filed last week by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, seeks to limit the amount of money that school districts and non-home-rule governments can spend on travel, meals and lodging.

It will require said governments to regulate reimbursement by resolution or ordinance, set maximum limits, and better document said expenses through a standardized form. Spending taxpayer money on entertainment would be forbidden under the proposed law.

Read more from the NW Herald here.
Calling it one way to rein in property taxes, Barrington Hills Republican state Rep. David McSweeney has introduced a bill that would limit travel expenses for local governments in Illinois.

"There has been a lot of wasteful spending," McSweeney said. "And if government money is going to be allocated, then it should be clear what it's being spent on."

Spurred by a series of Daily Herald reports on suburban officials' tax-paid reimbursements for lavish meals, travel costs and entertainment, McSweeney filed the bill that would prohibit using tax dollars to cover any entertainment expenses and limit amounts spent on other items.

Read more from the Daily Herald here