Didech Celebrates Wins from this Legislative Session

By Catherine Cabrera, Summer Internship Communications Team

The spring 2021 legislative session wrapped in June, and many of the bills sponsored by State Representative Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, passed in both houses of the General Assembly. These are currently awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature to officially make them law.

Bills sponsored by Didech that recently passed in the General Assembly include:

● HB 55: Improves the process by which an intellectual disability and the need for guardianship is evaluated, by granting licensed clinical psychologists evaluation authority, changing the definition for “developmental disability” and adding definitions for “intellectual disability” and “related conditions” to reflect the definitions of the Disabilities Services Act of 2003.
● HB 56: Promotes transparency of public institutions by making the total compensation of county elected officials easily accessible by the public. Current state law had complicated gaining easy access to county information regarding what the county provides directly to elected officials, which often neglected to mention additional state stipends.
● HB 58: Permits and enables filing a restrictive covenant modification to any unlawful restrictive covenant that is void under section 3-105 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, specifically for restrictive covenants based on “race, color, religion, or national origin.” This bill was initially proposed by a constituent in Mundelein whose deed contained unlawful restrictive covenants she wanted removed but was held back due to a lack of streamlined modification procedures.
● HB 122: Advances consumer protections in the state by banning early termination and cancellation fees imposed by service providers – telephone, cellular telephone, television, Internet, energy, medical alert system, and water services – if the contract holder dies before the end of the contract.
● HB 160: Excuses students participating in religious fasts from participating in physical activity components of a physical education course, as long as the student’s guardian notifies the school principal in writing in advance.
● HB 168: Advances animal welfare by prohibiting future ownership of a person or person dwelling in the same household from owning, harboring or having custody or control over any animal if the person has been convicted of two or more of the following offenses: (1) a violation of aggravated cruelty; (2) a violation of animals for entertainment; or (3) a violation of dog fighting.
● HB 169: Streamlines the process for excusing a student’s absence from public school due to religious reasons, such as observance of a religious holiday or participation in religious instruction.
● HB 644: Eliminates barriers that unnecessarily restrict the ability of homeowners to install solar energy systems on their property by expediting approvals for solar energy system installations, clarifying the ability of community associations to regulate solar energy systems within their jurisdiction, and amending the scope of the Homeowners’ Energy Policy Statement Act (HEPSA).

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Lake County State Representatives Call on County Board to Provide Property Tax Relief

Today, State Representatives, Daniel Didech (D – Buffalo Grove), Rita Mayfield (D- Waukegan), Bob Morgan (D – Deerfield) and Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee) are urging the Lake County Board to take action to provide property tax relief to Lake County residents facing economic turmoil as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 21-40(c)(1)(a) of the Property Tax Code gives the Lake County Board wide-ranging powers to provide property tax relief when the county has been deemed a disaster area by the President of the United States. On March 26, 2020, President Donald Trump formally declared the entire state of Illinois a disaster area due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. This declaration triggers the Lake County Board’s power under state law to exempt penalties for property taxes paid late.

Reps. Mayfield, Didech, Morgan and Mason are urging the Lake County Board to utilize these powers to waive late fees for the upcoming June property tax installment.

Statement by Rep. Daniel Didech:

Governor Pritzker’s executive order was the right thing to do to save lives, but the overall economic impact caused by COVID-19 will be staggering. The loss of jobs and income will be even harder for Lake County families to stomach because so many of us are saddled with unfair property tax bills. Now is not the time to insist that everyone should continue making their property tax payments as if this is business-as-usual. Waiving late fees for a period of time is a common-sense measure that would provide much needed property tax relief and ensure that our local governments will have the resources they need to provide the essential services that we all rely upon.

Statement by Rep. Rita Mayfield:

At a time when so many of our neighbors are uncertain what their next paycheck will look like, it would be the wrong approach for Lake County to provide no property tax relief whatsoever. These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Only the Lake County Board has the power to provide property tax relief right away to every property owner in Lake County. The Lake County Board should do the right thing and join us on the side of so many struggling homeowners to waive the late fees.

Statement by Rep. Bob Morgan:

Lake County should follow the State of Illinois in taking the burden off of working families who are enduring the economic impact of this pandemic.

Didech Applauds Passage of Drainage District Consolidation

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – State Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, is celebrating a victory in his mission to consolidate units of government as both chambers of the General Assembly passed a bill to eliminate unnecessary drainage districts in Illinois.

“Illinois has more overlapping layers of government than any other state, and all those layers cost taxpayers more of their hard-earned money,” said Didech. “We’re taking the small steps we need to consolidate government and save taxpayer money, and I’m proud to be leading that fight.”

Didech is the chief House sponsor of Senate Bill 90, which allows local governments to dissolve drainage districts if those districts largely overlap with municipal boundaries. The bill, which passed both houses and will head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for a signature, would eliminate small taxing bodies and absorb them into local municipal and township governments. Didech hopes that the bill will lead to more efficient government and taxpayer savings.

“Illinois continues to struggle with unfair annual property tax increases, and it is crucial that we pursue every reform we can that will place downward pressure on our property tax bills,” said Didech. “This bill will make it easier to consolidate unnecessary taxing bodies and will save money without compromising the quality of services provided to our community.”

Didech Applauds Passage of Jury Equality Bill

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – State Representative Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, is applauding the passage of a bill that outlaws discrimination against LGBTQ individuals during the jury selection process in Illinois.

“Illinois is a fantastic state when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights and equality, but fighting discrimination is an ongoing process,” said Didech. “I’m looking forward to Governor Pritzker signing this bill to law and moving Illinois one step closer toward complete justice and equality for everyone who lives here.”

Didech is the chief House sponsor of Senate Bill 1378, which amends the Jury Act to prohibit residents from being excluded from jury duty on the basis of their sexual orientation. Historically, LGBTQ+ individuals have been kept off juries at higher rates, especially on cases having to do with LGBTQ+ rights.

Continuing the discussion, Didech is hosting an LGBTQ+ Rights and Equality citizens’ advisory committee meeting with Mike Ziri, the Director of Public Policy for Equality Illinois on Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m. at the Vernon Township Community Service Building, located at 2900 N. Main St. in Buffalo Grove. Didech hopes members of the community join the conversations on ways to continue to support the LGBTQ+ community throughout Illinois.

“Our state and community have made a lot of progress over the past few years in terms of LGBTQ+ rights and equality,” said Didech. “I’ve seen amazing progress in the last couple of decades in my community, and I want to talk with my neighbors on how we can continue to foster a more welcoming state, country, and world.”

Didech Celebrates Legislation Protecting Women’s Fundamental Rights

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – Following the General Assembly’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) last month, state Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, is celebrating Illinois becoming a national leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose.

“Illinois stands firmly on the right side of history by passing the Reproductive Health Act,” said Didech. “Illinois stands in stark contrast to extreme states like Georgia and Alabama who are seeking to criminalize doctors and women.”

The Reproductive Health Act passed the Illinois House by a narrow vote of 64-50 and was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday. The act aims to repeal outdated laws still on the books in Illinois, including those that could potentially criminalize doctors and women. Didech hopes that the RHA will serve as a blueprint for defending women’s rights across the nation.

“With draconian legislation passing in other states, and a President appointing Supreme Court Justices looking for an excuse to restrict choice, we need to be ready for a future without Roe v. Wade,” said Didech. “The RHA ensures that, even if lawmakers elsewhere are failing to stand up for what is right, Illinois will defend the right of every woman to make decisions about her own body.”

Didech Rejects Legislative Pay Raise

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – Leading by example to put Illinois back on track, state Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, rejecting a legislative pay raise included in the state budget and will be donating the extra money to local charities.

“We did a lot of good work to move our state forward this session, but legislators should not receive a pay raise when people in the state are still struggling,” said Didech. “Our property tax system is still broken. People in my community are still worried about losing their houses or losing their savings. I’m going to be donating my pay raise until those problems are addressed.”

In continuation of a tradition of leading by example that Didech began as Vernon Township Supervisor, he will be donating the extra salary he receives through a cost of living adjustment back to local charitable causes in the district. Didech also passed a measure, Senate Bill 39, to create the Illinois Property Tax Relief Fund in an effort to pass additional saving onto local homeowners by providing a mechanism for the state to directly reduce local property tax bills.

“The hardworking people of our community deserve property tax relief before legislators receive a raise,” said Didech. “I’m fighting for my property tax relief ideas to put extra money in the pocketbooks of people in my community.”

Didech Joins Fight Against “Double-Dipping on Steroids”

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – In an effort to fight against a practice commonly referred to as “double-dipping”, state Representative Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, is sponsoring legislation to prevent county and municipal board members from collecting their pensions until they’ve reached retirement.

“What’s happening right now is outrageous,” Didech said. “There is a loophole in the system that’s allowing elected officials to artificially inflate their earnings by abusing the pension system. That shouldn’t happen. The state needs to crack down on people who are gaming the system for their own benefit.”

A Daily Herald report found that at least 13 part-time suburban country board members are currently collecting pensions from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) which they earned from their service as a board member, despite the fact that they are also currently being paid salaries as board members. This number includes six Lake County board members currently drawing a county board pension in addition to their county board salaries.

Didech is the House sponsor of Senate Bill 1236, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support in early April. The measure prohibits county officials from drawing a salary if they are supplementing their income by drawing from the pension fund. Didech is sponsoring the bill to stop county board members from abusing a loophole in the pension system.

“This is double-dipping on steroids. The pension system was established to provide a fair and modest retirement for individuals who are no longer working, but some county board members are abusing the system to unfairly spike their taxpayer-funded salaries. We need to close these loopholes that allow these politicians to exploit the system by collecting their pension before they actually retire,” Didech said. “I’m proud to sponsor this bill that helps reign in the systemic abuse of our taxpayer-funded pension funds.”

Additional media inquiries for Didech should be directed to his full-time constituent service office, which can be contacted at 847-478-9909 or info@repdidech.com.

Rep. Didech Speaks at Stop EtO Rally in Gurnee

(Read the original article from the Lake County News-Sun here)

Lake County Health Department officials announced Monday that they have completed preliminary plans for outdoor air quality monitoring outside two plants that use ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing gas.

The announcement follows a Saturday afternoon protest in Gurnee that drew more than 100 people demanding action on the use of ethylene oxide emissions in Lake County.

At Saturday’s protest, state Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, told protesters that their voices were being heard, because he has gone door to door in Gurnee and Waukegan, and “all of their questions were, ‘What are you doing about EtO emissions?’”

“We are standing with you down in Springfield,” Didech added. “These industry executives and their lobbyists, they come down to Springfield and say, ‘It isn’t toxic, it doesn’t cause cancer, it’s not dangerous.’

“It’s the same thing we heard from the tobacco companies; same thing from car manufacturers who said we didn’t need seat belts; same thing we’ve heard from the oil and coal industry who say climate change isn’t real.”

Didech added that, “We know it causes cancer. We know it’s toxic, and we’re going to stop these emissions from being released in our communities.”