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McHenry Times

Friday, February 28, 2020

Three new bills approved on House floor


By Kyla Asbury | Nov 9, 2019

Illinois state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake)

Illinois state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake) shared his thoughts on three bills on the House floor this week, opposing two of them and supporting one.

House Bill 745 amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act to make it so that certain information is exempt from inspection and copying under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Skillicorn questioned if the bill allowed parents to access their own children's info to find out if they were denied or not denied and why, which House Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) said wouldn't work. 

Skillicorn also questioned if the bill would allow for a requirement to inform individuals when they received applications.

"Would this inform them so they would know it didn't get lost in the mail or something?" Skillicorn questioned. "Would you be open to something like that down the road?"

Zalewski said that topic could be revisited at a later time. The bill passed with 91 Yes votes and 24 No votes.

Senate Bill 1784 amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act so that an employer shall not discourage employees or applicants from becoming or remaining union members or authorizing dues deductions. Employers also cannot interfere with the relationship between employees and their exclusive bargaining representative.

Skillicorn questioned language in the bill that said discussions "shall not impede normal operations" and how that would work.

"Does that mean they might set aside two hours to talk to their rep? " Skillicorn asked. "Four hours? The whole day? I'm just making sure intent is clear that we’re not taking a teacher out of valuable classroom time."

Skillicorn also questioned the opt-out time constraint clause.

"Essentially, you’re stuck with this decision for a year and I’m concerned about that," he said. "I’m worried about civil rights. This is significant. I'm urging a No vote.

The bill passed with 93 Yes votes and 23 No votes. 

Skillicorn supported Senate Bill 1786, the state's License to Work Act.

"There are penalties for certain crimes and those crimes are punished in other ways — not just license suspension," Skillicorn said. "There’s actually a criminal penalty."

Skillicorn questioned why drivers' licenses were being taken away in the first place for non-driving crimes.

"I want us to take away the drivers' licenses of bad drivers," he said. "Not people who do petty crimes other than driving. I urge an Aye vote. Stop taking away licenses from people for things that don’t have anything to do with driving."

The bill passed with 88 Yes votes and 27 No votes.

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Illinois Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-66th)

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