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Danville, IL…  State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) provided a short reaction to today’s State of the State address by newly elected Governor Rauner.  Rauner’s speech illumintated his ambitious goals for his tenure as governor.

“I am impressed with the Governor’s vision for our state,” said Hays.  “Now more than ever, Illinois needs what Rauner has to offer: fearless leadership, a work-a-holic mantra, and hope that Illinois can rise up from the bottom of so many state-by-state comparison lists.”
Hays notes that this vision will undoubtedly require some tough votes by the General Assembly and will likely cause disruption to business as usual for some agencies or programs.  But for the time being, Hays is pleased with the overall message he heard.
News From
State Representative Chad Hays

For Immediate Release:                                                                                  Contact: Chad Hays
Friday, January 16, 2015                                                                                (217) 477-0104

Hays to Help Clean Up Illinois

Danville, IL…  State Representative Chad Hays (R-Danville) was appointed this week to the bipartisan and bicameral Legislative Ethics Commission.  The commission’s membership includes four State Representatives and four Senators, with each of the four legislative leaders appointing two members to serve. The commission is charged with upholding ethics laws, creating rules around ethics legislation and holding hearings at the request of the Legislative Inspector General on possible ethics violations.

“In a state with a history of corruption, it is a great honor and great responsibility to be charged with upholiding ethics laws in the state legislature,” said Hays.  “I look forward to helping change the culture in Springfield and earning back the faith and trust of the people of Illinois.”

Hays filled the spot vacated by former State Representative Jil Tracy. Joining Hays as a new member of the commission is State Representative Norine Hammond, who is replacing former State Representative Darlene Senger.
News & Updates from Rep Hays
January 6, 2015
In This Issue:
  • Special Session Called
  • New Laws
  • Ring in the New Year
I hope you all had a relaxing and joyous Christmas and New Year.  As we look forward to what 2015 has in store, I wanted to let you know about some things of which you should be aware.

Special Session Called
After the untimely death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on December 10th, questions arose about the proper course in which that vacancy should be filled.  In the end, the legal consensus was that there were two vacancies, one to be filled now for Comptroller Topinka’s current term of service and one to be filled on January 12th for her upcoming term of service.

Current Governor Pat Quinn appointed longtime aide Jerry Stermer as temporary Comptroller on Friday, December 19 to serve the remaining days of Topinka’s first term.  Stermer will voluntarily step down as Comptroller on January 12, 2015.  Incoming Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner will then appoint someone to fill the full four year term.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story as it should be.  Instead, some advocate creating a special election to add the office of Comptroller, on a one-time-only basis, to the presidential ballot that Illinoisans will vote on in November 2016.  Retiring Gov. Quinn has called a special session of the General Assembly to consider legislative measures to provide for an off-term election for the office of State Comptroller.  The General Assembly has been directed to meet in Springfield on Thursday, January 8.

The Constitution of Illinois does not, however, currently provide for an off-term special election.  Section 2 of Article V of the Constitution provides explicitly that the Comptroller and the other statewide elected officials shall be elected at the general election in 1978 and every four years thereafter.  Section 3 of the Constitution’s transition schedule, approved by the voters in that year, moved the election dates for statewide elected officials, including the Comptroller, from presidential election years to midterm election years.  The change became effective in 1976-1978 and was the only time in the history of the current Constitution that statewide officials have been elected to a two-year term.

Although the retiring Governor has called upon Illinois lawmakers to assemble to pass a legislative bill to enact a special election, constitutional language and precedent does not allow them to do what he is requesting.  The Constitution directs incoming Gov. Bruce Rauner to appoint a new Comptroller to serve a four-year term ending in January 2019, and Rauner is preparing to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities.

At minimum, any proposed legislation needs to be the permanent law, and not just a one-time dynamic that is purely partisan in nature.

New Laws
The following are some of the key laws that took effect on January 1st, 2015.  For a full list of new laws please visit my website:

PA 98-0650 (SB 3411) Ban Police Ticket Quotas 
The law prohibits county, municipal, conservation, and state police agencies from implementing ticket quotas. Officers may still be evaluated on “points of contact,” including the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings and crime prevention measures. Initiative enacted to refocus law enforcement on public safety instead of revenue generation.

PA 98-0698 (SB 3433) Boating Safety Certificates
Provides that no one born on or after January 1, 1998 shall operate a motorboat with more than 10 horse power without securing a valid Boating Safety Certificate by the Department of Natural Resources or another approved agency.

PA 98-0746 (HB 5895) Nighttime BiOptic driving permits
Allows persons using non-traditional visual aid instruments, such as BiOptics, to apply for a special, restricted driver’s training permit. Currently, no process exists for drivers who wear bioptic lenses to practice driving prior to taking the nighttime road test. The permit would allow the applicant to drive from sunset to 10:00 p.m. for six months as long as the applicant is accompanied by a person who has a valid driver’s license with no nighttime driving restrictions. BiOptic glasses are vision enhanced lenses with extreme magnification.

PA 98-0774 (HB 5701) ‘Ban the Box’ bill
Prohibits employers from seeking information regarding a potential employee’s criminal history until after an invitation to interview or a conditional offer of employment has been extended.  Intended to allow job seekers with criminal history to be considered on their merits and experience rather than being dismissed out of hand for an offense.

PA 98-0775 (SB 2636) Use of medical cannabis for minors
Amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act to add the use of medical cannabis for seizures and epilepsy including for minors under the age of 18.  Allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to create rules saying minors must have parental consent and/or minors may not smoke the cannabis (instead consume cannabis infused products); IDPH is not required to create these rules, but can if they so choose.

PA 98-0777 (HB 3130) Pension Funding Obligation
Requires the State to transfer $1 billion annually from the General Revenue Fund to the Pension Stabilization Fund beginning FY 2020 and expires FY 2057 if each retirement system is funded properly. This requirement is contractually obligated to contribute to the system each fiscal year an amount not less than the sum of the state’s required contribution.  Also, all forms of retirement income that exceed $125,000 per household will be taxed at the State income tax rate of 5%.

PA 98-0849 (SB 3406) Qualifications for licensure as a clinical psychologist
Makes changes to the qualifications for licensure as a clinical psychologist. Requires that an applicant for licensure be a graduate of a doctoral program in clinical, school, or counseling psychology either accredited by the American Psychological Association or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System or approved by the Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology or other national board (rather than accredited by the American Psychological Association or approved by the Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology or other national board).

PA 98-0870 (SB 2583) “Sign and drive” in Illinois
This new law institutes “sign and drive” in Illinois by prohibiting the confiscation of a motorist’s driver’s license as bail when stopped and cited for a minor (no jail time) traffic offense.  Since 9/11, the need for appropriate, state-issued photo identification has become a necessity in order to travel, obtain health-care, renting vehicles, etc. The driver’s license is still the standard, accepted form of photo identification.

PA 98-0977 (SB 3506) Emergency Medical Treatment
In a provision that sets forth the General Assembly’s findings, removes a finding that the use of the term “urgent” in a facility’s posted or advertised name may confuse the public regarding the types of services offered by that facility relative to the services offered by a hospital emergency department. In a provision that prohibits the use of certain terms that give the impression that emergency care is provided by a person, entity, or facility, the Act provides that a person, facility, or entity is not prohibited from holding itself to the public as an “urgi-“ or “urgent” care center.

PA 98-1050 (HB 8) Workplace Pregnancy Accommodations 
Provides that it is a civil rights violation for employers: to not to make reasonable accommodations for employees with conditions commonly related to childbirth or pregnancy; to require a job applicant or employee to accept accommodations; to require an employee to take leave for a medical condition related to childbirth or pregnancy; or to retaliate against a person who has requested, attempted to request, used, or attempted to use a reasonable accommodation.

PA 98-1089 (SB 352) Internet sales tax collection
Will allow the State to use an Internet “click-through” relationship as a way to demand that the Internet retailer collect and remit sales taxes to the State of Illinois.

Ring in the New Year
For all the fiscal problems Illinois has faced in the last few years, the New Year brings with it the dawning of a new day in Illinois.  Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner is about to bring some much needed change to Springfield and I am looking forward to see what the New Year and Governor-Elect Rauner have in store for Illinois.  A safe and blessed New Year to you all.

State Rep Chad Hays
The following list contains all the laws that will become effective as of January 1, 2015.  If you have any questions regarding these laws, please feel free to contact my office.

PA 98-0519 (SB 1898) Increases minimum mandatory coverage for liability insurance policies
The new law raises the required minimum coverage for 1) Bodily Injury or death to any one person from $20,000 to $25,000; 2) Bodily Injury or Death of 2 or more persons in any one accident from $40,000 to $50,000; and 3) Injury to or destruction of property from $15,000 to $20,000. Only apply to policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2015.

PA 98-0528 (SB 1598) Collection of racial and ethnic data from arrests
Acknowledging the disproportionality of arrests among racial and ethnic minorities, data will be collected for each adult and juvenile sentenced to the Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice for the following criminal justice contact points: arrest, referral, diversion, detention, petition, delinquency findings, probation, secure confinement, and transfer of juvenile to adult court.

PA 98-0628 (HB 2317) Allows for property tax bill to be sent via e-mail upon request
Permits County Treasurers to send property tax bills via e-mail if the property owner or taxpayer makes a request in writing. In addition, requires sales tax on leased vehicles to be collected on the monthly payments, as opposed to prior law which provided the tax be collected on the value of the vehicle at the inception of the lease.

PA 98-0629 (HB 1584) Children’s Community-Based Health Care Centers
Amends state law to eliminate conflict and confusion arising from two different titles referring to the same program by redefining "children's respite care centers" as "children's community-based health care centers”, thereby making it easier for Illinois residents to see U.S. Health and Human Services Dept. reports by requiring that Home Office Cost statements related to children’s community-based health care centers also be sent to DPH and for DPH to post them on the Department’s website.

PA 98-0635 (HB 5815) Record Sealing/Expungement – Municipal Ordinance Violations
This act allows an individual to have their municipal ordinance violations sealed or expunged, excluding minor traffic offenses and speeding tickets. As enacted, an individual over the age of 18 convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, other than a minor traffic offense, can petition the court to expunge the records of his/her arrests two years after the completion of their sentence.

PA 98-0637 (SB 978) Expungement of Juvenile Arrest Records
Eliminates barriers on young adults seeking to pursue higher education, secure employment, join the military, and/or obtain or maintain public housing by requiring the State Police to automatically expunge all arrest records (misdemeanor or felony) of a minor if the arrest did not result in charges being filed. The state would have to expunge arrests automatically when the minor turns 18 under specific conditions.

PA 98-0638 (SB 2727) Ban Synthetic Microbeads in Cosmetic Products
Prohibits the manufacture or sale of any cosmetic products that contains synthetic plastic microbeads, a pollutant composed of non-biodegradable solid plastic particle used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product. Illinois is the first state to enact such legislation, aimed at protecting the Great Lakes and other bodies of water.

PA 98-0650 (SB 3411) Ban Police Ticket Quotas
The law prohibits county, municipal, conservation, and state police agencies from implementing ticket quotas. Officers may still be evaluated on “points of contact,” including the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings and crime prevention measures. Initiative enacted to refocus law enforcement on public safety instead of revenue generation.

PA 98-0661 (HB 5716) Access to Digital Public School Emergency Crisis Response Plans
Allows school boards to update public school building’s emergency crisis response plans and make them accessible in a digital format to allow emergency and crisis plans to be available to first responders, administrators and teachers for implementation through the use of applications on electronic devices, including, but not limited to, smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

PA 98-0666 (HB 4418) Referendum to Dissolve Municipal Fire Department
Requires municipalities with 500 or more residents to seek approval from the electorate in a referendum before dissolving a full-time fire department. This new law ensures greater public accountability and protects full-time firefighter staff in the event that a municipality considers going to an all-volunteer fire department.

PA 98-0685 (HB 4083) Department of Corrections and Juvenile Justice Technical Changes
Makes technical changes to the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. It enables the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of corrections to update administrative rules to clarify roles. The clarifications do not change current practice by either Department, but only better define responsibilities.

PA 98-0689 (HB 4781) Contact Visits for Department of Corrections
Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to clarify that the six month limitation on contact visits applies to the Department of Corrections, and not to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

PA 98-0690 (HB 5410) Lead Poisoning Prevention
Amends the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act to bring the Act into compliance with recent federal regulations, by requiring health care providers to report to the DPH when the provider has verified information of the existence of a blood lead test result for any child or pregnant person. Also provides that the prohibition on disclosure of information regarding lead testing does not prevent the DPH from using the information to prosecute an person who violates the Act.

PA 98-0692 (SB 3443) Budgeting for Results Omnibus Bill
Eliminates various boards, task forces and commissions and allows a number of required reports to be published online. Removes duplicative State agency functions and repeals obsolete programs.

PA 98-0693 (SB 121) Changes to the African American Family Commission
Makes changes to the Illinois African American Family Commission by requiring more state agencies to collaborate with, and obtain guidance from, the commission. Also changes the appointment structure from being made entirely by the Governor, to appointments being made by the Governor and the four legislative leaders.

PA 98-0697 (SB 2731) Safety for Persons Towed by Watercraft
Amends the Boat Registration & Safety Act to require operators of a watercraft towing a person to display an orange flag on their watercraft from the time the person prepares for towing until the person reenters the boat.

PA 98-0698 (SB 3433) Boating Safety Certificates
Provides that no one born on or after January 1, 1998 shall operate a motorboat with more than 10 horse power without securing a valid Boating Safety Certificate by the Department of Natural Resources or another approved agency.

PA 98-0699 (SB 3434) Forfeiture and Seizure of Watercraft
Provides that a watercraft used with the knowledge and consent of the owner for the commission of specified offenses may be seized.

PA 98-0701 (SB 2922) Public Adjuster Rates
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code by setting a cap on the amount a public adjuster may charge, agree to, or accept. Sets the cap at 10% of the amount of the insurance settlement claim paid by an insurer on a claim resulting from a catastrophic event unless approved in writing by the Director of Insurance.

PA 98-0704 (HB 5949) Access to Birth Certificates of Adopted Persons
Allows adult grandchildren to access birth certificates and other information regarding their deceased grandparents if the grandparent was adopted. Also allows a birth parent of an adopted child to receive a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate if certain conditions are met.

PA 98-0707 (HB 671) Personal information of children
This Act changes the Children’s Privacy Protections and Parental Empowerment Act to state that the sales or purchase of a child’s personal information without parental consent is not prohibited in the course of criminal and civil investigations. Current law states that the sale or purchase of personal information concerning a child without parental consent is prohibited.

PA 98-0708 (HB 2544) Guidelines and protocols for laboratory testing
The law creates the Accountable Care Organization Clinical Laboratory Testing Advisory Board. The Act says that every accountable care organization providing diagnosis and treatment for patients in this State must establish an advisory board to consider and recommend guidelines or protocols for clinical laboratory testing.

PA 98-0717 (HB 4266) Protecting crime victims’ privacy
This Act prohibits the Prisoner Review Board from releasing any name or address of the victim to anyone other than the law enforcement officer or the victim. This Act also prohibits the Attorney General from releasing personal information of any person registered to receive notifications to any other person except State or local officials.

PA 98-0718 (HB 4336) Updating GED-related statutes
Changes references relating to General Educational Development (GED) testing and certificates to high school equivalency testing and certificates throughout various Acts.

PA 98-0719 (HB 4340) Updating statutes relating to the Illinois Community College Board
Existing statutes are updated to change references from the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Community College Board to the Executive Director of the Illinois Community College Board.

PA 98-0725 (HB 4417) Armed probation officers
This Act states that probation officers may only carry weapons while in the performance of their official duties, or while commuting between their homes, places of employment, or specific locations that are part of their assigned duties, provided they have received the prior consent of the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court for which they are employed, and they have received weapons training according to requirement of the Peace Officer and Probation Officer Firearm Training Act.

PA 98-0726 (HB 4422) Secretary of State omnibus bill
The omnibus bill for the Secretary of State makes the following changes: under the Illinois Identification Card Act, expands the definition of “disability” to include “oncological impairments” within Class 1A and Class 2A disabilities. It also amended the Illinois Vehicle Code concerning the Secretary of State’s discretionary authority to suspend or revoke the driver’s license or permit of military personnel. It removes the “J48 restriction” from statute. This restriction limits a driver to operating only a school bus and no other type of commercial motor vehicle.

PA 98-0728 (HB 4687) Fees for shipping radioactive material
For truck shipments of less than 100 miles in Illinois that consist entirely of cobalt-60 or other medical isotopes or both, the $2,500 per truck fee shall be reduced to $1,500 for the first truck and $750 for each additional truck in the same shipment.

PA 98-0730 (HB 4707) Out-of-state CPA licensees awaiting Illinois licensure
Any individual who is the holder of a current and valid license as a certified public accountant of any state who has properly applied to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for licensure by endorsement may perform accountancy activities until the expiration of 6 months after the filing of the application or until the denial of the application by the Department, whichever occurs earlier. This Act further provides several changes to the Illinois Public Accounting Act in regards to the licensure of certified public accountants.

Governor Pat Quinn traveled to Gifford to sign into law new property tax protections for businesses needing to repair or rebuild after storms, said State Representative Chad Hays, the measure’s chief House sponsor.

 Senate Bill 3259, guided through the House by Rep. Hays and the Senate by Sen. Mike Frerichs, will cap assessed valuation increases on storm damaged businesses to no more than 4% per year for 15 years.

Representative Hays said Eric and Justin Rademacher, the owners of Rademacher Building Center in Gifford, brought to his attention the need to add damaged businesses to the property tax protections already on the books for owners of homes damaged by storms.

 “For many owners of storm-damaged businesses, providing protection from massive, new construction-related tax increases can mean the difference between rebuilding or going out of business. These protections are vital for local businesses, and it’s very appropriate that the Governor signed them into law at the Rademacher Building Center in Gifford which is currently being rebuilt after a devastating tornado last fall,” said Representative Hays.
State Representative Chad D. Hays is proud to be a community college graduate and says he’ll “talk about it to whomever will listen; I never miss an opportunity to talk about community colleges – from the house floor to the rotary club.”

Rep. Hays completed an Associate of Science degree at Danville Area Community College in 1983. He is the 2014 DACC Distinguished Alumnus and is the College’s nominee for the statewide honor from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.

“Danville Area Community College has had a profound and lasting impact on my life, my family, and my constituents,” he stated. “DACC was a high quality affordable conduit to higher education for me.”

Rep. Hays says he was blessed in his upbringing and home life. His parents were strong advocates for higher education and encouraged their three children to pursue college degrees. The difficulties arose when all three – and their mother – were in college at the same time. In order to alleviate some of the cost burden, Rep. Hays enrolled at DACC and started a work-study program at Hyster, Co., where he attended classes full time and worked 20 hours each week during the academic year, and then worked 40 hours per week during the summer. After completing his Associate degree, Rep. Hays transferred to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and graduated with his Bachelor’s degree on the same day that his mother received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

After graduation, Rep. Hays distinguished himself as a healthcare administrator, serving as Vice President of Development and Mission Services for Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. In this capacity he also served as the Executive Director of the Provena USMC Foundation and raised more than $18 million for hospital services and community outreach programs. Many of those outreach programs were regionally and nationally recognized for their accomplishments.

In addition to the demands of a full-time career, Rep. Hays served as the Mayor of his hometown, Catlin, from 1991 to 1999. When he was first elected at age 28, Rep. Hays was the youngest mayor in the state. During his tenure as Mayor, he chaired the Vermilion County Mayor’s Council.

Rep. Hays was elected to the Illinois General Assembly as the State Representative for the 104thDistrict in 2010, following in the footsteps of long-time State Representative William B. “Bill” Black. Though admittedly a “hard act to follow,” Rep. Hays quickly distinguished himself from Rep. Black and moved into a surprising number of leadership roles in a very short time.

Rep. Hays serves on a number of House committees and is the Republican Spokesperson for both the Higher Education and Health Care Availability Access committees. He is the Assistant Minority Leader and is a House Republican Floor Leader, both tremendous honors that traditionally go to legislators with considerably more tenure. He is respected by his peers on both sides of the aisle. Rep. Hays credits his career history and connection to DACC with giving him valuable insights that may have contributed to his selection for these roles.

“As a community leader I have witnessed first hand the extraordinary role that DACC plays in not only educating recent high school graduates, but those returning to higher education from the working world and/or those displaced from the workforce,” Rep. Hays stated. “As a member of the Illinois General Assembly I speak with pride and passion about DACC as the crown jewel in Vermilion County.”

Appreciation for the benefits of DACC is a tradition Rep. Hays has shared with his children. His oldest son took a DACC course, post-bachelorʼs degree, that was needed to enter a Doctoral program in Physical Therapy. His son described the rigor of the Physics course as the most demanding of any class he has ever encountered. The youngest Hays son starts each day on the campus of DACC as a participant of Project Lead the Way, an early engineering program offered as a partnership between DACC and Vermilion Advantage that provides both high school and college, or dual, credit. He has taken other dual credit courses, as well. The dual credit program allows an Illinois student to accumulate college-level credit while still in high school with free tuition.

In his role as State Representative, Hays continues to advocate for DACC both in the General Assembly and in the community. He is a frequent guest and speaker at DACC events. “I am a fierce and enthusiastic supporter of our Community College system because I know it to be the pathway to brighter futures. I need no prompting on this subject matter . . . . .I have lived it, and it works!”

After listening to Governor Quinn’s budget plan on Wednesday, State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) said it’s apparent that the Governor is not acknowledging the true depth of Illinois ongoing jobs crisis, and doesn’t understand how to solve it.

“In recent weeks I have commended the Governor on his swift action to help our communities in crisis after the devastating November tornados; but there’s another major crisis he’s not addressing: our families need good jobs. In fact, the Governor persists in pushing policies that stifle job growth and discourage employers from locating here.” Hays said.

“The Quinn administration is closing the state employment services office in Danville, where we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. He has single-handedly blocked a gaming plan that would create thousands of good-paying jobs for our families, and today, he reneged on his promise about the so-called “temporary” income tax increase - now saying the record 67% tax hike should be made permanent. That hurts working families and their employers,” said Hays. “We already have the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest, and unless we reject these job-killing policies, that’s not going to change.”

Click "Here" to listen to comments from Representative Hays on the Governor's budget address.