Rep. Brad Stephens Discusses the Upcoming 2020 Legislative Session

Last week, I listened to the Governor’s State of the State Address. It is clear that there is a bipartisan emphasis on reducing our state’s excessive property taxes. Illinois is taxing people out of their homes. These taxes hurt seniors on fixed incomes, and it is exacerbating the state’s out-migration problem. The legislature needs to do everything in its power to lower the property tax burden, create jobs, and grow the economy, so everyone in our communities prosper. If we work together in a bipartisan fashion, we can provide long overdue relief for Illinois families and small businesses. I look forward to working together to lower property taxes for the people of Illinois.

During the fall veto session we worked bipartisanly to make healthcare more available – and more affordable to those in need. Out-of-pocket insulin costs were capped at $100 a month for a 30-day supply. This was a good start, but diabetics have more costs than just insulin. Diabetics also have to buy many other expensive supplies, such as blood sugar test strips and, in some cases, the monthly lease of an insulin pump, for self-management. I will be introducing an amendment to the Insurance Code to place a cap of $100/month on the costs of ALL supplies required by a person with diabetes for diabetic self-management.

Locally, my office has received numerous emails and phone calls concerning the graffiti on the noise abatement walls currently under construction along the Kennedy Expressway near Cumberland and Canfield Avenues. I have been working with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and advocating for the removal of the graffiti from the vandalized walls. Much of it has been removed. However, graffiti clean-up is only a short-term solution. As a more permanent long-term solution, vines will be installed on both sides of the wall. This should not only improve the aesthetic of the wall but will also deter further vandalism. Additionally, in the coming weeks, I will be introducing legislation to increase penalties for those found vandalizing the wall in order to prevent graffiti on public transportation infrastructure.