Working for Illinois Caucus

House Downstate Democrats work for the good people of Illinois



Yingling closes Round Lake Beach office

State Rep. Sam Yingling, a Grayslake Democrat, is closing his 62nd District office, 1919 Route 83, Suite 1 in Round Lake Beach, until further notice but will continue to be available remotely. Local families, seniors and small business owners who have concerns are encouraged to email Residents with concerns about COVID-19 can call the Illinois Department of Public Health’s hotline (800) 889-3931 or email


Feeds,Region: DuPage,Local,Region: Suburbs

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March 18, 2020 at 06:29PM

ENDORSEMENT: Rita Mayfield for Illinois House in 60th District Democratic primary

State Rep. Rita Mayfield, 2020 primary election endorsement, Illinois House, 60th District
State Rep. Rita Mayfield is endorsed by the Sun-Times for Illinois House in the 60th District Democratic primary. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

She has a grasp of a broader array of issues facing the state than her opponent.

In this far north suburban district, we endorse five-term incumbent Rita Mayfield of Waukegan over environmental activist Diana Burdette, also of Waukegan. Mayfield has a better grasp of a broad array of issues facing the state.

Mayfield is promoting long-term efforts, for example, to clean up the Superfund site of the vacant asbestos-ridden Johns Manville plant on Waukegan’s lakefront. She also supports retiring Waukegan’s coal-fired power plant in a way that this prime lakefront land can be put to better use, perhaps as a museum, a forest preserve or a park. And she has worked to keep Lake Michigan water — the Chicago area’s greatest natural resource — from being diverted outside the Great Lakes basin.

Along with Burdette, Mayfield was involved in efforts to limit or end emissions of ethylene oxide from local Medline Industries and Vantage Specialty Chemicals plants. Mayfield also supports the graduated income tax amendment and taxing retirement income of wealthier residents in the state, but she opposes term limits.

Illinois House 60th District map.
Illustration by Caroline Hurley
Illinois House 60th District map.

For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.

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Feeds,News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

via Chicago Sun-Times – All

February 27, 2020 at 05:16AM

Kifowit acknowledges disparities in property taxes, calling problem ‘epidemic’

The disparities in property taxes across the state of Illinois is "epidemic," according to Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego).

"I think overall, the property tax discussion is one that should be had statewide," Kifowit said. "When you look at the disparities, it’s epidemic statewide."

Kifowit made the comment in response to the news that Oswego School District 308 had not been selected as a beneficiary of a property tax relief grant through the state’s Education Based Funding (EBF) formula for the second year in a row.

The EBF includes a provision for school districts with high tax rates, relative to other school districts to lower the property tax burden on its residents, with the state replacing a portion of taxes through the grant.

OSD 308 had previously applied for the grant in 2018, but had been turned down.

In a statement sent to the Oswego Ledger Wednesday morning, OSD 308 Director of Communications and Public Relations Theresa Komitas said, "Oswego Community Unit School District 308 is disappointed to not have been included in the 39 districts that were announced�by the Illinois State Board of Education as eligible for the 2020 Property Tax Relief Grant.

"Confidence was not high our district would be awarded the grant, given our ranking on the list. We support this grant along with other�measures being put in place by the state to support funding of public education in Illinois."

Kifowit acknowledged that the fund is not currently given the money that it needs to provide relief.

"The fund was established with good intent, but we need to work to do more," she said. Part of the difficulty, she acknowledged, came from prior imbalanced budgets at the state level.

Legislators, she confirmed, are looking at multiple avenues of easing property taxes, including the different areas that make up a homeowner’s property tax.

Kifowit, who serves on the Property Tax Relief Task Force formed during the 2019 session, previously confirmed that the task force’s School Funding Subcommittee made four suggestions for reducing the overall property tax including: closing the loophole allowing districts to engage in continual bonding after a bond issue has expired; allowing school districts to petition for increased state funding to lower their levy; mandating that school districts with "significant" cash reserves must either abate the excess reserves by lowering the levy or identify the purpose and use timeline for the funds; and instruct the Illinois State Board of Education to establish best practices for districts regarding debt and mandating long-term planning goals to assess a district’s finances.

The possibility of a petition, Kifowit said in a previous interview, would be a more widespread method of appealing to the state for districts than methods already in use like the Property Tax Relief Grant of the state’s education funding formula.

"This is a goal that I think we want to go forward, not having a selective grant process," Kifowit said. "If we could expand the grant program and make it more petition-based, then that would be a goal."

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via | Kendall County Record

January 30, 2020 at 09:40PM

Yingling seeks legislative ideas

ROUND LAKE BEACH – With the start of the legislative session less than a month away, state Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, is asking residents to share their thoughts and ideas for legislation he should introduce in the upcoming session.

“When it comes to working on legislation, the most important feedback I get is from my constituents,” Yingling said. “My work in Springfield revolves around directly helping our community, which is why it is crucial for me to hear from residents so we can find solutions together.”

Yingling consistently works to be an accessible representative who involves his constituents in the legislative process. He regularly holds events aimed at giving residents an opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions on the issues facing the state, including his Coffee with Sam events and town halls. Yingling also regularly meets one-on-one with constituents in his office, discussing solutions to problems that could potentially be fixed through legislation.

Residents can reach out to Yingling with legislative ideas at his constituent service office at 847-231-6262 or email

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Region: Lake County,Letters,Region: Suburbs,Opinion

via Lake County Journal

January 11, 2020 at 06:45PM

Rep. Kifowit hosting information meeting on new state laws Jan. 16

Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego

Shaw Media file photo


Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego

Area residents are invited to learn about new state laws going into effect at an information session hosted by state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Aurora Public Library, located at 555 S. Eola Road in Aurora.

“This past year, we enacted a large number of new laws that will begin to affect our community starting in January,” said Kifowit. “This event will help inform residents about the new laws and touch on how residents can keep track of new bills as they go through the legislative process.”

Among the pieces of legislation Kifowit will highlight is a measure to protect students from being questioned or detained by school supervisors without the presence of their parent, guardian or mental health professional. She also passed a bill to streamline the process of the Secretary of State to issue drivers licenses or identification cards with the word “veteran” to qualified veterans and passed legislation to give voters the opportunity to choose an elected local library board.

Also at the event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to navigate and understand the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) website so residents can track bills going through the legislative process and share their thoughts.

“Residents may have questions about how these new laws will impact them and their families,” said Kifowit. “This is an opportunity to ask questions, and the feedback I receive will assist me as I continue my work in Springfield.”

For more information about the event, or to RSVP, please contact Kifowit’s full-time constituent office at 630-585-1308

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via | Kendall County Record

January 7, 2020 at 09:40PM

State Reps. Karina Villa, Barbara Hernandez to host small business fair tax town hall – Kane County Chronicle

State Rep. Karina Villa
State Rep. Karina Villa

State Reps. Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) and Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora) are co-hosting a small business fair tax town hall from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22 at Two Brothers Roadhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora.

“As the daughter of local small business owners, I understand that small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” Villa stated in a press release. “I will continue fighting for real tax relief and working to build a high-wage economy because building a stronger Illinois begins with building a stronger middle class.”

Small business owners, and those interested in learning more about the fair tax and the impact it could have on the local economy are invited to join Villa and Hernandez for the town hall. Villa, Hernandez and Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, will discuss efforts to provide relief for small and medium-sized businesses and strengthen the local economy.

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October 2, 2019 at 03:02PM

State Rep. Monica Bristow announces bid for re-election – Alton Telegraph

State Rep. Monica Bristow announces bid for re-election

Dylan Suttles,


State Rep. Monica Bristow announces bid for re-election

ALTON — State Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, officially announced Wednesday that she will seek re-election to the Illinois House of Representatives 111th District that includes Madison and Jersey counties.

Bristow made the announcement surrounded by supporters at AltonWorks, including B. Dean Webb, president of the Federation of Labor of Madison County, and Madison County State’s Attorny Tom Gibbons.

“Things are going our way for labor with Monica in our corner,” Webb said. “We look forward to working with her.”

Gibbons said Bristow was the best person to continue representing the district.

”We need to see her there for the long term future to come,” he said.

Bristow initially was appointed to the General Assembly in December 2017 to succeed former state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, who retired. In 2018, she beat Republican Mike Babcock in the general election.

“I’ll keep working to improve the health, happiness and economic prosperity in Illinois and to be our voice — your voice — in Springfield,” Bristow said Wednesday. “I am truly blessed to be able to work with my local mayor, township and community leaders, many of whom are considered close friends.”

Bristow also discussed how she has worked with both Republicans and Democratic on nearly every issue.

“When we work together and meet in the middle, that is when our republic and our state is at its best and working for the best interest of everyone in the state of Illinois,” she said.

Bristow shared a story from earlier this year about a man dealing with health issues and suffering insurance problems, and how her office was able to help him seek benefits that he deserved. She also discussed Marlie’s Law which she sponsored after a Wood River woman whose granddaughter, Marlie, who died after a sleep apnea issue that could have been prevented with a cardiopulminary monitor that an insurance company had denied providing for the family.

“Cost should not be a side factor when it comes to a medical decision that will potentially save a child’s life,” Bristow said.

Bristow closed with a promise that she will continue to build “a stronger Metro-East and a stronger Illinois.”

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September 25, 2019 at 07:43PM

Will County residents learn about legalized recreational marijuana at local event

State Rep. Natalie Manley hosted one of her colleagues from the Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday to talk to Will County residents about the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

Manley, D-Joliet, introduced State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, to talk about the law the state legislature passed earlier this year, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Morgan is a former health care attorney and helped the state government implement the Affordable Care Act and its medical marijuana program under two governors.

About two dozen residents attended the informational session and questioned Morgan about the particulars of the law and what issues could come up.

Morgan conceded it wouldn’t be perfect at first, and the growing and availability of the product wouldn’t be overly expansive right from the start.

"It was definitely deliberately designed so that we’re starting slow and (having) more measured growth," Morgan said.

Romeoville resident Frank Gagliardo, 80, told Morgan about his struggles trying to get medical marijuana for his wife who died of multiple sclerosis several years ago.

He said needing to get fingerprinted and pay fees for the drug was cumbersome, and prevented him from even getting the drug for his wife.

Morgan said the state got rid of requiring fingerprinting for medical marijuana, although there were still some fees, which he conceded were expensive.

He also explained it would still be to a patient’s advantage to use medical marijuana over purchasing recreational marijuana for ailments.

That’s because of cheaper taxes.

Patients would also have priority access to the product, since there might be a shortage in the recreational supply in the first few years of its being legal in Illinois.

That was good news for Gagliardo because, he said, despite never having smoked marijuana, he’s been experiencing shoulder pain after years of being a truck driver and wants to find new remedies.

"I’m interested in weening myself off of Tylenol and having the oils and the edibles," Gagliardo said.

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City: Joliet,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs,Opinion

via The Herald-News

September 18, 2019 at 02:26PM

Meet state Rep. Mary Edly-Allen at upcoming events

State Rep. Mary Edly-Allen will meet with constituents over coffee from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Lee Donuts, 124 Peterson Road, in Libertyville and at the same time on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Barbara’s Bookstore in Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills.

Edly-Allen, a Democrat from Libertyville, will listen to ideas and answer questions. Also, her mobile office will be at various locations in her 51st District Sept. 12, 17, 19 and 24. Email or call (224) 206-7647 for more information.

The 51st District includes all or portions of the Barrington area, Lake Zurich, Long Grove, Libertyville and Mundelein.

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Feeds,Region: DuPage,Local,Region: Suburbs

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September 5, 2019 at 11:13AM

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