Representative Mike Fortner recently hosted a clean energy forum to provide background on the Clean Energy Jobs bill (House Bill 2607). The forum brought together a wide variety of advocates from different sectors in the community; from government to business to interest groups like the Sierra Club. Representative Fortner and Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) were on hand to answer questions and provide legislative insight on the bill.

Rep. Fortner is already a co-sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs bill, and he stressed that any interested groups who want to share important information and voice concerns about the bill are helpful, in order to produce a comprehensive piece of legislation.  “We need to update state policy to bring in technology that can aid us economically - to create jobs, reduce pollution, and save money. This is an issue we’ve known is coming for a while and as a state representative, I welcome input to help us create the best bill possible to achieve this.”


To learn more about Clean Energy Jobs and House Bill 2607, visit ilcleanjobs.org.

Please join State Representative Mike Fortner for a FREE Document Shredding Event to be held on Saturday, September 19th in the parking lot of the Batavia VFW.

This is a free event being provided to all residents as an opportunity to safely and securely dispose of any and all paper documents that you have been in need of getting shredded. The event will run from 9am – Noon on Saturday, September 19th at the Batavia VFW at 645 S. River St in Batavia. 


Schools must have a legitimate reason to demand students provide their social media passwords under a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Chief sponsor Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, said his bill — HB 3527 —  strikes a balance between student privacy and school districts’ legitimate needs to investigate problems such as bullying.

“There are still different ways to get that information,” he said. “What they can’t do is to ask for that password and go off and use that password on their own,” he said.

Brian Schwartz of the  Illinois Association of Principals said the measure appears well balanced.
“We think it’s a much better bill and a much better law and will allow building-level administrators to investigate violations of school district policy but still allow (for) and protect kids privacy,” he said.

Fortner’s measure defines and clarifies a reasonable-cause requirement, whereas earlier legislation was sometimes being cited as justification to implement blanket policies.

Under the new measure, a school would now need reasonable cause — such as report by a victim, parent or witness — before entering students’ social media spaces to look for information.

“There should be a real event going on before demanding private passwords, otherwise it’s just fishing without cause,” Fortner had said.

The new act takes effect immediately.

http://ilnews.org/5517/new-state-laws-seek-to-clarify-expand-student-rights/


Senator Kirk & Representative Mike Fortner
To Host Staff Mobile Office Hours


WHO:
Staff from the Office of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
Staff from the Office of Ill. State Representative Mike Fortner (R-49th)

WHERE:
American Legion Hall Post 300
123 Main Street
West Chicago, Ill.
*Parking available in rear

WHEN:
Monday, August 31, 2015
10:00am – 1:00pm

WHAT:
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced that his staff will hold mobile office hours in West Chicago on Monday, August 31, in conjunction with Illinois State Representative Mike Fortner’s (R-49th) staff. Kirk staffers will be available to assist constituents with any problems they may be experiencing with the federal government, including Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, student loans, and immigration.


I am pleased to have the opportunity of partnering with Rep. Christine Winger and several area pet rescue and shelter organizations for a first ever Pet Rescue Fair to be held on Sunday, August 16th at the James "Pate" Philip State Park, 2054 W Stearns Rd in Bartlett. The event will take place from 12:30 pm until 3:00 pm and is free to the public. 


Participating organizations will have information and applications and, most important, dogs, cats and other small animals available for adoption. Participating rescue and shelter organizations include:

·         Anderson Animal Shelter
·         Greyhounds Only
·         Mobile Mutts Rescue
·         St. Sophia's Forgotten Felines
·         Kane County Animal Control

Springfield, IL… Proposed spending without revenue, playing political theater at its best according to State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago).

“Here we are again just a few days before the legislative session is set to adjourn discussing the state budget.  House Democrats propose a budget that by their own omission is more than $3 billion out of balance. Illinois’ constitution requires the General Assembly pass a balanced budget. Voting in favor of this unbalanced budget would be a violation of the oath we took as legislators,” said Fortner.

“Spending money we don’t have and avoiding reforms needed will dig Illinois further into its fiscal hole. A partisan budget does not solve anything but adds to false hopes for state funded services for our most vulnerable and to educate our children. We need a serious process with both parties at the table.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/community/chi-ugc-article-fortner-disappointed-with-democrat-spending-b-2015-05-28-story.html

State Representative Mike Fortner questions Speaker Madigan on the lack of individual protections from future inflation of a constitutional imposed "Millionaire Tax".
Springfield, IL…Today, State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) released a statement speaking to the need for Illinois elected official term-limits in order to end the partisan political agendas.

“Over the years in the General Assembly, at the beginning of nearly every spring session, I file a proposed constitutional amendment to limit terms of leadership for Speaker of the House, Minority Leader of the House, Senate President and the Senate Minority Leader. I do this because I have seen first-hand how necessary it is to have turn over in these positions,” said Fortner. “Term limits can have benefits that are not the obvious new face in office but an opportunity for new original ideas.”


“Ohio, a Mid-West state that does recognize term limits, placed an amendment on the ballot last December with a bipartisan support to reform redistricting and end some of the gerrymandering games that had become a point of contention in their state.  The only reason this happened, was because the members whose terms were limited could leave redistricting reform as part of their legacy. Had they thought they’d be serving past 2020, when the next redistricting is scheduled, it would have been unlikely to see them agree to the bipartisan reforms,” said Fortner.
Springfield, IL…Today, State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) passed legislation in the House to strengthen individual rights to their social media privacy’s. House Bill 3527 was filed as a result of the newly effective laws that require students to release their private social media passwords to the schools upon request so long as the school notified the parents about the new policy and published it in the schools handbook.

In 2014, a bill passed requiring school districts to create an official policy on how to address cyberbullying. That bill, House Bill 4207, became effective Jan. 1, 2015. House Bill 3572 is a measure that clarifies and defines the term “reasonable cause” relating to social media, which has been used as a blanketed policy to demand students hand over their personal social media passwords. As introduced HB 3572 provides clarity of “reasonable clause” and actual scenarios that the schools would have to comply to avoid a violating a student’s individual privacy. 

“Without having a true definition of “reasonable cause” and what falls within those parameters, it became apparently clear to us that there were no regulations stopping schools for asking for this information,” said Fortner.

House Bill 3572 provides that a school does not have reasonable cause to request a student’s social networking password unless a victim or concerned party, such as a parent or guardian, has filed a complaint with the school or a school personnel have witnessed cyber-bullying taking place.


“In 2014 a school decided the way to comply with the cyberbullying law would be to send notification to parents indicating school personnel could demand Facebook passwords from students if a case of cyberbullying existed. The current law is not being interpreted correctly, this bill will clarify that only in the case of “reasonable cause” can the school make such a request,” said Fortner. “There should be a real event going on before demanding private passwords, otherwise it’s just fishing without cause.”
Once again the Democrat-controlled House brought sham legislation to a vote for the sole purpose of putting Republican lawmakers in a trick bag and embarrassing the new Governor.

House Republicans have long worked to provide Illinoisans with much needed and deserved property tax relief. Each year members of the House Republican Caucus introduce legislation that would deliver property tax relief and each year the Democrats block those measures. The real roadblock to property tax relief has been the Democrat-controlled legislature. 

It is not without merit that House Republicans question the majority leadership’s commitment to property tax relief, when out of the clear blue sky they embrace so-called property tax freeze legislation that neither includes reforms nor guarantees that property taxes won’t increase. It is not hard to draw the accurate conclusion that it is just more political theatre.

After being sworn-into office, Governor Rauner took action to address high property taxes. He assembled a bipartisan working group to look holistically at thoughtful reforms that would provide meaningful property tax relief without strangling schools and local governments. The group is considering unfunded mandates, pensions and other factors impacting costs that keep property taxes high. Once the working group completes its assessment, they will bring their work product to the proper standing committee for a full hearing – provided the Democrat leadership permits it to get that far.

After Republicans voted present on an amendment to a bill going nowhere, State Representative Ron Sandack called for HB136, a property tax relief measure he filed early in session, to be released from the Rules Committee where the Democrats have kept it bottled up for the entire session. Sandack’s legislation, a carefully crafted, measured approach to property tax reform targeting homeowners who have lost value on their homes, was immediately dismissed through draconian House rules that provide the majority party a defense against virtually any legislation they don’t like. 

Once again the majority leadership in the Illinois House showed why nothing gets accomplished in Springfield. Republicans stood together with Governor Rauner, casting a “present” vote to express their disdain with the process. 

Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) discusses the lack of seriousness in amendments brought to the house floor. Comparing the proposed "Right to Work Bill" to the recently ruled unconstitutional "Pension Reform", as legislation that was designed for nothing other than failure and recorded votes from members of the House.

Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) discusses the lack of seriousness in amendments brought to the house floor. Comparing the proposed "Right to Work Bill" to the recently ruled  unconstitutional "Pension Reform", as legislation that was designed for nothing other than failure and recorded votes from members of the House.
Springfield, IL…Today, Governor Rauner restored $26 million in funding to crucial state programs provided by the Department of Human Services and Department of Public Health.

“I am very pleased to see Governor Rauner restore funding back to Human Services and Public Health. Considering the state’s budget totals are in the billions, $26 million in funding cuts wouldn't bring solvency to its current financial crisis. That being said, cuts of this magnitude targeting specific programs would have been detrimental to Illinois families in need of assistance or even effected by epilepsy or autism illnesses,” said Fortner. “To get Illinois out of its fiscal hole, it is important to spend within our means. With recent additional revenue, the state has the ability to restore funding to agency services, which is why I am encouraged by the Governors compassionate understanding to restore the funding to needed programs for Illinois families.”



West Chicago – Please join State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) and State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) for a consumer’s utility savings seminar partnered with the Citizens Utility Board (CUB).

This event is an opportunity for residents to learn tips on money savings on within their utility bills, from cable bills to electric bills.


Where: St. Charles Public Library
1 South 6th Ave., St. Charles

When: Monday, May 11th

Time: 10:00am – Noon


CUB representatives will be on hand to analyze telephone, gas and electric bills one-on-one and show participants how to save money. CUB is a non-profit organization commissioned by the Illinois General Assembly that assists utility using customers across the state.
  
All residents who would like to express their opinions or concerns on policy are encouraged to contact Rep. Fortner via email at Mike.Fortner@sbcglobal.net or his district office at 630.293.9344.







Springfield, IL…Snow days could become a thing of the past with State Representative Mike Fortner’s legislation that would create an E-Learning pilot program instead of extending the school days into the summer. House Bill 2781 passed the House with overwhelming support.

House Bill 2781 would allow for the State Board of Education to establish and implement a pilot program for the use of E-Learning days in selected schools.

“Students would have an opportunity to deliver the classroom content through electronic means in the event of a snow day,” said Fortner.

The E-Learning program would allow the students as a group to receive instruction electronically without being physically present at school. The E-Learning days would be limited to a number of days, not to exceed 5 days, during the school year. The participation in this program would count towards the required number of days for each student’s qualified attendance.

“Using this type of E-Learning has been successfully used in other states, particularly in the State of Ohio. Ohio uses a combination of E-Learning in addition to excessive snow days,” said Fortner. “They’re individual benefits for our young students that can come from E-Learning days. Often, we notice the lack of attention from students when extending the school year into the summer. Technology provides us the opportunity to maintain a productive classroom schedule without distraction or prolonging the process.”


House Bill 2781 as passed provides that the State Board of Education shall establish and maintain, for implementation in selected school districts during the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 school years, a pilot program for use of e-learning days. HB 2781 currently awaits consideration in the Senate.
Springfield, IL…Today, State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) met with state legislators, Illinois energy producers and community leaders to discuss a bipartisan effort to draft legislation that would create a state Low Carbon Portfolio Standard in efforts to reduce carbon emissions with minimal consumer impact.

The legislation has been file in both the Senate as SB 1585 and in the House as HB 3293. As introduced, the legislation would help reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy and maintain affordable and reliable electricity for consumers and businesses.

“What we know is that Illinois has a diverse viable energy sector but there are things that we need to be working on to keep it that way,” said Fortner. “We need to make fixes to the renewable portfolio standard which generates jobs but over the past couple years, Illinois has been falling behind its neighboring states.”

This bill is a result of a recent federal mandate, which is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. This mandate requires that all states reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants. Illinois is tasked with implementing a program that complies with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan by reducing the carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from reported 2005 levels by the year 2030. The plan must be in place to achieve these reductions by 2017.


“We need to have a plan to comply with the new federal rules for clean air. This will require coordination between renewable energy sources and carbon free sources like nuclear power. I think the bills filled last week and this week are an excellent starting places to move Illinois forward,” said Fortner.
 Springfield, IL…Today, Governor Rauner presented the annual Governor’s State of the State Address, giving his assessment of the state’s current status.


“It was refreshing to hear a real State of the State Address. The Governor made it clear that his priorities were competitiveness, job growth and education. His speech today was geared towards tackling the big issues that have kept Illinois from being its best,” said Fortner. 

“These are priorities that we have pushed for years. I recognize that this was merely a prelude to the proposals Governor Rauner plans to champion and I anxiously await his upcoming budget speech where we can expect to hear more in detail.”
West Chicago, IL – Following the inaugural ceremony to serve the 49th Representative District, Mike Fortner (R – West Chicago) filed a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to limit how long any one person can serve in leadership roles in the Illinois General Assembly. The leadership roles are Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, House Minority Leader and Senate Minority Leader.

“The members of the General Assembly are directly elected by the people, but their leaders are not. The selected leaders are not directly accountable to the people of Illinois,” said Fortner. “I believe leadership term limits are an essential part of the process to ensure that the representation of Illinois is done fairly and responsibly.”

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 0007 (HJRCA0007) would make a change to the current rules of the state’s constitution, amending Article 5 by introducing term limits for the House Speaker, President of the Senate, and Minority Leader for each chamber. If passed, the amendment will allow a maximum of 8 years in any one leadership role, not to exceed an overall maximum of 12 years of service in any combination of the four leadership roles. Currently, the state does not impose term limits on the leaders of the legislature.

“Beginning in 2011 I have sponsored legislation in each General Assembly for leadership term limits. To allow any one person continuous control can be damaging not only to this institution but also to the state,” said Fortner. “We take an oath to serve the Illinois people to the best of our ability, not for power plays, and I think we lose sight of that. I strongly believe in the need for leadership term limits.”


This past Wednesday, when the 99th General Assembly convened for the inaugural ceremony, Rep. Michael J. Madigan was re-elected as Speaker of the House. At the completion of this term, he will have served 32 years as Illinois’ Speaker of the House, making him the longest serving Speaker in not just Illinois, but the entire nation.
SPRINGFIELD – Today, Mike Fortner (R – West Chicago), was sworn in for 5th term as State Representative of the 49th House District. Fortner, who formally represented the 95th Representative District prior to the remap, has vowed to continue to fight the uphill battle in Illinois.

“It is a privilege and honor to continue serving the people of the 49th District,” said Fortner. “Your continued support and faith in me to represent you in district and Springfield is an incredible feeling.”

Fortner took the oath of service alongside his colleagues at the inaugural ceremony held at the University of Springfield. Fortner will serve his 5th term as a member in the 99th Illinois General Assembly.

“I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the 99th General Assembly,” said Fortner. “We still face many fiscal issues but I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide lasting solutions.”


The 49th House District encompasses Kane, DuPage and a small part of Cook County. The district includes portions of Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Bartlett, West Chicago, Elgin, Naperville, North Aurora, St. Charles, Warrenville, Wayne, and South Elgin.