Replaces the 84-year-old US Route 52 Bridge connecting Savanna, IL with Sabula, IA

SAVANNA…Today Rep. McCombie spoke at the ribbon cutting of the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge which officially opened for traffic this afternoon.

“This project is much more than just a bridge to most of us. The Savanna/Sabula Bridge is a reminder of our history and our past.  For me, the bridge is a reminder of my childhood when I would fight with my brother to give money at the toll booth, crossing it with my nieces and nephews, and of course listening to the amazement of visitors when the snow plows come out in the summer for the shadflies,” said Rep. McCombie. “Illinois and Iowa chose to believe in our future and our families and prove their commitment to us by developing a new gateway of opportunities.  Today we have come together to celebrate new beginnings.  The opening of the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge will bring growth to our area through business development and tourism.”

The Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge replaced the outdated and functionally obsolete 20 foot wide half mile long Savanna-Sabula Bridge which opened over 85 years ago. The old bridge will be deconstructed in the coming months.

Rep. McCombie sponsored HJR 58 to name the bridge the “Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge,” in after Savanna native Dale Gardner after his classmates from Savanna High School led the effort to honor him. Dale Gardner was the valedictorian of Savanna Community High School class of 1966. In 1978, NASA selected Captain Gardner to be an astronaut where he logged 337 hours in space, and orbited the earth 225 times. He passed away on February 19, 2014, at the age of 65.


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Rep. McCombie to Host Traveling Office Hours at Colona Fire Dept

Savanna…State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) will be hosting traveling office hours at the Colona Fire Department on Monday, November 27.

Rep. McCombie’s traveling office hours in Colona will be held at the Colona Fire Department on Monday, November 27, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm located at 401 1st St, Colona, IL.

If you live in the area and have concerns, suggestions or problems related to state government, residents are encouraged to stop by and talk with Representative McCombie or a member of her staff.

McCombie will continue to hold traveling office hours in communities across District 71 to hear the needs of constituents. Constituents may schedule an appointment by calling (815) 632-7384, but appointments are not required.


SB 403 provides credit of up to $750 for eligible taxpayers

CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law today a tax credit worth up to $750 for property owners in 18 Illinois counties where flood damages were sustained in July.

The bill, signed at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago this morning, creates a natural disaster credit that eligible, affected property owners may apply to their 2017 Illinois income taxes.

Included counties are Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Alexander, Clinton, Jackson, Marshall, Union, Woodford, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside — all of which were declared state disaster areas by the governor last summer.

“July’s severe storms pushed rivers and lakes over their banks across a wide swath of Illinois,” Rauner said. “Many home and business owners are still working to restore their properties after the inundation of water, debris and mud they suffered through, in some cases for weeks. In northeastern Illinois counties, the flooding was unprecedented. This tax credit offers a measure of much-needed relief.”

State Rep. Barbara Wheeler said the tax credit will be welcome news.

“Unfortunately for many families impacted by this type of disaster, once the initial shock wears off, the reality of financial hardship caused by the devastation can be just as traumatic as the event itself,” said Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake. “In the past, state government has not always responded quickly enough to provide the relief needed for this financial stress. 

However, this time the governor and legislature acted quickly, and I know many of the families still trying to recover are grateful.”

State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, agreed.

“I appreciate the governor taking quick action to sign the Flood Victims Tax Credit into law,” McCombie said. “Victims of the floods this year did not receive federal assistance, so this incentive is a small measure we can take to help and be good neighbors.”

“This summer’s flooding was devastating to many northern Illinois residents,” said state Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods. “This tax credit is one more tool in the toolbox.”

“While some residents have recovered, many are still working to rebuild,” said state Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake. “This tax credit will help ease the financial burden and help local residents get back on their feet.”

Qualified properties include a taxpayer’s principle residence or land owned by a small business, but not a rental or leasing business. The allowable income tax credit will be the lesser of $750 or the deduction allowed under the Internal Revenue Code for each taxpayer who owns qualified property in a county declared a state disaster area.

The bill provides that township assessors shall issue eligibility certificates for appropriately requesting property owners, and that assessors shall certify to the Illinois Department of Revenue listings of flood-damaged properties.

The fiscal impact to the state is estimated at $4.6 million, based on damages previously reported to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

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Rep. McCombie was in Dixon for the latest stop in the opioid task force's tour of communities. The tour started in October to talk about the successes and challenges with local programs geared toward prevention and recovery. The goal is to reduce opioid fatalities by one-third in the next 3 years.










SAVANNA… Legislation to provide an income tax credit to flood victims received the approval of the Illinois House of Representatives and State Senate this week and now heads to the Governor's desk for final consideration, according to State Representative McCombie (IL-71), co-sponsor of the bill.

This summer, several counties across the State of Illinois were declared disaster areas after being devastated by flooding. Senate Bill 403 creates the Flood Victims Tax Credit. It will provide residents and businesses who were victims of these floods an income tax credit of $750 to assist them in their rebuilding effort.

"SB 403 will touch all four counties in my district. This legislation came about because Illinois did not hit the threshold to be eligible for federal assistance. With a property and casualty background, I know that people impacted by the floods are not always made whole by insurance once depreciation, deductibles, and other factors are taken into account," said Rep. McCombie. "This provides just a little bit of relief to families that have been devastated."

In total, SB 403 impacts 18 counties, including residents in Carroll, Henry, Rock Island and Whiteside counties represented by Rep. McCombie. Nearby Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, and Stephenson counties are also eligible for the tax relief.

Federal assistance may not become available for victims of these disasters.

Click Here for video of Rep. McCombie's speaking in support of SB 403 on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives. 
House Bill 3649 Passed Both the House and Senate with Broad Bi-Partisan Support

SPRINGFIELD… Today, State Representative Tony McCombie’s (IL-71st) chief co-sponsored legislation HB3649, also known as the Debt Transparency Act, became law after the House of Representatives and Senate voted to override the governor’s veto.

The Debt Transparency Act makes common sense reforms by requiring all state agencies to disclose the unpaid bills they are currently holding but have not yet sent to the Office of Comptroller at the end every month. This is a change from current law which require state agencies to report unpaid bills only once per year.

“I am really proud to be a part of passing the Debt Transparency Act into law; it was amazing to me that this was not already our standard practice in Illinois. While Mayor of Savanna, anytime I needed information on bills, the comptroller had the information readily available,” said Rep. McCombie. “This is a non-political, good government, and common sense piece of legislation.”

In addition, the new law requires agencies to estimate the amount of late payment interest penalties incurred on these bills. The state’s Prompt Payment Act means a 1 percent per month penalty applies to unpaid bills even though they are currently unknown to the Comptroller. As of today, the Office of the Comptroller is reporting a current bill backlog of $16.7 billion. 

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House Bill 4147 gives DCFS workers the same protections as police and firemen  

Springfield…Today, State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) filed House Bill 4147 to make attacking a DCFS workers in performance of their duties an aggravated battery and a Class 1 felony.   
House Bill 4147, filed this week, would make battering a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in the performance of his/her official duties or in response to their official duties an aggravated battery and a Class 1 felony.  Aggravated battery subject perpetrators to more severe penalties when facing prosecution and sentencing.
“My deepest sympathies and get well-wishes go out to the victim of this horrible attack, her family and everyone in her DCFS family.  Everyday DCFS workers put themselves at risk to protect the most vulnerable children in our communities,” said Rep. Stewart. “This legislation will give DCFS workers the same protections as policemen, firemen, and peace officers who also put themselves in harm’s way.”    
This legislation is in response to the September 29th tragedy where a 59-year-old DCFS worker in Milledgeville was checking on a child when she was viciously assaulted by the child’s father.
State Representatives Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) and Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), and John Cabello (R-Rockford) who will be chief co-sponsoring HB 4147, expressed their support of this legislation.
“I continue to pray for the victim of this senseless act of violence. It’s unfortunate an act of violence was inflicted on anyone in order for legislation to be proposed, however, this bill will give DCFS workers along with other public servants the additional legal protections they deserve,” said Rep. McCombie.
“It’s unfortunate that this type of measure is needed, but the safety of these state employees charged with protecting child welfare is paramount.  Their work in protecting children and stepping into dangerous situations warrant additional penalty for those who cause them harm in the performance of their duties,” said Rep. Demmer.
Current law makes it an aggravated battery and a Class 1 felony offense when the suspect causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to peace officers, community policing volunteers, firemen, private security officers, correctional institution employees, or certain Department of Human Services employees.

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Weather-related decision permits trucks hauling ag commodities to exceed gross vehicle weight limits, speed crop transportation

YORKVILLE (Nov. 5, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner today declared a statewide harvest emergency to assist farmers and grain handlers who are grappling with the fallout of rain-related delays.



“Illinois is home to 72,000 farms on 26.7 million acres. We are among the top three corn producers in the nation,” Rauner said while visiting Stewart Farms in Yorkville Sunday afternoon. “Moving corn and other crops in a timely and efficient manner affects the bottom line of hard-working farmers. This declaration is an appropriate response to an urgent need.”

Under a new law Rauner signed Aug. 11, the declaration permits drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities over state highways to obtain a free permit to exceed gross vehicle weight limits by 10 percent. Further, local authorities may waive the permit requirement at their discretion. The emergency declaration is in effect for 45 days beginning today, Nov. 5.
The Illinois Department of Transportation already is mobilizing the permitting process and notifying law enforcement agencies throughout the state. More information is available at https://truckpermits.dot.illinois.gov/.

“I would like to thank the governor for making this declaration today,” said Richard Guebert Jr., president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “This harvest season emergency declaration will improve the transportation of our crops.”

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Illinois corn harvest at the end of October was 17 percentage points behind the prior year and 11 percentage points behind the five-year average. The corn harvests in the Northwest, Northeast and East regions are especially hard hit. Harvesters of a variety of crops made up ground toward the end of October, but early delays still are causing backups in the transportation chain.

Jeff Adkisson, executive vice president of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, also praised the governor’s action, noting that a bumper crop combined with the harvest delays to compound the situation.

“In years when harvest is better than anticipated, crops like corn and soybeans may need to be stored in piles outside of the traditional concrete or steel bins or tanks,” he said. “This declaration will allow grain elevators to transport commodities out of their facilities quicker, thus making room for grain stored on the ground to be moved to more suitable storage structures.”

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe said the action will encourage the farming community.

“Illinois farmers work tirelessly year-round, even more so around harvest,” he said. “The Department of Agriculture would like to thank Gov. Rauner for making this declaration and for his support of Illinois farmers.”

And state legislators also welcomed the harvest emergency declaration.

State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, co-sponsored HB 2580, which amended the state vehicle code to allow for exceeding trucks’ gross weight limits when a governor declares a harvest emergency.

“Mother Nature has presented Illinois farmers with a rainy spring and fall, making this year’s harvest challenging,” she said. “The State of Illinois was proactive when we foresaw an emergency this year.”

“Farmers form the backbone of our state’s economy,” said state Sen. Neil Anderson, a Republican from Andalusia who sponsored the legislation in the Senate. “Declaring a harvest emergency will reduce red tape and allow those farmers who are still in the field to focus on getting their crops in before winter really takes hold.

“The sooner farmers can get their commodities to market, the more stable the market will be for the consumer.”

State Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, a member of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee, said the rainy planting season caused corn and beans to mature later this fall.

“As a result, many farmers are behind in getting their crops harvested,” he said. “With this declaration of a harvest emergency, we will allow farmers the ability to get more grain to the storage sites quicker.”
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